How to Draw a Crowd: 4 Engaging Trade Show Techniques for Cartoonists
Trade shows can be stressful times for content creators. It is where many see some of their biggest sales figures in a given period but, at the same time, they can be highly competitive.
That’s why today we’re detailing out some techniques to help you draw a better crowd to what you’re offering! After all, more attention almost always means more sales. Without delay, let us start with our first recommendation.
1. Market Yourself
People in creative careers often hope for the quality of their work to carry them alone. It’s a nice idea but the reality is that you’re going to need to also become a bit of a marketer if you really want to succeed.
Trade shows are busy places where people’s attention tends to be split. So why would you only try to draw a crowd from the show floor? Strong booth showings are often the result of marketing oneself beforehand to attract better numbers.
Before any event, a content creator should at least take to the major social media platforms and announce they’ll be there. If you have any special, exclusive offerings, you absolutely will want to mention those too.
This actually serves two purposes. First, it attracts people to the show far more likely to be interested in your offerings than a generic showgoer. Moreover, those extra people then also attract other people to your booth.
One of the challenges of getting attention in any setting is it is often a game of momentum. More attention makes getting further attention easier. So market yourself to get the ball started early rather than the day of.
2. Try to Find Your Ikigai
Ikigai is a Japanese word that means “reason for being.” While it may come off as something of a borrowed buzzword, it is representative of a pretty important idea when it comes to choosing a career path.
In order to better understand the word, ikigai is often best thought of as the convergence of four distinct elements:
- That which is needed
- That which you love
- That which you are skilled at
- That which you can make money doing
It is those third and final points that can often interfere with an artist’s success. It’s easy to love making art but if your art isn’t “good” then it can be hard to sell.
Identifying when your art is sellable is a huge topic, beyond our scope today. In short, the art space is hyper-competitive. You need to practice and should always be trying to identify how you might improve yourself.
The good news is that you can always improve and it pays off to do so. In simple terms, good art (especially that others actively seek or even need) is much easier to sell.
3. Sex Does Sell
The phrase “sex sells” has been in common parlance for decades (and has been true since perhaps the dawn of man). This truth is perhaps most exemplified in the world of art.
This doesn’t mean you need to draw full-frontal nudity (and you’d best check the show rules if you plan to). Art that is suggestive or uses fun, flirty characters can help draw a lot of attention to your booth.
Now it needs to be noted this is one of the more risky marketing techniques we’ll talk about because it has its downsides. Producing “sexy” art can give you a reputation to match. Some cartoonists embrace that but many don’t.
That said, it’s the artists producing this kind of art that see some of the biggest paydays. For example, the furry community is well-known for paying good, fair rates for lewd anthropomorphic animal art.
If being family-friendly is important to your brand, sex is not the way to go. But if you want attention and don’t mind what is occasionally some odd characters and questions, it can be profitable and attention-grabbing.
4. Your Booth Should Impress
When you imagine a trade booth, a certain image will tend to come to mind. You’ll see a generic white table, simple chairs, a tent, and then some basic signage.
These kinds of booths blend together. A strong booth design is how you stand out. Moreover, for people like cartoonists and other digital artists, visual design is supposed to be your selling point, to begin with.
This is where things like Nimlok displays can help your booth stand out. Done right, these displays can be beautiful, portable, and affordable.
Whatever you do to make your booth stand out, remember that you want people to notice you and to have a positive impression of what you’re offering.
At the very least, prominently display your best pieces for all to see. It also will help to have some kind of quality, professional-looking sign indicating your business name (or your personal one, if you don’t run a business).
If you’re worried about overpaying, remember that much of these displays can be reused at other shows, similar events, and any storefront if you have one. They don’t have to only be used at the one show you bought them for.
A Trade Show Can Be Your Golden Ticket
A strong showing at a trade show can really elevate an artist from obscurity. If you can master drawing a strong crowd, you’re most of the way there to succeeding in the competitive world of cartooning. If you found this article helpful then we also recommend you explore our content on marketing, advertising, and business. There’s sure to be more that can help you better sell your art and gain the edge every artist is looking for.