Anime Central Forums: Feedback After Day One - Anime Central Forums

Jump to content

  • 2 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • This topic is locked

Feedback After Day One

#1 User is offline   IcyPanther 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 60865
  • Posts: 212
  • Joined: 09-August 11
  • Location:Chicagoland

Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:49 PM

Hey everyone,
checking in to see how everyone's first day was. I regret to say mine wasn't all that great, and would like to provide a little feedback (if any of it might be possible to put together this weekend).

1. Being behind the exhibit hall stinks. Especially being in the middle of a middle row. Anyone else? Next year can we please have the alley in front of the dealer's hall like it was last year?
2. Entrances/Exits - I think it's a nice idea to have each doorway designated, but would it be possible (since the AA is behind the DR) to swap the doors? At least that way people might enter somewhat in the middle and maybe turn left to pay us all a visit.
3. Registation went okay, for me, although we waited in line for about half an hour (which really hurt our set-up time). There was only one person handling badges and packets when we were there; in the future maybe get a little extra help for 8am?
4. Water fountains: there are none in the entire exhibit hall and the water in the bathroom sinks is warm. To get water in the lobby you have to go all the way around since the entrance and exit are separate. Just makes for very thirsty artists.

Feel free to post your own thoughts on the day.Hope you all did well and/or have a successful saturday!

I will be attending ACen 2014 as an Artist.
You can view my merchandise at my Etsy Shop.
Or visit my DA for more samples of my chibis and prints.
Feel free to message me with any suggestions or comments!

#2 User is offline   ApplePillow 

  • Lurker
  • Pip
  • Group: Lurker
  • Member No.: 59991
  • Posts: 36
  • Joined: 21-April 11
  • Location:Missouri

Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:00 PM

My only true conflict was the elevator thing in the Hyatt.
How on the bottom level they won't let anybody on unless they have the badge for it (well as I see during specific time periods) while they ignore the fact that some people have big cosplays that can't go upstairs or take a lot to get upstairs/downstairs and that there should be a sign more in visible sight telling people they can't use those elevators without a badge rather than the IRT coming down on that level with people in the elevator just to tell them that after people wait so long for the elevator.
I won't be going to ACen 2015 sadly ;;;; (I am going to Anime Expo) but I'll be back for 2016!
ACen 2016 cosplays:
Tamamo no Mae [Fate/Extra] (0%)
Majora [Gijinka] (0%)
Monitorkuma (40%)

#3 User is offline   The Chainmail Guy 

  • Lurker
  • Pip
  • Group: Lurker
  • Member No.: 61314
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 04-January 12
  • Location:Bolingbrook

Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:33 PM

Well, the con is now over, and I'm at home and unwinding. All in all, I think things went quite well. I'll be giving my full feedback in the survey, though there are a few points raised here that I would agree on.

1. Traffic flow in general I felt was set up very poorly, and yes, not only in the AA/DR. It seemed at pretty much every turn, the traffic direction was against me, which caused a lot of routing around for no apparent good reason. Directing traffic is fine, but it needs to go with the natural flow, not force against it.
2. Actually registering was fine, but the booth was very hard to find coming in, and there were pretty much no staff that knew where to direct me. The AA booth just needs to be more visible from the front entrance. As for the pre-reg process, something really needs to be done to alleviate the overflow to the servers. Either higher bandwidth for the time that AA registration opens, or a different process that doesn't rely on connecting to the site at the time of registration. Perhaps a form to email, with the list being made in the order of correctly filled out messages received after the allotted time? You wouldn't get an immediate response, but I think it would be much more fair of a method of determination than who's connection is strong enough to make it through first.
3. Yes, water was difficult to get a hold of, though I think that could have been made easier with better traffic flow.
4. Tying in with the traffic flow, I again think the management on the elevators in the Hyatt, while not necessarily a bad idea, was not handled correctly. Entrances and exits were set up completely the wrong direction to ease flow, and just made things awkward. Also, having a staff member on the elevators took up more space that could have allowed more people, which I think just made an already strained situation worse. Staffing at the entrances with proper flow would have been more than sufficient.

#4 User is offline   StudioDangerboy 

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • Group: Newbie
  • Member No.: 62959
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 04-January 13

Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:42 PM

I agree with the poor crowd flow. Everything else went more or less fine. This was our first year at the Embassy and not the Hyatt, and it blew the Hyatt out of the water.

Here's to whats left of the weekend.

This post has been edited by StudioDangerboy: 20 May 2013 - 06:30 AM


#5 User is offline   Tokoz 

  • Regular
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular
  • Member No.: 18712
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 20-May 08
  • Location:Normal

Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:53 AM

I had a pretty good AA experience this year, broken leg and all. :)

I thought the layout of the alley was much more manageable than in previous years -- I never got lost, and was even able to direct friends to favorite booths without much trouble. The map in the printed guidebook was a big help!

