Saturday, 22 August 2015
SATURDAY 22nd PREPARING FOR A CONVENTION.
6.30AM: Wake, have breakfast, hit the bathroom and dress.
8.00AM: Check the car. 1: Get Petrol. 2: Check the oil level. 3: Tyre pressures. 4: Water/coolant levels. 5: Sat Nav Coordinates. 6: Back up Map+ Directions. 7: Check Break down service is valid.
8: Parking and parking costs, work them out in advance you might save money. Note: This all might seem a little over the top to some however, if you have invested money and effort in attending the convention you might as well take a little more time to increase the odds of getting there. The same applies with any other mode of transport...do the proper preperation.
9.20AM: Sort out the stock and table equipment. 1: Are you likely to sell all 300 copies of each of
your comic titles? Do you need to take every thing? 2: Work out what you are taking and write down the number of copies for each comic. This will then help later when working out costs and profit. 3: Pack your stock carefully into sturdy boxes, no one will want to buy damaged stock...especially comic collectors. 4: Check your Banners (if you have them) to make sure they are working. 5: Check that you have everything you need to set up your table. e.g. Table cloth, Gaffer tape, Stanley Knife or scissors, Bungee cords, Drawing equpiment (if Sketching) Reading glasses (if old and blind) Table display stands for the comics etc. Float, when you start selling (lets be positive) you will need float. It seems that customers always want to pay with £10 notes...be prepared. Bumbag to hold your ill gotten gains.
10.20AM: Pre-packing stock and table equipment ready to load in your car. Note: Comic stock, banners, table equipment, its all bulky and rather heavy so make sure you have a method of getting it all from your car to the convention. I have a trolley however rather than just putting everything in your car its worth while pre-packing the trolley so that you can work out if you are missing something...I've been caught out before and its too late once you are there. Also make sure you have a way of keeping the rain off. If it is a 10 minute walk from the carpark to the convention you could be in trouble. Unless you are making paper mache paper and water are not a good combination.
11.00AM: Leave the packed trolley in a safe place ready to be packed in the car a couple of hours before you go to bed.
11.05AM: Packing your food for the day. Most conventions will have places where you can buy food and drink. However if you are at your trading table all day working hard to sell comics it can be tough to get away. So I always take food and drink which I prepare before hand and store in the fridge. As well as food you might want to include these items... 1: Wet wipes. It might seem snobby or aloof to some. However, unless you want time off work with a cold wipe your hands beofre putting them near food going into your mouth. 2: Boiled sweets. If you are selling comics you will be talking all day. So avoid getting a dry throat and suck sweets. 3: Water. Drinking water prevents dehydration and dehydration could prevent you from selling comics. 4: Headache tablets and pain killers...for people who didn't pack water. 5: Note to yourself stuck on the front door saying.. Grab food from fridge before you leave 'Stupid!'
12.00PM: Done, you can now relax. If you have forgotten something you now have the rest of the day to think of it. 1: If your car is in a safe location pack the car a couple of hours before going to bed. This will save you the sweat and extra hassel in the morning. 2: I like a full English* breakfast (*please insert own nationality Welsh, Irish, Scottish etc) before leaving for a convention. Therefore if I'm leaving from home I normally prepare my breakfast before I go to bed. This will save time when cooking it in the morning. 3: Important: After cooking breakfast while you are rushing around make sure you turn the F@#king cooker off...add this to your front door sign.
Convention costs and profits.
For some small press publishers watching the costs when attending a convention is not a priority. They are there to meet friends and new fans/customers. Most just want to have a good time during the day and party in the evening. I share and agree with all those sentiments however as with a lot of people I am having to watch my money and so it follows that I have limited funds to be able to publish my own comics and attend conventions. Attending conventions from my own point of view is still the best way to sell my comics.
Costing a convention.
1: Cost of trading table.
2: Cost of transport to and from convention.
2b: Including parking costs if travelling by car.
3: Hotel costs.
4: Food and Drink.
5: Take the total of the above costs and work out how many comics you will have to sell to make you money back before profit...is it worth you attending?
Post convention profits? (This might seem obvious but I'll write it out anyway).
1: Count total money you come back with.
2: As mentioned in a previous section above work out how many comics you have sold by checking what is left from the stock you took against the stock records you should have made earlier.
3: Does the total sales tally with the money you came back with?
4: Deduct all convention costs mentioned in costing a convention above.
5: Deduct float.
6: What is left is your profit. (Although you should then deduct the print cost per unit/comic to find the actual profit).
7: Plough any profit back into your prtinting fund...if you have one and do it all over again.
I've probably made a few mistakes with the above post. If so please bear with me I'm always learning and I hope that the above is of some help. Hope to see you at the conventions!
Previous comic convention reports.
Bristol May 2014.
Tought Bubble Nov 2014.
Demoncon 9. Feb 2015.
Law Giver 2. May 2015.
Cardiff Comic Expo. June 2015.
Demoncon X Aug 2015.