300 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91101
September 5-7, 2015 | Table Cost: $40
The table was easy to get, maybe because the other artists saw how empty it was the year before when they changed the date and the venue suddenly. I was the second table from the entrance and there were probably around..14 tables? so my "good" table location didn't really matter.. I got a few commissions but really bad sales overall. If I'm ever coming back, I'm getting a half-table.
I also visited vendor areas where people actually paid more than AA to sell their handmade lolita apparel and their businesses were doing bad as well.
The layout of Pasadena Convention Center is slightly weird too.. you have to walk across two buildings when there is so little going on in each building. And the lower floor in one of these buildings was being used for another event at the time. Maybe they'll do better when they host at a place actually within or stuck to a hotel. I heard a lot of past attendees used to come to party at the con hotel before they moved.
Full disclosure - they moved that dates back to November this year which might be better for attendance and sales - this review is about last year's PMX (2015).
I do a lot of conventions in a year - I did about 20 this year - so I've been to conventions that are similar to PMX in attendance. I went in not expecting too much (like the previous reviewer said, it's a little unfair to compare it to AX because of the sheer size of AX compared to local cons like PMX). But, I've been told by everyone around me that PMS is a decent con if you're a local. "Don't go expecting lots of money, but you'll still make a profit" seemed to be the consensus.
Well, last year it was more like "Don't go expecting money" period.
The date and venue move really hurt the con a lot. The convention center and the surrounding area is really nice, but the con was SO empty. The AA was small but even with less competition, it was very hard to sell because there was no one to sell to. I've been to smaller local cons like ALA and Anime California - PMX 2015, by far, had the lowest amount of attendees I've seen.
On top of everything, the AA was in a location with little to no cell service. As soon as you stepped outside of the room you were fine, but otherwise it was pretty terrible. I actually saw artists stand in the doorway trying to process their Square sales because they couldn't access the internet at all otherwise. Most of the artists I've spoken with did pretty poorly. I'm in agreement with the other reviewer that accessories and jewelry in general seemed to move better than prints.
Setup also started a lot later than we were told and it felt poorly organized. I also noticed some proxy-sellers even though proxy selling is not allowed according to their AA contract. Generally, their tables go up for sale way too close to the actual event date as well. I wish things on the administrative end were better taken care of.
Hopefully, the attendance issue will be fixed by moving the date - but I personally am skipping out on this year to see if the issue on the administration end (like starting set up on time and actually enforcing their rules) have improved.
First off, getting the tables is the usual fare when it comes to AA -- it runs out really fast. The system was weird, but simple enough that I got a table without any hassle. Also, badges are separate from the table, so you'll have to cough out more money. Getting the badges went without any problems. Though, I'm pretty forgetful, but the AA manager said something that put me off, both me and my friend thought she was a little rude. Probably just us, she seemed nice after though.
The day of the con, attendance wasn't as big as AX (bad con to compare it to, I know, but it's the only other one I've been to). Barely any traffic except for specific times when groups of friends would all come in and all that. Me and my friend just talked most of the time, doodled or talked to the tables beside or behind us. In my opinion, the venue was just too big of a place for the con, in relation to attendance. When I visited exhibit hall across from us, omg it was super empty. But I only went there one time, but that was the first time I've ever been to one and not see it super cramped.
The layout of AA was just very cramp. Our chairs are almost back to back, barely any space but I'm so used to small spaces, so that didn't bother me. It might bother other people. Also, AA was across Exhibitors, so that lessened traffic but hey, more space I guess.
As for the price, the table was $45I believe, and the badge was $90, so the whole thing cost me about $135. Cheaper than AX's $300+ tables, but because of AX's attendance, I made a profit there while at PMX, I only made back the table cost, not the badge but I was okay with that. I think this con is more for cosplayers than anything. As for programming, I didn't bother going to any of them because none piqued my interest, and I had to be at the table at all times so my friend wouldn't get bored.
Overall, really bad place to make a profit as foot traffic isn't as big, but if you're selling clothing, jewelry, accessories or cosplay stuff (forgot to mention but I mostly have prints), might be a good con to target.