A Guide to Selling Merchandise at Your Pop Culture Con

  • By Ashley Ranich | Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
Guide to Selling Merchandise at Pop Culture Con

Conventions (cons) are filled with an impressive breadth of exhibitor and vendor merchandise. As a con organizer, merchandise can benefit you both before, during and after your event. T-shirts, posters and other sorts of keepsakes and memorabilia can be sold along with ticket purchases, giving you the ability to create a buzz around your event and increase revenue.

We want you to be able to reap the benefits of merchandise, so we’ve outlined a few tips to help you make the most out of your con merchandise.

What Merchandise to Sell

Pop culture cons account for nearly 65% of all merchandise sales through our system. So what should you be selling? Sell merchandise that makes sense by keeping your attendees in mind when choosing items. Your goal is to anticipate their wants and needs at your event, and then provide them with an easy way to fulfill them.

Top 5 best selling con merchandise:

  1. Lanyards
  2. Clothing (T-shirts, hats)
  3. Event Enhancement (ticket insurance, meal/drink packages)
  4. Memorabilia (Posters, pins, stickers)
  5. Event Addition (Workshops, panels, after parties)

How to Market Merchandise

You want to make it known your merchandise is available for purchase. Send out several social media posts, run a contest to get fans excited and engaged, or send a few free shirts to highly anticipated panel members or con influencers. Also, utilize your ticket buyers’ contact information and remarket merchandise items to them. Send an email highlighting your unique merchandise alongside a countdown to your event. That way, even if they don’t buy any merchandise, the email is still relevant and pleasant.

Lanyards are the number one selling item for cons and are a big opportunity to increase your bottom line. To maximize your profit, offer a variety of lanyards with different price points; fans will be thrilled to have choices and more willing to pay a higher price for a limited edition product.

When to Sell Merchandise

The impact of timing on merchandise sales can be crucial. Selling merchandise directly on your event page with tickets is a great place to start. We recommend creating discounted ticket and merchandise bundles. For example, if a ticket to a 3-day convention is $75 and a lanyard is $15, offer them as a bundle for $80. Your lanyard sales will skyrocket from the perceived value of the bundle.

Be sure to sell merchandise on event day as well. Place merchandise booths outside the event center near the entrance for more selling opportunities. Attendees who didn’t have a chance to buy merchandise before the event can easily pick something up on their way in or out. Fans who weren’t lucky enough to secure tickets will often times come out to the center to be part of the event. They may pick up merchandise too.

We’ve given you a breakdown of what kind of merchandise you should sell, how to sell merchandise, and when to sell it. So the only step left is to start selling!