AI TOP TEN (new dealers), Birmingham, MCM Expo -

A.I. TOP 10 tips for selling at the Expo (new dealers) - 4&5

We’ve had a busy weekend preparing for the Birmingham MCM Comic Con, so we’re doing a Monday catch-up.  Here are tips 4&5…

4 – Best location

The “best” location is a subjective term but – as a rule of thumb – being close to the entrance is generally quite a good location as people see you first and see you last, so you can get that first sale and the potential closing sale.  However, this can have its down sides and many people try and book this location; it’s usually the custom for the public to check out most of the expo before they buy anything and when they’re leaving (having forgotten you were at the front) they may turn up at your stand wanting to buy but with no cash left.

There are also a variety of commercial stands that are for gaming or films as well as locations like the stage for cos play and the artist area that may complement your product better.

As all expos are slightly different – even the ones in the same location – so the more you attend the more you will have a feel of where your product would be best located, and the more people get to know you; once people start looking for you it doesn’t matter that much where you are because your customers will find you (this can also be helped with sending them information through newsletters or your website. But if it’s your first time I would say try and get close to the entrance, or be on a corner table as people can see you from multiple angles.

5 – Travel: car, train, hotel?

There are may factors involved in this decision: you the dealer, what forms of transport you have at your disposal, how far you live from the expo, how much money you have, how far you’re willing to travel and – most importantly – how much you are willing to spend.  With all forms of transport I would say preparation is key; leave early, especially if you can’t guarantee the levels of traffic, and just in case anything were to go wrong you would have time to sort it out.

(As a rule of thumb I would say try and organise your first expo in your home town as this would keep cost down)

Car – if you have one – this can be one of the easiest modes of transport: factors like traffic and how far you live from the expo location can be the deciding factor, as the cost of petrol increases, but on the plus side the expo does offer free parking for the entirety of the event, and it makes transporting bulky items or large quantities easier and after a 12 hr shift, sitting in your car driving home without the hassle of public transport can be just what you need – as long as there’s no traffic!

Public transport – depending on the size of your goods, weather and how far away you live this can be easy or a little tricky but, to be honest, after a great expo you just want to get home and unless it’s tipping it down the weather is the last thing on your mind.  Again, if you’re in your home town, some may be easier than others, and relatively inexpensive: like London, with the underground and Oyster.  If you’re traveling out of town public transport can also be cheaper but you will be more tired during the expo depending on how far you have to travel. This also takes more preparation the further away you have to travel.

Hotels – if you have the money and will be far from home hotels are always the best option.  Booking in advance is usually best but sometimes they have last minute deals or an agreement with the expo for discounted rooms, so best to call in advance and find out. Hotels are also best if they’re relatively close to the location.  Some newer dealers (like me) prefer to keep costs down and would only stay at a hotel if it was cheaper as opposed to easier. Seasoned dealers tend to stay in hotels.  I assume this is because they have brand and a strong base of customers so can afford to and have settled into a routine. This is normally for expos that are not in their home town.

As a rule of thumb I would say try and organize your first expo in your home town as this would keep cost down.

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