March 14, 2014

Gem City Comic Con

A while back, I sent out some questionnaires to a whole bunch of convention organizers as part of a project that I will introduce shortly. The answers were great, and I'm happy to be able to share them here!

One of my first respondents was Jesse Noble, who runs the gem city comic con, which is happening this April 5th and 6th in Dayton, Ohio.

What is the history of this event? 
I started the convention in 2006 to help me sell a collection that I bought on a lark. My expertise in the matter was nil.

Where is it located? 
Dayton, Ohio! It started in the Wright State University's Student Union we are now in the Nutter Center arena.

Who runs it? 
For good or bad I do. With help from some friends.

Is it associated with a particular store, museum, school, or organization? 
We have a number of sponsors. Bell book and comic, Super-fly comics, Teleproformance, Fearless Readers online.

Are any famous or notable artists involved in the planning?
No, but Mark Waid, and Christy Blanche (Supermooc) have been very helpful over the years!

Who can participate? 
Everyone. We do not discriminate, but if Marvel wanted to set up a booth, I would sell them one.

How do I get a table? 
We don't really have a official panel. Creator Tables are sold on a first come basis.  Contracts are on the website until all the tables are spoken for. That said, if you are a jerk I might be sold out when you call. We tend sell out VERY early. The 2014 show was sold in July.

How much does it cost to exhibit?
Creator tables cost $40 before Jan 1, $50 after. You get one table two chairs two badges.
Vender spots are $400 before Jan 1 $450 after. The space you get is roughly 10'x10' with two six foot tables two chairs and two Badges.

Technical stuff
Are tables provided? Yes
What size are the tables? 6'
Are there chairs provided and how many per table? Two per booth or creator table 
Is there security at night? Yes
Are there electrical outlets for booth use? limited
Height restrictions on signage? No
Can you bring food/water? Sure
Can things be hung from ceiling? It's 100 feet tall, but yes.
Is there a freight entrance? Two truck bays and roll in from the parking lot.
Can books/merch be sent ahead to convention site? There is a docking fee, but yes.
Any lights/sound regulations? Only if people complain...
Is there wifi in the building and is it free? Yes and yes
Is the building air conditioned? yes

How much does it cost to attend?
What is the ticket price? $8 single day and $15 weekend in advance, $10 and $18 at the door.
Are tickets difficult to come by? Not unless the printer runs out of ink.
Are there volunteer opportunities that will get you in for free? Yes but I tend not to ask for volunteers, enlisting an army of friends and family instead. 

What kind of events will take place? 
We have panels, costume contests, venders, gaming tournaments, Creators, a charity auction. No media guests.

What kind of items will be available for sale?
comics, toys poster t-shirts, art, non-sports cards.
What kind of customers are your exhibitors trying to attract? 
People with money!
Is there a giant line? No, we move them through fast. about 5000 a day. 
Should you get there early? Nah, just come on out when you're ready.
 Is cosplay out of place or will you fit right in? If you enter the cosplay contest you get in free! 
Are there restaurants nearby? It has the same 25 restaurants as any other mall district in America, but about 10 miles away there are 60 great little places you can eat at.
 Is it handicapped accessible or kid friendly? Both. We keep the aisles wide. And we love kids so much I had two!

Social Media 
Twitter: GemCityJess

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