-Massive empty halls full of disgruntled artists who had literally no one to sell to.
-Many artists pack up and leave on Saturday, leaving tons of empty tables on what should have been the "good" sales day.
-the only sales most of us got were to other artists because... apart from a small handful of attendees, they were the only other people in sight.
This con is obviously making all of its money by lying about attendance, advertising to artists, and selling tables to them at a high price. I had never heard of this con before a representative approached me at another con I was selling at, and I'm not surprised considering they do absolutely no promotion for the con other than to the artists they sucker into buying expensive tables.
Avoid this convention at all costs, you will not have a good time, you will not make enough money for it to be even close to worth it. I'm honestly furious after seeing how they lied about attendance because now I can see how they've managed to stay in business the last few years.
a. Post a COMPLETE LIST of vendors and artist on the website so fans can get excited on who is at the show,
b. The vendors were too spread out. Had u used HALF of the space and only had ONE "Panel" (using that word loosely since most were dead empty) because no one could understand while two empty shows were running at once,
c. a food vendor who doesnt get people sick, I was lucky to spot the MOLD on the bread of the hot dogs I got on Friday and didnt eat them. Despite my warning ppl still ate there and hence the sick.
d. PROMOTE. PROMOTE. PROMOTE. For weeks I told the you via email and posts to highlight my studio (I sent bio and pics) as well as other artist. You said, soon. It became never.
e. Before, during and after NEVER did a promoter or staff come to my table to see what was up, if we needed anything, TO SAY SORRY FOR THIS DISASTER. Nothing. I have had promotors of shows where I made lots of $$$ come to apologize because more people didnt show. THAT is a professional. You are an embarrassment.
f. You had a group of artists BLOCKED by other vendors yet you never bothered to address the issue despite the contract stating a vendor cannot extend or block another. But for that, someone living and breathing would have needed to walk the venue and takes responsibility.
g. You didn't help vendors but were quick to force a vendor to remove a plastic tank because it violated the "weapons policy". What, u think anyone would feel threatened by a toy tank? To be threatened, all anyone had to do was walk up to the food vendor.
What I gather, you fleeced all the vendors to cover your costs and then half-assed the rest.
I STRONGLY suggest you reevaluate if this show should exist at all.
I for one will do my best to avoid any show under this leadership and like they say, a happy customer tells two people. An angry customer tells TEN.
Guess what, you have a LOT of angry customers.
They advertise this as a con with high traffic but it was utterly disappointing. Will not be returning.
In regards to the venue, I do many events at the Oaks Expo Center. It has more than enough parking and is located in an area where food, entertainment and hotel options are a plenty. Choosing this venue might be the best thing the event planners have done for this convention. I'm giving 4 stars based on the venue alone.
Layout was ok. It feels like the layout was designed in a way to make the space feel more filled than it really is. Panel "rooms" are just sectioned off areas around the perimeter of the convention hall. This means that in the center vendor/artist area you get a cacophony of the various panels/music going on in different areas of the convention. The "rooms" themselves are way oversized for the crowds they draw. Programs in the panel rooms barely drew a handful of people (maybe 5-7 people in areas with seating for 30+) and honestly feels like anyone would be given a time slot if they asked. I'm giving 3 stars because the layout is serviceable, but there's a lot of room for improvement.
Attendance was better in 2019 than in 2018, and that really speaks to how bad 2018 was considering 2019's attendance was still bad. Thy Geekdom Con has a wikipedia page where they publish their attendance numbers. Seeing their annual growth in attendance is what lured me in as a vendor for 2018. I checked back during the 2019 convention and saw that they reported 2700 attendees which is hilariously untrue. I had heard that some organizers count weekend passes as 3 separate day passes for inflating attendance count. I figured that no one would be that dishonest about something that would be glaringly obvious at a small convention, but it’s the only way anyone would be able to come close to saying that 2018’s attendance was 2700. I'm giving 1.5 stars because attendance definitely grew from 2018, but that bar was pretty low.
The cost of the booth space would be good IF the convention was drawing the crowds it claims to. But given the attendance, poor programming and limited special guests I feel bad for everyone who paid for space at this convention. I’m giving it 3 stars because the price isn’t unfair for the space you’re allotted and what’s typical for the venue. But unless TGC starts bringing in the crowds they claim to bring in then it’s a poor deal for the artists/vendors.
I saved the staff for last because there’s a whole lot to unpack here. My experience with them (which was echoed by other vendors I had talked to) is best described as “bi-polar”. Sometimes they’re pleasant and easy to communicate with, and other times they seem to have a poor attitude that they don’t hide well. The organizing team (which seems to be mostly family, Chris seemingly being the lead guy and then his parents) clearly play favorites with artist and vendor placements and are extraordinarily gossipy. I watched Chris go to a vendor (A) and start discussing issues with a completely different vendor (B). When asked by vendor A why Chris was bringing the issue to him, Chris told him that he thought they were buddies and was hoping A would say something to B instead of going to them directly. Vendor A would later tell me that he had no idea who vendor B is. In another case, a vendor had decided to pack up and leave early because over halfway through the second day it was clear the crowd was not his demographic. The mom came back and had a mild verbal confrontation with him right there in the aisle instead of asking him to a more private area to discuss. She took a combative approach telling the vendor he was unprofessional and such instead of asking why the vendor felt wronged and what they could do to help fix the situation. On the final day the mother even came to me, asked me how the weekend was going and got pretty defensive when I said that I felt attendance was poor and sales were weak as a result. I’m giving 1 star because they don’t seem interested in feedback or acknowledging that their convention is really more of an anime with some gaming convention as opposed to the multi-fandom convention they bill it as.
I prefer vending/attending “indie” conventions and want to see TGC and others like it succeed. But as of right now TGC needs a lot of changes/work and I’m not convinced the team behind it are capable of pulling it off.
Honestly, I had a whole day of no sales and a moments where I wanted to pack up on Saturday afternoon. The attendance was abysmal for such a big venue, the staff was nowhere to be found half the time and my sales were mainly from other artist because there were more artist than attendees. I lived in the area so I wasn't too mad about the money I lost vending there.
I like getting other artist/vendors' opinions and most of them made about the same amount as myself which was either barely enough to say the con was worth it or losing money. The Layout was at least clear and easy to navigate through and it was hard to actually miss anyone's table while walking around.
Guests who were coming in weren't looking to buy anything. Dealers/artists I've talked to did not do well overall, a lot of people didn't make their table back. I made my table back, but only by $30.
I made 99% of my sales on Saturday and Sunday was the slowest hell I've been through at a table. I sold one item and ended up doing two last minute commissions.
I would say that the people who attend this show are more into enjoying the panels and cosplaying rather than purchasing anything. Most of the artists in my aisle didn’t do well at all.
I will say there was a good balance of different artists and vendors, so the variety was nice. However, I do feel that this convention should have done much more advertising to bring people in. The convention has potential, but it needs to do more to bring a larger audience in.