So during Animazement, we drummed up a lot of interest in the brand. One of the people to take notice of us were the good folks running the escapist. For those of you who don't know of the escapist, it is a sort of massive community of video gamers. Well there is a little more to it. They talk about everything video game related. Anyway, they sent us an invite to attend their first ever expo held in Durham NC
September 14th-17th, we attended the first Expo to be organized by the escapist. It was a lot of fun and a lot of handwork. The expo was a lot smaller than Animazement. Could be as a result of being the very first expo of its kind.
We carried all our inventory and setup equipment and stashed them in two cars and drove off to the neighboring city of Durham each day of the weekend. Once we arrived, what we saw was just awesome. A whole new culture completely different from anime but similar in the very passion that the attendees displayed.
There were booths for video gamers to get in some gaming to their heart's content. And other scrappy vendors like us. We got to meet some pretty awesome talented people.
It was really comforting meeting other people who wanted to share their talent and gift with the rest of us. Loved talking with them and sharing stories about the struggles and rewards of running your own business. I really enjoyed the conversations we had.
Also best of all we traded advice and tips on how to improve our ventures. I ended up getting a lot of contact information from the expo. Networking is such a big deal when it comes to running a business. You never know when you might need the help of someone you meet.
The funny thing is that even though gaming culture is quite different from the anime culture, you can't help but see a lot of similarities in the disciples of both culture. We even got to meet some anime fans at the expo.
It was a lot of fun talking with them about new series coming out or reminiscing about the classics.
I never really got the time to play the video games at the expo. Was to busy selling our wares or telling people our story on how we got started. People always connect with you better when you have a good story to tell. At least that has been my experience so far. I truly enjoyed the expo, but I was also glad when it ended. I was exhausted standing for hours on end talking to customers and carry our inventory from our car in the parking lot to the hotel where the event was being held. But at the end of the day, I will definitely do it again. It was as priceless an experience as any other convention we've been to so far.