21000 West Ten Mile Road
Southfield, MI, 48075
February 27th, 2016 | Table Cost: $0
First off--the college venue. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, perfect! Very popular and easygoing for cosplayers of all ages, and even allows for those on campus to get a feel for the con. However, there were many issues with how this venue was utilized as far as the layout was concerned. While the "cafeteria" area near a main stairwell was where 70% of the action was, the REST of us were put into a dark hallway (think of a U shape with the ends leading back to the cafeteria) as well as small rooms with more artists inside. I was rather unlucky, as for some reason they decided to put 2 artists in with a cosplayer and 4 other promoting conventions. No offense to them (they were quite lovely to converse with), but those looking in only saw 2 tables to visit, and more often than not ended up avoiding our room altogether if they weren't interested in meeting the cosplayer or learning about the conventions. Did that pull away from my profit? YES. About halfway through the convention everyone tabling that room left, leaving me alone, seeing as not that many people were coming in. Meanwhile, when I visisted the cafeteria, people were EVERYWHERE! Attendance is NOT the issue here--it's the layout. Though for those who are going to apply next year (which you should 100%), they have promised to eradicate this issue entirely, and move everyone into the cafeteria (since we could all fit anyway).
After everyone left my room, I ended up inquiring about moving my table, since some artists never showed and some free ones were available in the hall outside where traffic was! Staff said I could...but when I asked for assistance (I'm a 1 woman ship ladies, gents, and folks)...staff was silencio. I ended up being offered help by another ARTIST! (<3 this community) Was I glad I could move? Yes! Was I upset that the staff seemingly ignored this issue? Yes! But ultimately, I understand that things can get busy. Still, a vendor should never have to move their table because of an issue caused by staff, and even THEN have to move it by themselves (or in my case, assisted by a lovely artist).
Once I was moved and situated, I noticed a significant increase in profit, but by then the increase was still minimal. Did I make enough to come back? Absolutely, and I will--this con is free, and the staff have taken our input to heart and promise to make changes next year, which I hope to be apart of! I met many other artists (and even recognized some friends from past conventions with the help of their discord server), and even got to make people smile w/ my Yuri DDLC cosplay too.
TLDR: They are working on improvement, and have a lot of great stuff planned! GO! It's definitely worth it.
The atmosphere was nice, I was in significant unexpected pain but never felt like I wanted to leave to handle it at home, the atrium itself is BEAUTIFUL, and I got to see some artist friends again that I met at Washi Con, as well. ♡
I did have one issue after packing up where a student and his friends were essentially stalking me until I could get picked up...they wouldn't take no for an answer and followed me and kept trying to talk to me. That is in no way the con's fault, I just wish there had been more than only 1 security guard in the whole building. Even with the occasional small pack of students walking through, it didn't feel very safe because of that, and if I were to attend again I would definitely need to figure out transportation that would arrive on time.