Library Comic-Con: The Wrap-Up (for now)

So it’s been a couple months since we had our comic-con so I wanted to talk a little about how it went and here my library goes from here.

This is the last in a series (for now) about the steps to running your own library comic-con. You can find the other parts if you search ‘comic-con’ on the blog (plus an extra amazing bonus post by Pamela). If you’ve read some or all of the series and have questions (things I missed, etc.) feel free to comment here or on facebook. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things!

Anyway, here’s my wrap up:

We don’t have an entirely accurate count of how many people we got, but it was somewhere between 150 and 200, which is below what I had hoped but nothing to sneeze at. We ended up with about 30 volunteers at various points during the day, which really ended up being too many. Next year, we’re going to steam line our volunteer system now that we know we can get them. It was mostly families, which was fine, but I feel like we missed getting the ages of teen through young adults unaccompanied by kiddos. It’s something we’re going to focus on. Our assistant director attended with her husband and two young kids and they had a blast. She also gave us the go ahead right then and there to do it again next year.

Some of the things that we need to look at:

  • Our first events, starting at 10, had very low attendance. We’re thinking of starting things like crafts and games at 10 and starting panels/events at 11.
  • We want a better day-of event flyer with a detailed map and detailed schedule of events. A lot of people didn’t know when and where things were happening and so missed them
  • Door signage with events on each door
  • Our lightsaber training was a runaway smash hit and the adults loved that we were allowing them to participate. We gave away our pool noodle lightsabers at the end and everyone had a blast with it. We’re thinking of giving it its own time slot with nothing competing next year as no one attended the other events at the same time until it was over.
  • Our Smash Bros tournament was popular but some feedback was that it turned away girls and adults, so we’re thinking maybe Mario Kart next year
  • We want to do some more panel type discussions with authors/illustrators/cosplayers and we’ve found a few people who came who are willing to help with that
  • Having the Friends group sell snacks was also a great idea and a success. They were very happy with the exposure and how it went.
  • As I said before, we want to streamline our volunteer system
  • We will probably not do our cosplay parade again as it was a bit of a flop but we want to do something to encourage cosplay so back to the drawing board!
  • We had a small 501st/Rebel Legion turnout but they were mighty and so so much fun and everyone loved them! (we had a stormtrooper, Luke and Doctor Aphra from the comics) We’ll definitely be asking them back!
  • We’re going to push our date back. We actually got an incredibly gorgeous day in late September which definitely hurt us. A lot of people went to the beach and did other outdoor activities instead of coming. We also got some good feedback that we’d get more costumes/cosplay closer to Halloween so we’re looking to do one of the two weekends next year between Columbus Day and Halloween!
  • We honestly need to work on our publicity. We had great ideas and didn’t follow through on a lot.

That all being said, we’re overall ecstatic with how it turned out. People CAME! People had fun! We had people asking for weeks afterwards if we’d do it again. So I think it’ll definitely grow as we go forward. It was exhausting and fun and, while I’m not exactly looking forward to next year’s stress dreams, I am looking forward to growing what we started.

And although it took a lot of time, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel next year and we know what we’re taking on this time.

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