I wish I could be able to sign up for all the events for the upcoming year at one time and be done with it. Unfortunately, every event has their own way of doing things and their own schedule. Some events are so popular that you’d better sign up a year in advance, if you can. Others take a big break after the stress of running the event and don’t even update their website until just a few months before the next one.
That leaves me with the duty to run my list of events every few weeks and see which ones have turned on their vendor registration. I have this spreadsheet to help me keep everything straight. I put in the date of the events and keep them sorted, with a handy URL list so I can click to bring up their website.
Hotels are another thing I have to keep in memory. Some of the events are local, so I can commute, but I have forgotten to book a hotel room in times past and that’s too much stress to deal with at the last moment.
There is also the business of whether to get a Vendor table or an Artist table. Some events even have other classifications to deal with. Personally, if the (usually cheaper) Artist table is locked off overnight, I prefer it. However some Artist tables are in open hotel corridors, so I would either have to take down the table every night and put it back up every morning, or risk some pilferage. So, I will sometimes spend the extra cash to get a protected Vendor table instead.
The last issue is cost, and how it affects when I will register. Big venue Comicons, with many thousands of attendees also charge a lot more for their table spaces. Events also take the money up front, so I’d prefer to hold onto my cash as long as possible and register a couple of months before the event — if I’m sure they won’t sell out their spaces. It’s a gamble.
If you’ve clicked on the spreadsheet to look closer, you might have noticed that nearly all of the events listed are in Texas. There are two issues for me — travel costs and sales taxes. Closer to home is cheaper, and if I can keep my tax paperwork to a minimum, that would be good. However, if a convention invites me, I’ll jump at the chance to go farther afield.