This weekend was the first annual Central City Comic Con. Being the owner of a YouTube channel called Comic Shop TV, I was invited to attend as a special guest. Usually when attending these kinds of shows I will make cosplay videos involving VFX but this being the first year of the convention, we opted to have a booth instead. There were some things we didn’t consider when going this route and other things we really hit the mark on when attending. First, we didn’t have enough signage. That was the big one. The booth was bigger than we had anticipated. It didn’t help that we also had a corner section, so there were two tables to fill up instead of one. The other thing we didn’t consider was the amount of people. We had estimated about 800 people would show up to the con. But when it was all said and done, we heard reports of 2,500 people attending. Here are some tips on using a convention booth to promote your YouTube channel.
1. Video Display: You need a way to present your channel. We set a computer to play over 20 minutes of our most recent content. The videos ran on a loop and at one point a crowd of 14 people were crowded around the booth. There was even a child who watched close to four hours of our videos and was able to tell when his favorite part was coming up on the video.
2. Hand Outs : We brought stacks of cards and placed them in front of the computer monitor so people could pick them up to subscribe or watch more of our the channel’s videos if they decided to.
3. Make subscribing extra worthwhile: We held a raffle for those who wanted to subscribe to the channel. We gave two additional tickets to those who also liked the Facebook page and followed on twitter. Anyone who showed up to the booth that was already subscribed was automatically given a ticket without any additional work. Value your subscribers and they should be rewarded as part of the community you have built.
4. Get help: A single person should not run a booth all day. Having a second or third person will help when needing to get food, run errands or take bathroom breaks. The YouTuber Parejeda came to help me out during the two day convention. She even cosplayed as Harley Quinn from Batman for one of the days, so a lot of people stopped to take photos and in turn asked about the purpose of the booth. She was even able to get people to subscribe to her channel when they went to subscribe to Comic Shop TV.
5. Easy to read advertising for your channel: Every convention we have attended so far, we have been given a small table that our banner could comfortably fit on. The tables at CCCC were fancier being pre-dressed. We didn’t have hooks for the banner on the backdrop, so we taped it to the extra table we had then placed light sabers on it. Why light sabers you ask? To have light saber fights of course!
A last note about running a booth, ditch the booth chairs… When you’re sitting down, you can look tired, bored or unapproachable. The whole reason you have a booth in the first place is to interact with people who have either subscribed or might be subscribing in the future. When you’re moving around you will seem friendlier.