This was my first year having a booth at Planet Comicon. I knew it would be a really large con, but I still don't think I was fully prepared! It was truly amazing, and I am already planning on going again next year.
I knew it would be a large con, so I have planned on taking a booth buddy with me. I knew, if nothing else, I would need a little help with unload/load and setup/teardown. My usual booth buddy to now has been my niece. She hasn't been as reliable, lately, so I got my best buddy, Floyd, to come with me.
Well, real life stepped in, and unfortunately, he had to cancel on me due to work issues.
I put out a call to all my Facebook buddies, to see if I could find someone to come with me, since I would be providing transportation, hotel, and con entry. I did get another friend to agree to come with me, and I was really looking forward to the trip!
Well, real life stepped in AGAIN, and she had to cancel due to a family emergency.
So, I put out a call to all my Facebook buddies again, and my husband shared it with all his buddies, as well. I did manage to find someone to come with me again, which helped me feel so much better! (My husband couldn't come with me because he had plans already for a different event that weekend).
Being a micro-business, I try to keep costs down as much as possible. Because of this, to save money on an extra night of hotel costs, I figured I would just go to bed early, and get up freakishly early in the morning to start. I woke up at 2AM! I drove to pick up my booth buddy, Joe, and hit the road. The morning drive wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting, even though I started at 2AM.
When we arrived, luckily we were able to get parking right at the convention center. However, it turns out that there isn't an elevator from the underground parking garage to the convention center. We ended up finding an elevator to the hotel across the street and walking over to the convention center; It was very odd. We managed to lug all the stuff in and get setup. It was nice to have the help for setup, for sure.
Day 2, I ended up parking about a block and a half-ish away. The underground garage was all prebooked, I think, so I just found what I could. It wasn't too terrible, especially since we didn't have to lug all my stuff.
Day 3, parking was better, as we were just about a block away. Once we took everything down, we didn't have too terribly far to go.
Once everything opened up and began, I let my booth buddy go enjoy the con. I didn't really need much help during show hours (except an occasional bathroom break), and that allowed him to go have fun, too.
IT. WAS. BUSY. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but it was all non-stop. There were times here and there to sit and relax, but they didn't last long.
There were a couple times where I had to just sneak away to run to the bathroom. Luckily it wasn't far. I also didn't have time to get an autograph that I wanted for my husband. But my booth buddy took care of that for me, too!
And, of course, since I haven't really done many cons of this size, I didn't really think some things through. I ran out of business cards! It didn't even occur to me to restock my business cards that I had packed, I just took what was left in the box. Luckily, I didn't run out until the middle of Day 3, and had some people just take pictures of my last card left.
This was also my first run of having enamel pins at my booth. I love the pins I had, and the trial run I did at the Creator's Con was favorable, so I decided to take them with me. They were super popular! I went from having extras that wouldn't fit on the display to the display being very picked over and having large open spaces. I didn't expect them to be quite that popular, but now I will be prepared for next year and for my other cons.
Another new-ish item I have added to my booth are small music boxes. I love them, and (again) they were popular at my trial run at the previous Super Mini-Con, so I stocked up. I ended up going home with 3 left.
Now, there were loading docks that we could have used. However there was a crazy line to use them. I didn't want to take the time to simply just wait in my car just so I wouldn't have to walk as far with my stuff. Normally at the end of a con, I just want to leave. So, that's what we did.
I can honestly say, the drive home was the worst. We stopped for food on the way, but the lobby area where we stopped was closed, so we just drove through and ate in the car. It wasn't as relaxing as I was hoping.
Then, after working all day, then lugging everything back to the car, the drive home was awful. I was so exhausted, and my feet and legs were swelling up. We stopped a few times, and I got to walk around a bit, but by the time I got home, I was so out of it. I just went straight to bed and crashed.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the day after the con off from work, so I had to work that next day, too. That wasn't too terrible, though. Caffeine is my friend.
All in all, It was a great convention, and I definitely look forward to doing it again next year!