Con on the Cob Report

Now that I’ve finished my laundry and unpacked and tidied everything, I’m finally ready to go on with my post-convention life. I haven’t done much art since then. I know art inspiration often comes in cycles, but this is a lousy time to be unmotivated. I have three big pieces to finish by Christmas.

ANYway, my business participation in the con consisted of two areas: the Art Show and the Exhibitor’s Hall. The Hall was already full when I decided to register, but friend and CotC mastermind Andy Hopp granted me table space in the hallway. Although we had to haul everything into a room to be locked up at night, the location was great. We had a lot of foot traffic.

I shared a table with my friend, artiste extraordinaire Kelly Brighbill. This is my half of the table. I should mention that I completely forgot to take any photos of the table or art show setup, so I pilfered these from the Wandering Men, whose table was right next to mine. They had a mini catapult set up and were shooting candy at a toy castle. It drew a lot of people and I ended up with chocolate in all my boxes – a win-win situation.

See the big banner at the top? That was ~$50 at Kinko’s, and it is sturdy and awesome. Under the banner is my box o’ originals, all matted, bagged, and priced. I sold 3 items from the box. The sign on the front of the box displayed print and commission prices. I also had a price sheet sitting on the table.

On the left is a jar marked “DONATIONS.” I was giving away free business-card sized prints of cats and dogs, but asking for donations to my local no-kill animal shelter. I also sold raffle tickets for $1 (which went in the jar) for a free print. The jar made about $18. I gave a free raffle ticket to anyone who bought something.

Here I am at the table, watching the catapult action. I wore my CrashOctopus hat the whole time. Good advertising. Sold 3.

On the left side of the photo, between Kelly’s head and Nathan’s shoulder, you can see the corner of one of my prints. I put one of each in a portfolio-type binder that was sturdy enough to stand up on its own, sort of like a tent. I had 8×10, 5×7, and “mini” prints (~3×4) for $15, $10, and $2, respectively. Art prices are pretty low at these types of conventions, and even so, I only sold about 10 prints. In front of the prints, I had another portfolio full of loose originals and sketches. I sold a half-dozen of these.

I rented 3 art show panels for $12 each and hung 28 originals, ranging from ACEO to 18×24. Each piece has a silent auction bidding sheet, so I was able to hang these and forget about them – no tending required. The minimum bids I chose were less than I’d sell them for outright, but not so low that I would cry if they sold. Of these, I sold 6 (including Felipe), all at minimum bid. Not too bad!

It was great sharing a table; each time I wanted to go to a seminar or look at the other tables, Kelly watched our table, and vice versa. Overall, I sold more than I expected, got a lot of mailing list sign-ups, and had a blast! True, most things I sold to friends or people I met at CotC last year, but I converted a lot of new customers, and all of last year’s customers were repeats this year. Plus, a few people I didn’t know at all bought things.

If you’re remotely near Akron, OH, around November 6-9 next year, I highly recommend attending Con on the Cob. You’ll have fun, I guarantee it.

5 thoughts on “Con on the Cob Report”

  1. What a great review Meg, very thorough! I’ve never been to a Con before but my brother has and says they’re a hoot (I couldn’t tell you which ones he’s been to).
    Congrats on the sales too…I don’t suppose you’ll be doing any prints of Felipe, hmmmm? ;)

  2. Really nice review, and congrats on all the sales. That banner in the background is great, catches the eye, I need to find a place that can make me one here. :)

  3. Thanks, Casey!

    Lisa, I think they only get hot flashes when they put too much hot sauce on their tacos. ;)

    Rita, conventions are really fun. Even if you aren’t much into fantasy or science fiction (I’m not), the people are friendly and the people-watching is phenomenal.
    And yes, I’ll be selling prints! I got him scanned at high-res the night before I left. :D

    Jennifer, thanks – the banner was a last-minute idea from Nathan, but a good one. Our local printing place, where I get my fancy prints, does banners as well.

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