How to Make Your Next Sci-Fi Convention More Profitable

Sci-fi and comic conventions are built out of love. Yet like many ventures created with this passion there are actually beneficial ways to make money from them. “Do it for the love and not for the money” does not have to be the general rule here. With most conventions, you can do both.

Since the majority of these celebrations are not-for-profit, many of them are content to just break even. However, charities benefitting from conventions certainly need all the help they can get. The success of an event is all about the numbers: The number of attendees and the numbers in dollar signs.

5 Creative Ways to Get More from Your Next Convention

Convention organizers share ideas on how to dig deep and be creative to increase dollars or donations. Some of these marketing ideas may seem pretty obvious, while others may be new to you:

1. Promote the Program

In this electronic world, fans still want to bring home something tangible like a convention program. Not only is this a souvenir, it is an advertising tool that both generates money from local business ads (like-minded companies love to get their names out there for affordable prices) and serves as a reminder for fans to come back the following year.

2. Attract New Artists

Have a contest where artists compete for the design of the program cover. This is a clever way to both promote your event and get your hands on some free, eye-catching cover art.  

3. Tap the Tables

There are also, of course, the vendor tables in the almighty dealer’s room at every convention. Creative and crafty merchants are eager to secure a spot in that area to offer their products and wares. Entice the local community with a vendor table in the dealer’s room. It is a cost-effective way to catch consumers’ attention.

4. Expand Your Universe

Small business can pass out flyers and samples to get the customers in the door. It does not necessarily need to be sci-fi related to offer services that are relevant to the guests. Vendors can get their name out with everything from homemade spices and teas, to windows, siding, and the very popular free chair massages to advertise that chiropractic company.

5. Attack the Auction

First of all, auctions are just plain fun. Whether it is a silent or run by an auctioneer, they are a win-win for everyone involved. Merchants can donate items that will not only make the convention money; it will get that business name out to the audience when the winners are announced. Autographed items are always a huge hit. Simply get in touch with the celebrity publicists and explain that the money will go to charity. Those auction items will be sure to bring in top dollar.

Sci-Fi Conventions

Additional ideas to bring in the money and amp up the fun

Here are a handful of other ways to offer more and profit more from your next event:

  • Merchandise sales. T-shirts, mugs, hats, buttons. These items keep the advertising going the whole year round.
  • Charge a small cosplay contest fee for the adult entries.
  • Ask for donations for an arts and crafts table. Kids and adults can stop by to learn how to make something fun to leave with like a tiny kid-safe crossbow. Offer up face painting and balloon making.
  • Ask for donations for a professional cosplay photo. Photographer looking for free advertising can snap professional pictures of people in cosplay. A photo editor can snap a photo and add in a cool background after the shot is taken.
  • Meet and greets. Celebrities are often willing to do meet and greets on the first night because the extra attention will only drum up their photo and autograph sales. Desserts, coffee and tea are inexpensive, and all that is needed are some tables, chairs, and a room.
  • VIP extras like backstage passes. Who doesn’t want a little face time with the celebrity they have come to see?
  • How about a haunted house for the kids? Charge a small fee or ask for donations and offer up a kid-friendly, sci-fi related haunted house. Bring in a little extra cash while the kids and the volunteers have fun.

AUTHOR: Colleen Bement
ORIGIN: Denver Nerd Alert News

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