by Nathan stout (of According To Whim.com)
Saturday, February 12th, 2011 I set up a table at a toy show in Austin, Tx. This is a *live at the time* post where I will basically take you hour by hour and point out some stuff.
10:00am – I have been here for about 30 minutes now and wow… wow. First off I was envisioning something *slightly* bigger. The meeting room at the Marriot hotel here in Austin is about the size of a McDonald’s restaurant dining room (if even that big). If you have ever been to the Dallas Comicon, it’s about the size of ½ the length of one of their isles. It is about half the size I thought it would be. Next on my ‘dismay’ list the fact there are only (including me) 4 vendors… 4. It opens to the general public at 11am and I hope there are more… If not I will have 8 hours of writing time and considering I need 10 blogs to complete my weekly goal that may not be too bad.
11:00am – Man am I glad I brought this computer. During the ‘early buyer’s hour there were a whopping 0 customers. I’d be bored out of my head if I didn’t have this. Also, thank the maker I left my earphones in my backpack! Now I don’t have to listen to the guy try to sweet talk customers that there are more vendors coming. Ahhh. Sweet Duran Duran. Anyway, such light vendor turnout is not conducive to charging customers to come in and shop.
12:00am – It is currently empty. I have been covertly counting the number of paying customers and it comes to 28. I sold $22.00 worth of stuff. Then it died. Not sure if this is the way it is going to be for the rest of the day but who knows. When the people pay for admission they get a ticket for a drawing for a $100.00 shopping spree. Basically they spend it on us (the vendors). That’s nice for us but I don’t think it’s wise to charge admission. After the rush the 2 final vendors showed up.
1:00pm – There was a small influx of people and I sold $5.00 worth and ate my lunch (which was kindly provided by my mother in law).
2:00pm – One kid bought a Japanese model. Amazing! I’m in shock!
3:00pm – Bupkis in the last hour.
4:00pm – Ditto. Only one more merciful hour!
4:30pm – The show organizer held the drawing and bumped the prize up to $150.00 (probably felt bad for the vendors). I got $8.00 of that prize. After that I packed up and tore out of there.
Something that keeps going over and over in my mind is the fact that I could do this and do it better. First off I would drop the price to the public. They shouldn’t pay to shop. Next the size of the event should be at least twice as large as it is here. Finally there should be some serious advertising going on. I noticed that 80% of the people coming in said they found out about the convention from Craig’s List.
In the end the convention had a total of 52 guests and my total take home was $42.00.
After the last convention: ‘The Women of Sci-fi’ I seriously considered doing a toy show of my own (doing all the things I talked about above). I guess it intimidates me to attempt to do something so large. After seeing how small these guys are doing it, I think I can do it.