We just finished GottaCon 2011 and it was quite a good convention. More competition this year, but more customers so it worked out well. We even managed to cover our costs this year I believe – and of course we met a ton of new and old customers. I just wish they’d launch a gaming convention like that in Vancouver.
I thought it might be interesting to list out our preparations for a convention.
3-6 months beforehand:
- pay for convention & book location (if possible)
- decide on sponsorship & events to be run (if any)
- book transportation
- book accommodations (if required)
- review past sales at convention
- make order to distributor for additional products required – both past bestsellers & recent bestsellers
1 month before convention
- Start informing customers of the event via twitter & newsletter
Day before convention
- Pack games to bring to convention. Worry about over-packing repeatedly
- Review ‘to-bring’ list of items. Includes banner, shopping bags, business cards, tape, receipt books & computer
- Get float for convention from bank
1st day of convention
- Get transportation, load van & get to vendor room
- Review location, unload & park van and get ready to sell!
- Wander the halls, look at competition
- End of day, if local; review any games that have to be picked-up to bring to convention at customer’s request
After the convention
- Pack remaining stock & load van
- Drive back to storage & unload
- Unpack van. Generally the next-day or two since by this time we’re exhausted
- Review sales at convention & costs
And rinse and repeat for all conventions. Some like GottaCon are more elaborate. Others like VCon are closer and easier to manage, but we do the same for all of them.