Gen Con 2015: That Time I Peed and Missed Wil Wheaton

Gen Con 2015 is now behind us and what an amazing show it was! In fact, it was the biggest show in our young company history! But before I go into the photos and the fun, I have to tell you one of the most iconic stories that is going to go down in infamy. That time I went to pee and missed Wil Wheaton‘s visit to my booth.

It was Thursday afternoon and we had been going strong with the pre-order pick ups and sales. Thursday ended up as our biggest day at the show. In fact, Ted and I skipped lunch that day, we just had no time. That afternoon, I finally ran to the bathroom. I left my phone in the booth, which is CRAZY because I never go anywhere without my phone. But I was in a hurry and didn’t want to drop it in the toilet. Ew. So I ran around the corner to the restroom. On my way I stopped and talked with one of my Gen Con BFFs and another exhibitor about business. Then I ran into another exhibitor who I was introducing to LARPs the Series. Finally, I went back to the booth and it went like this:

Me: Ted I’m SO SORRY I was gone so long, I know you had to go too.

Ted: No, Shelley. No. I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

Me: What???? What’s wrong, Oh my God!

Ted: Wil Wheaton came to the booth and you missed him. I tried to call you, but your phone rang right next to me. He told his people about the journals and what a great idea they are. He hung out a little bit. He asked if I was the one who emailed him all the time and I said ‘no, that would be my business partner, Shelley.’ He left and I forgot to offer him a journal so I found him and did so. Then he was gone.

Me: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

 *currently taking a few minutes to pull my shit together*

Ok. So I did not immediately start sobbing in the booth. I had customers for eff’s sakes. But I was shaken. I looked around and Ted said he was long gone. I texted my sister and my daughter about my agony.

Daughter: OH NO MOM!

Sister: Only you.

I tried to go to the Titan’s Grave panel and it was sold out. I went by Geek & Sundry a few times. But it’s hard to be gone from the booth that long for a panel or to walk the floor because we were working hard to try to sell our asses off. In fact, I lost my voice because I was pitching the journals so hard.

I sat down on Friday night and wrote him another email, thanking him for taking the time to come by the booth. That’s when I cried, just a little. You see, I think he just seems so fun. I love to watch Tabletop. I’m a fan. And I’m really into building a business around doing things that I love. Just like Wil and his wife Anne and Felicia Day. *sigh*

At the time, I tweeted that this is simultaneously the worst and best Gen Con story EVER. And that’s true. But I would rather have had the story be: THE TIME WIL WHEATON STOPPED BY MY BOOTH AND WE CHATTED AND HE SIGNED IT.

There it is. BUT we did have a fantastic show. And made some amazing connections! We didn’t sell out, but we will next year.

And John Kovalic stopped by our booth! Amazingly, I was not in the bathroom when this happened so I got a picture with him!

Famed Munchkin Illustrator John Kovalic stopped by our booth!

Famed Munchkin Illustrator John Kovalic stopped by our booth!

Thanks to Gen Con, Scott, Megan, Jen, Roy, Tracey, Michelle, Doug, Kathy, Haley, Megan, Darrin, John, Dan, Liz and so many of our friends and family, we sold more journals than ever. And we were just so proud of the beautiful Gamer’s Journals that Tracey Gurney designed. We really wanted to make something beautiful and unique as a thank you to the Gen Con Community for all of their support during our 2014 Kickstarter.

Here’s our Gen Con love letter in pictures. We can’t wait to get started on 2016!

xoxo,

Shelley

Kickin’ it with a Kickstarter Campaign!

Today marks a big event in the young history of our journals: we launched our Kickstarter campaign today! What is Kickstarter you might ask? It’s the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. With that said, we’re ready to move our journal business to the next level so we have inventory for the remaining 2014 cons we will be vending at plus online inventory as well.

We can use any and all support to keep this business going. We believe in it, we love it and we can’t wait to share it with all con-goers! Take a look at our campaign and share, support, like, tweet…whatever you can do, we appreciate!

 

Philly Wizard World Here We Come!

We’re taking the plunge with our very first show dedicated to the Con*Quest Adventure Journal™! Our journals will be available in booth 900 at Philadelphia Wizard World, along with tote bags, extra sleeves and extra pages.

