A-kon 29 (2018) : Artist Alley Review

Oops, I didn’t meant to go so long without posting, but let’s face it: it’s been a long, bad summer. But luckily, I still remember A-kon and boy was it a whirlwind!

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Since Momocon, I had begun taking iron supplements and although I was feeling much better by A-kon, I was still getting SO TIRED. I’m doing better now. And as I said in my last year’s post, A-kon is like friend con so my heart always feels full at this con, which is important to note in any review.

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Logistics

It was simultaneously easy and frightening to set up for this con. A few months prior, I found out I had been selected to have a corner spot. This was terrifying- and though I appreciate having MORE than twice the space most people had, I don’t know if it’s a fair process. I like the selection method, but I do think that there should be an additional cost and waiting list organized around this option.

That being said, I checked in and received my badge with ease (as I had in the past) and made my way to my table to find it was not just 2 regular artist alley tables stuck together- one of the tables was 2 feet longer. This meant my tablecloth was NOT big enough, resulting in an emergency Walmart trip.

My table was in the third or fourth row from the door- I think this helped foot traffic. I was also facing the vendor hall which inevitably helped foot traffic. More on that in the next section. We also had PLENTY of room behind our tables, as well as access to power. Being able to charge your phone throughout the weekend is sort of a game-changer- you just feel a little bit more human.

With that comment about behind-the-table space, we did find the alley very difficult to navigate from an attendee perspective. Artists were divided up into huge square blocks, and the lettering/numbering was a bit confusing. We had a hard time remembering booths and finding friends. I think the interior rows of the alley got really busy and crowded and made it all the more confusing.

I will also say, I dont think the AA staff were as attentive as they were in the past- I do always notice at a con when staff doesn’t come by even once to check on you, but with so many helpers at this con it wasn’t a huge deal (for me). Final logistical comment goes to food, which is difficult to obtain at A-kon now that we’re at the Ft. Worth con center. I don’t remember exactly what I ate but it was not good nor plentiful.

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Performance

Being a large, pastel corner near the entrance and near the vendor area was really the key to my success at this con, and as a result I think my numbers were probably not in-line with other people’s.

With that mini preface, I CAN say that (at the time A-kon ended), this was the best con I had ever had profit-wise (both gross and net). The record had been shortly held by Momocon, just a couple weeks prior (and would soon be broken again by AX). So for me, A-kon was  a huge success.

As I said, I don’t think this was the case for other artists (so ask around if you’re wondering), and I believe the layout is largely to blame. Having only one entrance to a long dealer/artist combo hall is a mistake. It is such an immense alley now that it’s exhausting to trudge all the way to the back, and so I think the closer you were to the doors, the better you automatically did.

Overall Convention

Every year at A-kon, I feel like I’m meeting more and more people and making more and more lifelong friends. No con can ever top that, so it’s hard to talk about the overall convention experience without just talking about how great it is to see so many amazing people every year. Especially because I don’t really do any con stuff, I just get drunk and hoard apples from the Omni.

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Oh, but this year we attended the Texas Idol Festival, and let me tell you…. I love them all. Write-up on Anime Expo is NEXT!

 

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