This is my second bare-it-all con report, after debuting the idea with my Boston Comic Con 2017 piece. That got pretty good feedback, so I’m going to stick with this idea for a while and see how it goes. As it stands, this was my last con for 2017, so I likely won’t have another post like this until sometime in 2018.
So: CT Horrorfest. This was my third year at the show and it’s always a great show for me. Great audience, well run, great fans (shout out to Chris!), and, crucially, it’s a one-day show within driving distance of my house, so I don’t need to stay at a hotel. All of that is an equation for a profitable show.
And that equation held this year, too. Not quite as much as in previous years, but it did hold.
In this year’s incarnation, CT Horrorfest moved to a new location, the Danbury Ice Arena. If that gets you thinking about figure skating or hockey, you’re on the money. This year’s edition was literally held in a hockey arena, with a temporary floor put down on the ice. The con itself was surrounded by boards that people usually get checked into and bleachers on both sides. This was a pretty cool location for a show—but cool in both senses of the word.
It was an unusual, and neat, place to hold a con. On the other hand, it got colder as the day went on (luckily, the organizers had suggested exhibitors bring a long-sleeve shirt. I followed the instruction and was perfectly warm with it). Keeping cool got a little silly when, late in the day, the arena seemed to turn on the air conditioning. I’m sure that’s needed to keep the ice in good condition during the summer, but things seemed to slow down after the AC went on. Maybe that’s a misperception, but it seemed like the AC literally cooled down the sales.
Anyway, here’s how things looked by the numbers:
- Units sold: 39 (22 books, 5 comics, 12 horror movie bingo cards)
- Top-selling item: Not Sleeping Well (4 books for a total of $40; many other titles also sold 4 copies, but this was the highest dollar total)
- Total revenue: $243.29
That’s all OK for a one-day show. It was down from last year (at which I sold 32 books, and down from the 35 sold two years ago), but perfectly within the range of the vagaries of cons. But how does it affect the bottom line?
- Cost of table: $135
- Cost of gas: $30
- Cost of food: $40
- Total expenses: $205
Bottom line: A profit of $38.29
Actually turning a profit at a con is always a big plus (though, as usual, this calculation doesn’t account for my time spent driving to and from, and being at the show).
In previous years, I sold both more books and more comics and came away with around $200 more than at this year’s edition. Hard to say what accounts for that difference—a new location, the cold temperature, more exhibitors (the show was definitely bigger this year)? Regardless, a profitable show is something to hold onto and I’m looking forward to next year.