Well, Ottawa Comiccon is over for another year. I have to say that I have mixed feelings about how the whole weekend turned out. Like all events, there were some positives and some negatives to attending Ottawa Comiccon again as an artist/vendor.
Unfortunately, as much as we all like to try and remain upbeat and positive when we are hocking our wares at events by reminding ourselves and each other about all the people we meet, all the contacts we make, how many cards we hand out etc., it still boils down to the main thing – SALES. They were not there for me this year at Comiccon. I just squeaked past making half of what I did last year and the amount I did make this year did not even cover my costs to be there. I am not sure what happened. In fact, it is a little bit confusing to me. It seemed that Comiccon attendees were spending on small things or, they were spending on one large item. A few of my fellow vendors were saying the same thing – the sales were just not there this year. Considering the attendance has been confirmed at 42,000 this year, you would think there would have been better sales for the vendors and artists.
Ottawa Comiccon also adopted a new policy this year regarding the meet and greet with the celebrity guests, which may have contributed to the tight wallets of our customers. Last year, you were able to get in line and meet, shake the hand of and chat with your celebrity guest of choice for free. If you wanted an autograph, signed photo or selfie, you had to pay for it. This year, nothing was free with respect to the guests. You had to pay just to meet them and have a quick chat. If you wanted an autograph or photo, it was another cost on top of the meet and greet fee. So, perhaps, the customers were feeling a bit less cash endowed by the time they were done their visit to their celebrity guests of choice over the weekend.
By the end of the day Saturday, my heart was just not in it to do another Comiccon next year. It has been three in a row now and I have decided to bow out. Based on results from my other shows over the past year, both sales and emotions wise, the larger artisan shows are a better fit for my work. My work and person are well received at Comiccon but, at the risk of sounding snobbish and arrogant, I just think I am past an environment like Comiccon for exhibiting and selling my work. I have evolved so much as an artist and person and perhaps it was reflected in my work or even vibes I was giving off on the weekend and that is one of the reasons the sales were not there for me. I was my usual friendly, professional and personable show self at Comiccon but, deep inside I was not really into being there after all. I am going to attend Comiccon next year with my son as a visitor. He has been wanting to go for a few years now but never could because I was there to work. So, next year, we will dress up and attend together and make a fun filled day of it. No pressure, just fun and I will bring cards with me to hand out if my costume is photographed or commented on.
As negative as some things were for me this past weekend, there were definitely some great things that I cannot ignore. Yes, I am back to what I mentioned earlier – I DID meet a lot of great people and potential clients, I DID make some new contacts, I DID have a few sales and I DID hand out a lot of cards. These things are still valuable as an artist and vendor in the end because they often result in after show sales and open up the possibility of being contacted about a future event or opportunity as a result of having been at an event, even one that was not a monetary success. So, while we try to mollify ourselves with these comments as yet another sale doesn’t happen for us at an event, they do still help to encourage us to keep trying and move onto the next event or showing.
Thanks to everyone who supported me and gave me best wishes as I headed off to Comiccon and I am ever grateful for your continued support and interest in me and my work as I take another step forward on my journey.