The dedicated exit/entrances was a great idea and helped with traffic a lot, but it was a bit awkward that the Exit was much more visible than the entrance, and I feel kind of bad for the IRT people who had to police it so strictly. I heard that this was a rule of the convention center and not ACen? Which is a shame, because having the ability to make exceptions would have helped artists during setup, and people like me with limited mobility avoid crowds (dangerous and painful!).

Other than the AA reg booth being a little difficult to see way in the back (and quite a long trek on crutches), I had no problems getting my alley packet and my and my studio mates' badges. Everything was where it was supposed to be, our table was nicely labeled and ti all went very smoothly.

The Dealer's section was so crowded I only attempted it once, with a friend to help clear the way for me. It was oddly disorienting, and we only found our way out because my friend had already memorized how to find the exit corridor.

For me, having stricter IRT control of elevators in the hotel was a godsend. I never would have gotten anywhere without the IRT ops in the elevators themselves. THey made sure I had enough space to hobble in and out of the elevator, and I kind of wished they were in the parking deck elevators too! ;)

The only thing I can think of, really, was that I never could find the AA/Exhibit Hall control desk. I like thanking them before we leave and we had no idea where to look to find it. And while we had IRT ops stop by pretty regularly -- I think maybe they were on breaks (?) -- I don't think I ever spotted an AA staffer actually in the alley. Which, thinking about it now, was somewhat odd. In previous years we had AA staffers walk by and check in with us and we really appreciated it.

But overall, things went smoothly, our table-neighbors were fantastic and we had a great time!

#6 User is offline   rondo 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 9075
  • Posts: 1,383
  • Joined: 13-January 07

Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:59 AM

Honestly, I never really went to AA any of the previous years going to ACen, or any con for that matter. I decided to change that this year and I gotta say, I've been missing alot.

#7 User is offline   Gwydion 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 9082
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 14-January 07
  • Location:Ohio, USA

Posted 20 May 2013 - 05:29 PM

Yeah, admittedly traffic was really down compared to previous years in our part of the Alley (we were in the back corner near the concession stand). I have never seen it so light! On the other hand, I felt that the Alley was much easier to navigate than in years past, so that was a plus. It was very easy for me to find specific booths, and the walkways felt nice and wide in most places - the only place it seemed a little hard to walk was the edge near the Dealers, but I'm guessing some of this was due to higher traffic.

Check in was quick and easy, which was awesome, so thank you for that! Could we get some programs next year, though? I was sad we didn't get one!
Cosplay 2013:
Friday: Tsubaki (Sket Dance)
Saturday: Prince Alexander (King's Quest VI)
Sunday: uh, TMNT geek, lol

See you in the Alley! ^_^
Tenkuu no Chibi

#8 User is offline   JujuFox 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Sempai
  • Member No.: 45794
  • Posts: 565
  • Joined: 12-December 09
  • Location:Carol Stream

Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:06 PM

Popping in to say that in the past these types of threads are discouraged since we have the official feedback to leave our comments in. I'm almost positive this thread will get shut down once the DH sees it. So don't forget to use the info provided at check-in to leave your feedback!

Also, traffic was pretty normal for us, and when I was walking around through the AA it seemed to be pretty normal overall. The aisles seemed to be bigger, so maybe that was why it appeared to be lighter traffic? We had no problems with overcrowding no matter how many people were going past us, and I'm pretty sure it was due to the spaciousness of the aisles. I also never got lost, which happened to me several times last year.
Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
Cosplays 2013: Friday: Major Motoko Kusanagi(picture) Saturday: Chell(picture) Sunday: Ness(picture)

Check out my shop Geeky Cute Crochet on Etsy!

#9 User is offline   Gwydion 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 9082
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 14-January 07
  • Location:Ohio, USA

Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:31 PM

I can say with 100% confidence that the traffic flow was lighter in our area. This was my 5th time in ACen's AA, and we've never had such long stretches of time with barely a trickle of people, and yes I am taking the wide aisles into account. As I said, we were in the very back corner, so that likely had something to do with it, but traffic was definitely lighter.
Cosplay 2013:
Friday: Tsubaki (Sket Dance)
Saturday: Prince Alexander (King's Quest VI)
Sunday: uh, TMNT geek, lol

See you in the Alley! ^_^
Tenkuu no Chibi

#10 User is offline   Voltaire30 

  • Exhibit Space DH
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Department Head
  • Member No.: 8053
  • Posts: 970
  • Joined: 22-September 06
  • Location:Lake Villa

Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:45 PM

True, I don't necessarily like feedback in a public setting because it tends to devolve into something a lot less helpful. Since it also can be talking about issues not directed at the Artist Alley, it can also affect the mood of the Artist Alley feedback. It can also be a lot harder to get to the bottom of the feedback, or what the feedback is actually looking at. So if people want to keep posting they can, but it doesn't provide me much feedback :(
Exhibit Space Department Manager 2009, 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14
Exhibit Space Assistant Manager 2007 & 08

If you have any Questions, Comments, and/or Concerns, Feel Free to Contact us by using one of the emails below.
ArtistAlley@ACen.org - ArtShow@ACen.org - ExhibitHall@ACen.org - ExhibitSpace@ACen.org

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance & Promotes Premium Productivity
"The optimistic way to look at your own art, performance, or results when someone tells you that you're not good enough, is to think that there's still room to improve. When you believe your artwork, performance, or results are perfect, it's the end of your career."

