•  
Home    Archive

News: Our Community Comic "Gunbaby" is and always will be open for submissions. Any submissions received will run on the site front page on Sundays.

00:00:30UncleRobotI know CPR...
18:39:34Chadm1nSpammers must die. Now.
16:56:16Chadm1nAs promised a few weeks ago, Webcomics Community has been upgraded!

Author Topic: Table Set-up  (Read 13084 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LegendWoodsman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Table Set-up
« on: January 28, 2010, 07:52:16 PM »
<ice breaker>
When you exhibit at a convention, how do you set-up your table?
Do you have any hints, tips, or tricks?

Offline TheCow

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • The Cow (A Superhero Comic)
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 12:41:44 AM »
I always end up doing something new every time I do a con, and learn from past mistakes.

My current setup includes:

  • A tablecloth (cheap at Target.) I got the biggest size I could find, and it covers 3/4ths of the table nicely, and leaves room for my legs without getting all tangled up.
  • A wireframe display. I bought two wire frame display racks online and attatched them with zip ties, then clamp them to the edge of the table so they make an "L" shape. I hang my prints (and eventually t-shirts) off of them so that they catch peoples eyes when they are walking by.
  • A portfolio with all of my prints, and a second portfolio with examples of my art for commissions. Not all of my prints fit on the rack, so the portfolio helps keep them on display.
  • A little business card holder. This comes in handy for obvious reasons.
  • Cashbox, trash bag, basic supplies like that.
  • Food and drink. Some cons I go to prohibit outside food due to ridiculous issues with the convention center, but I always try to smuggle something in. (The con staff is usually quite understanding, it's the people who sell $5 slices of pizza that get angry.) You need to stay hydrated and\or caffeinated, so a bottle of water and\or Code Red is what I always have on hand. Plus, if you can sneak in some snacks, it'll keep you going and not drag you away from your table for an hour to get a lunch break.
  • Bitey the Raptor. And the Green Power Ranger's Dragon Dagger. No, seriously. I'm a very geeky individual, and I have a lot of random crap lying around. At this past Connecticon, I had a Jurassic Park Raptor hand puppet for a costume I was doing, as well as a Horde flag to attract the WoW fans, but my friend brought along his classic Green Ranger Dagger, so we put that on the table as a display. People FLOCKED to that thing! And then we stuck the raptor in the wireframe and people really seemed to like it. So basically what I'm trying to say is a little mascot or cool piece of nerdy flair helps attract attention and get people talking to you. Pete has his cookie plushies, I have a raptor and Power Rangers weaponry. It often helps start conversations with people who would otherwise walk by.
  • Duct tape, scissors, markers, pens, paper, a watch . . . have these on hand, and you'll be EVERYONE'S friend.

I have a photo of my table from Connecticon last year here. I was using a crappy plastic tablecloth (I have since invested in a real tablecloth,) and have tweaked a few other small items, but this is the general setup I use.

Some changes I'm making for this year include baking cow shaped cookies to hand out to anyone who purchases any of my comics (at least at the local con in April,) selling some t-shirts, and making a standee of one or more of my characters in order to attract more attention. I'm also considering getting a short comic printed to hand out to people who may be interested in the site. I would think that "free comic" is easier to remember than "tiny business card." My only concern is that it would cost at least a dollar to print each issue to be handed out for free. But hey, it might work.

Offline Rob

  • Resident Dick!
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Easily Confused, Feeble Minded Founder
    • Remedial Comics
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 07:43:11 AM »
Oh man I talked to you there! I met you. That was a good show. And the way you have your art set up is really eye catching.

Kudos.

Offline TTallan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 76
    • Galaxion
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 09:30:11 AM »
Think vertical!

I have several bookstands to display my books, and I have a variety of plastic risers to add height. I have a bright red tablecloth that contrasts well with my books, making them stand out. The smaller items (like buttons) I just lay down on the table, because they're only impulse items and not the first thing I want people to see. I also have one of my original pages, framed with a black mat, on a stand (I'm trying to sell my art, but not a lot of luck so far). It's 11x17, so it's big enough to attract attention. People will often stop by to look at original art, even if the story isn't appealing to them.

In addition to the list TheCow posted above (minus the puppet  ;)), I also make sure to bring flyers, a clear plastic holder for the flyers, price signs (everything should have a prominent price), and an additional tablecloth. If you're at a multi-day show, it's handy to have an extra cloth throw over your table at the end of the day, rather than going to trouble of putting all your stock away and setting it up again the next morning. (This is a trick I picked up from the guys who set up in the dealers' room.) You can also use it if you have to step away from your table for some reason and don't want to ask your neighbour to keep an eye on your stuff.

