I have seen this time and time again... promising looking comic cons pop up and look like they are going to knock it out of the park and all of a sudden that Facebook or Instagram post comes up and says.... Convention canceled.
We at MDMC Entertainment have had the wonderful privilege to spruce up comic cons that need a little TLC before they end up a subject of conversation on "Rate that Comic Con"
Truth is your show bombed because you sucked as a promoter.
Yeah I hit you right in the jugular but i'm making it a point to say it now so you can fix your issues now versus helping you draft up your nicely worded letter before bowing out completely from the game.
So here is the thing, you need to consider all these things before you put on your first comic con. If you can humbly go down this check list and say "I'm ready" then by all means get out there and make those comic and nerd fans happy.
Let's get the meat of this blog.
1. Thinking you're going to bank
I have seen this happen so many times. People get together one day and say, "Hey comic cons generate a ton of money, lets make a comic con" Just because you see people making money in it, doesn't mean you're going to make money doing it. A lot of people rush into these business ideas thinking they are going to score the mother load and come to find out you actually don't start making money until 3-5 years down the road. Can you wait that long to make money? If you're in it for the money, get out now.
2. Lack of Organization
To many times I have seen promoters jump head first into the bigger parts of the show when in reality they aren't paying attention to the basic stuff. It's easy to get lost in it and organization falls through the cracks. If you don't crack before show time more than likely your show will look just as disorganized.
3. Getting Caught up in the Politics AKA Agent Wars
Promoters just want amazing talent to be guests at their shows but the problem is they can be hard to secure. You gotta deal with contracts, negotiations, logistics, the green room, and accommodations. It's tough and it's just one portion of the show. I have seen fantastic shows have an amazing line up planned but an agent or agents muddy the water. The show becomes tainted and before you know it your show is suffering before D Day. Promoters can't play around in the agent wars. It's the most time wasting time of the con planning. One of the reasons shows have become predictable is because agents have become pretty good and nailing down territory. Which is sad because fans deserve more than the same guests you keep bringing around. Stop with the agent wars, stop with the politics it's your show run it the way you want to.
4. Lackluster Marketing
Let's face it Marketing makes the show. The attractive fliers that make you want to go to these shows are what drive those ticket sells. The marketing sets the tone on what kind of show you are giving the people. So why go cheap on this side? Basically you can't afford to, it would end up being a liability. Get a marketing team that is equipped in the field and market your show like the super star that it is.
5. High Admission Costs
Ok... so I recently came across this issue because I wanted to attend a local show. Now this show doesn't have many celebrity guests and I actually just wanted to go to see a friend who was signing. $50 per person... I looked back and looked at the guests and I was wondering "What is my $50 going to get me" This is a small show and frankly it has lost its luster over the years. I couldn't really figure out if it was even worth it to go. I started hitting up industry friends to see if they had passes. I get you are trying to make up some of that money honey but $50? and no major headliner or major guests... PASS!!!!
6. You threw your money to ONE thing
So... funny story. One year in the SoCal area a new comic con had popped up. It was able to secure at least 8 celebrity guests and it looked like a decent show. When we got there it was taking place in the parking garage... Yeah so the con was mostly around the entrance doors and it felt small while you can see the rest of the empty parking garage. This show had money they just allocated it to the wrong areas. So these poor guests are not busy and the con is pretty much dead but their was a grand prize of $10,000 for the best cosplay. Well the cosplay contest took place on Saturday leaving Sunday virtually dead. That show died in it's first year. The location could have been better, more vendors would have been nice and maybe not scaring away your business after the first day would have been nice.
I know some fantastic first time shows that knocked it out of the park in their first year and i'm so excited to see them grow. As for others i'm watching and hoping you make it. I get it's hard asking for help, but if you need the help, contact us to schedule your consultation. Don't end up a trending topic on Rate that Comic Con.
At MDMC Entertainment. we are lovers of all things pop culture, marketing and bringing them together to create a buzz that all clients desire and deserve!