#11 User is offline   JujuFox 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Sempai
  • Member No.: 45794
  • Posts: 565
  • Joined: 12-December 09
  • Location:Carol Stream

Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:08 PM

I'll lighten the mood then and say that this was my best year so far! I've been in the AA 4 times now, and this year was the third in a row for me and my husband.

I had a few gripes, but overall it was great! My biggest gripe was not having a drinking fountain in the hall, and having to use the fountain out in the foyer and getting back into the hall was nightmarish at times. We weren't allowed back in through the exit doors by IRT, so we had to push through the crowd and cut in line to get back through the designated entrance. That didn't seem right to me.

I LOVED the layout, and didn't get lost once. I felt like I could easily find and remember where booths were. There were only a few tight spots, and I think the pillars were mostly to blame.

We had times where we were overrun with buyers, and times where everyone was just passing through. The ebb and flow was nice though.

I can't express how much fun we had this year, and can't believe how quickly the time went by!
Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
Cosplays 2013: Friday: Major Motoko Kusanagi(picture) Saturday: Chell(picture) Sunday: Ness(picture)

Check out my shop Geeky Cute Crochet on Etsy!

#12 User is offline   Tokoz 

  • Regular
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular
  • Member No.: 18712
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 20-May 08
  • Location:Normal

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:13 AM

View PostVoltaire30, on 20 May 2013 - 10:45 PM, said:

True, I don't necessarily like feedback in a public setting because it tends to devolve into something a lot less helpful. Since it also can be talking about issues not directed at the Artist Alley, it can also affect the mood of the Artist Alley feedback. It can also be a lot harder to get to the bottom of the feedback, or what the feedback is actually looking at. So if people want to keep posting they can, but it doesn't provide me much feedback :(/>


And that's absolutely why we should all fill out the survey, too! However, as an artist, I really like reading the public feedback/discussion threads like this. It gives me an idea of what the alley was like for others, if my impressions were accurate, if my experiences were unique or shared by others. It can help me describe the alley experience to someone else, as well, since what my studio does is pretty unique. When I'm researching a con to potentially attend as an artist, these kind of post-mortem threads are invaluable -- what sort of problems popped up, what kind of artists did well, what worked and what didn't, how does the management handle complaints, and etc.

So I will definitely be filling out the survey so that official feedback can get to where it needs to go, but I also think informal feedback threads are useful too. :)

#13 User is offline   Gwydion 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 9082
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 14-January 07
  • Location:Ohio, USA

Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:50 AM

View PostTokoz, on 21 May 2013 - 07:13 AM, said:

And that's absolutely why we should all fill out the survey, too! However, as an artist, I really like reading the public feedback/discussion threads like this. It gives me an idea of what the alley was like for others, if my impressions were accurate, if my experiences were unique or shared by others. It can help me describe the alley experience to someone else, as well, since what my studio does is pretty unique. When I'm researching a con to potentially attend as an artist, these kind of post-mortem threads are invaluable -- what sort of problems popped up, what kind of artists did well, what worked and what didn't, how does the management handle complaints, and etc.

So I will definitely be filling out the survey so that official feedback can get to where it needs to go, but I also think informal feedback threads are useful too. :)

Agreed - it may not be much help for those running it, but as an artist I love reading about other artists' experiences. It's different for everyone, and it's nice to be able to hear how things went for other people in the Alley, for all the reasons mentioned by Tokoz.

Also, I hope I didn't bring down the mood! I was simply making an observation from where I was in the Alley. Overall, while there were a few bumps that nothing could really be done about, I still had an enjoyable time as always - we always meet the nicest people as a part of ACen's AA!
Cosplay 2013:
Friday: Tsubaki (Sket Dance)
Saturday: Prince Alexander (King's Quest VI)
Sunday: uh, TMNT geek, lol

See you in the Alley! ^_^
Tenkuu no Chibi

#14 User is offline   IcyPanther 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 60865
  • Posts: 212
  • Joined: 09-August 11
  • Location:Chicagoland

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:42 AM

I understand your point, Voltaire, but I love hearing what others experienced and see if we can help collaborate amongst ourselves for any future changes. Also, I had the vague hope that maybe someone would see it and be able to flip-flop the entrance and exits during the weekend =p

The one thing I also took away from ACen is that there are just way too many artists (imo). I felt like it was very hard to stand out (and the table across from me I felt so bad for; she didn't have a very tall display and constantly just got walked by) with the sheer amount of everything.

