Origins was an interesting (and good) show this year. I met some new friends, broke bread with old friends, sold artwork, and had a generally good time. Since my first show in 2010, I’ve never had a year-over-year decrease in a given show; Origins 2012 maintained that record.

I got one commission this year, and I think that went over well. Since the most time consuming part of my process is the development of the character model, I am able to provide multiple shots and poses in full color to the customers. I had a lot of opportunities to stretch my library out and see what it can do. Hopefully I will be able to get more opportunities to produce custom work throughout the year.

After every show I always come up with a list of lessons learned, and by the time I get to the next show, all of those lessons are forgotten. So here is the list that I came up with after Origins this year. Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to me in my preparation for future shows. So here goes:

1) Set up the whole booth at the house before you leave for the show. Pack and load the car from this setup to ensure that nothing gets left behind, and to make sure the load-out is arranged “last-in, first-out.”

2) Do the booth setup at least a week before the show, and each day, sit in the booth for a few minutes just to think about what you would like to add/change.

3) Have no less than 200 business cards prepared before you leave. The show floor is not the place to punch them out.

4) Have 3-5 of each print made and in the box before you leave for the show. Have another box ready for behind the table.

5) Explore new ways to show the artwork. Matting the prints worked well for a certain awesome artist, and poster size prints were periodically requested. Also, Consider laying everything out in binders similar to those used by another awesome artist.

6) Bring both the graphics machine and the netbook to the booth, but don’t have either of them open unless you are working on a commission. Use the netbook to get descriptions, and work on the power machine later in the show. The power machine’s screen is just too big for regular operation during the show.

I’m sure there will be more, and I will probably update them here as I think of them.

There was one more thing of note this year: according to the executive director of the show, next year we will be in the main hall rather than the side room. This is an exciting thing; I think there is a lot of potential to make sales through accidental foot traffic. If it’s anything like Origins, it will be fantastic.