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3D Scanning Event Case Study: Comic Cons

comic-con.jpgOne of the most popular types of events for people in the 3D printed figurine industry are comic conventions. If you're trying to decide what your first event should be, comic conventions can be a great place to start because of the large crowds they can draw. Ideally you want to target comic cons that have over +5,000 people and take place of over 1-2 days. In this post we will go over what a sample comic con could look like in terms of number of people 3D scanned and revenue for you as 3D printed figurine business owner.

*Note: Scroll to the end of the article to learn more about the importance of good environmental lighting when setting up at events to sell 3D printed figurines.

Here is a profile of a typical comic con. Most take place over 1-2 days and can cost $500-$1,500 to attend depending on the size of the comic con (Note: Check with your local event organizer on costs/fees as they can vary depending on the market you are in):

Number of Event Attendees 6,000
Event Fee Charged by Organizer $1,400
Duration of Event 1.5 days

Retail pricing you are able to charge will depend on your area, but might be similar to:

Retail Prices You Set  
3-inch 3D printed figurine $49
5-inch 3D printed figurine $79
7-inch 3D printed figurine $169
9-inch 3D printed figurine $229

 Tip: Make sure to charge customers separately for shipping and sales tax or include it in your pricing model.

Depending on your 3D scanning booth location at the event venue, the number of people you should expect to 3D scan for an event of this size is 100-300 over a 1.5 day period (read more about the Twinstant's throughput here). For this example, lets say you scanned 194 people and had a conversion rate of 48% from scan to 3D printed figurine order for a total of ~90 full color 3D prints ordered. Here is a sample distribution of the number you could sell at each size:

Quantity you sell of each size  
3-inch 3D printed figurine 39
5-inch 3D printed figurine 32
7-inch 3D printed figurine 15
9-inch 3D printed figurine 6
Total figurines purchased 93

With these totals, your total revenue for the event could be $8,348. Once you subtract out the event fee and your wholesale costs on prints your total profit could be $2,796. As you work through your own calculations make sure to take into other costs such as travel or additional onsite costs charged by the organizer. Keep in mind that the bigger the comic con, the larger these numbers tend to be and vice versa.

Tip: Make sure to follow up with customers after the event via email and phone calls. Since you've already done the work to scan customers anything you sell during the follow up process is pure profit.

As you can see, if you are able to scan enough people at your event, it can be very lucrative- especially for only 2 days of work onsite and a bit of work following up. If you're not sure where to find out about these events sites like conventionscene.com and searches on facebook and twitter should you point you in the right direction.

Update from original posting: the importance of lighting

This section was added after the initial posting because one of the most overlooked items that Twindom's customer success team sees from new customers setting up at events is not having a good lighting environment. To make high quality 3D printed figurines at events like comic cons (where people care a lot about the intricate details of their costume) it's important to avoid environments with large shiny objects, large windows, shiny floors or skylights. Backgrounds that work well have lots of interesting things in them (paintings, signage, non-shiny furniture etc.) that are close to the outside of the full body 3D scanner. No matter what full body 3D scanner you decide to use for your 3D printed figurine business, lighting is something you want to focus on if you want produce high quality 3D printed figurines from mobile events. To see examples of 3D scans produced from full body 3D scanners with good and bad lighting, check out our Twindom Lighting Kit page. The Twindom Lighting Kit is an add-on we developed that customers can attach to their Twinstant Mobile full body 3D scanner to help counteract bad lighting environments.

Want to learn more about what you need for events?

Request 3D Photography Event Guide