Going to Have a Small Comic book Show. Looking for ideas/thoughts
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134 posts in this topic

On 11/23/2021 at 8:04 AM, spreads said:

I think the easiest answer to this is to setup at a hotel or convention centre.  Find the space, figure out how many tables/setups you'll have and cost - charge that appropriately to dealers.  Setup a table outside for admission, charge a nominal amount like $1/$2 to at least cover your costs......

So far that has not been the case. They are slightly cheaper, but I can't beat the space accomodations I am being offered with this current location.
I could do 5 dealers or 50 if I so choose in one day there would be plenty of space.

 

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On 11/23/2021 at 3:55 PM, sckao said:

Usually, there are regulations and permit requirements for almost everything required for special events... even for cold food onsite vs hot food. You'd think it would be easy, but if you want to actually do it legally and take money for admissions, you have to jump through some hoops usually and it may take some time. (Plus parking/loading/unloading logistics, table and chair rentals, clean-up, garbage disposal, possible security, etc.)

Plus, it may be on you as the promoter to make sure your sellers all have legal permits to sell? (Or have them sign a contract saying so?)

There are some grey areas that I will need to research. At this specific area they do a baseball card show every two months so I will definitely talk to 
them soon. Security has been offered, but at this point I am yet to see the point. Shoplifting will be the biggest concern. Nice thing is there is a food vendor within 50 feet of us so food shouldnt be an issue.

 

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On 11/23/2021 at 11:57 AM, sckao said:

The question you should really probably be asking for everything is, "Will I need a permit?"

 

In this area and for a one day show my answer right now is no, but I will explore it. Again all talk to local 
card dealers, but I am willing to bet I dont need one.

 

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On 11/23/2021 at 8:09 AM, Bird said:

I agree. And if he really doesn't want to make money on setup, charge $1 admission, kids are free, and split proceeds from admission sales among dealers who stay until end of show. Then maybe they will also do a little PR for the show and help bring fannies through the door.

Thank you, but so far I disagree here. I have a huge open space to use instead of a 20x40 or 25x45 rooms which I have been looking at. 
The one think I am set on is the location. Older mall, plenty of parking, no admission needed, cost is okay and they have tables available.

 

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On 11/23/2021 at 4:48 PM, Raze said:

I live in St Louis an it would only be a 3 hr drive, so I would definitely consider it. I’m also part of a local group of collectors and I know most of them travel as far as five hours to go to shows. 
 

let me know the date and time and I know a few sellers that might be interested as well.

 

I will get back to you on this. I am looking around April for it. Which will give me time to plan. Yes STL is close when get more planning done i will contact you. Since my first show I will be feeling out dealers because Id like to make the first one a success. I dont need a huge set up on my first show it might kill me. :tonofbricks:

 

Edited by fastballspecial
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Thank you for all the advice. Know I take it all seriously. 
The only thing I am set on right now is the venue which will be an older mall see some pictures 
Above. They have plenty of wide open space and a pizza vendor there in the mall for orders. 
So I plan to spoil dealers as well as I want them to come back too.

 

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Here are a few more pics so you can see the size of space we would have. 
Space won't be a concern and neither will be parking. There is a pizza vendor
onsite so that should be easy as well for lunch and plan to bring some bottle 
water and snacks.

I am very early in the planning, but I am sure this where I want unless I have to 
deal with alot of paper work.


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Edited by fastballspecial
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Looks like the space will work, odd that you can't find bigger rooms at hotels but I don't know which ones are in your area.  I do know of a tiny show offered in a mall here, but for those that setup they mentioned they get a lot of random walking traffic....how is that mall, is it depressed - e.g. are half the stores closed down?  That might not be a bad thing if you have some stores closed down and don't have to worry about the stores in their complaining about tables being setup in front of them.....

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On 11/24/2021 at 7:57 AM, spreads said:

Looks like the space will work, odd that you can't find bigger rooms at hotels but I don't know which ones are in your area.  I do know of a tiny show offered in a mall here, but for those that setup they mentioned they get a lot of random walking traffic....how is that mall, is it depressed - e.g. are half the stores closed down?  That might not be a bad thing if you have some stores closed down and don't have to worry about the stores in their complaining about tables being setup in front of them.....

Yes the mall is depressed. It only has about 10 or so stores open and some are bars, hair saloons and such. It's more a walking mall now with food, medical clinics and some stores. Yes there will not be much complaining in fact the Noble Romans will love it because its goodbusiness for them.

The larger hotels in my area are either too expensive or honestly Covid will prevent me from doing a room that is 20x40 or so its just not a good idea right now. There is plenty of open space so that solves that problem for me or at least makes it much easier. 

I will have to advertise alot though. I am working thru contacting dealers this weekend locally first and then branch out. There is a semi
local show about 90 miles from me that I plan to contact to see if any of them plan to come up as well. A few there a few here and all of 
sudden all have 15 which is where I want to start with.