I know this is far-fetched, but would any of the artists here consider coming to ACen if it was a juried alley or smaller in scale (like maybe 150 artist tables =p Which is still gigantic!). I look forward to ACen every year (this was my second in the AA) but I'm just getting very overwhelmed at this point.

I did have a fun time chatting with my neighbors - bunch of lovely artists! - and seeing all of the amazing cosplays strolling by.

The only other suggestion I might make is to spread the tables out a bit so there are more ways for artists to get out of their row. If you weren't on the corner by the "exit" you were pretty well stuck behind your table unless you made a mad dash out between customers. A lot of cons I've been to don't push the tables flush against each other so there's about half a foot of space for us to squeeze out and at least fix our tables from the front.

Just my two cents!

I will be attending ACen 2014 as an Artist.
You can view my merchandise at my Etsy Shop.
Or visit my DA for more samples of my chibis and prints.
Feel free to message me with any suggestions or comments!

#15 User is offline   JujuFox 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Sempai
  • Member No.: 45794
  • Posts: 565
  • Joined: 12-December 09
  • Location:Carol Stream

Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:00 AM

View PostIcyPanther, on 21 May 2013 - 09:42 AM, said:

The one thing I also took away from ACen is that there are just way too many artists (imo). I felt like it was very hard to stand out (and the table across from me I felt so bad for; she didn't have a very tall display and constantly just got walked by) with the sheer amount of everything.

I know this is far-fetched, but would any of the artists here consider coming to ACen if it was a juried alley or smaller in scale (like maybe 150 artist tables =p Which is still gigantic!). I look forward to ACen every year (this was my second in the AA) but I'm just getting very overwhelmed at this point.

Personally, I would be very upset if it became juried and/or scaled back.

My first year I literally had stuff flat out on a table. I made no profit, and most of the time was ignored. It was frustrating at the time because my neighbor who sold bookmarks was constantly swamped with customers. I learned from that experience. Years later after getting married and becoming skilled at a craft I decided to go into the AA again. Our display was horrible, I didn't make enough stock, and we looked pathetic with almost nothing out on our table by day 2. Again, I learned from that experience. I'm finally happy with our table display, and I invested more money into my display/banner/business cards to better attract passersby, and I've learned how much of what to make so I don't sell out in the first day. It took me three years in the AA to finally get it right! This is the only AA I do, and I absolutely love it.

Newbies will learn and come back stronger. Others may realize that the AA isn't for them. I see new and old faces each year, and that's just how it goes.
Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
Cosplays 2013: Friday: Major Motoko Kusanagi(picture) Saturday: Chell(picture) Sunday: Ness(picture)

Check out my shop Geeky Cute Crochet on Etsy!

#16 User is offline   Miyuka 

  • Bigfoot
  • Pip
  • Group: Bigfoot
  • Member No.: 10248
  • Posts: 98
  • Joined: 08-April 07

Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:25 PM

I have no complaints about the Hall overall. It was perfect for me. I was in the center, so location plays a part, but I had a nice stream of customers. Nice, spacious walkways for them to go to and fro. Nice location. I loved the dedicated entrance and exit.

The only annoyance I had was coming into the Hall. When inquiring where to go for my artist table, a staff member insisted I stand outside with the pre-reg line outside. I was concerned about my merchandise (my friend and I had a bit of boxes on a pulley) in the heat but stood there I did for about 30 min until another staff member looked at me confusingly asking if I was in the alley and if so, why am I standing in this long line? I was quite annoyed, but other than that. All was well. :3

#17 User is offline   railas 

  • Bigfoot
  • Pip
  • Group: Bigfoot
  • Member No.: 61183
  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: 25-November 11

Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:49 PM

View PostJujuFox, on 21 May 2013 - 10:00 AM, said:

Personally, I would be very upset if it became juried and/or scaled back.

My first year I literally had stuff flat out on a table. I made no profit, and most of the time was ignored. It was frustrating at the time because my neighbor who sold bookmarks was constantly swamped with customers. I learned from that experience. Years later after getting married and becoming skilled at a craft I decided to go into the AA again. Our display was horrible, I didn't make enough stock, and we looked pathetic with almost nothing out on our table by day 2. Again, I learned from that experience. I'm finally happy with our table display, and I invested more money into my display/banner/business cards to better attract passersby, and I've learned how much of what to make so I don't sell out in the first day. It took me three years in the AA to finally get it right! This is the only AA I do, and I absolutely love it.

Newbies will learn and come back stronger. Others may realize that the AA isn't for them. I see new and old faces each year, and that's just how it goes.

I second this, I started several years ago, and looking back at my first table it was soo empty and bare. Now I look at my table and its completely covered, and my display is better too. Like you said, newbies will learn to bring more stock/learn what characters or what crafted items are more popular, and be able to bring more quantity as they go on. If you don't have much quantity or variety, it can be hard to earn much. A juried or scaled back AA would make it even more difficult for first time artists.
I have also been told by several non-artist attendees that they sometimes won't even go to look at tables that don't have much to display, so its really all a learn as you go experience.

