Overall the convention is quite chaotic and disorganized; even the floor manager told me he had a stressful time getting communication with his layout and piping/draping team, and that they made the walkways in artist alley too narrow. I heard directly from several artists there that they were not given the type of booth they actually paid for and had to ask to be properly “upgraded.” The check-in to get access to the unloading dock was severely delayed. During load-out, we received papers to talk to convention workers for info but when I found one of the workers they had no idea about any of the check-out procedures which was shocking. There were no aisle or table numbers for artist alley, many artists ended up in the wrong spots because of this and obviously customers couldn’t find you again unless you circled your booth on their map.
July 8, 2022, 4:31 am
You will have to pay in full when you apply to the convention, and acceptance letters/exhibitor information is not sent until a week or so before the convention is held— not always ideal for out-of-towners.
I spoke to several artists about their income. One artist in a premium $2k booth earned just over the booth cost. Many other artists did not even make back the cost of table and gas. Every single artist I spoke to told me they did not intend to go back again next year. I personally left the artist alley with gross earnings of nearly $6,000. My table neighbor made $500 the whole convention, so clearly there are a lot of variables to consider when estimating success at this convention, but I don’t think location is one of them. For reference, I only do original art.
Overall, most artists were disappointed. Artists that do conventions full time year round were telling me they thought the economy is just too bad in an attempt to understand why their sales were slow. Meanwhile the convention staff told me they had a record-high attendance.
I’ll be going again because I thought the money I made was worth going again, but I didn’t get good impressions from anyone else I spoke with and I will be preparing myself for chaos and confusion. I will say, the lack of communication does not mean the staff didn’t make every attempt to be helpful— they very much did.