This year I am attending an Anime/Manga convention called Kitacon as a vendor. What am I doing? Well, in a nut shell kimono dressing and also promoting Hairfreax to cosplayers.
So we (a group of 5 kimono dressers and photographers) will offer 3 types of kimono dressing on the day, however we are offering specialist dress up Geisha, Samurai and Wedding/Formal as a booked only venture so we can manage what we need to task on the days and the time needed.
Ideally, we would like to offer Geisha Cosplay/Henshin for people that turn up but the equipment and time needed is manic. One half of the group believes choice is best, the other believe we should keep it simples. So pre booking more complicated kitsuke (kimono dressing) is the half way house.
Everyone wants choice, but sometimes you just can not hold all the stock and options needed. However, restricting what you sell offer can impede your growth as a business, especially if your competitor stocks the whole range of something.
Customers are impatient, so making them wait on pre-orders/special orders increases the chance of charge backs! Grrrrr…is the word.
Personally I would use seasonality when thinking of stock a little more and maybe get in a few different pieces to suit the season/trend in order to grow and complete.
So for our first event we will be using forums and facebook to get advanced bookings for the event on the more complicated dress ups by providing a photo book portfolio and price list prior to the event.
I will let you know how online promotion works for an offline event đź™‚