This one is a hard one for me since I keep forgetting it! This was made abundantly clear earlier this year when I booked us for a Dr. Who themed show. We do not sell anything Dr Who related and thus did not do nearly the business that other vendors did. That one is on me. And you would think it would be a ‘no duh’ kind of thing but it can be really difficult to remember it sometimes.
This goes hand in hand with doing your research on a con. I always check the webpage of a con to see how long they’ve done the con, email the con org and see how many pre-regs they’ve gotten and what they project their attendance numbers to be and what that years theme is going to be. Or at least that’s what I try to do but there are times I forget and it can cost us.
Some cons we can get away with being odd man out on the theme. We’ve had huge success at literary cons even though we don’t sell books, we have Harry Potter stuff so that counts for a lot and the literary set still like geek themed tchotchkes. But at a very specialized con like a Dr Who Con? I really should have thought that through better.
Knowing your audience isn’t just limited to picking the appropriate cons for your merchandise either. When you’re developing product you should have a clear idea of who this product is meant to appeal to. Are you targeting Bronies? Or maybe you’re trying to appeal to cosplayers. What about the people looking for stuff they can use a lot? Finding a niche and filling it is your best option for making a success out of this kind of business. We focused on the Consumable/Usable Niche. We sell very little in the way of purely decorative stuff. Heck you could even use the Salt out of our purely decorative Supernatural Kits.
That doesn’t mean you can’t sell just decorative stuff, you just have to make it unique enough to be its own niche. There are a lot of little corners that haven’t been filled up yet and more are being made every day. Just be sure you do your research, I don’t want to see Capt. America Dildos at Potterverse. Save that for MarvelCock Con huh?