Ohayocon

Ohayocon Review
Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 N High St
Columbus, OH 43215
January 10, 2020 - January 12, 2020 | Table Cost:
https://ohayocon.org/
(7 votes)
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability

What people say... 7 Leave your rating
Went pretty okay!
I was apprehensive because this is a NO FANART con. Original art only. My main seller has always been original art anyway so I decided to take a chance, and I'm pretty happy I did!

Tables were only 6ft long with a SHIT TON of space between them. Enough that con-goers often uses them as quick paths which I was not a fan of. I don't think it was clearly advertised how much space we'd get because I would have brought an extra table and a mannequin to display apparel on if I would have knowns. I really recommend that the con get at least 8ft tables so that 1) displays are less squished and 2) that space is better utilized.

Artist alley was shoved off to the left side, not really near the main entrance of the hall. I don't always expect aa to be front and center of course, vendors pay a ton more for their spots, but it was so far to the left and so stretched out (only really two long skinny rows) that people on the far left got way worse business and traffic since there was nothing to draw people over there other than con swap (which is never a huge draw at any con).

We were told we had to be 100% original, but there were quite a few people that got away with art containing copyrighted material or were selling fanart "under the table". This was kind of annoying since it was supposed to be an original art con. If your original art doesn't sell, maybe don't apply to ohayocon? It just leaves a sour taste in my mouth since there were 100% original artists that were dying to be taken off the waitlist. The staff needs to be a bit more observant but not much else can be done without having them also stalk social media, which would be a bit ridiculous. It didn't hurt my sales at all, but just something I thought I'd note.

The staff were okay, Emily was pretty helpful but the rest didn't do very much at all so I can't really say anything good or bad.

Friday- Slowest day of them all, but I think that's pretty typical. Mostly people scoping out the alley and deciding who to come back to on Sat and Sun. It was pretty dead for the first 2 hours but then picked up a bit.
Saturday- Great! Met lots of fans and had lots of people stop by the booth. Sales we only slow in the morning before noon (people have to wake up!) but were consistent the rest of the day.
Sunday - My best day. This was the day people bought the most large purchases (like $60+ per transaction). Lots of returning customers from earlier in the weekend and people that had stopped by 5+ times over the weekend to browse and say hi. There was no "mad last hour dash" like I typically see, but people knew Sunday was the last day and didn't want to risk me selling out.

As for what sold- I was pretty evenly split which was surprising. I sell apparel, prints, charms, and some other small items and while shirts technically did the best overall, it was only by a very small margin. I was pleasantly surprised since I thought original art would mean apparel would be the only thing to make money.

Generally people were very sweet. Creepers were few and booth barnacles even less. I met a lot of people genuinely happy at seeing my art and even if they stayed a minute to talk it wasn't painful or awkward like I've had at other cons. I made a pretty fair amount that made the commute from out of state worth it. I will say that artists at this con were SO SWEET. I've never had a con where I felt as welcomed and part of a community as I did here. I think the original art only made artists feel more vulnerable and open. I'm hopeful I've gained a few decent mutuals/acquaintances through this con.
January 14, 2019, 9:37 pm
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability
0
0
They lost my application... right after they sent me an emailing confirming my applicant number.
If anyone is interested in applying to Artist Alley, make sure you contact the staff throughout the process. I applied for artist alley the very first day they were available. I never got any sort of confirmation, or thank you email. After applications closed, I sent an email to the staff to get a confirmation that the application was received. I got an email saying it was and I got an application number. I assumed that was enough and I waited another month or so to hear the results. When I saw that I didn't make the shortlist I was disappointed, but I was motivated to try again for next year! And I was hopeful I would make the wait list. But after a few days I never got any sort of email; no rejection, no wait list, nothing. Confused, I contacted staff and there I learned that my application was "misplaced". The work that I put time into to be judged was never even seen, despite me knowing that I had an application number! This whole situation made me even more upset than if I had just been declined. But the fact that I had even reached out to get a confirmation from the staff and my work was STILL misplaced, has just been a very disheartening situation. It has made my first big convention experience very disappointing. I wanted to share my experience to potentially help any other artists avoid disappointment like me. And please, if you do decide to apply to the artist alley, make sure you are emailing constantly to KNOW that your application is making it's way through every step of the process.

