DragonCon 2015 Review

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
— Dr. Seuss

Interested in holding a booth at DragonCon next year? Applications open Thursday, Oct. 1st! 
Holding a booth for the first time? Congratulations! Let me know if my tips helped you any. 


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DragonCon continues to amaze me every year. This year, I decided to focus particularly on how booths were prepared despite where you may live. It's one thing to have a great setup and interact with your customers, but what is it like before the convention starts? 

Pre-planning, testing, organizing, the list goes on and on. Those who were relatively local took cars. This provided larger set ups, and more freedom for personal touches.  Those who came by plane had a much smaller set up with the general display of artwork, decorated banner with name proudly displayed, and their suitcase tucked under the booth table. I went ahead and asked many artists what their secret was to a successful booth, and these were the top 5 secrets! 

  1. Test it at home.
    If you know the size, make a mock-booth and test it as the seller and a customer (behind and in front of the booth). This will give you a much better idea how eye-catching your booth will be, as well as how comfortable you (and possible helping friends) will be. 
     
  2. Start with a small, local convention and work your way up.
    Just get the essentials and build from there. You'll learn a lot from your first time, and until you're 100% sure you want to continue doing booths, it's better to test the waters and save money. Plus if you screw up, no one will remember so it's a better learning experience. Also, do not expect to break even; this is a learning experience.
     
  3. Know what you're selling.
    Just like social media, there's a lot of options, but if you try to do everything it'll be overwhelming and ultimately some expenses will not break even. 
     
  4. Know the convention.
    Not every convention is the same, and all have their unique culture and cluster of attendees. It's highly recommended you go research as a fan first before diving into the unknown. Even more important, see if YOU enjoy the convention. No matter what, if you don't like a convention, it won't matter whether you make great sales or not if you're miserable for possibly 9 hours (8AM-5PM), 3 days straight.
     
  5. Make the booth your own.
    The booths that have always grabbed the best attention are those that the viewers know exactly what your style/theme is, can see what you're selling easily, and can feel comfortable approaching. Best examples I've seen of this include Cory Godbey, and Justin + Annie Stegg Gerard

Best of luck, everyone! You've got this!! 

Best,
Mina