 

Edited by fastballspecial
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May have missed this, but will the exhibitors/dealers need to bring their own tables?   When I've done small shows (been awhile now), the promoter/hotel provided the tables (for a fee).  Dealers provided their own displays/racks and such.   

If you're requiring them to bring tables, those would take up a lot of space in a vehicle that would typically be used for merchandise.   I wouldn't set up at a show where I had to bring my own tables.  

 

 

AHH...I see you posted this:

Quote

The mall does have some tables so that should make setup pretty easy, 
I will stop in there to review with the planner to make sure on that. 

 

Again, this (I think) would be essential.   You need to have tables available for the exhibitors.  

Edited by chrisco37
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On 11/24/2021 at 7:31 AM, fastballspecial said:

Yes the mall is depressed. It only has about 10 or so stores open and some are bars, hair saloons and such. It's more a walking mall now with food, medical clinics and some stores. Yes there will not be much complaining in fact the Noble Romans will love it because its goodbusiness for them.

The larger hotels in my area are either too expensive or honestly Covid will prevent me from doing a room that is 20x40 or so its just not a good idea right now. There is plenty of open space so that solves that problem for me or at least makes it much easier. 

I will have to advertise alot though. I am working thru contacting dealers this weekend locally first and then branch out. There is a semi
local show about 90 miles from me that I plan to contact to see if any of them plan to come up as well. A few there a few here and all of 
sudden all have 15 which is where I want to start with.

 

Most advertising is free. Just give people as much time as possible to plan.

You can advertise here. FB & IG also good. You might be able to get a plug in the weekly Geppi on line newsletter Scoop. Also pass out flyers and post on bulletin boards of as many local comic book shops snd book stores that will allow it. Most will. It is good for their business as well. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire amoung collectors and dealers. 

Edited by Robot Man
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Love all the advice here. I did my first show as a high school kid, and a local mall was my pick. Of course, back then malls were a thing moreso than now and built-in foot traffic was a plus. Nowadays, you’re more a draw for the mall with your event than a mutual benefit, as was my situation. 
Space is a plus, as is provided tables and chairs, but open malls mean less wall space. As long as dealers know, some will bring their own easel type portable walls.

I do like admission as a screener and cost coverer, but it’s hard to charge admission in an open mall. Not worth it in this scenario. When I did do admission in other locations, I had door prize drawings on the hour. Depending on layout, you can do that if you have a person giving out drawing tickets at the inflow point(s). 
I also had comics pros as guests - no table fee, sell your own art, sketches, sigs etc. is how I did it, in exchange for their presence as a draw. Not sure who you have nearby in the Midwest. Your LCS’s may know someone? One of mine got me started with intros to Herb Trimpe, and Greg LaRocque, and they connected me with Dan Green, Joe Sinnott, Joe Staton, the Pinis. 
We did an auction at one of the shows once too. Each dealer got two slots for big ticket/hot items to auction. You need a sizable crowd though to give dealers confidence the auction is going to be worth their time vs just putting the items out for sale.

Edited by Readcomix
Typo
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On 11/23/2021 at 9:43 PM, fastballspecial said:

Thank you for all the advice. Know I take it all seriously. 
The only thing I am set on right now is the venue which will be an older mall see some pictures 
Above. They have plenty of wide open space and a pizza vendor there in the mall for orders. 
So I plan to spoil dealers as well as I want them to come back too.

 

A new show I set up last weekend was giving the dealers free cookies, small bags of chips, bottled water, and pop.  It was a nice touch and I felt appreciated.

If you have lots of room, use it.  Give the dealers more space, the good ones will use it.

 

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On 11/24/2021 at 8:46 AM, chrisco37 said:

May have missed this, but will the exhibitors/dealers need to bring their own tables?   When I've done small shows (been awhile now), the promoter/hotel provided the tables (for a fee).  Dealers provided their own displays/racks and such.   

If you're requiring them to bring tables, those would take up a lot of space in a vehicle that would typically be used for merchandise.   I wouldn't set up at a show where I had to bring my own tables.  

 

 

AHH...I see you posted this:

 

Again, this (I think) would be essential.   You need to have tables available for the exhibitors.  

I have a bunch of folding tables and I'd imagine many dealers do.  One of the reasons a promoter provides tables is to control where each vendor sets up by placing the table with the dealer's name on it.

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On 11/24/2021 at 9:32 PM, Readcomix said:

Oh yeah — advance floor plan. People often like to pick their spot in advance.

I was afraid someone would suggest that. Currently just planning a nice square in one area
I don't for see a large problem here, but it is something I hadn't thought about yet in detail.
So I guess I will make a draft up of the arrangement. 

 

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On 11/24/2021 at 10:47 PM, thehumantorch said:

A new show I set up last weekend was giving the dealers free cookies, small bags of chips, bottled water, and pop.  It was a nice touch and I felt appreciated.

If you have lots of room, use it.  Give the dealers more space, the good ones will use it.

 

That's the type of lunch most dealers would appreciate!

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