Monday, October 20, 2014

What Makes a Good Con?

Yesterday Orangerful and I attended the Annapolis Comic Con, representing our library system. I figure we spoke to at least 75 people about the library, about half of whom live in our county. The other half were from other counties in Maryland and about 10 people were from Virginia (and one from New York!), so some of these folks drove quite a long way. Although we didn't see as many people as we would've liked, we gave people a lot of information about all the things the library offers, including graphic novels, downloadable audiobooks and eBooks, Playaways, book clubs, and much more. (Many thanks to the organizers for inviting us to come again this year!) 

It was the second or third year for the con and it's pretty small, taking up about three-fourths of a recreation center's gymnasium. This was mainly a con for dealers and artists, although there were a few guests of honor and a couple of panels, but not much. (There was also a cosplay contest.) The entry fee was $10; kids 10 and under got in free. 

Anyway, the turnout wasn't so great. Orangerful and I both felt like attendance was down significantly from last year, but the con had previously been held on a Saturday and this one was on a Sunday from 10-4. We would really love to see this con grow and speculated on what would have to happen to take this con to the next level. 

So I guess my first question is...

What's the main thing(s) you need to take your con to the next level? 

And some other questions:

When is a con too small? 

When is it not worth your time to attend?

With cons in Baltimore and Washington DC, were people too "conned" out?

Are small cons such a bad thing? Aren't there too many large cons anyway?

Anyway, I'm eager to hear your thoughts.

(And just for fun, here are a few books I picked up at huge discounts yesterday.)

1 comment:

  1. I think the biggest thing for me is what is happening at the Con. If it's mostly just dealers and artists selling their wares, why should I have to PAY to get in if the whole point is for me to spend money inside? It sorta turns me off and keeps me from wanting to investigate small conventions.

    Honestly, I think they should organize some kind of street show in Downtown Annapolis or some other place where the chance for actual foot traffic could lead to people accidentally checking things out.

    And, honestly, why Annapolis thinks a lot of itself, it's not really that much to write home about. Does a city so small need a convention when we have Baltimore, DC, Philly and NYC only hours away?