I’m currently getting ready for AnimeFest (my last Artist Alley of the season, as of now) but I also just got back from Mechacon- seriously doing back-to-back conventions is insane. I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off here trying to scramble together a whole convention’s worth of stock BUT I’LL MANAGE. In the meantime, have some Mechacon feels!
First things first is outfits. Here’s me at the con- I didn’t even wear Lolita because I was feeling sore and like I was getting all kinds of sick (thanks con season!!!) I got some new Tevas and didn’t bring any other shoes so I got to be a sporty goth all weekend wheee~
So set up was OK- we drove from San Antonio -> New Orleans (by we, I mean I drove, I have some shit to prove to myself apparently) and didn’t QUITE make it by setup time on Thursday which ended really early!! For a con that didn’t open until 10 the next day, 8PM is awfully early to end set up on Thursday night but WHATEVER.
Artist Alley badge pickup was rolled into the Gold Pass line which was fine, there was no wait, but we were 2 artists and our helper with ALL OUR STUFF wandering around this small hotel hallway. When artist friend and I went to get badges and left helper with all our shit, she was barked at to move it. She had like 2 giant suitcases (like fit-yourself-and-your-pet -dog-inside big) and several heavy bags of display material and product. They sure didn’t offer to help her, but they sure did force her to move it all 2 feet to the side and then guarded her, like…why? Never a good sign when the con starts off with power-hungry volunteers literally 10 minutes in 🙂
As for location, we were in back which was HORRIBLE. We weren’t just in the back, we were facing the back wall and had markedly less traffic than the rest of the alley at any given moment. Absolute shit, there’s not really a nice way to put it.
I ended up doing alright, but that was with longer hours than I normally put in. I will generally close up at dinner and spend some time chilling, and close by mid-day Sunday because I just sell out (I try and bring exactly what I think will sell with maybe a couple extra so I don’t ~totally sell out). But for this con I sat well into the evening and stayed till 5 on Sunday and still did not sell out. But the extra hours caused it to balance out in the end, and since I drove up with a bunch of friends and shared an air bnb, the margin was actually larger and it was fairly profitable for me. But I definitely had to push for the sales and cut deals and that kind of thing.
Other people, in particularly print artists, were not feeling great about sales, for what that’s worth. Based on sales, unless they move the Artist Alley to a bigger room, I’m really unsure as to whether I’d come back next year or not.
For the most part, I didn’t get to enjoy the convention- it was a pretty stressful weekend and we stayed in a meh Air BnB (I was stuck in a hardwood floor space half the size of a twin bed, because apparently a room for 3 = one enormous full-size bed and an air mattress in a room fit for an office desk at most) so I was exhausted and sore. I was pretty bummed because we initially came here to hang out with friends in New Orleans, and I got to see them a bit, but I certainly didn’t hang out like I got to at A-kon. I didn’t even get to see much of New Orleans so I’m planning another trip this fall/winter with my boyfriend because like all I did was Cafe du Monde which was great buT ITS NOT ENOUGHGHG
On the other hand, my best friend from childhood/my entire life HAPPENED to be in New Orleans on a spontaneous vacation with her fiance, so I was finally able to meet him and I saw her for the first time in a year or two and I cried a lot I was so happy to see them. It balanced out.
Protip: definitely park at Harrah’s parking garage and send your helper in to gamble away singles for 30 minutes at the Penny Slots to get free parking!!! We initially were gonna uber back and forth but this was way better.
Most of these conventions are a first-time deal for me since this is the first year I’m really trying to do this full-time, and I picked this con to hang out with my friends who mostly didn’t come, and the others I mostly didn’t get to chill with, so I’m really torn about next year!! I don’t know!! Ahhh!!! We’ll see. I have to get thru Afest and Christmas season first ksjdfsdf
(do eat beignets, so worth it. local pro tip: get them with hot cocoa and dip! even in the summer! very good)