Also: a fold-up handcart. With big wheels. Indispensable for carting your boxes around a big convention hall.

Offline Pete

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
    • Bardsworth
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 11:03:09 AM »
I always end up doing something new every time I do a con, and learn from past mistakes.

^ This.

And TTallan has it right - think vertical.  This is something I've been gradually learning with each convention.  I have a set of stackable  wire shelves, and will be acquiring another set before the next convention, and that way I can build up and put things on the shelves, as well as clipping/taping things to the outsides of them.

Other tips:

Buy yourself a tablecloth.  I picked mine up at Target.  They didn't have a huge selection, but I got an affordable white one.

Get a visible banner.  The best kind to get are the vertical banners that you put behind you.  I've found that the ones on the front of tables don't get as much attention, especially when you have people standing in front of the table.

Offline TheCow

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • The Cow (A Superhero Comic)
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 10:52:16 PM »
Take a look at what other people are doing. I wouldn't have thought of the wireframes if I hadn't have seen a few people with similar setups at other cons.

Offline amanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 188
  • Braaawk!
    • Salt the Holly
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2010, 12:27:33 AM »
I got a nice 2x3 foot banner from VistaPrint.com and just paid for the shipping.  It's really cheap if you add on a bunch of their other free stuff (hats, postcards, etc).  But it was a nice vinyl one that I can use for every convention.

I've only been to one (the Dallas Webcomic Expo - next one is August 2010), so my experience is limited.  We got a lot of traffic for having our special guest star Wolfgang (a big spider toy) and a drawing for a free hat.  We also had my laptop out with a screensaver that rotated through a lot of our photos from our But Not Really stories.
/

Offline LegendWoodsman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2010, 05:33:46 AM »
Great stuff!  :)

My table set-up was:
  • a table cloth that matched the 'brand' or the color scheme of the website (it was really a 10 foot swath of fabric hemmed into a table covering)
  • a slight variation on the 'vertical' theme, a fellow con-goer advised me to use "layers". Books on small easels on top of the boxes the books came in. The boxes would be under the tablecloth.
  • books fanned out on the table surface. inviting people to flip through them.
  • shirts assorted.
  • signage: for prices
  • business cards


Please excuse the goofy photo

The conventions I attended were fairly far and a large set-up was cost prohibitive (or at least that's the excuse I'm going with) so I kept it fairly low key.

On my wish list is one of these. The "retractable" aspect is appealing... the nearly four foot base may be a bit cumbersome.

Offline TTallan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 76
    • Galaxion
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2010, 08:08:41 AM »
I'm trying to guess what show you were at, LW. I suppose it could be anything, but since you mentioned in another thread that you'd been in the Toronto area at some point, I'm going to guess FanExpo?

I've thought about those retractable banners-- they certainly seem to be popular at the shows-- but I'm not sure I like them. You have to stand them behind your table, and as a result the bottom half is hidden. On the other hand, I haven't seen anything else that I like better....

Offline LegendWoodsman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2010, 02:06:47 PM »
I'm trying to guess what show you were at, LW. I suppose it could be anything, but since you mentioned in another thread that you'd been in the Toronto area at some point, I'm going to guess FanExpo?

I've been to the FANeXpo™ a few times  :)

If you're referring to the picture, I believe that was taken at the Calgary Comic Expo- three hours away from my home town, Edmonton. It's my home, so I love it- but its location in respect to conventions ain't the greatest.

I've thought about those retractable banners-- they certainly seem to be popular at the shows-- but I'm not sure I like them. You have to stand them behind your table, and as a result the bottom half is hidden. On the other hand, I haven't seen anything else that I like better....

I'm on the same boat.  ;)

Offline Cebronix

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • Shattered Myth - They Don't Make Gods Like They Used To
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 08:31:58 PM »
This stuff is all great! Super helpful. But, I'd love to see more pictures of setups.

Offline Gar

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 408
  • Really quite hairy.
    • Neko the Kitty
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2010, 02:30:00 PM »
I went to Acen a couple of years ago and I did standing cardboard cut-outs of my cat characters and put them at the front of the table.  They were just sharpie pen on some thick card, I cut out around the outline and glued on a triangular piece at the back for a stand. They were about a foot tall and I put them at the front of the desk.

