Shoestring Cons in detail
I’ve written before about having a convention presence for a low entry price, and I’ve been asked once or twice for more details and specifics, so here are a few.
First of all, there are two ways of having a convention presence, you can spend money or you can spend time. There is no option for doing it with both a low input of time and cash. I recently outlined to another creator how to have a convention presence by the input of time rather than money and was met with the response that they could just go to work, earn money and spend that money on advertising for the same effect. There are a few issues with this, one is that the sort of organic marketing that comes out of conventions is much more effective than low level advertising for a starting independent. Generally, advertising is much more effective when it has a high recognition level and attracts viewers to a wide range of options. An advert that attracts a user to the Fantasy Flight website then has a hundred game options to sell them, one that attracts a user to small independent website usually has all of one. Additionally, it is highly unlikely that the form of advertising that most people could afford with their spare income from a single day of work would achieve the level of conversion that a convention attendance is capable of. The face to face environment of a convention tends to have a huge conversion percentage, online adverts a tiny one.
It is worth having a convention presence, the smaller you are the more worthwhile it is vs advertising. To do so on a shoestring will require an investment of time, but there are few things that will pay that investment back to the same degree.