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FC '08 Post-Mortem

After each con, I try to do a bit of "lessons learned"-ing, to apply to future cons. mammallamadevil and I have gotten to the point where we have a good groove and can complement each other quite well at the table, but there's always something that we can do better next time. So my notes from this time around are, in no particular order:

  • Double-check the registrations. Twice now I've thought I was registered for FC when FC didn't think so, and both times it was because the table got purchased but my registration didn't get purchased with it. If Karl hadn't been so awesome to help us get that resolved this time around it would've been a ginormous hassle. Same with the hotel -- if I'd called ahead to confirm that the hotel would let me in, I wouldn't have had to get Vince to call again from the road. So note to myself: redundant confirmations GOOD. ;)


  • New material at the table. This is actually a reiteration of something I've talked about before -- it really just wasn't feasible this year due to all the sturm und drang going on. Naturally, with nothing new, merchandise sales were slow, even though badges and sketchbooks still sold well. Kerry and I went into this con with the plan of getting rid of older stock, so that we'll have a mostly-new table for AC. Gotta get those books into production, too.


  • Never drive your own car. I don't know why, but FC seems to be The Con That Kills Cars. Fortunately, I take a plane anyway. But I can just imagine the trouble I might have driving up to AC, for instance.


  • Self-contained art box needed. I usually bring pens, pencils, markers, and a handful of reference books, which then get scattered to the winds in the madness behind the table. I need to put myself together an art box that holds all this stuff in a self-contained unit, which I can then just carry around with me as needed. I don't know if it should be a tackle box, a modified tote bag, or what -- but it needs to be compact enough that I can have it at the table, and portable enough that carrying it around is actually feasible. This may take some work.


  • Can haz Monday? Everybody was expecting me to stay 'til Monday, and I gotta admit it would have been nice to not have to frantically pack-and-run after closing the dealer room Sunday. The problem is, that would eat more PTB and add another night to the hotel bill. I'll have to examine this for next year.


  • Half the table to work, the other half for merchandise. I need to have drawing space. It might be better to have less actual merchandise at the table -- or find some way to keep more of it OFF the table. I need approximately two feet by one-and-a-half feet of clear space, plus room for the aforementioned art box.


  • Keep it neat, keep it sweet! Having a trash can behind the table was a big help in keeping all those wrappers, bits of cellophane, and other miscellaneous pieces of crud from building up. If we can arrange to have a bit more neatness and organization going on, I think it will pay dividends both in our sales and our mental health. Needing to root around every time we want to find anything gets to be a real drag, and it puts an unwarranted burden on Kerry to be "the person who knows where everything is". I want to try to come up with some way to be more systematic in our setup. LABELS ARE YOUR FRIEND!

There's probably more, but these are all that I can think of at the moment (that I'm willing to share with the wide world, anyhow!).

-The Gneech

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
oceansedge
Jan. 29th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
# Self-contained art box needed. I usually bring pens, pencils, markers, and a handful of reference books, which then get scattered to the winds in the madness behind the table. I need to put myself together an art box that holds all this stuff in a self-contained unit, which I can then just carry around with me as needed. I don't know if it should be a tackle box, a modified tote bag, or what -- but it needs to be compact enough that I can have it at the table, and portable enough that carrying it around is actually feasible. This may take some work.

This might sound odd... but consider a makeup case. One with articulating shelves. Designed to be portable, organized, and accessible they come in a variety of sizes, but almost all fit the size restrictions you mention, but leave everything you want to reach for right at your fingertips.
Just as an example of what I mean: http://www.yazmo.com/

Edited at 2008-01-29 02:38 pm (UTC)
the_gneech
Jan. 29th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip! I'll check it out. :)

-TG
(no subject) - packbat - Jan. 29th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 29th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sirfox - Jan. 29th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 29th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - daemionfox - Jan. 29th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
slysquirrel
Jan. 29th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
You could try getting some of those egg-crate boxes, perhaps. That, or use stackable mail boxes to keep your prints in an easily-organized, condensed portion of the table.

I've also been quite impressed with those vaulted, arch-like display cases; they give you a lot of vertical shelf space as well as give you a place to work. That, and it'll frame you in for when confused customers want to talk to the artist. :)

HOpe those ideas help!
the_gneech
Jan. 29th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're referring to re: egg-crate and stackable mail boxes. Any way you could point me to an example?

-TG
(no subject) - slysquirrel - Jan. 29th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - doodlesthegreat - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hossblacksilver - Jan. 30th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
the_gneech
Jan. 29th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
I meant a whole table divided into halves by function, you silly geek!

-TG
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 29th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
susandeer
Jan. 29th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
If I weren't so bent over sketchbooks all the time, I could be the button rack! @:D
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 29th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - susandeer - Jan. 29th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sirfox - Jan. 29th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
doodlesthegreat
Jan. 29th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
As one seasoned congoer to another...
Confirmations GOOD. Hotels/flights/car rentals. I just made my ComicCon reservation this week and I will confirm at least twice between now and the event. This is especially important if you use a service like Expedia or Priceline.

I think a con should provide one waste basket per table as well as the main trash cans. If they can't/won't, see about getting a collapsible one at a camping store for yourself.

Also, you really should see about leaving Monday. The extra expense is compensated for by being far more refreshed and coherent when it's time to leave, and Sunday night is the best night for schmoozing at a con.
the_gneech
Jan. 29th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: As one seasoned congoer to another...
I generally do all my booking directly, but it's still good to confirm. :)

-TG
exatron
Jan. 29th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I think you have a few good options for portable art supplies storage now. A camera bag may be the best option since it gives you a shoulder strap.

Definitely invest in a rack for your wares. It would conserve some space and make things more visible from afar.

Big, clearly written labels good. Anything that makes life easier for Kerry also good.
mg4h
Jan. 29th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
If you want to be able to hold a sketchbook, pens, maybe a ruler, you could get a small folio. I don't know however how many or how big your reference books are, so I can't say if they'll fit in a bigger one. Hmm.

I'm remembering my Trapper Keeper from high school now ;)
the_gneech
Jan. 30th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking of scanning a bunch of my favorite references and printing them up in a small booklet that I can just carry around (and don't have to worry if it gets mangled). The only problem is that the color printer at work is pricey!

-The Gneech
torakiyoshi
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Thank you for writing the first con review I actually enjoyed reading since the one that accompanied this comic. Most make me pout about not being there. This one was educational, and lets me know a lot of things to consider when I approach artists this coming summer.

Have the best

-=Kiyoshi
the_gneech
Jan. 30th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Glad to be of service. :) Let me know if you have any questions!

-TG
(no subject) - torakiyoshi - Jan. 30th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 30th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - torakiyoshi - Jan. 30th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_gneech - Jan. 30th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - torakiyoshi - Jan. 30th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
confusedoo
Jan. 30th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Art storage, Did you see the green bag I was carrying all through the con? That held pretty much all my art stuff I brought. The solution might not be a single thing, as you'll probably never find anything quite perfect. I'd go with one big bag that holds your books as well as two sub-containers, one for pencils/pens/erasers, and the other for your markers. The markers are a little tricky, cause I know you're particular about the order. Do your Trias fit in the prismacolor plastic travel easel cases? Those things are joy.

I'll be on the lookout for some cleverly collapsable shelving.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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