I'll attend larger conventions all over the US, but I'll always come back home to Tsubasacon. I've been attending Tsubasacon since 2007, while either being in the artist alley myself or helping my mom out since about 2010.
This is a great smaller con where the attendees and staff welcome everyone with open arms as if they've known them their whole life. They used to be in a smaller conference center, but have expanded into the full Big Sandy Superstore Arena within the last few years. Originally, the artist alley was in a long, tiny, crowded hallway that led to the dealers room. Now, it is in the arena with all of the dealers. I personally don't feel that much has changed with the amount of people who will see your table since it's just as accessible as before, however I will say that I love all of the extra room in the arena and the fact that you don't have to pack all of your stuff up every night due to them actually closing and locking that area overnight. The Tsubasacon AA attracts lots of crafters as well as print artists, so it really has a wide variety of artists. They also allowed artists to set up on Thursday night with the vendors, which was really convenient and thoughtful in my opinion.
As for sales, my 2016 year was dwindling. All of the artists I talked to agreed with me that it was really odd, given the fact that most of the time the artists make tons of money at Tsubasacon because of the smaller dealers room. My thought is that since there were other major conventions going on at the same time, as well as another local convention, that could have hurt the amount of attendees that were there to spend money.
My few complaints include the fact that there are only two hotels in downtown Huntington. The rest are quite a driving distance. With the convention growing, they have already more than outgrown the two closest hotels and it is begging to be moved to an area with more places to stay. If you are planning on doing the AA here, get a hotel room way before the AA applications even open to guarantee you a room.
All in all, I love Tsubasacon, and it really is a great convention to check out and table at despite 2016 not being the best year for sales. The staff are great, the venue itself is spacious, and the AA is wonderful every year.
May 8, 2017, 10:56 am
My favorite convention!
I have been going to this con since I was a middle schooler and have participated in the artist alley for three years now. This is seriously my favorite anime convention. It is a smaller con but recently in it's most recent year upgraded to a much larger space. The artist alley staff are the nicest and most helpful that I've ever met. I didn't realize just how helpful they were until I started going to other AA's and meeting some not-so-helpful staff. The dealer room isn't very big here, so artists really make a big profit even though its a smaller con. I have heard some people don't do very well some years but every year I always make fantastic sales. Only negatives I could give, would be that the lighting in the dealers room/artist alley was not great, and the larger venue with a smallish-con leads to sometimes there being dead moments in the alley, especially with the artist alley being within the dealers room.