Cybercon Expo Discussion (Pre-Show - Closed)

Discussion in 'Transformers Conventions and Get Togethers' started by rework, Mar 23, 2005.

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  1. rework

    rework The Voice of Experience

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    On behalf of myself, and the two other dealers from Northern Virginia I work with, I just wanted to rant a bit and say that we are pretty disappointed with the new path chosen for the Cybercon show.

    For the last few years we've really enjoyed doing this show. It was a nice, low-cost, show for us to do. A good place to buy and sell without the expense and efforts needed to do the national show each year. We had three tables at last year's show. We drove up that morning, drove back that night... No hotel needed. In fact the only costs were the table, a Uhaul trailer, gas, tolls, and food for the trip. IIRC, it ran us less than $150 each in costs, and we each managed to sell between $500 and $800 worth of stuff. A pretty good day.

    With the decision to move this show to Manhattan, we are shocked at how expensive this show would be for us to do. Honestly, other than just to say it's in Manhattan, I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would select the most expensive place on the East Coast for this show - Surely, there'd be far cheaper venues outside the city. Aside from the huge increase in the cost of tables (Which I gather show management doesn't want publicly revealed - so I'll just say tables are even more expensive than last year's OTFCC!), we now have to deal with 2 days of hotel & food at Manhattan rates, parking fees, and we now have to factor in taking two days off from work.

    Just ballparking things, we've estimated that we are looking at a minimum cost of $500 per person to set up at this show - Plus burn two days of vacation. To put that in perspective, that means I have to sell well over $1000 worth of toys just to break even. (One of us deals in new imported toys, and he figures he needs to be closer to $2500 to break even.) I just don't see that happening. With the huge hit prices have taken with the re-releases and the drop-off in interest in BW era toys right now, Transformers are not selling like they did 3 or 4 years ago. And the 2-day show is not a plus for me. I've been doing shows since 1998 and the pattern is pretty standard: About 75% of sales are by noon on the first day, 15% the rest of that day and only about 10% of sales are on the second day - And most of those are at reduced prices. I think most dealers will agree that the second day is not worth the effort.

    I realize that large professional outfits like Battlestarbase, BBTS and Bill's Toys can probably handle these costs and still make money. But the majority of dealers in this field are still the individual collector/dealers with a small set-up, mostly selling lower-value, loose toys at low prices. We do this as a side job or hobby. This is the way the Transformers dealer community has been since the beginning. Sadly, it seems that these dealers' needs were ignored in the planning of this show as there is no way for dealers like us to be profitable at this show. I'm sure some of these dealers can justify doing this show at a very low profit or even a loss for the experience of participating - And if this was the Official show, we would do that. But for an unofficial regional show, and with the Official show's location yet to be announced, we can't justify it.

    (Just to be clear, we are not in this only for the money - If I was, I'd just go the Wheeljack's Lab route and throw everything on Ebay - Heck, everyone knows that you make far MORE money on Ebay than doing shows! But no, we are all collectors and we enjoy meeting the other fans and setting up at shows. However, I think it is reasonable to expect that we be able to make SOME money for the efforts we go through to do this - And I, personally, just can't risk taking a loss.)

    We wish you well on this show, but hope in the future you will get back to providing the more cost-effective 1-day shows that were had so much success with in prior years.
     
  2. Galvarez

    Galvarez <font color=red><b><i>Cybercon Staff</b></i></font Veteran

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    As an organizer of Cybercon Expo, let me say that our decision to hold the show in New York City was based on several factors. One, a show like this has never been held in NYC before. Sure there have been lots of Sci-Fi and comic shows, but for a TF oriented event to take place in NYC where there are so many people living in and around that area is a first. Second, we like to pride ourselves on the fact that each show has been different in one way or another from the previous show. NYC takes our show to the next level and offers us a venue with a large amount of people in the immediate vicinity. This increases the chances for attendance at the show exponentially and exposes more people to our dealers. NYC is a big step for us, but as a convention we are growing and hope our dealers take that step with us. Our decision to hold a two day event on a Friday and Saturday rather than a Saturday/Sunday deal was based on our experiences at previous shows. Fridays and Saturdays are always good for both attendance and dealers (having been a dealer myself for over ten years I feel I speak from experience). We are doing all that we can to ensure the best show possible for everyone involved. We’re looking forward to bringing Cybercon Expo to NYC, it should be a lot of fun and we have a lot of surprises in store!
     
  3. Crossblades

    Crossblades Combiner fan

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    I for one am looking forward to this show. It's gonna rock!
     
  4. Elvin Pena

    Elvin Pena <b><font color=red>CyberCon is #1!</font></b> Veteran

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    I’m sure the Cybercon Expo organizers appreciate your concerns, and might I add, they are quite valid. You articulated them politely and with honesty which is really appreciated around here.

