We often read about how to best prepare for a show but I rarely come across tips for what to do when a show is over. Here are some of the things I try to do after a long tabling sesh. Please feel free to leave your own tips!
We meet so many awesome people when we table, but the cognitive exhaustion of processing so many new faces means that it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra help trying to remember all those great conversations and awesome art discovered.
- I find writing a note or two on the backs of the business cards you take or received in an exchange to be very helpful. If you review them at the end of the day, it really helps reinforce your memories (especially helpful if you are memory challenged like me. One of my nicknames is “Goldfish”).
- If you want to be scarily organized, you can collate all your notes for a quick and easy reference. I have a Google spreadsheet for the people I meet when I table! It seems extreme but this keeps all my comics/zines contacts together in one tidy place so the fish 🐟 doesn’t forget anyone’s contact info or how we met. This is especially helpful when someone is not active on social media or for people you do not foresee being in regular contact with.
- Try to send out follow up communications and do all your social media following within two to three days following the event.
Business as usual
Tabling is fun, but it’s also an expense. To better your sales, a quick review at the end of the day is worth your time.
- Obviously, I calculate my sales at the end of an event. Then I minus the costs associated (production, travel, table fees, food, etc.) to determine my net profit.
- Hopefully you were keeping track of your sales so you can see how each comic or zine performed. Consider adjusting prices accordingly.
- I’d also think about what products appealed to who. Tabling is a great way to gauge who is interested in your work and why.
- Compare your notes with previous shows. I bring the same notebook with me so everything is in one place.
This is probably different for everyone but a few things I’d recommend:
- If you are a hardcore introvert like myself, do not schedule any strenuous social activity for the following day.
- You are probably dehydrated from talking so much, so drink lots of water and hot tea. If you have been traveling by air or were out all night with fellow tablers, double down on this advice asap.
- Stretch! You’ve been parked behind a table all day.
- You may have been eating random or processed food on the run. I try to have something easily prepared for myself so I have something healthy to eat that can be made with minimal effort. If you’re going to be away, cook up something that can be frozen ahead of time. If you’re returning to a hotel room, this can be tougher. I’ll bring tea bags with me and other foods depending on the flight time (i.e., no refrigeration) and any customs restrictions.
- Before you go to bed, take 10 minutes to apply a hydrating Korean face mask or something similar to nourish your skin. You can also give yourself a face massage if you’re traveling alone.