I don't know French so I must be very lucky that the people I met there were able to speak some English or were willing to communicate with me. The language barrier isn't enough to make me stay away from this con. That said, of course it's always a plus to understand more languages.
Badge lineups were always bad .. my friend lined up right when it opened on Thursday, so they were lucky to wait like 15 minutes? I waited over an hour both times. I don't understand why we had to get our badge in the regular line, then pick up the artist ribbon in a second line. I think I'm just going to go with the badge mailing option from now on if it's available. I do like the new RFID badge though.
In my recent year, sales far exceeded my expectation, especially with everyone warning that it's not a very profitable con. But despite paying for my own hotel, traveling from out of province and the table fee (over 1k in total) I still profited by the second day. My table location was in the back but I was in a corner spot. My work is also largely anime focused, but I made works of my favourite niche game that seemed to get a lot of buyers. I heard not everyone had the same experience so it may very well depend on the work.
Staff interaction was seldom but pleasant enough, namely the ones who went around offering zip ties to secure our cash boxes from theft.
The con itself is also enjoyable, with good guests and concert tickets that are only $15. The area is also conveniently located near subway and food. So in the end I had a super positive experience!
-Crowd was super nice! I had a talk with all my customers and they really were supportive!
-Gained quite a few followers after the convention, some even asked me what merch I'm bringing next year lmao
-I had so much fun. So much.
-Staff was super nice! Way better than anime north.
-You'll definitely break even if your art is decent AND you're from the area.
-Didn't break even. I was very close however. I was about 30 dollars short. Considering this was my first time AND the added expense of being an out of province artist I did pretty darn well I think.
-I was stuck in the very last row. Literally facing a wall. I think if I was in a better spot I would have made a profit.
-You don't get to choose where your table is. Application was very competitive. I was put on the wait list even though I camped out and submitted the application 3 minutes after it was up.
Despite what others warned in previous reviews I've never had customers trying to bargain with me. In fact they told me to raise my prices LOL.
The con goers were all super friendly! I had a ton of fun and I would go there just for the people. If you're profit oriented then it might not be a good convention for you.
Popular anime stuff sells a lot more. Most of the stuff at my table were niche series but despite that I still managed to almost break even.
All in all a very fun convention! Good for the soul, not for your wallet or if you're from out of province and doesn't have a huge following.
I've been going to Otakuthon for over five years now, and my first time tabling in the artist alley. I live in the area, so this Con is incredibly practical for me. Getting there is easy, there's a metro station right in the Palais des congres. You're in Chinatown too, so you're gonna have some pretty good food (and some good bubble tea from L2). I can't say much about people who are out of towners on costs of transportation/hotel fees, but if you live in the area, it's definitely a good con to attend.
Tables are well priced if you plan on tabling with someone else, as I did. I can't say much for solo, but I know the person next to me did fairly well (better then I did, in fact). The layout on the other hand is a bit of an issue, while I per say am used to it, I know it can be incredibly hectic to walk through the entire scope of the hall. Still, the exhibition hall is wheelchair friendly. I can't really dissect layout too much, because this is really only my second con. Just know that it's fairly repetitive in nature, and there are no weird layout things going on.
Staff was okay for the most part, I barely even saw them during the convention, apart from the one time they were warning us to watch out for thefts. I didn't have many issues during my time at the convention, really, and didn't have much of an issue with staff. Still, they did their job for me, so I guess I can say they were okay.
All in all, it's a fairly decent con. I'll definitely go back because I know I can make some profit (not much, but still okay). If your art style is distinct like mine, you probably won't make much of a profit. More anime-esque styles do better then none-anime like styles. Knowing English and French is a must. A lot of con goers will either speak only French, only English and on the rare occasion both. I'd say go because it's a fairly nice experience. Again, I live in the area so it's a fairly good venue for me to attend, but if you know you do fairly well at other cons, then I would recommend it. If you know you probably won't make much of a profit, then don't, risk of not making any profit and having more on the expenses side. The city is still nice, and it's just a generally nice atmosphere to be in, it's easily accessible, wheelchair friendly, and has a huge attendances (~22200 in 2017).
Even though I answered every document very early, staff lost some of the papers and had me resubmit them again, which ended up with me being put at a table in the very far back end of the alley where there's the least traffic. and PLEASE don't put tables at the end of the aisles! Many cons avoid doing it since attendees zigzag through the lines and these tables tend to get half or less of the traffic "in-alley" tables do, which is very unfair for the poor artists who end up on these tables. And please review your organisation. Having people need to resubmit forms they already sent weeks ago, especially if the original message also contained a question which you replied to, is extremely unprofessional and annoying.
Getting our passes was an hour long and severely reduced our setting up time since I could only go after work. At first they said it would be in the regular line, then guests line, and in the end it was the guests line but we had to go through a second line at another counter to get out artist ribbons..? Staff were very nice, but severely lacked any kind of training and had to learn everything on the spot, poor them. This evidently strongly impacted waiting times.
Attendees were very nice and definitely seemed to prefer small items over bigger ones. I sold out on some postcards and sold 2/3 of my charms. Speaking French is very important since many speak very little English if any, but I was fine since I know both.
Big prints are hit or miss, but if people like them they go reasonably well. Everyone was very kind and friendly, the metro station is directly in the building, the congress center is right next to chinatown + dozens of fast food restaurants and at least two banks, so you have easy access to pretty much everything you might need! Tables are somewhat expensive, but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't turn a profit so all is good in that aspect.
The city and venue is very nice, right off the subway.
I had an issue with an artist in artists alley who overtook my floor space, broke the height limit, and took over an abandoned table... The con did nothing about it after I reported it! If you want a premium table pay extra! Stop ruining the spirit of artists alley!
tables are getting really expensive for nothing.
If you only speak English, that might hurt your sales. Montreal is a primarily French city and most of the attendees will address you in French. For me this was fine as I'm bilingual but my table neighbors struggled at times.
The venue is very nice and the location is really great but it may not be worth the trip for long-distance out-of-towners.
Now for the convention itself:
This year that I went the organization for the artists was truly frustrating. I lined up with my table partner for over an hour to get our passes (I didn't know we had to get our passes separately, so I had to line up again after she already got hers..) This left us with only 30 minutes to set up. At previous cons I've been to getting the passes should only take 20 minutes max.
They need more signs because it took me a while to actually find the entrance...This year they placed all the popular artists together so most of the traffic went to them. I walked around and was astonished at the difference in traffic. Our side of the room was pretty empty while the other side where the popular artists were had many people.
Good amount of people came to the con, but felt like many of them didn't want to spend too much money. Majority of people bought small things only. Also, was surprised that some of them could not speak English. I had to make a French sign with the prices and everything. It's a bit hard to communicate with some people if you don't speak French.
I came from Toronto and took the bus which was really cheap ($60 roundtrip). The only expensive thing is the hotel, but other than that it's not too bad.
I made a decent profit despite these issues. It's definitely not a con to make serious money at, but it's worth coming just to see Montreal. As I said before it's a really great city with nice people and food!