After writing about my last science fiction/fantasy convention experience last week, it got me thinking about cons in general. This is the second year I've been going to these events as an author. My very first con of any kind was way back in 1984, and it was a big Doctor Who convention. Despite that, I don't consider myself a convention veteran, but after two years of sitting on the other side of the table, I've learned a few things.
1) Many vendors leave out bowls of candy as an incentive for visitors to stop by. This year, I took a mental count of attendees who took my candy before saying a word to me, and every single person never even looked at any of my books. Not one. They just sauntered over, grabbed some candy, and took off. So the candy stops now!
2) Cosplay continues to be the main attraction at these cons. As a vendor, if you dress up, I guarantee you will get more people stopping by, which means more sales. I put on the Captain Nemo outfit, and I got stopped a bunch of times for a photograph just walking to get some water.
3) Since cosplay is the big thing, the weird thing is, comics are NOT the main attraction at these so-called-comic-cons. Baaaack in the day, comics were the main draw. Not anymore. Other forms of entertainment take the main stage. Even just regular books have taken a back seat.
4) So much diversity. I saw tons of families, people of various ethnicities, and the LGBT group was well represented. This is one of my favorite things about cons.
5) It helps to have help. Unless you have an iron bladder, you will have to pee. And maybe eat. So having someone to run your table is a HUGE deal. Make sure your backup knows all about your books and stuff too.
6) Sexy cosplay is a big thing too, but if your butt is hanging out of your skirt, the con staff will stop you and make you either change or cover up. This happened right in front of me. A girl was telling me about her favorite books, and a staffer stood next to her, patiently waiting. When they turned around, I understood right away what the problem was. Yikes!
7) All the awesome geekiness inside the vendor's hall is like walking into Willy Wonka's factory. But WHOA, what's going on these days? Can you say MARK UP? Dealers are making up their merchandise like never before, which makes me think that their costs have gone up too.
8) Speaking of costs, how do any of us artists keep going to cons? Seriously. Maybe 8 out 10 actually covered their expenses. Thats' really sad. The cost of just getting a table in artists' alley or in the vendor hall also seems to be going up, and people are buying more of the collectibles, toys, and other high ticket items these days
9) Beeeee yourself. I think so many con-goers love going to these events because they get to be themselves out in public. No judging, no bullying...and you're surrounded by like-minded people. It's a great atmosphere.
10) Did I mention not to bring candy in the hopes of luring people to your table???
Blogging since 2005.
Medical sales warrior by day, writing ninja by night...
I am the author of The Mechanica Wars series. The first book, Dragonfly Warrior, will be published in January, 2014 by 4 Wing Press.
I love science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, biographies, and chocolate chip cookies.