the dark dungeon continues!
The lighting issue was the same as 2017 and the staff didn't bother to figure out a better layout.
They did try and got a small number of lamps for some tables but most of the dark tables were still without any assistant. The most active staff member was socially awkward and although she would offer help, she was never really helpful at all. We asked for some lights and we were told they didn't have any left. which we let it slide since what can they do right? however, when I was having a private convo with another artist about going out to buy external lights, the staff had the nerves to tell us to DONATE the lights after the show for the con. No thanks.
the artist table price did increase from 2017 as well and it really shouldnt have.
Profits were down 40% from 2017 and last year was already very bad.
The artist alley hours are also stupidly long. It does not need to be open till 9pm.
Having some experience with mechacon, I left my table at 5pm on a friday. asking my hard-working neighbors who stayed till the end, apparently, the extra 4 hours made no difference.
The traffic flow of the artist alley hall was generally slow and pretty inconsistent depending on where you were placed. and attendees were not in a spendy mood at all the whole weekend.
Nothing is great about this con. tables were not that cheap. the con hotel was really expensive and apparently had some leaky rooms and bad AC with shotty WIFI. the staff was more annoying and useless than helpful. layout is just horrible.
basically, I am happy to say, I will never return to this con again.
Sleeping is a better option than this con.
-Overall, pretty meh. I'll preface my review with I am a crafter/plush maker.
-Venue: very nice hotel venue. Low star rating because the artist alley was put in the darkest dankest dungeoniest ballroom possible. Many artists were completely in the dark, and asked for more lights to be turned on. Hotel staff told us the outlets are actually turned off, but that was proved wrong...on Sunday. After 2 sales days in the darkness. The solution for the artists in total darkness was to move the entire artist alley forward 1 foot...thus moving other people into the dark areas. I was one of those that had 7/10 lighting that was downgraded to 5/10 lighting. Some friends were in 2/10 lighting, and maybe upgraded to 5/10 after the move. They also wanted every artist down at 8 am to pull this off. Laughable.
Staff: can't say too much here, I only really interacted with one staff member who was very kind but also very frazzled. I asked another staffer to keep an eye on my table while I used the restroom, and she wasn't sure if she was allowed to stand by it, or tarp it, or what. Ended up covering it myself while she sat 10 ft away and eyeballed it.
As for their online communication however, terrible and no different from 2016. 2 months prior to the con, I asked to be placed next to my friend. They curtly responded, " sorry, the deadline is over and we've been working on this a long time." They never posted a deadline.... The year prior I sent 4 emails asking about table placement and never got a response. Figured I'd give them somemore time in 2017.
Layout: As mentioned earlier, terrible. I seemingly lucked out and was in the very front row of the artist alley...but placed at the very end on an island. Customers on Sunday told me they had been looking for me since Friday, and I was in the very front. Hours would go by with no visitors. Overall terrible, and it looks like 2018 will have the exact same layout.
Attendance: coming from a Texan perspective, Mecha is small but that's fine. Hard to get an estimate on attendance since my area was so dead for traffic.
Affordability: Now this is my own fault, but I flew in (no transfers, no refunds) making my expenses around $600+. I give it a low rating because for a tiny con with the crappiest layout ever, the table shouldn't be increasing in price so quickly. For 2018, they are releasing tables in waves (for only ~120 tables) and increasing the price with each wave. I've paid $100 for a table at cons double its size, so i disagree with how much they are charging this year and next. Splitting hotel with 6 total people eased the gut punch of the other bills, though.
To close, everyone in my aisle/the alley/ dealers' (who were placed in our same dungeon) were miserable. I overheard a couple dealers saying they were down 60% from last year. Just don't do it man.