Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird is SUPER FUN! It's an enormous Art Fair and Craft Show, featuring the works of dozens of local, national, and international artists. It's also a really happenin' COMIC, GEEK, MUSIC, GAME, and ENTERTAINMENT CONVENTION, with all the awesome stuff such a thing entails. And the best part... ADMISSION IS ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
We've done eleven Oddmall events in Ohio so far (and two in Seattle) and the show keeps getting bigger and better every time, attracting vendors and visitors from all over the country. Last May we moved from the comparably small Clarion hotel to the immense and wonderful John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron. The move allowed us to expand the Emporium of the Weird to epic proportions, attracting over 7000 attendees and more than 220 vendors. This time around we're hoping to expand yet again. It's our first TWO DAY SHOW in Ohio and we have 275 booths currently on the map and space for more.
The next show is November 1-2, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. Oddmall is the winner of the Akron / Canton Hotlist Award for Best Arts & Crafts, in case that sort of knowledge is of interest.
Well, see, that's the thing. We moved from a relatively small and inexpensive venue to a very large and extremely pricey location. This has allowed us to make Oddmall the show we always wanted it be, with all the incredible crafts, art, games, cosplay, tattoos, live entertainment, and assorted awesomeness we can imagine. It was a BIG move and vital to the continuance of Oddmall.
We are absolutely committed to keeping Oddmall FREE. We will NEVER charge admission for Oddmall. We set out to make Oddmall the sort of show we would want to attend, and we don't want to pay to attend it, so you don't have to either. Comparable events charge upwards of $50-80 a day, but that's just not how Oddmall rolls.
Obviously, there are significant costs involved in running a show like Oddmall. Without disclosing the actual amounts, believe me when I tell you the venue costs, labor charges, advertising fees, and supply expenditures add up to A LOT. Of course, the vendors do pay for their spaces, but I'm not comfortable increasing their fees any higher than they are now, which are as low as I can make them and still make it worth our time to host the show. So, we won't charge admission and we won't pass the costs on to the vendors. What are we to do? What indeed...
Oh, I know! We could hold a Kickstarter campaign and offer people a bunch of great rewards and sponsorship opportunities to help defray some of the expense. Yeah, that's what we'll do. In fact, it's what we're doing right now.
First off, the funds raised through this Kickstarter will help us pay the monumental costs associated with holding an event of this size and offering free admission. Once the venue is paid off, a substantial amount will be spent on advertising, increasing public awareness and bringing more people to the show. We'll also use a chunk of the proceeds to stock the Oddmall gift shop with T-shirts, stickers, stuffed monsters, and all those other things in the Rewards section, as well as producing those things and shipping them to the Kickstarter backers.
Additionally, we have set a few Stretch Goals that might be of interest:
Stretch Goal #1 ($500): Expanded Trick or Treating
Trick or treating will be happening all day Saturday at Oddmall. If we reach this first modest stretch goal trick or treaters who visit the Oddmall Gift Shop will receive an Oddmall button or sticker along with their sweet, sweet candy or lame box of raisins (while supplies last). ATTAINED!
Stretch Goal #2 ($1000): Super Awesome Oddmall Halloween Party
This will be an Oddmall Halloween costume party on Friday night (October 31) at The Empire (a brand new club in Akron). All Oddmall vendors and their guests will be receive a free invitation! There will be live music, a costume contest, and all sorts of other super nifty jazz.
Stretch Goal #3 ($2000): Expanded Kid Cave
The Oddmall Kid Cave (sponsored by The Goddard School) is a great place for kids to hang out while their parents take time to shop and enjoy the various whatnots of Oddmall. Certified preschool teachers are on hand to entertain the kids with crafts, games, and other exciting jazz. If we raise $2000 or more, we'll expand the Kid Cave into a larger room (rather than the landing it currently occupies), which will allow the kids more space for their activities and assorted rambunciousnesses.
Stretch Goal #4 ($4000): Anime Theater
If we reach $4000 we'll set up a movie theater room showing anime and cult films during show hours. It'll be super fun and, as always, admission will be totally free.
Stretch Goal #5 ($6000): Oddmall Coloring Book
We'll make a sweet Oddmall coloring book, featuring art by world famous international superstar illustrator / super model Andy Hopp (that's me, hi). It will be given FOR FREE to the all the kids who come to Oddmall (while supplies last).
Stretch Goal #6 ($6,034): Potato Salad
Apparently potato salad is a thing people on the internet are into nowadays. Who knew... If we reach this goal there will be some Official Homemade Oddmall Potato Salad at the Saturday night party.
Stretch Goal #7 ($7,000): It's a secret...
I'll reveal this stretch goal and others as they approach.
Of course, we aren't just looking for free handouts. In addition to the whole FREE art fair, craft show, live entertainment, and pop culture con thing we have plenty of sweet rewards for our backers (including a chance to be a permanent part of the brand new Oddmall Trailer!).
Backers may either pick up their rewards at Oddmall (in the Oddmall Gift Shop) or have them mailed directly (domestic shipping is included at no extra charge).
You can nab any of these by selecting the appropriate reward listed on the right hand side of this page, or by adding the listed amount to any other pledge. Here they are:
This big sign, prominently displayed at Oddmall and on the Oddmall Ohio website lists the name (or business name or web address) of every single person who backs this campaign (as well as all of our vendors and sponsors).