A good number of people come to the stand asking about the comic because of the cute kitties, and some girl bought the cutouts at the end for $20.

Capesnbabes

  • Guest
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 08:09:56 AM »
Here is a picture of my table set-up at the Virginia ComiCon back in November:

The first day of the Two Day con with my wife sitting behind my table:


I had forgotten my t-shirts the first day so I didn't display my shirt stand until the second day. Fortunately, the con was in driving distance (1 hour away) so I could easily go get them for the last day of the con. That meant I had to slightly rearrange my table though so this is what I came up with:



The stand-up is a foam core creation I did all myself. the front table banner I got at www.gotprint.com. I get my full color 4x6" postcards there too.

Instead of a table cloth, I use two BEDSHEETS for my table covering - they tend to be bigger and I think they look a little nicer than table cloths myself. I have also now added sketchcards to my table but I need to find a small stand for my portfolio and my sketchcard notebook so they aren't laying flat on the table. Any suggestions on what I can use or where to find something that might make both books more vertical?

-Chris
http://www.capesnbabes.com

Offline Rob

  • Resident Dick!
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Easily Confused, Feeble Minded Founder
    • Remedial Comics
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 09:37:10 AM »
That's probably the most complete and detailed Con Table diagram I've ever seen. Well done.

Everyone's been going on and on about how great the business at Con's has been over the last eight months. Any truth to that for you?

Thanks for the diagram and the banner link. I'm going to be looking to get a banner made in the next couple weeks. What's the lead time for banner completion? How long did it take for them to get it done?

 ;)

Offline operationremie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
  • i will no longer post.
Re: Table Set-up
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2010, 11:02:45 PM »
I always end up doing something new every time I do a con, and learn from past mistakes.

My current setup includes:

  • A tablecloth (cheap at Target.) I got the biggest size I could find, and it covers 3/4ths of the table nicely, and leaves room for my legs without getting all tangled up.
  • A wireframe display. I bought two wire frame display racks online and attatched them with zip ties, then clamp them to the edge of the table so they make an "L" shape. I hang my prints (and eventually t-shirts) off of them so that they catch peoples eyes when they are walking by.
  • A portfolio with all of my prints, and a second portfolio with examples of my art for commissions. Not all of my prints fit on the rack, so the portfolio helps keep them on display.
  • A little business card holder. This comes in handy for obvious reasons.
  • Cashbox, trash bag, basic supplies like that.
  • Food and drink. Some cons I go to prohibit outside food due to ridiculous issues with the convention center, but I always try to smuggle something in. (The con staff is usually quite understanding, it's the people who sell $5 slices of pizza that get angry.) You need to stay hydrated and\or caffeinated, so a bottle of water and\or Code Red is what I always have on hand. Plus, if you can sneak in some snacks, it'll keep you going and not drag you away from your table for an hour to get a lunch break.
  • Bitey the Raptor. And the Green Power Ranger's Dragon Dagger. No, seriously. I'm a very geeky individual, and I have a lot of random crap lying around. At this past Connecticon, I had a Jurassic Park Raptor hand puppet for a costume I was doing, as well as a Horde flag to attract the WoW fans, but my friend brought along his classic Green Ranger Dagger, so we put that on the table as a display. People FLOCKED to that thing! And then we stuck the raptor in the wireframe and people really seemed to like it. So basically what I'm trying to say is a little mascot or cool piece of nerdy flair helps attract attention and get people talking to you. Pete has his cookie plushies, I have a raptor and Power Rangers weaponry. It often helps start conversations with people who would otherwise walk by.
  • Duct tape, scissors, markers, pens, paper, a watch . . . have these on hand, and you'll be EVERYONE'S friend.

I have a photo of my table from Connecticon last year here. I was using a crappy plastic tablecloth (I have since invested in a real tablecloth,) and have tweaked a few other small items, but this is the general setup I use.

Some changes I'm making for this year include baking cow shaped cookies to hand out to anyone who purchases any of my comics (at least at the local con in April,) selling some t-shirts, and making a standee of one or more of my characters in order to attract more attention. I'm also considering getting a short comic printed to hand out to people who may be interested in the site. I would think that "free comic" is easier to remember than "tiny business card." My only concern is that it would cost at least a dollar to print each issue to be handed out for free. But hey, it might work.

you'll probably never see this but i definitely saw you at CTCon. you gonna be there again this year?