Friday, June 03, 2011
It has been a huge couple of weeks. MobiCon was a record-setter for smaller SF cons, sales-wise. Part of the reason is their burgeoning anime track, with popular voice guests. Last weekend was Animazement in Raleigh, NC, again, a record-setter for sales at that particular con. The crew at AZ were unfailingly helpful, and put on an astonishing show. The dealer room was run very well, especially in that it appeared to this Aardvark that they had reduced the number of sellers there, which makes for happier remaining dealers. Rising tides floating all boats, and such. This is a key piece of wisdom missing at many larger and hoping-to-be-larger anime cons: more dealers does not really help anyone. The con-goers get frustrated with a multiplicity of dealers selling essentially the same stuff. The dealers get grumpy - and dealers can be a grumpy lot - when there is too much competition for a finite pool of money. Then the dealers grump at the con staff. Fun ensues.
The ideal situation is having a semi-juried room, with a couple of each type of merchandise mix for variety and a little competitive pricing. ACEN (Anime Central), the same weekend as MobiCon, was dreadful, with an overgrown dealer room with too many PVC figure dealers, too many t-shirt vendors, too many Pocky sellers...
Can there be too much Pocky?
ACEN typifies the worst in dealer room dynamics, unless it is the St. Louis show that places each type of dealer in its own ghetto...whole sections of 10-12 t-shirt sellers vying for your shekels. As super-cool and groovy as our designs are, they cannot stand up to the onslaught of dealer-room hypnosis induced in the buyers by endless vistas of the same kind of merchandise.
So there is the Aardvark's wisdom: limit dealers to a commodious mix of goods for the attendees, giving them enough but not too much. This is economics that works.
Bernanke needs to attend a good con. Oh, wait....