All right! Continuing from last time, table setups! Here are two different types of cons with two different con setups, and what each kind generally has. Remember, each type of con is going to have a different audience and a different art crowd, so the same setup may not work at each one.
Many of these people unfortunately don’t know that I’m using their photo in this, as this was originally for a SCAD presentation, so I apologize ahead of time and if anyone wants me to take theirs down I will. But here’s some input on some of these..
The big vertical banners are all over at superhero cons. These cons are the ones I have been the least successful at though so I can’t make a definite “what sells” at these cons, but I do see a lot of people walking around with interesting fanarts. However, there is a definite problem with copyright there, which has been addressed other places and other times. I do see some original content and a lot of small press comics there as well, which is always good, but I think makes less money. Small one-off items like artist trading cards and commission sketches are a huge seller.
Indy cons: These cons are all about the little comics! But nice full-color comics and good print quality are a huge draw for other artists. Having a perfect or hardbound book can attract the attention of parents and people looking for something nice. Staplebound minis, while attractive if you want something small or cheap, can pile up quickly in a house or on a bookshelf and aren’t quite as attractive. A nice print or two can be something different from other artists and a nice way for someone to just buy a little art.
As for table setups, having a theme is usually a great way to draw attention. Becca and I have done several themes throughout indy cons, and they do attract a ton of attention. The first table setup is a great way of showing off a theme, and the guys are dressed up to match (even if they left their table people would be able to associate them with their product.) Cuddles and rage has a beautiful table setup, with a lot of beautifully displayed vertical books and enough open space between items to let things breathe (sometimes a difficult thing at indy cons where you are hurting for space because the table was so expensive you had to split it 2 or 3 ways.) I do find that if your table is too precise, people can be afraid to touch things, and putting an item in someone’s hand is half the battle of getting them to buy it.
Pig fish, though his setup looks very time intensive, is almost a bad example: his setup becomes so flashy (and he did have a strobe light) and intense it can scare people away.
At some point it does become personal preference: who your audience is will dictate your setup (i.e. I get a lot of teenagers so I use a lot of bright colors and items easily recognizable from a distance. Becca attracts kids, moms, and hipsters, so she uses a more muted palette with lots of cute and crafty items)
Again, if you guys have questions about these things, feel free to message me. I’ve had so many years of doing cons this is somewhat second nature, so if I don’t explain something well, just let me know.