FREDcon is a one day show that held its second show on July 15. It is definitely one of the more peculiar shows at which we have exhibited or attended: It takes place amongst the halls of Spotsylvania Mall in Fredericksburg, VA.
The venue may seem a bizarre choice from the surface, but in many ways it’s superior to a convention center.
First, holding the event inside a mall guarantees the event is free for fans. By not charging admission, fans also have extra funds to purchase more books and art, and even sample new creators’ works. Secondly, for someone like me who creates books for little kids, the venue is also beneficial as there will be people shopping at the mall who may not have known about the show. More often than not, those “wanderers” are folks whom are always on the lookout for books for their kids, which is advantageous for me as I try to grow my audience. Thirdly, the food court is superior to any convention hall concession stand…and cheaper too!
FREDcon was created, and is run, by Sam Ellis, who has such a broad and varied career in comics and art, I think the only thing he hasn’t done is play a character in a Marvel movie. Sam is a great person in addition to being a fantastic artist, and his goal to create a show friendly and fun for creators and fans alike has been a hit square on both years.
I will be honest, we didn’t do as well as last year financially. However, we had a similar experience at Heroes, and the weird feeling hanging over recent shows is the same everywhere. So long as confidence in the economy (both here in the States and worldwide) is low, shows will suffer.
If I were to combine all of the sales at shows this year, we would not make our lowest financial goals (about 16% short so far for the year), however…
Of ALL of the sales we have made this year, only ONE was to a friend, which means roughly 96% of our sales this year have been to NEW or SINGLE REPEAT customers! And for a “local” show like FREDcon, that is HUGE! New friends, new customers, and ten signups for our new semi-regular email digest all add up to another GREAT FREDcon!
We will definitely be back next year, and maybe…just maybe…I will remember to take pictures.
I do have two photos to share, though. The first is a gift I got from a new fan, who was given MOO THOUSAND AND PUN for her 5th birthday. The second is an amazing cosplayer wearing her own crocheted Robin costume (after she stopped by to get a Wonder Shakes of Themooscyra for her very own)!
Thank you, Sam, and everyone who came by the table to visit and pick up a book or toy. We can’t wait for 2018!