#18 User is offline   The Chainmail Guy 

  • Lurker
  • Pip
  • Group: Lurker
  • Member No.: 61314
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 04-January 12
  • Location:Bolingbrook

Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:46 PM

View PostJujuFox, on 21 May 2013 - 10:00 AM, said:

Personally, I would be very upset if it became juried and/or scaled back.

My first year I literally had stuff flat out on a table. I made no profit, and most of the time was ignored. It was frustrating at the time because my neighbor who sold bookmarks was constantly swamped with customers. I learned from that experience. Years later after getting married and becoming skilled at a craft I decided to go into the AA again. Our display was horrible, I didn't make enough stock, and we looked pathetic with almost nothing out on our table by day 2. Again, I learned from that experience. I'm finally happy with our table display, and I invested more money into my display/banner/business cards to better attract passersby, and I've learned how much of what to make so I don't sell out in the first day. It took me three years in the AA to finally get it right! This is the only AA I do, and I absolutely love it.

Newbies will learn and come back stronger. Others may realize that the AA isn't for them. I see new and old faces each year, and that's just how it goes.


Agreed. The competition for the alley is fierce as it is, and from what I have seen, there's enough attendance to warrant the current size, if not a bit of expansion (though not a huge amount). It requires a careful balance, but for the most part I am in favor of letting the market decide which shops do the best, and things needs to be open enough for people to gain that experience.

#19 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 24895
  • Posts: 1,131
  • Joined: 26-February 09
  • Location:Cicero

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:24 PM

From a customers point of view, I go in usually the first two days to scope out the over all pricing and what's out there. Normally I try to talk to the artist, what do they use for their art, how long have they been working, first time or 16th year, etc, and I pay attention to the prices and go in with an idea of what characters I would like. Too large a display and I feel swamped, mostly if its overly popular pieces (Bleach, Sword Art, One Peice, etc) I tend to look else where. I like older anime, some a bit obscure (Escaflowne pieces will get me to buy right away), and comics, along with books. Style helps too, I'm drawn to cleaner lines and brighter colors naturally so I will go for that. If the price of something seems way to high for me I will avoid or look to see if there's a competitive price there.

First timers I will look into if I like what I see, as others have said display is key. What also helps is if I'm in cosplay and you like my work then I will thank you by making a purchase. It's a win win. Compliments go a long way people. Also even if I don't buy I try to get business cards and look at the work on line so that later, if I catch you at a different convention or back at ACen, I will know what your prices are before and during the con and I will probably come back to buy from you.

Also, please please, I ask you kindly, Don't go handing me an item, sticker in this case, and say, "Well then this is for you. That will be X amount please." after you just handed me an item. If I want to buy something I will come to you. Say, "Hey are you X character. That looks good." I'll come to check you out then, but offering me a "gift" then saying "Buy it" doesn't seem okay to me.

Did anyone else ever have that happen to them in the alley, at any other convention, where an artist offers you an item like that then says "You have to pay for it." I know you have to buy things but that was just, strange since he just handed out to me and said, "Well then this is for you." Normally if you do that it's usually a free item, at least at the business I worked at, when we said "And this is for you," it was a freebee at the store.
~@~ Delightfully Playing: Prima-Vocaloid 0%, Mew-Two 80%, Muppeters -100% -2014 ~@~
~*@*~ 2013:The Riddler, Muppeters, Mew-Two 2012: The Riddler, Shadow Fairy 2011: Rinslet from Black Cat, Carmen Sandiego,Wanda from Fairly Odd Parents. 2010: Younger Walter, Carmen Sandiego. 2009: Goku from Saiyuki~*@*~

DEVIL MAY CRY SAGA PANEL 2013


Pardon the Pause is a Podcast that focuses on Geek culture:
Pardon the Pause

#20 User is offline   Sapphy 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 11260
  • Posts: 210
  • Joined: 13-May 07

Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:06 PM

View PostIcyPanther, on 21 May 2013 - 09:42 AM, said:

I know this is far-fetched, but would any of the artists here consider coming to ACen if it was a juried alley or smaller in scale (like maybe 150 artist tables =p Which is still gigantic!). I look forward to ACen every year (this was my second in the AA) but I'm just getting very overwhelmed at this point.


I really wouldn't like it if ACen went to a juried alley setup. I really love the scale of the alley, and I think that the artists that will stick with ACen and come back year after year are the ones that have found a way to "stand out" among their peers. There will always be an overabundance of print artists and buttonmakers compared to everything else, but given the sheer amount of people walking by with prints in bags/tubes, people definitely come for their stuff. Buttons are a cheap item to have too, and people collect them like mad.

