This was the second SC Comicon, and it grew exponentially since last year. We got a notion of this from the floorplan sent out to artists and vendors, but seeing it live made it clear: This is now a big honkin' show.
Once again, I partnered with Flatbear for our table, giving us a cross-pollination of convention attendees. Our styles are so distinct that there's very little redundancy and certainly no competition. I can't imagine other table partnerships having it so good. Also, we both lose our minds over cosplay.
Speaking of which, I tried an experiment this show with an idea stolen from Marc Lombardi: Cosplay discounts. I had a sign at my table, and I included the info in my sales pitch that all costumed folks (regardless of polish or skill level) got $1 off their individual purchases. If they bought three items, they saved $3. I did this for three reasons:
1) I want to see all the costumes. I'm willing to pay you a dollar to come by and let me see them.
2) I cosplay occasionally, and I know how much money can be invested in costumes before any other convention expenses.
3) I want to prove a point. I hear often -- including this Sunday at the show -- that cosplayers don't spend money at the shows. They do, especially if they find something related to their costume. For instance, a Cinderella commissioned a Cinderella sketch. A little gal dressed as Dark Phoenix was specifically looking to buy Dark Phoenix artwork. She commissioned a sketch. Even people who are only wearing shirts for their favorite character or story will buy related items. A guy in a Friday the 13th shirt bought one of my Jason prints. Whether fans are wearing an $15 shirt or a $300 bespoke costume, they will buy stuff at a show. I had to buy extra markers Sunday morning because the Deadpools and Spider-Men killed my reds.
And at my table, they did. More than a quarter of all my sales were by cosplayers. They browsed my table before they knew about the discount. (The sign was there, but people are usually looking at art, not the sales tags). They were shopping. Then they learned about the discount. Then they bought.
I find it helps to offer prints and commissions at a variety of sizes. Maybe not everyone does this, and maybe that's why they miss selling to certain convention contingents. I can't say. But I can say cosplayers buy stuff from me and have even before I started the discount.
Otherwise, it was a packed show both days, including folks who had never been in a convention. They were amazed by it all and with good reason. The show featured a wide spectrum of tables over two days.
I attended the Drink and Draw in honor of Jeremy dale, supplying meager art scrawls for the auction and buying a piece as well. It was also a packed event, a testament to Jeremy, the organizers, and those who wanted to support Hero Alliance and Team Cul de Sac. I met some fine folks.
I also bought some Lord of the Rings figures for my son who is insane for the films, and got myself a Sgt. Slaughter GI Joe figure, ending a 30+ year quest. I hobnobbed with some high-quality professionals like Chad Bowers and Meghan Hetrick. I reunited with people from my school days, including a gal I've known since second grade. I saw legions of little kids and grandparents, smiling wide-eyed. I sat in the Batmobile!
I will absolutely plan for this show in 2016. You should too.