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Monday, May 20, 2013

Back from the Con

It has been a whirlwind of activity here....we are days away from finishing Season 1. (Only 5 filming days left!) And the promotion circuit is in full tilt. We are enjoying a spring full of Sci-Fi Conventions. Most recently Sci-Fi Valley in Altoona, PA. Here are a few tips for those unfamiliar with the world of conventions....

 1.) Make sure you are legal: Let's get the dull business one out of the way first. If you are headed to a convention, make sure that you have the necessary paperwork filed with the State Tax Office. If you are planning on selling anything, you probably need to have a temporary tax registration. A group that we work with drove to a convention, set up their table and was doing well, until a representative from the tax office showed up and asked to see their license. When they could not produce one, they were shut down. They could hand out promotional material, but could not make any sales at the event.

 2.) Look the part: I have not had the kind of figure that would look good in a chain-mail bikini since before I had kids, but that doesn't mean that you should not get into the spirit of the event. Particularly, turn it into a promotional opportunity. Wear a T-shirt for your show if you can. And if you have a group attending, get them to match! You'll look professional and hopefully get some questions about your show.

 3.) Free Promos Rule: People at cons love the promos, so give them things to help them remember your show. We sold one DVD at the event simply because we gave collector cards and a poster to a guy's son. The cast signed them, and doted on him, thanking him for coming and expressing appreciation for his interest. Dad laughed, thought it was awesome, and bought the DVD right then.

4.) Be nice: Duh. This one should be a no-brainer but you'd be surprised. You may not be a geek, and may think that all of the people wandering around in their super hero costumes or zombie makeup are a bunch of weirdos, but keep that to yourself. Because these weirdos are not only smart, but they are loyal fans, and the best marketers that you could ever ask for. If they like you, they will promote you to their friends, and that is what you want!

 5.) Network: Cons are a great place to network. This weekend we met a reviewer and gave her a copy of our DVD for consideration. We also met a great make-up artist. Vince is an amazing makeup artist who was more than eager to share his knowledge with Zoe. Vince called Zoe...a badass makeup chick for making her own scar wax :) She learned a lot about effects makeup and picked up some great new tools. Clint met Mike Dougherty who is the Director of Browncoats: Redemption and the upcoming Z*Con. Mike was awesome to chat with and really did a fine job with Browncoats: Redemption. He really knows his stuff and was incredibly supportive of our work on Shotgun Mythos.

 6.) Be prepared for anything: No, really. I mean it. Be prepared for anything. We were prepared to network and to promote the show. We were prepared for the wild costumes and the hard core fans. We were even prepared to fail...to have no one stop by and to have the weekend be a bust (thankfully that was not the case!!!). One thing did throw us a bit, though. We have custom jewelry pieces that were made by a local jeweler, using the symbolism of the show....Spider and skull earrings and fairy stones with spiders, skulls, celtic knots and birds. One lady stopped by our table, and chided us for not letting people know that the jewelry was connected to the show. (Nevermind that we had 3 banners hanging behind the table, the show playing on two monitors, the DVDs next to it, and a sign that explained the symbolism as it related to our show next to the jewelry...but I digress...) Apparently she had been about to buy one of the bird pins, thinking it was a dove, but realized that since it was tied to the show, it would offend God. Still scratching my head and not sure of the proper response to that one...

 At any rate, we had a great time, made new friends and fans (bird lady notwithstanding.) And we are looking forward to Balticon next weekend!


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