I’ll start off today, by letting you know that this newsletter was not ever supposed to be written. When we were planning for this year’s convention, it quickly became evident that we had ordered so many books to sell in our display that we had no choice but to cover all of our front tables with huge stacks of books. That meant no computers this year. That bummed me out a little, but the computers were really more for show, than actual function. We always took a few special orders via the machines, but my writing my daily newsletter was the primary purpose for having the continuous link. When having to choose, however, between selling vastly more product on site or writing the newsletter, I ultimately decided that extra book display took priority.
What changed this entire equation were two factors. First, I have had (literally…) dozens of people here at the show tell me that they were eagerly looking forward to reading my daily con reports. That made me feel very obligated to write, as I care very much that I make everyone happy. Second, I discovered that the convention center now provides wireless access for only $12.95 per day. That’s a huge improvement over the $1,100 that the center was charging us for our dedicated line! So there will now be newsletters coming each day, if at all possible, via my personal laptop.
In case you’re wondering, I’m only hesitating about making a firm commitment to write each day because the projected attendance numbers for this year are mind-boggling. The convention committee cut off sales of 4-day passes at a reported 57,000, and the Saturday one-day passes are completely sold out, too. That will act to push even more people into attending on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. It may just work out that there isn’t a single slow moment in the entire convention. If that is the case, then writing this column becomes very hard for me, as I work in the booth, where I tend to have to answer a million questions. That having been said, I’ll really try to keep sending you updates, as I know that many of you really look forward to reading them.
A couple of quick observations from the dealer set-up period. First, everything went much smoother this year, with the decorators doing quite a good job of moving everyone’s freight into their booths. We were completely set up by Tuesday evening, which is an all time speed record. That’s especially impressive considering that we brought well over $300,000.00 in books to sell this year, which is one heck of a huge pile. Our costs are so high this year that we don’t earn a cent until we break $100,000.00 in sales, and we have to sell $200,000.00 if we plan to haul our leftover books out on Sunday without the aid of an extra truck. Can sales of that insanely enormous magnitude be accomplished at one convention in just 5 days? We’re about to find out…
One very good sign about the potential for this year’s convention is the number of sales I saw being transacted between dealers (and a few early fans…) on Tuesday. Tuesday is supposed to be just a set-up day, but I saw tens of thousands of dollars in business already being transacted in the Golden Age and Silver Age section. Many dealers were even putting up their wall displays of expensive comics, which since they have to be taken down each evening, was a clear indication that they expected to make significant sales. That means that San Diego has now become the first-ever 6-day convention! I am amazed at how this already incredible convention continues to grow, and grow even more. We are bumping against the upper limits of the City of San Diego municipal infrastructure, however, so big changes are looming on the horizon. More on that topic, tomorrow…
President – Mile High Comics, Inc