I don't personally look for prints or buttons when I do my artist circuit. I ran out of wallspace years ago, and I just don't really wear buttons. Well-made charms or really unique things, though? I'm all over those! For example, the table across from mine specialized in perler bead art, but with a really unique twist--she layered them to create 3D sculptures, like a metroid in a tube or the fish from Mario jumping out of a glass fishbowl. I'm not huge on perler stuff in general but these really caught my eye. Same with the booth offering cute 3D standees of popular characters, and the one offering up handpainted clocks. There's tons of others I can't think of at the moment, but plenty of the artists at ACen have found that unique niche that helps set them apart from their neighbors.

I love the alley for that very reason. It's so huge, and although there will always be booths offering similar things, you'll always find something unique.
Liked what you saw at ACen? Happy Hatpire Designs has an Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/hatpire
Follow me on tumblr! http://hatpire.tumblr.com
Also, check out my DeviantArt: http://hatpire.deviantart.com

#21 User is offline   Christy 

  • Bigfoot
  • Pip
  • Group: Bigfoot
  • Member No.: 2434
  • Posts: 77
  • Joined: 19-May 04

Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:15 AM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 21 May 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:

Did anyone else ever have that happen to them in the alley, at any other convention, where an artist offers you an item like that then says "You have to pay for it." I know you have to buy things but that was just, strange since he just handed out to me and said, "Well then this is for you." Normally if you do that it's usually a free item, at least at the business I worked at, when we said "And this is for you," it was a freebee at the store.


A study done years ago indicated that a patron is 80% more likely to buy something if they're holding it already. Which is why a lot of retailers who price their items will do so on the back. As a rule, when I'm explaining our books to somebody, I will hand it to them during the pitch but I try to imply its so they can thumb through and review it. Sometimes con goers don't realize that they can flip through our binders and books and finger the wares. However, when it comes to prints, this is probably not a good practice simply because constant fingering of the items can cause excess ware and damage and make the prints unsuitable for sale. They should simply call out or inform that they have art for whomever you are cosplaying as and indicate the item - again for your review. Telling them specifically "this is for you" is misleading if it's not free.

Regarding the layout, we were in a different hall this year which hindered the usual layout, but it could have been far worse. There were definitely some bad spots notably the far back wall and the isle facing away from the alley on the far left. However, I disagree with IcyPanther's statement that we were "in the back" of the dealer's hall. When you entered the hall, you could go right for the exhibitors, straight for industry and left for the artist alley. And you had to pass the AA to get outside the hall so all traffic did get exposure to the alley even if it was on the way out without forcing AA resistant con-goers into the space where they'd drive traffic out, which I saw happen one year when the AA was literally the path into the dealer's hall. Given the space they had, this was probably the most logical and ideal layout.

For cutting back and jury the AA - given the size of the con I think the current size is just about right in relation to the event. From here out, it should probably grow but only as the con grows. 150 artists for 28,000 people just lends to too much competition amongst artists for tables - which promotes bad will - and juried allies lend too much to persona bias. What if Phil and his staff decided they liked comic artists best? Then the comic artists would fill and artists like Sapphy, Chainmail Guy and IcyPanther who don't do comic art wouldn't get as much consideration.

Allies run in cycles as do the products you see in them. When a fad hits, everybody jumps on and then as it dies down the best and most dedicated of the lot remain. Last year it was perler beads, before that plush, before that cosplay, buttons, prints, what have you. It's only a natural and healthy progression of the AA commerce dynamic.

#22 User is offline   JujuFox 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Sempai
  • Member No.: 45794
  • Posts: 565
  • Joined: 12-December 09
  • Location:Carol Stream

Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:18 AM

View PostSapphy, on 21 May 2013 - 10:06 PM, said:

I really wouldn't like it if ACen went to a juried alley setup. I really love the scale of the alley, and I think that the artists that will stick with ACen and come back year after year are the ones that have found a way to "stand out" among their peers. There will always be an overabundance of print artists and buttonmakers compared to everything else, but given the sheer amount of people walking by with prints in bags/tubes, people definitely come for their stuff. Buttons are a cheap item to have too, and people collect them like mad.

I don't personally look for prints or buttons when I do my artist circuit. I ran out of wallspace years ago, and I just don't really wear buttons. Well-made charms or really unique things, though? I'm all over those! For example, the table across from mine specialized in perler bead art, but with a really unique twist--she layered them to create 3D sculptures, like a metroid in a tube or the fish from Mario jumping out of a glass fishbowl. I'm not huge on perler stuff in general but these really caught my eye. Same with the booth offering cute 3D standees of popular characters, and the one offering up handpainted clocks. There's tons of others I can't think of at the moment, but plenty of the artists at ACen have found that unique niche that helps set them apart from their neighbors.

I love the alley for that very reason. It's so huge, and although there will always be booths offering similar things, you'll always find something unique.

YES! I love the variety. I bought some standees, although I have yet to figure out where to put them. I have made perler bead sprites in the past, but holy crap those layered ones! They were awesome! Also, we have like no wall space, but we still bought prints, and I bought buttons just because I loved the art style. I don't even collect buttons!

I thought the wide variety, even of prints, was excellent this year.