Layout and attendance given 4/5 but those are N/A. I know the venue is very nice and the price tag isn't bad.
September 21, 2018, 7:59 pm
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability
0
1
First Time Tabling - Ever
Being that this was my first convention behind a table in general, I was very anxious about the entire situation. I had no idea what to expect, really, and the AA head was pretty overwhelmed with personal issues so she was not able to provide much info before the con started. However, in the end I feel I did very well, the atmosphere was very friendly, and the staff were above and beyond in watching tables for artists when they needed it and checking up on everyone every few hours to make sure we were okay. Security was tight and everyone was kind and helpful. Not many attendees were weird or rude about art, no one was rude to me about prices, but I know that wasn't the case for some return artists unfortunately, not sure why as I've never experienced the crowd here before.

There was NO fanart allowed, including anything copyrighted/trademarked, UNLESS it was A) commission artwork, or B) purely parody in the artist's own style. I felt that made the whole air feel very friendly and without competition. There was a huge variety in crafts included which was awesome. The jurying process for the show was done very well and without bias from what I would tell. I will definitely be applying again for next year's show.

As a bonus, I also got an autograph from the very sweet Monica Rial when she was briefly in the AA on Saturday, for my friend who is a huge fan and wants to also be a voice actor someday. The whole weekend was just very friendly!

Unfortunately a lot of the crowd was young teens, many of whom didn't have the best manners, and not many young adults/20-somethings, it hiked right up to middle age and older. I felt like that meant a lot of the crowd didn't have much money they had or wanted to spend.
January 16, 2017, 8:40 pm
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability
0
0
Appreciated the Rules
As an artists group who create their own art and comics, it was like breathing fresh air to come to a convention that does not depend on Fan Artists to fill it's AA. Granted, there is some Fan Art allowed, but it is required to be a lower percentage than any other AA we've ever attended. This, by itself, wasn't the only impressive thing about Ohayocon. The facility is pretty outstanding. The higher staff knows it's stuff, and the volunteers really need some training. The layout for the AA was nice, but being so divided from the rest of the convention made it hard to find, and therefore sales were low. But, overall, a good experience in the center of the country.
March 12, 2016, 5:24 pm
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability
0
0
Amazing space for original art, horrible staff.
I have been attending Ohayocon for the past several years and had my first time in the Artist Alley in Jan 2016. The con has always been the biggest and "best" in the area, but it's no secret that the staff are generally unhelpful and even rude. This is no exception with the Artist Alley staff. Not only were they behind schedule in getting the map/table placement, answering emails or responding on the facebook group, their information provided before the con was minimal at best. As someone who hadn't done the alley before, I was totally lost trying to figure out how to get checked in and set up. The main staff member in charge was rude through the ENTIRE weekend. From rude remarks while asking questions at check in, to literally walking over to us and telling us to hurry up closing down at night, complaining that we were "the last ones in here and we need to get out". Regardless, the sales were fantastic. As an artist who sells mainly original work I did the best I had ever done at a con up to that point. It was great to see people so excited about my original work vs fanart.
February 23, 2016, 2:39 pm
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability
0
4
Fantastic Convention
This was my first year attending Ohayo as an artist, though I had been attending the convention many years prior, and it was wonderful. The staff was amazing. I know the AA head was on her own the majority of the convention, but she always replied to my emails very promptly, and I never had any trouble with communicating with her. She was also very nice in person, and worked very hard to keep everything in AA as stress-free as she could for us. Though our tables were given out only a handful of days before the convention (as well as some of the information we needed), which caused a bit of concern, the overall check in was very easy, and went over smoothly.