Oddmall Sticker (+$1)
This official Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird Sticker features a big blue eyeball. There's also one with an Oddball on it. You can get extra stickers by adding $1 for each sticker to any other pledge.
Oddmall Balloon (+$1)
This balloon, decked out with a snazzy Oddmall logo and available in four colors (pink, orange, brown, purple), is only a buck. Add $1 to any pledge for each extra balloon.
Oddmall Postcard (+$2)
Here's a postcard featuring everybody's favorite character Boss Rob, showing off his giant paintbrush and bucket of Happy Tree paint. Add $2 to any pledge for each additional postcard if you are thusly inclined.
Oddmall Button (+$3)
These nifty 2" pinback buttons are decorated with the Oddmall eyeball. All the cool kids are wearing them. Add one to any pledge for just $3.
Oddmall Embroidered Patch (+$15)
A delightful 2" circular Oddmall embroidered patch can be yours by adding a mere $15 to any pledge.
Oddmall Mouse Pad (+$15)
It's an 8" circular mousepad featuring the Oddmall eyeball. It can be yours by adding $15 to any pledge.
Oddmall T-Shirt (+$20)
We'll feature at least two Oddmall T-shirt designs this year. For the low, low sum of just twenty clams added to any pledge you can nab one for yourself!
Oddmall Tote Bag (+20)
By popular demand, we've added a snazzy new Oddmall tote bag to the lineup. This has been just about the most requested item in Oddmall history and it can be yours for only $20!
Oddmall Knit Cap (+$25)
Is your head cold. Do you have an unsightly bald spot you want to cover (I do). Boy golly, do we have just the thing for you. It's a swell knit cap with the Oddmall logo on it. Not only will people find you sexier (and warmer), it will also look like you're sporting a third eye (because the Oddmall logo is an eyeball). How cool is that?
Super Cool Oddmall Cape (+$35)
Not only can you nab yourself a sweet handmade Oddmall cape, but you'll also be invited to participate in the official Heroes of Oddmall photo shoot! (picture coming soon).
Handmade Oddmall Oddball Plush Monster (+$45)
Krystal handmakes each one with love. They are large and snugglable and one-of-a-kind!
Trailer Logo (+20 and up)
We have this awesome new trailer that we'll use to haul all of our official jazz back and forth to Oddmall, Con on the Cob, and various art fairs, craft shows, and cons throughout the year. It's going to be covered in sweet, colorful graphics espousing our various endeavors. Certain portions of the trailer will be reserved for graphics showing off our amazing friends and sponsors (that's you). Starting at only $20 you can have your name, logo, or image affixed, in full color, as a permanent part of the trailer for all to see. The amount of space you get to cover is based on how much you pledge, as follows:
$100: 12"x12"$150: 8"x24"
You provide the artwork and we'll make the decals. If you'd rather have us do the art we can work that out too.
Program Book Ads
Oddmall's full color program book is handed out free to all guests (while supplies last). It includes maps, entertainment schedules, vendor lists, artwork, and other important information and snazzy jazz. It's also a great place to plop your ads and coupons. Just add the listed amount to any pledge to get yourself the ad or coupon you desire (you supply the art).
$25: Business card sized ad or coupon (2″x3″)
$50: Quarter page ad or coupon (2.75″x4.25″)
$100: Half page ad or coupon (5.5″x4.25″)
$200: Full page ad or coupon (5.5″x8.5″)
Vendor Booths (+$80 and up)
Oddmall offers three different vendor booth sizes (8'x3', 6'x8', and 10'x10'). You can nab one through this kickstarter, which is what I'd recommend if you also want to get your hands on any of our other rewards, or you can reserve one directly on the Oddmall website. Vendors get to choose their own booth based on the map and list found here. That means the sooner you sign up the more chance you'll have of getting the specific booth you want. If we run out of booths on that map we'll get more rooms from the convention center, so don't worry if it's getting full.
You may bring your own tables or rent one from the convention center by adding $10 to your pledge. If you want electricity please add $60 to your pledge (this charge is from the convention center, not us).
Note: The Oddmall Art Fair is reserved for vendors who are selling handmade items (including original art, art reproductions, jewelry, toys, plushies, costumes, etc...) created by the seller or a representative thereof. The Geek Expo is open to anyone selling anything cool (toys, games, books, costumes, art, just about anything...).
Special Instructions for Kickstarter Backers
If you nab your booth through the kickstarter please fill out the registration form as soon as you make your pledge so we can get you the booth you want. Just put KICKSTARTER BACKER in the section that says "Notes or Special Instructions". Click SUBMIT but then close the window when PayPal opens (please don't cancel your pledge after you reserve your booth, that would really mess us up).
Please visit the Oddmall website to learn more about our many sponsorship opportunities.
Risks and challenges
Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird (ohio edition) will happen whether or not this campaign is successful. We've done the show twice a year since May of 2009 and we've got the process pretty well in hand. This Kickstarter will help us make Oddmall as exciting and awesome as it can be, increasing our advertising presence, expanding our budget for products, decorations, and venue fees, as well as helping to spread the word and increasing awareness about something we are passionately proud to offer to the community (for FREE, if I may overstate the theme once again).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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