You can pre-order your journal through our Esty shop for easy pick up in our booth. Just order here and we’ll have it waiting for you.

We are also having a huge giveaway! Stop by our booth and enter to win 2 VIP passes for next year’s Philadelphia Wizard World plus a $100 Amazon Gift Card! Second and third place prizes will also be awarded. We’ll post complete details soon, so check back!

The Con*Quest Adventure Journal™is the new way to get your con on with pages for autographs, artist sketches, panel notes, favorite vendors plus sleeves to protect those photo-ops and pieces of artwork. Get one as soon as you get to the show and have a complete journal of everything you did at the show by the time you leave!

See you all in Philly!

Indy PopCon – HERE WE COME! New Reviews and Dallas Re-cap

We have been doing a whirlwind of shows over the last few weeks and it’s been crazy! We have our BIG, FAT LAUNCH in my hometown at Indy PopCon, we’ve gotten some awesome reviews and finally I’ll give you a down and dirty Dallas Comic Con recap.

Indy PopCon Hometown Launch!

Indy PopCon, which is being held May 30 to June 1 at the Indiana Convention Center, is going to be an amazing convention organized by the coolest group of local guys. We have the pleasure of working with them to promote our journals. Indy is my hometown and for all of these reasons, we are making this event our BIG RELEASE! We’ll be right up front in booth 912 and will also be handing out fliers with the most awesome promotion to go along with our launch! Come out and see us!

You can pre-order your journal NOW for pick up in our booth! $40 for journal and bag, ORDER HERE!

Reviews!

Next up, we’ve had two new and amazing reviews coming in! Geek Girl with Curves Amy Ratcliffe posted a wonderful review of the journal on her blog, which can be found here. And from my hometown peeps, Awkward Geeks posted a great review here. We were SO PROUD when we read these reviews. Even now I get goosebumps. What we are doing feels so right, I can’t wait for

everyone to catch up with us and GET IT. (remember, we’re kinda impatient.) This is why I know we’ll be successful. Because it feels so right.

 

 

Dallas

This is a show that used to be a lot smaller. And at a different convention center. FanExpo bought this con last year and moved it to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Center. We went into this event knowing that it might be a little rough for many reasons. First, a new owner is always going to have some logistics they are not unfamiliar with. And new location adds even more potential pitfalls. Finally, we were unable to get any response from the show management regarding marketing opportunities for the journal. At all. We have found that our biggest challenge is getting the word out to people about the journal and what it is. When people get it, THEY GET IT AND LOVE IT. A cosplayer and media darling, Dallas Fan Girl, did make a wonderful review video and hold a contest, so at least we had that for promotion.

So we charged forward. Only to wait in line for TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

The meaning of vendor hell right here.

Yes. Those of you who know Ted and I understand that we are not patient people. Frankly, that’s how we get so much done. But we actually handled this pretty well. Ted got out and took pictures of the hundred + cars behind us in line. At one point, the men handing out the pink papers that indicated we could drive up to the dock to unload just drove off. And said nothing about coming back or what the hell we were supposed to do next. I was tweeting and emailing like crazy. I can only assume the other vendors don’t know how to use Twitter or are much more delicate than I. When things are done badly, I feel compelled to let the organizers know. Why do I do this? Because I have worked with the BEST before in convention management and I have seen how well it can be done.

Rant over. Set up went smoothly after that but we were concerned that there were no banners or numbers indicating the aisles. Our plan was to hand out fliers with our booth number and a special promotion. But it they couldn’t find the booth or even the aisle, how would they find us?

Before the show opened, my brothers-in-law and an awesome friend of theirs handed out hundreds of fliers. This can be pretty hard work because people can be very cold when you’re out there trying to sell something. But for those people who stopped, listened and bought a journal, we thank you! Generally speaking, the 3 day pass and VIP people were simply awesome to us.

So the show went and there was a big crowd there. It was ok, but not great, which is pretty much what we expected given that there were no marketing opportunities for us there. I did some great shots at the show:

Finally got to see Samantha! <3
Artist Amanda Tolleson
Artist Logan Pack
BABY (Supernatural)
Walking Dead Panel! Merle and The Governor
Our fabulous and branded booth
Panel notes, mostly from Stan lee
Hover Craft!          
Sorry, had to post this for the 100th time  

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