Thankfully the AA wasn't part of the construction on the Hyatt. I have always loved the venue, and hope it will improve with all of the work they are doing on it! There was an issue where the escalators were broken on Sunday, and many of us were worried about sales as a result. However, the issue was resolved very quickly, and before the AA opened!

I was up against the glass side of the room, and it was bit shaky (I had a tall booth, which meant my grids were shaking the entire time anyone was in the room, but they never fell over, so that's a plus!) The b biggest issue I faced with the layout was that one of our neighbors never showed (and the table was never sold). Due to the location (aka the view from the AA of the Dealer's Room), we had a lot of trouble with people coming behind the empty table (and, therefore, into our space) to take pictures/look over despite not being allowed to do so. The AA head even put up chairs, and pulled the table out to try to deter people, and people still moved/climbed over the chairs. We felt awful for her, and tried to keep people out by blocking the table, but no matter what we did, people still came back behind our table. It was really only a problem because, obviously, all of our valuables (lockbox, whatnot) were behind the table with us, so we had to be very careful about it. Otherwise, the layout is very nice, and I hope con-goers will understand why they aren't allowed behind the tables in the future!

This is the most I have ever made at a convention before in terms of profit, and we also stayed at a hotel down the street, so we saved quite a bit of money on the room.

Overall, the convention was fantastic, and staff was amazing!
February 15, 2016, 4:05 pm
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability
0
0
Really enjoyed
This was our first year doing Ohayocon.

Hotel: We stayed in the Hyatt Regency that was connected to/part of the convention center. It was a very nice hotel, the elevators were of course crowded during the con, but not as bad as other cons I've been to. Sharing with 4 people the hotel ended up only being about $150 per person for 4 nights so not bad. One of the problems we had was the hotel bar, because drunk people were everywhere and our next door neighbors were being loud and shouting until 6am. We had to call the front desk twice before they got reasonably quiet. There were also a lot of people wandering around with cups of beer in the convention itself which was kind of odd.

Food: There's a Bruegger's Bagels that no one apparently knew about because it was never swamped even when it was morning on Saturday. So we always had good coffee and brekky very quickly, no lines. North Market is just up the street, and it's this great indoor market with lots of stalls. A couple really great bakeries (one had macarons!) and some great affordable lunch especially if sharing with a friend. The convention center also has what is basically a mall food court, with Asian-style places, pizza, the works. So if you don't have time to go outside you can still get food. A little expensive but not going to break the bank. If you end up with enough money to splurge there's a great burger joint right across the street from the con center that has crazy things like elk and boar burgers. It was amazing. Don't bother trying to get delivery to the hotel. All of the delivery places had terrible ratings and the one Chinese takeout place we finally settled on because we were so hungry was super salty and not good.

Artist Alley: They artist alley is set up very differently from other cons I have been to. It's fairly small and overlooks the dealer’s room. I have a terrible sense of direction so I had a hard time finding the alley. My friend had better luck with navigating the hallways. They had dots on the floor to navigate con-goers to different areas, but I didn't see any for the artist alley. I think it could have benefited with some signage pointing the way throughout the convention. You only ended up in the AA if you really wanted to find it, which means we missed out on random wanderers more than we would have at other cons. That said the setup was really nice. We had a 6-ft table with about 2-3 feet between tables so we didn't have to skootch out from behind a bunch of other people to get out. It also meant we could pop out from behind the table and talk to people without it being weird, and restock/organize the table. Our table was right against the glass overlooking the dealer’s room so it was pretty neat to be able to see all the people milling about down there. I had very low stock for this con so I didn't do so well. I think if I had had more variety of things I would have done better. My friend did very well, made back all expenses (including hotel, table, and flight) and then made about $1000 over that, which for us is pretty good.
Overall a very nice con, lots of people from all over, especially college and high school crowd. I would definitely go again.
February 6, 2016, 9:07 am
Overall
Venue
Staff
Layout
Attendance
Affordability
0
0

Leave your rating