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           how to not suck...

 "So...last week i blasted the Orlando FXshow for being so poorly managed that even in the middle of a major metropolitan city...ripe with tourists, surrounded by colleges, home to some of the largest comic book stores in the country...on a beautiful day...could not get people in the door.  

and some of you wrote in grumbling about the economy, or pissig in my ear that i never tried running a show so what do i know...

This past weekend i went to a comic book show(MNCBA SPRING CON)  with none of these was in St.Paul, it was 40 degrees and pouring rain, it was held in the equivalent of an airplane hanger and is run on a shoestring budget.

yet here is what that show looked like

wow..that's pretty full isn't it?  certinally alot better showing that the FX show 

now let's understand why shall we.  The people who run the MNCBA con in st.paul are friendly, happy to have you, treat you like you are a guest in theIR home and i'm not talking about just too the professionals...the people who pay to get into the show are treated like guests.  they are greeted at the door with smiles, they are given grab bags full of good stuff AND they have door prizes that people actually want! see below



 where do they get the door prizes?  well often times they are given to them by the comic book pros that attend the shows.  why would comic book pros just give away stuff?  i'll tell you why, NO wait...a picture is worth a thousand words

it's called a hospitality room jerk offs.  it is a room where you can go and get some food without having to leave the show or send one of your helpers away to pick up food.  and when your pros don't have to leave the show to get food your convention looks like this


instead of this


AND this is called goodwill people.  the MNCBA probably spent let's say 100.00 150.00 on food here.  some 6 foot subs, a bunch of Doritos, sodas, paper plates.  It pays off and here is how....guest like myself notice the extra effort...and put the extra effort BACK into the show in the form of FREE PRIZES, telling all their fellow professionals, showing up with a good attitude, making prints, shirts, ect ect that are exclusive to that show.   I personally cut my prices on artwork 25% to 50% at the MNCBA shows even though i know i can sell it for more at Mega con or San Diego because i want to encourage people to come to this show. not to mention the extra effort made advertising the show by the pros. multiply that buy the several hundred pros and you get THIS


instead of this

it's not rocket science...a good attitude is contagious.  They treat me great I try to treat them great.  hell last year i promoted this show even though i wasn't going to be there!  If you run a convention, or are thinking about running a convention...OF ANY KIND.  go to the MNCBA comic book convention...and LEARN.

1-they are friendly at the door, friendly over the PA system, friendly when you are leaving.  little things like the free food, little things like letting people in early because it is raining AND making sure there are volunteers hovering around tables that aren't all the way set up yet in case help is need to get ready quickly for the people being let in early.  

2-their volunteers know what is going on (Nick has these guys show up HOURS before the show and makes sure everyone is on the same page)  If you ask one of them a question and by chance they don't know the answer they HUSTLE to find someone who does and often times two or three people will come back to give you the answer.

3-the floor plan has everyone intermingled, writers next to dealers, artists next to gaming stores, comic book stores next to the's all intermingled, THIS HELPS EVERYONE. this keeps the show interesting.  this gives people a reason to look through the whole show and find things they forgot they wanted, or find new things, and at the end of the show they leave with what they where looking for-a whole bunch of cool stuff they didn't have when they walked in.  

---a side note to that they have comic book pros from every conceivable genera, crime, horror, Marvel, DC, Image, old school guys, Indy publishers. this isn't a show run by a goof who likes superman and therefore only pays attention to getting pros who worked on superman and anyone else is a second class citizen.

4-the events at their show are EVENTS.  they announce them over the loudspeaker in a way that gets people interested, their panels are actually fun, 

they have possibly the second best art auction in the U.S. and it ALL goes to charity. again i personally save something top notch for this show, last year it was a full page comic from mad magazine, in the past i've given them pages from Arsenic Lullaby no.1, covers from arsenic lullaby and so on.  why? it's that goodwill thing i mentioned earlier. Also since this show is a joy to go to so it is in my best interest to make sure it succeeds by leaps and bounds.

Their prizes don't suck,  they have door prizes that are in the 50.00 range and they have two tables full of them!

5-they are in a good location i.e. ON A BUS ROUTE. i don't know if you know this but a lot of comic book readers aren't old enough to drive a car yet...this building isn't pretty, it's a big ol' metal hanger  and guess what? NO ONE CARES.  it's easy to find, easy to get in and out.  it doesn't do any good to rent the ballroom of the ritz if no one can find it or get there.


6-they don't charge people through the nose to get in.  this show was less than ten dollars to get in "but doug! how will i make any money only charging ten dollars?!!

do a head count dumbass...who brought in more money the FXSHOW


am i getting through to you numbskull convention promoters? stop treating everyone like crap, use your brain, and maybe you'll get a show off the ground.

and as for anyone else looking for the best show you never heard of 

comments? concerns?



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