Even in amigurumi. My stuff is completely different from like Manifested Dream's stuff. We both have our unique styles and some people will like one style over the other, so it's a win win for everyone!
Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
Cosplays 2013: Friday: Major Motoko Kusanagi(picture) Saturday: Chell(picture) Sunday: Ness(picture)

Check out my shop Geeky Cute Crochet on Etsy!

#23 User is offline   Gwydion 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 9082
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 14-January 07
  • Location:Ohio, USA

Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:18 PM

Yeah, count me as someone who doesn't want to see a smaller/juried Alley at ACen. I love how big it is, and it's nice to see a variety of talent. Everyone's gotta start somewhere! So basically I agree with what everyone else has said on the subject - don't believe I need to add anything as it's been covered quite well already.

And I've never encountered an artist that just handed someone something and then proceeded to ask for payment like that. o_O That's quite bizarre, and definitely off putting. Allowing someone a closer look is one thing, but saying "And this is for you" and then demanding payment is another.

One interesting thing I noted this year, and maybe it's simply because I had a chance to walk around and actually take my time instead of hurrying for once, is that I found a lot more artists not only said hello but asked me how I was doing. I've never found the Alley to be unfriendly at all, but everyone somehow seemed more cheerful this year. XD Not sure why, but I found my time wandering the Alley to be quite pleasant! Just shows how important the customer service aspect is, I suppose.
Cosplay 2013:
Friday: Tsubaki (Sket Dance)
Saturday: Prince Alexander (King's Quest VI)
Sunday: uh, TMNT geek, lol

See you in the Alley! ^_^
Tenkuu no Chibi

#24 User is offline   IcyPanther 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 60865
  • Posts: 212
  • Joined: 09-August 11
  • Location:Chicagoland

Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

Oh, had another thought I wanted to pose!
What are opinions on keeping the alley open later on Saturday (maybe till 8)? I know that thousands of people (my poor brother included) were in line for four hours plus for badges on Saturday (got there for 8am) and didn't get to enjoy as much of the con as they wanted. A lot of cons have Saturday have a later close time just because it tends to be the busiest day. I for one would love to remain open later on Saturday. Maybe something to consider for next year?

I will be attending ACen 2014 as an Artist.
You can view my merchandise at my Etsy Shop.
Or visit my DA for more samples of my chibis and prints.
Feel free to message me with any suggestions or comments!

#25 User is offline   Sapphy 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 11260
  • Posts: 210
  • Joined: 13-May 07

Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:28 PM

View PostIcyPanther, on 23 May 2013 - 06:24 PM, said:

Oh, had another thought I wanted to pose!
What are opinions on keeping the alley open later on Saturday (maybe till 8)? I know that thousands of people (my poor brother included) were in line for four hours plus for badges on Saturday (got there for 8am) and didn't get to enjoy as much of the con as they wanted. A lot of cons have Saturday have a later close time just because it tends to be the busiest day. I for one would love to remain open later on Saturday. Maybe something to consider for next year?



I think I'd love this, but I have to wonder--what percentage of people that are still out enjoying the convention on Saturday (and haven't gone home/to their hotels) end up going to the masquerade? If the percentage is high, would the Alley/Dealer's Hall see a huge decrease once people start lining up for the masquerade and the dances?

I haven't been to the Masquerade in over ten years, so I really have no idea when people even start to line up for it nowadays. But yeah, I'd love to stay open a little later on Saturday. I usually have more energy Saturday than I do on Friday (once I get into the convention mindset there's no stoppin' me), I think it might strain me a little but it'd be well worth it.
Liked what you saw at ACen? Happy Hatpire Designs has an Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/hatpire
Follow me on tumblr! http://hatpire.tumblr.com
Also, check out my DeviantArt: http://hatpire.deviantart.com

#26 User is offline   Manifested Dreams 

  • Regular
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular
  • Member No.: 19370
  • Posts: 109
  • Joined: 04-September 08

Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:44 PM

View PostIcyPanther, on 23 May 2013 - 06:24 PM, said:

Oh, had another thought I wanted to pose!
What are opinions on keeping the alley open later on Saturday (maybe till 8)? I know that thousands of people (my poor brother included) were in line for four hours plus for badges on Saturday (got there for 8am) and didn't get to enjoy as much of the con as they wanted. A lot of cons have Saturday have a later close time just because it tends to be the busiest day. I for one would love to remain open later on Saturday. Maybe something to consider for next year?



I think I'm probably in the minority here, but I really like the hours how they are(or were, with us closing a half hour after the Dealer Room). ACen is the only show where I eat dinner before 10/11pm, and the only show I get to actually leave the convention for food xD; I feel spoiled, but it's my "easy show". I've always found ACen's hours to be a breath of fresh air compared to 12+hr days(I'm looking at you, Otakon).

My biased aside, you'll always have at least a few people wandering the alley at any hours, so it is one of the places to go just to kill time. During Masq/Dances/Concerts, it's always primarily dead. Since ACen has an established schedule of sorts, I don't think we'd get a huge amount of traffic after 8pm.

