Artist Alley Tips For Your First Con: Part 3 - What to Pack

Artist Alley Tips For Your First Con: Part 3 - What to Pack

You made it! My third installment of Artist Alley Tips for Your First Con! 

If you've gone through my first two posts, you probably have gotten your pre-con paperwork complete and your table setup squared away! Awesome. But there's still a lot left to pack! Surprise!

What?? There's more? Yasss.

Even if you're traveling to a con that's in your 'hood, and don't have to pack an overnight bag, there are some other things you probably want to pack to make your experience comfortable and stress free. 

Because, let's be real. You are going to be putting in some LONG days. 

Okay, I'm going straight to the point with this list. Here's what I brought with me to help me survive a long con weekend.

My brother helping me out!

Ready? It's a big one.

  • Cash. Just bring small bills. I brought about $100 in 5's and 1's for people who purchase with the cash money. 
  • Cash box/bag. I'm a little paranoid, so I like to keep all of my cash super close to me at all times. So like a cool kid, I rock a fanny pack for easy access and security. 
  • Backup battery packs. If you're taking payments from a Square or Paypal reader connected to your phone, the last thing you'd want to run into is a dead phone. Bring a backup!
  • Your payment reader. I use Square. Why? You can submit offline transactions if for some reason you can't connect to the internet. This happens more often than you realize! 
  • Snacks and packed lunches. Food at these conventions are 1, not healthy and 2, crazy expensive. I like to pack a couple of Clif or Kind bars.
  • A gallon of water. YES, a gallon! Being dehydrated ain't fun when you're working.
  • Inventory tracking sheet. Keep track of what you sell, so you have an idea of which items are your best sellers for your next event!
  • A copy of your tax certificate or seller's permit. Just in case.
  • Sharpie or pen. To sign your prints!
  • Signage. Don't make people ask you how much your prints cost. Bring signage for all of your displays.
  • Business Cards. Or some other kind of promotional postcard for the people who are "just looking". Maybe they'll follow you on Instagram! Pro tip: Write down what your table number is on these - then they can find you again!
  • Paper towels. Just trust me on this one guys. You or someone around you may need it.
  • Trash bag. They'll provide a trash bin, but having a backup never hurts.
  • A co-hustler. Having some help at your table is incredibly useful. Not only can company help pass the time, you can also rotate breaks to roam and enjoy the con too!
  • Camera. Capture every moment of fun you can get!

 ...Which brings me to my next post, Part 4: At the Con.


What else do you pack? Let me know in the comments!

To read all parts of this blog series: 


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Super helpful list of things to bring! I’m tabling at Fantasy Basel next week in Switzerland and i’m very underprepared, but this helps a lot :)


I’m loving this blog series so far! As a fellow artist, I recommend bringing ALL of the office supplies (clipboard, sticky notes, notepad, scotch tape, masking tape, duct tape, scissors, paperclips, binder clips, pens, pencils, colored pens/markers). Plus, don’t forget about packaging materials! Offer print sleeves, backing boards, and paper sacs, as well as envelopes or bags for smaller items (stickers, jewelry, etc). Finally, consider medicine (bandaids, pain killers, probiotics/pepto bismal, nail clippers, nail file, etc) and of course hand sanitizer! Some of this stuff really comes in handy. After a few cons, you can learn what unnecessary stuff to shed for next time. Happy vending!


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