Companies probably do half of their business for the year at Comic-Con.
Not only is it a place for fans to go and ogle stuff, it is also a place where industries gather to make deals, show off what’s coming up and get some face time. After all everyone is under one roof for the week. We meet with a lot of licensors, retailers and distributors while we are there and basically start planning what we will do for next year.
Every company at San Diego Comic-Con is vying for your attention. So everything has to be big, flashy and look its best. Not only is comic con a place to do industry business it is a chance to meet with your customers and get their feedback. And believe me, no one is as critical of what they want more then the fan. Everything you have on display will be scrutinized by the public, so it damn well better look outstanding. We try and prep as much stuff as we can back in New York, but there is always final tweaks that need to be done while you are there. But before any of that can start, you need to set up the booth.
If your booth is big enough or complex, it has to be put together by the union, which is something we try to avoid. We have had to use them in the past, but that shit is expensive. As long as you don’t need tools you can pretty much put your booth together on your own, which is what we try to do. This year our booth will mostly be comprised of display cases and banners. We have to put up the banners, move all the stock we are selling into the booth, organize our display items and supplies and start setting up display items. But before we do any of that it’s time for breakfast.
One of our San Diego Comic-Con traditions is getting breakfast at a small place called Cafe 222. It started out as going there because they have amazing pumpkin waffles, but later we found out they have so many other delicious things on the menu, as well as being on “Throw Down with Bobby Flay” for the their peanut butter and banana French toast. The place can get crowded quick so you need to get there early. We go when we can because once the show starts, breakfast is no longer in the equation.
We get to the booth early this morning, about 8am. Our sign is hanging up, carpet is there and are supplies have arrived. All a good sign. We start setting up the banners only to find the banner company made a mistake in the assembly and we now have to improvise how to set them up. It is always something, seems nothing ever goes smooth. Banners get up and now we play the waiting game. Sitting around waiting for display cases to arrive and hope our stock is not delivered before them or some finagling is going to have to be done. Like I said, it’s always something. But considering the size of the show, this is probably the most well organized and helpful show I have ever been to.
so let’s recap today. Got to the booth at 8. Our samples, supplies and banners were there but no stock or display cases. Ok we can get some stuff done and the rest should come soon. By noon nothing showed up. We said fuck it and went to lunch. Came back cases were there, we moved them into position and started setting things up in them. Fast forward to 8pm, still no stock. I am sweaty, exhausted, tired, my feet are killing me, my back hurts and we are still only half way done. Tell me why Comic-Con is so much fun?
Ah well time to shower then off to dinner before we are back at it tomorrow to finish up in even less time then today before preview night, the busiest night of the con starts.