    There’s only so much I can say on behalf of the organizers but I will try to explain this from a collector’s perspective just as you did. Being that I live in New York City myself I wholeheartedly agree with the notion that it isn’t cheap around these parts. The cost of living is high and I’m sure tourists that don’t know any better tend to get ripped off on certain things. But there are 12 million people that live in this city and believe me when I tell you not everyone’s rich (I certainly am not) but we’re all here surviving and getting by. As I mentioned in another thread, there are bargains to be found in New York, the problem is that not too many people go out of their way to find them. The organizers, from what I’ve gathered, are trying their hardest to make this a memorable and affordable event for everyone; that I’m absolutely sure of.

    With regard to attendance and overall sales, true, most events tend to die down on the second day but you failed to take into account the astronomically HUGE market that is New York City. Unlike other events that I have personally been to where there’s a hotel and a set number of registrants, this event is going to be held in the middle of a huge city and will be easily accessible to both the hardcore and casual fans. There’s a comic book convention that’s held in a prominent location here in NYC and let me tell you, there are THOUSANDS of walk-ins at every single show. Being that this is the first time that a Transformers-based show of this size and scope has ever been brought to NYC, think of the amazing potential at hand! :) 

    We're sorry that you guys won't be able to make it up, but please try to keep an open mind and look at the great opportunity that's at hand. Like Rik said, Cybercon's growing up and it couldn't have picked a better market to do it in.
     
  5. battlestarbase

    battlestarbase aka: victor von deuchebag

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    my concerns are mainly PARKING.

    question 1--
    hopefully 630 second ave has parking for my 19 foot ryder truck. so i can unload and load stuff back up after the con.

    question 2--
    i've never been to nyc. but from what i hear parking is a premium there. the hotels i 've looked up that are close by don't seem to have parking lots attached to them , according to the attached pics. guess i gotta call each hotel myself.

    pricey hotels, the ramada east looks like a motel-6 at twice the price= 161.00 per nite. maybe the sheraton can hook me up.
    hopefully i'll have somewhere to put this truck during and after the con (not on the street )
    thats one thing i liked about nj. i didn't have to worry where i parked the truck.
    i'll e-mail the organizers when i get a chance, after i get back from tfcon in toronto.-----battlestarbase
     
  6. Galvarez

    Galvarez <font color=red><b><i>Cybercon Staff</b></i></font Veteran

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    We will be announcing hotel plans soon! Stay tuned!
     
  7. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    It's a shame Rework you wouldn't be able to make this Cybercon. I was looking forward to meeting you. Makes you wonder what's next after Cybercon4.
     
  8. rework

    rework The Voice of Experience

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    Well, I haven't completely given up. Things may change and I'll still look to see if there's a way to make something happen. Maybe they manage to come up with a great hotel option at under $100... Or maybe if the dealer signup isn't quite what they expect, they drop the price on tables - it's happened at shows before!

    We'll just have to wait and see... But as it is, no matter how many walk-in's they think they'll get, there's only so much a casual buyer is going to purchase. Walk-ins are great for the admission revenue - But if I need to sell high-end toys at top dollar to make money, walk-ins don't really help me. I need serious collectors looking to buy (Which is something I know I'll get at the Official Show in the fall.)
     
  9. King V

    King V Member

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    I'm probably staying away from this too. NYC is too much of a hassle.
    :peoples: 
     
  10. Elvin Pena

    Elvin Pena <b><font color=red>CyberCon is #1!</font></b> Veteran

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    As per my conversations with the organizers, parking is being ironed out as well; this includes large vans and trucks. :) 
     
  11. lastcentury.net

    lastcentury.net Active Member

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    I have been a dealer at each of the previous Cybercons, (see my display at the first Cybercon Expo here) . I also promote toy shows in New Jersey, the December 2004 Red Bank Toy Show and a second show coming in May 2005 at the Tinton Falls Holiday Inn,lastcentury.net. I intend to set up at Cybercon in NYC in July.

    The previous Cybercons were great, I was able manage the load in, setup, sales and takedown entirely by myself. Nevermind, that it was a one day show and only about an hour and a half from where I live. NYC will be different ( I will need additional help, parking, a hotel for overnight Friday etc), but it won't keep me away from the show. While I think Cybercon could have ran the previous location again with continued success (the hardcore Transformers fan will come out regardless of where the show is held), I think you are underestimating the traffic and interest generated by just having this event in NYC. Sure it may not help dealers materially in that the casual attendees may not buy a $100 loose mint Shockwave, but these shows help bring a greater general awareness to toy collecting and help to grow collecting / fan communities. Are the prices higher than the previous Cybercon? Yes. However, they are in line with other shows in the area. The Big Apple Comic Con charges over $300 per space. Another show in Secaucus NJ charges $190 for a six foot table. Space is at a premium in NYC, and you cannot expect that the costs are not going to be higher than shows in New Jersey, Penn, etc.

    Hope everything works out for you and you are able to make it to the show. If not, give my show some consideration www.lastcentury.net , the show attracts a fair amount of Transformers, GI Joe and 80's toy collectors and we can always user more dealers who
    deal expressly with those lines.

