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 Post subject: Process for starting a drop
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:27 am 

Country: United States
After Greg's very insightful post I thought this might need to be shared/stickied:

Marc wrote:
How exactly does a group get to host/acquire a fan table? All info and advice regarding this is appreciated.


Hi! I can only tell you my experience in the cons I have contacted and tables I have helped staff.

1. Find the fan group/table organizer. Most if not all cons have a contact link/email. I am very polite and request information on if they offer tables to fan groups and if any are available. I let them know what cons I have done in the past and have sent pics of past tables and items displayed.
2. Make sure you understand the rules of the table. Does it have to be staffed 100% during the core hours like Dragoncon? When is load in/set up time? Where can we load things in at? Is power supplied and if so does it cost extra? Where is parking? When is load out time? What is the table space dimension? Are tablecloths provided? Does the table need to be broken down evey night if mutiple day event? The table at Dragoncon is out in the open and if it is not broken down and taken back to the room every night things would walk off.
3. During the con be courteous to everyone. Keep a clean/neat table. No one likes a messy table. You are representing the group. I am constantly checking the table out in between visitors.
4. After the con send an email to thank the con and inquire about the next event. Staying on good terms is how you are asked to future and new events.

That is how I get fan tables at the cons I have done. This can be very different con to con and the way I do it can be very different from how Mike does it in Chicago and Kris does it in the UK. As for the table it self you can see pics of what we have done in the past. As for basics I would suggest a banner, cards and enough items to display. Items to display is extremely important. You do not want a bare table. Also remember some of the con goers do not have the skills/resources we do. Something you think is amazing might not be to them or go over their heads. You can loose them very easily. As Gabe said make sure you have the resources. You are repesenting the group. If the table looks bad it makes the group look bad. Sorry I am at work and on my phone. Let me know any more questions you have and someone will answer.

Thanks!

Greg

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Newell, Greg A
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Alabama - USA
Still using phrasing.
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 Post subject: Re: Process for starting a drop
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Location: Hamburg
Service Number: A03/TQ3.0.12136E1
Country: Germany
Second what Greg wrote.

Good relations with the fan group contact is key.

Also if you are exhibitor the rules are different than regular paying visitors e.g. weapons. Still you need to do weapon checks (on your own).
How is it with wristbands/tickets for you? That is normally given in a short amount so set up a ready line topic for your Con/drop/event/... and highlight the needed details for those who want to join.

People like to touch. Shoot the gun (aiming at a friend) and ask later if this is a real gun. So be careful with your display items.
Especially with weapon replicas. Make sure when you request table space that you have enough space for your transport boxes etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Process for starting a drop
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:27 pm 
'Nuff said.
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Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Service Number: A08/TQ0.0.12146E1
Country: United States
577_ops wrote:
Second what Greg wrote.

Good relations with the fan group contact is key.

Also if you are exhibitor the rules are different than regular paying visitors e.g. weapons. Still you need to do weapon checks (on your own).
How is it with wristbands/tickets for you? That is normally given in a short amount so set up a ready line topic for your Con/drop/event/... and highlight the needed details for those who want to join.

People like to touch. Shoot the gun (aiming at a friend) and ask later if this is a real gun. So be careful with your display items.
Especially with weapon replicas. Make sure when you request table space that you have enough space for your transport boxes etc.



Frank brings up some great points that I forgot.

1. Check to see if tickets are offered or if they have to be purchased. For the cons I have done outside of DragonCon, good luck getting anything free from them, we have gotten the fan table and 2 free admissions. I know that Kris has a relationship with the cons over in the UK where he gets a certain number of free admissions. I believe the rules for that is you have to do table duty. I know that is how it was for the last LFCC. I signed up but unfortunately could not attend due to work.
2. Weapons. This is another that varies from con to con and country to country. It can even vary security person to security person. I have never had to do more than a zip tie. I usually keep the black zipties on them.
3. Display items. If you do not want it picked up and played with, either clearly mark with a sign or keep it off the table. Kids, and some adults, will play with anything and everything in reach. I know the guys in the UK have a sign that clearly states not to grab something before permission is granted. Watch resin casts and things with non-moveable parts like triggers. 9 times out of 10 the first thing someone will do is pull the trigger on a weapon. I have not had any of my props broken but have seen it.
4. Do not assume anything. Always ask. Ignorance is not an excuse many cons will take. You will be asked to leave if the issue is big enough.

I am sure there will be more. Any questions just ask.

Thanks!

Greg

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CPL A08/TQ0.0.12146E1
UKCM
SMMFD
Newell, Greg A
Gman
Alabama - USA
Still using phrasing.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist.
http://facebook.com/666gman


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 Post subject: Re: Process for starting a drop
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:41 pm 

Country: United States
Also carry your own set of table cloths and back drops.

And a cheapy bed sheet for after hours covering of items for security.

Carry a set of backup attire. costume malfunctions do happen from time to time.

Some cons are also picky about external food and drink. Some allow it some do not. Though a great way to save money on the trip, bear in mind concession sales are what allow the exposition/convention center to operate in the black.

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