We arrived on Friday to load in between the hours of 11-6, like we were told, only to be informed by the hotel staff that we couldn't load in until 8. Arrive back at the hotel that night at 9pm, only to wait in line for another hour and a half to "check in" with the convention staff. That check in was us getting our name written down on a piece of paper and him asking what we had paid for. The guy throwing this had no idea who we were, what we had booked, or even where we were going to go. He eventually took us to our area and told us we could set it up how we liked, and if we wanted more tables to take them from other nearby booths. We thought that was weird, but whatever maybe it was just a hiccup in set up or something and just shrugged it off. The next morning we arrived and finished our set up, at 10am we waited for the normal "flood" of people all coming in at once when the show opened. There was maybe 10-15 total. I'd guess the total attendance all weekend was less than 200.
Even the con attenders I spoke to were disappointed in both the location and the staff. On Sunday the con staff didn't show up until an hour and a half after it opened on Sunday, leading to our best turnout all weekend because they just came in for free (there was an absurd $20 price tag to get into this thing.)
We try to find something positive from each show we do. Well we are positive that we will never book another show ran by these guys. Even if their previous shows did well and were reputable, this one was a complete scam. We made back less than 1/3 of the money we spent to go to this, and we did better than most of the other vendors we spoke to.
TLDR: Vendors avoid, con goers avoid.
We finally did get the tables we paid for, but the show runners didn’t really care if any one got what they paid for. Hardly any traffic Saturday. Barely any sales. Sunday, all vendors arrive at least an hour before show time. We were all there, but they was NO con staff to be found. One of the celebrity guest went to the lobby and let con goers in. No con staff to sell tickets, so he said you get in free. I was out side around 12:30, and watched the show runner and his staff pull up. Finally. They all knew all vendors and guests were upset with them. I don’t think they had planned to come back today at all. This “Con” is not worth the time or the money. Stay far away. The only good thing about it was the nice people we met this weekend. Made sone new friends out of it.
By far the worst part of the event however were the attendees themselves, or lack thereof. Simply put this event was a huge let down. I've been to events a fraction of the size that had more attendees. There's no other way of putting it, people just didn't come to this event. Maybe it was the high ticket prices or poor location. I found myself spending more time drawing in my sketchbook then actually interacting with any people. Even when people did stop by, they simply didn't buy anything. Something that was shared by every artist that I asked (originally I thought it was just my table that wasn't selling anything). Saturday was definitely more lively due to the cosplay contest but for a two day event that boasted being one of the biggest in Tennessee it still didn't feel like it. Furthermore Sunday was just plain dead, with many artists and vendors packing up hours before the official end time due to poor sales.
While the affordability and the staff (the few I actually interacted with) were definitely the highlights, it still wasn't enough to offset the obvious disappointments. Either this was a bad year or the event organizers need to seriously reevaluate how this show is run in the future. As for me I will definitely not be coming back.