Small businesses stood shoulder-to-shoulder with big companies such as Marvel, DC Comics and Capcom at New York Comic Con where an estimated 95,000 people attended over the weekend.
Sixty percent of the exhibitors were small businesses, said convention organizer Lance Fensterman.
“More bigger companies are coming now,” Fensterman told BusinessNewsDaily. “But they’re attracting more people to the conference and that helps small businesses get their names out there.”
A major business trend he notices right now is how difficult brick-and-mortar retail has become. Rent, he said, is too expensive in our rough economic climate.
Artist David Rankin of Effigy — one of the many online-only retailers at the convention — agrees. He said he contemplated having a physical selling space for his business, which sells skateboards with his art on them.
“There was too much overhead to have a storefront so I chose to operate my business on the Internet,” Rankin said Friday at Comic Con.
Jailbreak Collective, which sells toys inspired by popular culture, also chose the online route.
“It’s a hassle in general to have a physical store because it takes a lot of time, vision and manpower,” said Quincy Moore, editor of the Jailbreak Collective’s blog.
Effigy and Jailbreak were among about two dozen businesses that exhibited in the convention’s new section called the Cultyard Pavilion. The businesses in the Cultyard sold non-comic book products.
Apart from the Cultyard, more Web-based businesses dotted the exhibition floor. As thousand of attendees traversed through the rows of booths, owner of Stuffed Sushi Alicia Manoski manned her booth filled with plush pillows shaped as sushi pieces.
“These gatherings when done well can be a great retail extension (for businesses without storefronts) to get their brands out there,” Fensterman said.
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