What an absolutely delightful convention. Seriously, it was a breath of fresh air from other conventions I've attended. 2021 was the first Kumoricon I've been to and I sincerely hope I'm able to attend more. The artist alley was organized, tables were clearly labeled, and may I say the shining stars of this convention were the staff. By far, out of every single convention I've attended across the United States for the past several years, the staff at Kumoricon was the best. They were helpful every step of the way, each person I spoke with for information not only had the answers to my questions, they offered to walk both my luggage and me to where I needed to go. They even had a table you could go ask for emergency supplies, like tape or zipties for your setup.
Maps were clear and abundant, aided by the venue having huge halls that were easy to spot. The staff was careful about COVID protocol and at no point did I feel unsafe. The food options were all right, there was some food provided in the hall, but if you don't like those options, you might have a bit of a walk to find something you like outside of the convention. However the staff provides a helpful list of nearby food options in their welcome packet.
Attendance was great. It was likely bolstered by people wanting to attend from 2020 being skipped, but regardless, turnout was good. Even as an out-of-state artist, I was able to make a nice profit. The autograph section was next to artist alley which also helped our numbers because the staff would announce whenever an autograph session was available, so people could hang out in artist alley before or after each session if they wanted to.
Whether you're local or not, I'd say this convention is worth it as an artist. It was not a cheap convention to attend mind you, so take precautions in planning out your travel expenses, including potential rideshares.
December 31, 2021, 8:46 pm
big space, small crowds
Although the layout in 2017 was better, there just wasn't enough people or money to go around. Conventions these days have a bad habit of inviting too many artists to get more money from table costs - naturally, this stretches the con-goers dollar thin, resulting in less business for everyone. Didn't talk to a single artist who had a good Kumoricon this year. Reactions ranged from "meh" to straight up bad. I'm local so I was able to drive here, but if I had paid to fly to this convention I would have been very displeased. I did half the business at Kumoricon that I normally do elsewhere.
Business aside, everything else was pretty good. The venue is nice, parking is cheap, the staff is organized and attentive, and I think the layout would work if there wasn't so much empty space that caused bad flow of people traffic, and there was an unfavorable ratio of booths to attendees. But there just aren't enough people coming to Kumoricon. Why I do not know, perhaps it's the time of year as the weather is more gloomy, but you'd think that wouldn't stop Northwesterners from going anywhere. As far as PNW cons go, Kumoricon needs a lot more attendees to be a show worth going to if you're not nearby.