Posted by Bob Greenberger on July 27, 2009
I flew out to San Diego to show my face, meet with my current publishers and hopefully return with one more assignment than when I arrived. Now that I am home, it looks like two potential projects cropped up so that’s not too bad.
The convention was huge so of course I could not possibly spend time with everyone I wanted to see. Nor could I even try and attend many of the panels that caught my fancy.
So, I have to evaluate the experience on what I did manage to do. I did check in with all my current publishers, including several considering project pitches. Professionally, that worked just as planned.
Showing my face at numerous booths and throughout Artists Alley also helped keep me in circulation since out of sight is very much out of mind these days. A fair percentage of people thought I was still at DC, so it was really important to let one and all know I am a freelancer.
On the other hand, many referred to this page and Twitter so at least some people know what I’m up to.
Socially, the con was terrific. I got to renew friendships that had lapsed from time and distance. It was great seeing people I gave their breaks to and those I shared offices with. The time spent with them was great and appreciated.
As a place to do business, the key is to arrive with appointments but to leave flexibility in the schedule to add stuff as it comes up. The notion of trying to drum stuff up cold is an old-fashioned one and totally wrong for the crazed staffers working the show. This is such a bizarre blend of trade and consumer show that everyone is practically doing twice the work so the stress is higher.
San Diego itself is a great town and walking to and from the show, and for meals. The sun was strong but first thing in the morning and later at night, it was terrific.
I’m very glad I went but will have to evaluate next winter if it makes sense to return next year or wait.