Let me begin with this: S.P.A.C.E. 2012, overall, may have been my best show ever!
Okay, it's all how you look at it, but the show was well worth attending. I made more sales at Baltimore Comic Con, but Baltimore is a much further drive, requires an overnight stay, and costs more per table. The Mid Ohio Con, sadly, was nearby, cost me a lot more for my booth, and sales were less than half of what I did at S.P.A.C.E.
Now, I'm speaking mostly from a sales perspective, but at the same time, sales are a good barometer for people reached, which is what it's all really about. Getting my work out there to be seen.
Meeting people, making friends and the experience itself are hard things to measure. Every show is different, and each features a wide range of fans and creative people on both sides of the tables. I must say that S.P.A.C.E., like Baltimore, features a lot of very talented people, and each has an audience open to 'something different'. While Mid Ohio Con's problem (for me as an independent publisher) seemed to be a big focus on mainstream comics and pop culture, which is what a comic con is all about, S.P.A.C.E had very little, if any, mainstream focus. And that's what makes S.P.A.C.E special... that focus on the independent creator. Baltimore is a nice blend of the two, so it has the best, and worst, of both. Where there was a great audience for me to interact with, there were also times when that audience was too busy to be on the floor, which meant a lot of time for us creators to sit and chat. Given that it's a two day show, though, that seems to work out okay.
There were some quiet moments at S.P.A.C.E., which lead to some discussion as to whether or not it should be a one day show instead of two. My vote would have to go with the two day model, although I can easily understand both sides of the issue. For one, Sunday was very very quiet at times, and I had far fewer people stop by my table and even fewer buy stuff. However... those fewer people bought my bigger books, and prints, so sales actually exceeded Saturday's, although by just a little. Saturday was busier, but I sold mostly the small stuff... the comic books,and my deep discount items like the 3 Knights in India comics, which I sold for only 50 cents each.
And there, I think, lies today's lesson. I think people who had a range of products at various prices might have done better across the weekend. It certainly worked for me.
Moving along, I honestly didn't get to see too much of the show. I ran through it a few times, enough to see how much talent was out there, but I wish I had more time to meet some of the other creators. I had some great conversations with several of the creators who stopped by my table, and would love to continue those discussions sometime. Also, I was very fortunate that my table buddy Marnie is a great conversationalist, as well as being a very talented artist, and the people around us were also fun and educational to speak with.
Wrapping up, here's a photo of one of those memorable moments that are impossible to measure. This kid stopped by and picked up a copy of The Inquiring Minds Funny Pages. He started reading it right there, and was reading and reading, then just plopped down on the floor and read the book cover to cover. I'm not sure that speed bumps are encouraged at shows like that, but it was nice to see someone enjoy my work so much. :0)
Cheers, JOHN :0)