A.I. TOP 10 tips for selling at the Expo (new dealers) - 3
3 – how do I get a table? (book early) and how do I pay?
Getting a table is relatively straightforward, but depending on the expo getting the position you want may be trickier because of demand, so it’s best to decide before the tables go on sale, which is now the first day of the previous expo. (E.g. For the London expo the tables for October will go on sale on the first day of the May Expo which is about 6 months before.) As I said in the previous post its probably best to visit the expo before you choose a location, so you can see what the traffic/ foot fall will be like in your area. The expo layout does change but the locations do not so you get a general feel of where is best for your product; if you don’t get a chance to visit the location look on the map, they are readily available on the website (http://www.mcmexpoimages.co.uk/common/images/floorplan-birminghamcomicconmarch2013.jpg)
You way see a theme or location that would fit perfectly with what you are trying to sell, e.g. selling items of Cosplay near the Cosplay stage or Manga merchandise near the Manga entertainment.
Once you have decided on a location, find two more! This is really important especially when booking a popular expo like the London one, where anything can happen like the site crashing because hundreds of people are trying to access the same page or book the same table. Having a second or third choice to hand means you don’t have to waste time thinking if you miss out on your first choice, because before you know it you can easily miss out on the best location and then the chance to get a table. Once you have got the locations sorted, make sure you’re up bright and early, have a working internet connection and go to the main expo website, find the link to the dealer tables, fill in the form. Hopefully your first location is available if not go to your second or third, click done and you should receive a confirmation within the timescale they give. If you don’t, email and call to check if your table has been booked: this is particularly important when booking for busy expos like MCM London where many people are booking potentially the same table at the same time, the website may stall or your booking may not get through so it’s best to find out as soon as possible if you have got the table you want or not, so you can get a different one if you have been unsuccessful.
I cannot stress the importance of having a plan B and C and checking whether you have the table you booked. You don’t want to get caught out and have no table at all!
After the confirmation email or within it there should be a link to pay. Once you pay, that’s you done and they will send you the information pack a couple of weeks before the expo date, with some expos like MCM London if you’re paying more than 4 months in advance you can pay half when you book and if you pay the rest before a designated date - normally 3 months before the event - you can get a £10 discount.
Note: it is also possible to avoid all the internet confusion and visit the expo to book in person, (but I think that option is only available for people who are already dealers and are there to set up before the public arrive, so best to email them and check)