    Eric Duchak
    www.lastcentury.net
     
  12. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    I just booked a night for two at Deavuille Hotel at $87.20. Hope you can make it. :thumbs2: 
     
  13. thoughtcrime

    thoughtcrime Well-Known Member

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    In all honesty, I kinda have to agree that picking Manhattan wasn't the brightest move. Surely there were cheaper alternatives in the outer boroughs, or further north in NJ. I can see dealers (such as good ol' RW here) trying to sell me BM Silverbolts for $15 to compensate. I'm still psyched for the show, and plan to attend both days, but thankfully the location for the next one will be different.
     
  14. King V

    King V Member

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    Hmm, considering the last one was a 30-minute drive for me and I could go straight home afterwards, I doubt I'll be going. I look at it as $87 I could e spending on other stuff, maybe even TF stuff on Ebay. :thumbdown 
     
  15. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    Think if it this way. The first three Cybercon's where also a thirty minute drive for me, but look at all the New Yorkers who drove down just to make it. There's going to be fans that pay alittle more for hotel, travel arrangements, etc. I haven't really chilled in New York in six years, so I am exicted about the trip even though I have to pay more.
     
  16. Oh My Don Piano

    Oh My Don Piano Chocolate Pudding Gelstat

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    Well I can honestly say,I'm not thrilled about the location.

    I live in Jersey,and like the way shows in NJ sorta felt.....I don't know small enough to be personal?

    BUT!

    I totally understand the move to NYC. If anybody has attended Cybercon,then you know as fans we get to know each other a little too well.

    As sick as this sounds anybody that's been to a show has had to rub up on every single person in attendance.

    That room is packed!

    Hey I'm about 50 lbs overweight,and some of us even more,but on the opposite end some fans are 50 or more pounds underweight.That's pretty dangerous when 98 lb guy is in the center of 6,275 lbs guys,and everybody's crushing up against each other.

    Hey I like you guys and all,but honestly there was less touching when I went to the strip club,and got a lap dance.

    This show needs more room pure and simple.

    NYC was a logical choice.I don't like it,but I understand it.
     
  17. Decepticon

    Decepticon x

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    I understand the concern but I'm all for this con being in NYC. NYC costs so much to live in I have never been able to travel to an out of city con. Heck, I've never even been to the 2 cons in NYC that I know of. I do know I will try my darnest to make it to this one. It's of that much interest to me. All I need to do is save up money by getting a job.
     
  18. Primeconvoy1

    Primeconvoy1 Cybertronian Broker

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    I understand rework's concern if you're a dealer. After going all three times, I was actually considering opening a table (Would be my first time.) for the next show.
    With the 'con being in NYC, it may have put a damper on my dealer plans. Traveling to NYC with a bunch of toys would be very difficult for me rather than taking a 15 minute drive to get to the Jersey location from Philly.
    I also understand why it's being done. There's nothing wrong to expand Cybercon. NYC is the perfect venue to take the next step. I think Cybercon will have their biggest turnout, and most of the dealers there will probably do well. I may still do it, but a lot would have to happen.
    For now, I'll go and enjoy it as a fan. I hope you still make it to the show, rework. I enjoyed talking about your flea market finds along the way at the last Cybercon. :thumb 
     
  19. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    I'm flying in from Colorado for the show, bringing nothing but some cash and some changes of clothes!

    But in terms of the show location...

    You have to think big. Let's face it - Mt.Laurel NJ, while great for the hardcore Transformers fans who love to sell their stuff and get away from the big city, isn't exactly a large city where you're going to get a lot of people walking in to enjoy the show.

    I give tremendous credit to these guys for taking not just the next step, but a HUGE step overall in going for the middle of NYC to hold a Transformers convention. It's expensive for everyone, including them. To me, that shows a bit of devotion and dedication. They're willing to bring the whole "Transformers convention circuit" in to a more mainstream market (like NYC) which not only increases the chances of bringing in new fans/collectors, but also introducing those not familiar with these places (2005, AS, TFD, etc.) and garnering more interest to the casual fan.

    CyberconExpo is the only east coast Transformers show. It makes perfect sense to bring it to the biggest forum possible. As a dealer, while the cost increases to attend, the chance for even larger profit increases. If I were a dealer, that would be a *HUGE* selling factor for me, knowing that it's taking place on a summer weekend in NYC. I got a chance to bring in some NYC regulars and possibly some tourists.

    It also means that as a dealer, you could probably bring in some non-TF related items and sell them too.

    It's a win-win situation, even if for the little guy, it becomes an actual fan event and not a business trip.
     
  20. Fortress Prime

    Fortress Prime Guardian Robot

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    I've never been to a transformers convention.
    But I have been to lots of Star Trek Conventions.

    What usually goes on at one of these?
    Do you go there to just buy stuff?
    anything else to see and do?
     
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