2. November 2014 06:41
Files delivered, proofs approved, the Souvenir Book and Pocket Program are off to press. I've compiled all the files, made low-res exports, and uploaded them to the gallery.
My goal for the Souvenir Book this year was to focus on the general content of the convention; giving information relevant to people new to OryCon as well as long-time veterans. I also wanted to spotlight the people that make OryCon a unique experience; including full color pages for the Guests of Honor, more photos of members throughout the book, featuring panelists by programming track categories, short bios for panelists (if provided), and extended text about charity organizations that partner with OryCon. Listing the panelists by category was new and a ton of work. We didn't have existing reports to create those lists so I had to do a lot of scrubbing manually. In the end, I think it was a pretty neat feature. It looked really good and I hope people like it.
My goal for the Pocket Program this year was to provide a pocket sized book that contains all the details of the convention programming. I wanted the book to be a single source of information to find panels (date/time, location, description) in both grid and text formats; with a compromise between making the text large enough to be legible and the book small enough to be portable. My intention was to make this the book you carried around the con; giving you easy access to hours of operation, quick reference programming schedules (readings, concerts, autographs, panelist locators), maps, fan groups, dealers coupons, policies, and local area restaurant information. I upped the page count (from 80 to 104) and we moved to a spiral binding. It's the cheapest print media we have so I am hoping that more content (like paid ads) can be added to it over the years.
Another success this year was reworking the ad pricing and focus for our printed pubs. I evaluated the purpose of the ads we print (2/3 of our ads are swaps or for charities) and decided that this year our mission is to support the convention community instead of trying to make money. We analyzed the cost per page and set fan/non-profit ad rates to nearly at-cost. As a fundraiser, however, we offered the premium space of our inside front and back cover at a premium price and we sold one! I also created layout options for half page and coupons in the Pocket Program. In the end, even though we cut costs, we nearly doubled last year's ad revenue. Plus, the ads are more focused on the community of the convention.