While they're fresh in my mind, I thought I'd capture some random things I learned at this year's Phoenix Comicon. Every year I have a lessons learned day after the con and try to think about things we did well and areas to improve in.
Fist Bumps = +50 to Health?
It's kinda dumb, but I think fist bumping helped keep me (and others) more healthy at the con. I mean, if I don't shake hands with everyone I meet, I pass on less germs to others. This is the first year I didn't feel sick after the con. It's a theory, but the fist bump might have saved me. Hope I wasn't too impersonal by not shaking hands, but I'm glad I tried this experiment.
Evaluating Our Booth
Our booth is 10' x 10', yet it's minimal in its design and configuration. It sets up and packs up in 15 minutes. I've been tempted to increase the size, layout, banners, shelving space, etc., of our booth. Not gonna happen. We're on the right path.
Intrigue is what brings many newcomers to our booth. Discovering something different and new prompts folks to support us. The reality is that if we're adaptive and resourceful, we can do this at any size table or booth. I think we have the size booth we need to be engaging and personal with others for many years to come.
Transparency for Supporters
Exhibitors can be tight-lipped (at times with good reason) about sharing knowledge, experience, or techniques. But for us, once we have a patron we have a relationship to foster. We aim to strike a balance between being open and being careful. So we do our best to be transparent for supporters and offer useful information.
I offer tips and tricks others can learn from or behind the scenes information on how we do what we do. I share the lessons I've learned as a game designer, artist, and entrepreneur. The trick to our measure of success is hard work and it's the same for others. We can talk about ideas and experiences but at the end of the day it about doing things. Doing is hard and there are no shortcuts to doing things the right way.
For us, 2015 was our best con yet. We didn't experience some of the adverse affects other exhibitors did due to the con's reorganization of booths and event programming. I think the changes Phoenix Comicon made this year contributed to more room for cosplay, more comfort for browsing patrons, and more engagement for us.