Xavier Lancel of SCARCE magazine, writes for Bleeding Cool;
The Angouleme Festival is so big that have to remember that if you are indeed bringing many talented people at your booth, there is so many booths, so many different areas in the festival, that you're gonna have to publicize the thing no matter what, if you want people to know about it.
So this year, SCARCE , a french magazine on US comics, put together a 16p free color booklet, presenting each of the 5 artists signing at our booth. We understood that was the right thing when one of the top executives of the festival came by and, the booklet in his hands, said "So, now, you're starting to bring artists to your booth? That's great!". Yes, it is. Except that we have been doing it for the last four years!
The festival is divided in different areas (nothing new here compared to other festivals), except that the areas are not connected one to the other directly: you have to walk from one to the other, a five minute to twenty minute walk depending on where you want to go. That means that, if you're a booth attendant, you can easily lost yourself into your own section and see nothing else of the festival during the 4 days. The small editors and small press section we are in have been cut off a little this year, with no apparent reason (a lot of people have been left off).
From one year to the other, daily sales at your booth can change also with no apparent reason, even if the total at the end of the four days is usually the same. For example, sales of last year Thursday (first day of the festival) were amazing for us. This year, we made eight times less! Sales on last year Saturday were crappy, surprisingly: Saturday is by far the busiest day of the festival. If you're thinking about about a one day trip to the festival, one advice: pick Thursday or Friday, but not Saturday: the crowd is so thick that it's a challenge to quit your booth to take a pee and that when some potential customers stop at your booth, people behind them are pushing them to move on! Sunday is a very quiet day: parents from around the city are coming with their children, so don't expect a lot of sales but mostly kids touching your stop or asking for a free drawing.
So far, the festival hasn't been able to keep artists and people on Sunday. At 3PM, booths start to empty themselves and a wave of sadness fall on the few people remaining (SCARCE being one of them). On Sunday, don't expect to make a lot of money, but expect kids to touch your stuff and rip some pages.
Promotion is a key factor. You can find attached the booklet we made. Maxime Garbarini from Close Call comics made the cover, exclusively for us.