Wizard World Chicago 2014 round up

edited August 2014 in On The Road
I'm sure @TrevorAMueller will do a detailed social blog about the con, so I'll stick to business analysis.

I still can't figure out my experience at the con this year. My sales were lower than expected (slightly above $900). That's less than my goal for the weekend, which was $1,200. My sales on Friday were an all-time low for a Friday at WWC, and it was devastating. And yet, my sales on Sunday were an all-time high for any Sunday, anywhere. And Saturday, the day that was most crowded and you'd expect the best sales? It was death on a cracker for nearly the entire day... until the two-hour stretch of 3-5 p.m., when people were throwing money at me and it made up for the rest of the terrible day.

It wasn't just me. Trevor's sales were lower than usual, as were Alan Evans'. Our pal Christopher Mitten was in our row and he experienced the same phenomenon: a terrible sales show that was redeemed by Sunday. On the other hand, Paul Sizer and his wife Jane Erwin had tremendous sales all weekend. Paul even said the show made him regain his faith in comic cons. So clearly, your mileage may vary.

Here's the thing: There was a TON of foot traffic in artist alley all three days, and even the preview day on Thursday had good numbers of people. It wasn't that people weren't there for me to pitch to. And I did pitch to a lot of people. They'd pick up the new RWP (the book I was promoting the most), I'd tell them about it and they'd ALL say it was brilliant and that we were super-duper for making a book like it. And then nearly every single one of them asked, "Do you have a card? Can I order it online or at Amazon?"

I'd always say sure, but you can only get it autographed and sketched in from us. And that didn't matter.

Were they being polite and blowing us off? Possibly. Were they planning to buy the book for 25% off at Amazon? Possibly. But I've never experienced this level of "Nice book, I'll think about it" with RWP before. It was really a fucking mystery.

I didn't sell much original art... the sketch cards did pretty well, once I started selling them at B1G1 free on Sunday.

None of the original pages I have in a binder sold. Not even the Batman pages, which I thought would sell FOR SURE at this con. I had one person ask about the cost of a Batman page, but he left and didn't return. That sucked a lot, I was counting on selling at least a few pages.

Were people rendered penniless by the cost of admission ($100 for a weekend pass) and then the cost of celebrity autographs? Were they buying books from other people in AA and not me? I think the former is more likely than the latter, but I still can't figure it out.

As for my sales: Yes, I know some people would love to have $900 in sales at a con. But the $400 table price really bit into that. We're already talking about teaming up to have three guys on two tables next year. That would give each of us 2/3 of a table at a cost of $267 each. Something to consider.


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