Dallas Comicon May 2011 – Part 1/3

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

You may (or may not) remeber the post I made in April about the Dallas Comicon and all I was hoping for with the upcoming convention. If not, you can read it here. The convention happened last weekend.

This week I will be bringing you 3 blog posts about the 2011 Dallas Comicon. I will talk about the event itself, my experience, and what happened (sales wise).

The new location for the convention was the ‘Irving Convention Center at Las Colians’. I guess they needed to tack on the Irving thing to give it some recognition to outsiders. The setup times for vendors was the same as the old venue (in Plano). I’m not too sure why they moved from the Plano center to the Irving one. It could have been rates or it could have been that the event was just getting too big for the old one. I never felt that it was but in the end I think it was the right move.

That morning I picked up Chris at about 8am and we headed out there. At this point Chris has not slept in more than 18 hours… is ANYONE surprised at this? Anyway the convention opens to dealers on Friday (from 2-7) then again on Saturday morning from 8:30am until opening. I have never gone to the Friday setup since I don’t have that much stuff and it would be way out of the way and really a waste to come all the way out there on Friday evening. I just make sure I am there early on the first day and I am usually just fine. Some of the dealers have several spaces and have elaborate setups and really need all that time the day before. This one comic company out of Austin literally had 2 complete rows of comics… I can’t imagine how long that took to setup.

We got there and were told (while waiting for them to let us all into the dock area) that we needed to drop off our stuff at the docks and go park in the visitor parking garage. Well this sucks right from the start. There is parking behind the complex (next to the docks) but for some dumb reason they were being pricks about it and wanted us to go back out and park in the garage which is wayyyy far from the dealer’s room. This convention center is brand new and I think this was one of the first big conventions held there so the staff were unprepared for EVERYTHING. There is a parkinglot right outside the gates of the dock area but there was some flooding from all the rain the week before so that is probably why they were telling us to park in the garage.

The docks back there are huge BUT they are made for semi trucks so they were way too tall for all us sellers with our rinky-dink pickups and vans. We had to haul the stuff up onto the dock then run the stuff inside the hall. After Chris and I unloaded it all I pulled the truck into one of the spaces back there anyway (there were plenty of spaces).

Before we could take the stuff inside I had to go in and sign in at the dealer’s table. This is where you pay and remaining balance and get your ‘exhibitor’ badges. You must have these badges on at all times because the convention’s staff (some paid and many volunteer) act like badge nazis. I usually have a dim view of these people… constantly asking to see badges when they are less than ten inches from my face (hanging around my neck). I KNOW they are just doing their jobs and doing them well (I’d want everything covered if it were my event) but it was just irritating. I would get downright irate with them when they tried any of that power play stuff with me. I guess when you give some authority to people who never get much respect it can go to their heads.

Join me for part 2 and 3 this week in this enchanting (no, really) series of Blog posts.

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