The 2018 Comic-Con International – better known as San Diego Comic-Con – kicks off today in sunny Southern California, and with the annual pop-culture extravaganza comes fantastic business opportunities for custom framers.
By reaching out to con-goers to educate them about the benefits of high-quality custom framing – and how you can expertly display and protect their treasured superhero and sci-fi memorabilia – you could tap into a potentially lucrative audience that can “super” size your customer base.
Through Sunday, an estimated 167,000 attendees are expected to flood into the San Diego Convention Center for Comic-Con, immersing themselves in a sea of comic book, superhero and geek culture. Most of them will be wading out with various frame-worthy trinkets, posters, replicas, and other “swag” to add to their collections.
If you’re new to the comic book convention world, here are some tips on how you, as a custom framer, can target these potential customers who may be looking to have their beloved collectibles framed.
Draw in customers – far and wide
First off, keep in mind that your shop doesn’t need to be based near San Diego to take advantage of comic book fans. With Comic-Con attracting attendees and attention from all across the map – including quite possibly people in your own backyard – now is a great time to promote your framing skills to fans by hanging examples of comic-book or pop-culture memorabilia projects in your store window.
To amplify the sales message, also put out the word via your social media channels and newsletter (as well as on store signage and in ads) promoting your shop as THE place for local Comic-Con attendees and fans to frame their pop-culture keepsakes.
Also be aware that, in addition to Comic-Con, there are many other comic book, video game, and anime conventions that take place across the country each year. These conventions offer you multiple touchpoints to reach out to aficionados in your area who may own memorabilia that they would want to frame.
Picture yourself in the Con
In addition to working to attract Comic-Con attendees and fans to your custom frame shop, you also could consider attending a convention in your area to proactively promote yourself to potential customers on-site.
At a convention, you could simply pass out business cards to attendees, or rent space where you could complete simple framing jobs for con-goers while they explore the show. Another idea is to set up a booth as a “drop-off” point for attendees, where you could take their memorabilia, frame it and then have them pick up the completed project at your store at a later date. Bear in mind, that even small booths at a convention can run up to $2,000 or more for a three-day weekend.
Should you choose to attend a convention as a way of approaching potential customers, it’s important to gain an understanding of what takes place during these events.
Inside every convention, merchandisers set up rows upon rows of booths selling collectibles related to a wide variety of comics, TV shows, movies, and video games. Common items sold are signed posters, action figures, movie props, swords and other weapon replicas, as well as accessories for “cosplayers” (people with the hobby of wearing elaborate costumes to represent a specific comic book or pop-culture character).
A great high-traffic location to stake out is near the convention’s signing booths, where famous actors sign posters and other memorabilia for fans. Another good opportunity for promotion is the “Artist Alley,” where aspiring and established artists set up tables to sell their work.
Connect with comic fans, ink more business
Renting a booth isn’t required to potentially snare business during a convention. By simply handing out your business card to artists and fans in attendance, you could open up new opportunities for your shop.
However you choose to connect with Comic-Con fans, you’ll find that tapping into this passionate – and always growing – community filled with memorabilia buffs custom-made for custom framing could generate a flow of business that’s consistently super.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.