The Shirt Off His Back

At last year’s Loscon I saw Larry Niven wearing his 2005 Marcon t-shirt. On the back it listed maybe a dozen different guests with a category/definer for each. I know nothing about contemporary Marcons beyond what it said on this shirt, but I wanted to report that my immediate reaction was “These guys look like they’re making a sophisticated effort to reach out to as many segments of sf fandom as they can find.”

Fans generally acquire con t-shirts at the con, so impressive as I found this one¬†to be it probably wasn’t a component of Marcon’s pre-convention advertising.

A lot of committees start talking up their program participants well in advance, list them on websites, send e-mails to lists, etc. to attract interest. Maybe shirts could be another part of that strategy. That takes a certain amount of money, so it might be more practical for a large regional or a Worldcon. Think of a lovely pre-con shirt to be worn by Worldcon committee, given to patron friends, available for general sale, etc., as one more creative to get the attention of fans at other cons and start them thinking about attending yours.

2 thoughts on “The Shirt Off His Back

  1. It is very easy to set up an account and sell such shirts from CafePress.com. Also coffee cups, notebooks, bags, and many other items. You can add a small profit to each item to raise money. This where we have “The Shenadoah Spy” affinity merchandise for fans of the book. The hard part is the art and getting that correctly formatted for uploading.

  2. Heh. In fact we had a t-shirt made last month to promote our new convention, SFContario, which is being held this November. We got a good response at our party at ConFusion and we got some talk from wearing the shirts last weekend at Capricon. We’re looking forward to showing off the shirts at other conventions throughout the year. For one-color printing, Offworld Designs was able to give us a minimum order of twelve shirts at a reasonable price.

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