What the Comic and Anime Convention Community Can Learn From Trade Shows


If you are anything like me, chances are you are still enjoying the things labeled “nerdy” when you were younger. What is incredible for many of us though is that the things that we caught flak for are now moving into the mainstream and becoming popular, and more acceptable. One place where fans of comics, anime, manga and all things nerd can meet up are anime or comic conventions.

Every year these conventions see higher attendance and more are popping up every year. San Diego Comic-Con is one of the busiest events of the year and sees more than 130,000 people show up each year. Many have seen avenues for business opportunities open up and often frequent these conventions to share their products. Many of these sellers aren’t realizing the lessons they can learn from the tradeshow community.

Know Your Customer Base

One of the biggest lessons that can be learned from the tradeshow community is knowing your customer base. One of the biggest disconnects between successful business owners and those who aren’t is the fact that they not only know who their target audience is but they know what they want. In other words, just because you think your product is cool, or worth money, doesn’t necessarily mean your customers will. Sellers at the comic or anime convention level should be able to answer the following questions about their business.

  • Who are my customers?
  • Will my customers think this product is worth buying?
  • What is the price point of my customer base?

Know When to Diversify

You may have discovered a product that your customers love or an area that hadn’t been explored before. Many business owners have pioneered a product only to fall behind all their competitors because they haven’t diversified. Don’t be afraid to diversify the products that you offer! The following are ways that you can diversify without losing what made you popular in the first place.

  • Offer new products that diversify your lineup. If you offer fanart of a particular series and people love your art, try expanding into new fandoms!
  • Diversify what products you offer. If people love your pins and the artwork you offer, why not try to offer prints?

Trade Show Displays

One thing that can give any business owner an edge is to help make your display look more professional. Many people start off with a plastic table, a vinyl banner, and some decorations. While that is definitely a fine place to start there are people that will overlook your business simply because of the way that it looks.

If you are confident enough in your product to take it public and spend the time and money for booth space, why not invest in a professional trade show display? Trade show displays can help give your booth a professional look that will not only catch convention-goers eyes but will also draw them in. Trade show displays are also a great way for you to brand your business and draw a presence! People love professional displays for a number of reasons, including:

  • Give your booth a professional air that gathers attention.
  • Allows for easy branding for your business and product.
  • Reliable and built for convention circuits.
  • Easier to set up, take down, store and transport.

The Takeaway

With anime, comics, and other things that in the past were deemed “nerdy” reaching mainstream acceptance, there is an untapped market for business owners. If this sounds like a good opportunity for you make sure to invest in the things that will help give your business a professional look and that can keep you one step ahead of your competitors.


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