Hey guys, I came back from the convention kind of defeated but still with hope.
The whole thing was a mess and a scam.
I thought that spending $200 on a table meant that the convention had a huge attendance . What convinced me on getting a table was that the con was 15 minutes away from me. I shared the table with a friend who’s starting up as an artist so as a nice gesture I didn’t charged her for sharing the table.
The first red flag was a month before the convention. I hadn’t hear from the organizers so I sent them an email. Eric ( The organizer) claims I haven’t paid the table money yet even thought he sent me an invoice that I paid right away. After a couple emails back and forth he finally realizes that in fact I did pay. This seemed very odd to me because you get an email when someone pays you on Paypal ( thank goodness for Paypal).
The night before the convention I STILL hadn’t been promoted on their social media INCLUDING their website section for attending artists. After another email they apologized and make a quick instagram repost of my banner. I never saw them paying for sponsored posts on facebook or even trying to get some ads going. The only remote thing that was marketing material was a flyer they had put on a nearby gaming store. My friends and I went around school campus to hand out flyers so people would show up.
The day comes and we set up our table. They let us pick whichever one we wanted on a designated area. We made the mistake of picking a corner table, the adjacent neighbors were super nice but one had a very aggressive guy trying to get people to go to their table so people avoiding going to us altogether. For about 2 hours we didn’t sell a thing. It started to pick up around 2pm for about 2 extra hours or so.
The marketing staff was embarrassing, our table neighbor had a microphone so he went over to borrow it for panel announcements. There were no schedule posted anywhere so people had to idea what was going on.
A staff member handed us a piece of paper with menu items on it and told us it was complimentary lunch from the hotel. It turned out it wasn’t , it was “discounted”, but I didn’t believe it was because a discounted Pepsi is not $4 and a salad isn’t $13.
In the end nobody made any money. I made about $96, my friend $13. Preparing for this con costed me over $350. Our neighbors didn’t made a single sale and the only writer in the alley only sold 3 books. We ended up going to artists tables and buying small stuff from them to mingle and talk about their experience, they were all negative.
They sold 37/40 artist tables at $200 a pop, that’s $7,400. This is without counting sponsor money or ticket sales. They also had a good amount of half tables for $100 outside the artist alley area. We ask the hotel staff how much was to rent the place for a day and they said $1000. So what happened to the leftover money? why didn’t they do any marketing outside facebook were we know the algorithms suck for promoting unless you pay?
To add insult to the injury they started giving out free VIP passes at the door because of the lack of attendance. The tickets were also discounted at the door, even thought they said they were only discounted online. There was no security checking for badges so people just walked in without one. They almost gave us an extra exhibitor badge because of this,we could have easily gotten 2 tables for free
spent an extra $50 for family tickets which I am now disputing to get back. I been thinking about also disputing the table money and get a partial refund.
I don’t understand how a convention made “for artists”can be so poorly managed.
The only good thing I can say is that all the artists were very nice to talk to and that because I didn’t sell shit I have a lot of stock for my next con.
I wonder if anyone even won the BB-8 raffle, they probably never even bought the prize.
So for now I’d recommend avoiding the convention till they figure their crap out. The Summer edition seems a bit better attended but I would recommend avoiding it if you expect to make any profit.
Other than that I’m going to Florida for about a month to visit some family members. I will try to upload work whenever possible but I wont have access to a scanner.
I hope you guys have a great time and I’ll keep in touch!