1801 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
November 27-29, 2015 | Table Cost: $90/$170
Staff was honestly impossible to differentiate between volunteers. Were the people coming by every hour to ask if things were alright staff or volunteer? I have no idea, but it was unnecessary to have it be such a regular thing, and it was especially upsetting when our team had an incident early on the first day that could've compromised public safety yet no one was sent to deal with it as we were promised. Oh right, did I mention we got word back on our tables and placements on an extremely short notice and only after someone publicly complained? Any prior messages went either unanswered or answered things we hadn't even asked. It was incredibly stressful to talk to anyone.
The event really couldn't be held accountable for the attendance, and there was some speculation that the limited attendance was due to the sheer size the event was taking up without actual panels or activities to make use of it all... but it really didn't help the event was on the weekend of Black Friday and Thanksgiving. I've heard this is because they made a deal where they have that weekend for the first two years and more say after that point, but it was honestly the worst time for a con new to the area. There was barely any flow in or out of the artist alley at any given point, you saw the same 40 people all day, not including your fellow vendors. People made use of their time though. Many vendors brought homework, games, or art supplies to kill the mass amount of nothing after the first day. Sadly many vendors didn't make much profit, if even break even from what I heard around the room.
Here's my "favourite" part of the entire ordeal. The layout. The first day we come into the venue and, well... try to apply the saying "packed like sardines" to an artist alley and there you have it. But with a HUGE walkway right down the middle of the room and not so many artists or vendors. Thankfully after the first day we were allowed to move our tables (not that anyone told us-- there was just tape on the floor and we assumed) but placement was still awful for a good lot of people... I often visited the dealer's room for a friend I'd made during the weekend, yet I failed to realize until maybe the second day of visiting him that there were tables I hadn't even seen on that side. Because they were facing the wall with nothing along the wall to give the slightest hint anything was back there.
Unless there's large change after last year, I do not plan on attending again.