Venue was overall OK, we were put in a pavillion for the con, which was twice the size of the convention hall itself. IMO it would've been better if the artists had a hall NEXT to the exhibition hall or something, to assist with traffic in the convention center, or just some where that seemed to be more explicit. I do understand why artists were placed as they were though. The venue during the day was dark while in the evenings it got significantly brighter.
Staff was very responsive, and easy to talk to as well as helpful when it came to artists issues, the only complaint I had was with the security not allowing artists to bring food to their tables during day 3. I feel like that was a major sense of miscommunication between staff and security, which again I feel will be fixed for next year.
The layout in my area of artist alley was fine, there was a lot of walking space between vendors as well as behind the tables, that is something I am really happy about because if you want to compare ALA to AX, it's a lot more roomier than being packed like sardines.
Attendees were very nice and enthusiastic when it came to the art work, however I felt like my style was not ment for the ALA crowd really, a lot of younger kids who were on board on the newest trend, so if you want sales regarding them, consider the fact that most of these attendees are kids with their parents and don't have much of a budget. However, get something that's kid friendly and small knickknacks so they can afford the item price! Bring ribbons, ribbons make the world go round with this con, since it was my first time going, I didn't expect the ribbon hype to be as big as it is.
Affordability is fine, it's the typical California convention price which is 200$ for an artist alley table, so it's not too bad for a growing con!!
I figured that the attendance was a bit skewed because most of the attendees went to Anime Impulse instead, considering the fact that passes for the whole weekend was about 40-60$ or so and majority of people came to this con to watch the cowboy bebop anniversary :>
Layout: The usual setup of rows of tables next to the Dealers Hall area. Lots of space behind tables for artists to use, and bathrooms were close by. The ratio of artists to attendees seemed good, but people who were way in the back of the AA or the end of the rows didn’t have the good fortune of getting all the spillover from the Dealers Hall.
Staff: Great! Well-organized, friendly, helpful, informative, and they kindly gave water to the artists throughout the weekend. I definitely felt valued as an artist and have nothing but good things to say about the staff for both the AA and the con in general.
Attendance: Very friendly/nice and happy to see all the art, but also very young and not willing to spend money. The traffic flow was pretty steady over the weekend, but sales were NOT. To be honest, these are the worst my sales have ever been at any con. Attendees were very complimentary and would stop to browse at my table and say how happy they were to see things that I had/that they really loved my products, but they wouldn’t buy anything. I only sold my small, low priced filler items and virtually no large prints. I also had more people complaining about prices than I’ve encountered at other cons, and I heard other artists say the same. If your main products are all low-cost, small items, you will probably do very well, but if you’re a print artist relying on sales of large prints, you might be in trouble depending on your style/location in the AA.
Affordability/overall: I would say if you’re local and have no expenses outside of the table/a split hotel room, and you have lots of low-price items, it’s worth your time, but if you had to travel from out of the area and have more expenses, it’s definitely a gamble.