#27 User is offline   JujuFox 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Sempai
  • Member No.: 45794
  • Posts: 565
  • Joined: 12-December 09
  • Location:Carol Stream

Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:19 AM

View PostManifested Dreams, on 23 May 2013 - 11:44 PM, said:

I think I'm probably in the minority here, but I really like the hours how they are(or were, with us closing a half hour after the Dealer Room). ACen is the only show where I eat dinner before 10/11pm, and the only show I get to actually leave the convention for food xD; I feel spoiled, but it's my "easy show". I've always found ACen's hours to be a breath of fresh air compared to 12+hr days(I'm looking at you, Otakon).

My biased aside, you'll always have at least a few people wandering the alley at any hours, so it is one of the places to go just to kill time. During Masq/Dances/Concerts, it's always primarily dead. Since ACen has an established schedule of sorts, I don't think we'd get a huge amount of traffic after 8pm.

I'm with you on this one. I am so tired around 6 PM and I just want to eat dinner(real food, not concession stand hot dogs) and spend the rest of the evening enjoying the con. This is the only AA I do, and the only anime convention I attend. My husband and I would rather just break even and have a fun time than make tons of profit and be miserable.

And in all honesty, are people going to be shopping that late when there are so many huge events going on at night like the aforementioned Soap Bubble, Masquerade, concerts, etc?



Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
Cosplays 2013: Friday: Major Motoko Kusanagi(picture) Saturday: Chell(picture) Sunday: Ness(picture)

Check out my shop Geeky Cute Crochet on Etsy!

#28 User is offline   Christy 

  • Bigfoot
  • Pip
  • Group: Bigfoot
  • Member No.: 2434
  • Posts: 77
  • Joined: 19-May 04

Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:09 PM

View PostJujuFox, on 24 May 2013 - 08:19 AM, said:

I'm with you on this one. I am so tired around 6 PM and I just want to eat dinner(real food, not concession stand hot dogs) and spend the rest of the evening enjoying the con. This is the only AA I do, and the only anime convention I attend. My husband and I would rather just break even and have a fun time than make tons of profit and be miserable.

And in all honesty, are people going to be shopping that late when there are so many huge events going on at night like the aforementioned Soap Bubble, Masquerade, concerts, etc?


Just to give some perspective, my studio has been doing ACen since 2000 and during times when it was 24 hours. When we did that, the alley area would usually drain of people about 30 - 45 minutes before the Masquerade was due to start - at which point is when most artists do a quick dinner run. After that it wasn't uncommon to get some pick up sales about 20 minutes after the event started because people who couldn't get into Main Programming would then go looking for something else to do and find us. Generally, we stuck around until about 10pm - Midnight max if sales are good, and then packed up for the night. So staying open later is not necessarily a bad idea in general.

Now, that being said, this was also back when the con was much smaller, the Alley was in the hotel - so there was no additional costs for keeping the alley open later and we were very close to main programming giving us easy access to the denied attendees - and there was less to do on Saturday night beyond the Masq. Closing up at 8 instead of 7 may not garner us additional sales because we wouldn't necessarily get the boredom shoppers like in the past - the alley would have to be open beyond at least an hour into the Masq to get that reliably.

In addition, the following should also be considered.

1 - we're in the Convention Center now which allows us more security and space, but every hour that the center stays open is extra money the con has to pay and therefore the costs will probably be passed on to us. I would expect a minimum $5-$10 increase per table for every extra hour that we stay open.

2 - we are located in the exhibit hall with the dealers, which makes it a prime spot that nearly every attendee passes through. However, keeping the alley open means keeping the exhibit hall open as well. To keep attendees out of the dealers area while granting alley access would be impossible with the Masq going on. ACen just doesn't have the staff, so as it stands both groups open together and close together so the whole space can be locked down to keep everything secure. Therefore, we do have the needs and wants of those vendors to consider as well.

3 - 24 and late hour allies are more common fixtures in smaller cons where there's less traffic overall. Whereas, in big cons like ACen, we can get more sales in a shorter period and generally conduct more business in a given period of time. If we stay open until 8, will the alley drain anyway at 7:30 because we're not getting sales and everybody is exhausted and hungry from dealing with hordes of people earlier?

Food for thought.

#29 User is offline   Gwydion 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 9082
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 14-January 07
  • Location:Ohio, USA

Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:02 PM

View PostChristy, on 24 May 2013 - 12:09 PM, said:

1 - we're in the Convention Center now which allows us more security and space, but every hour that the center stays open is extra money the con has to pay and therefore the costs will probably be passed on to us. I would expect a minimum $5-$10 increase per table for every extra hour that we stay open.

2 - we are located in the exhibit hall with the dealers, which makes it a prime spot that nearly every attendee passes through. However, keeping the alley open means keeping the exhibit hall open as well. To keep attendees out of the dealers area while granting alley access would be impossible with the Masq going on. ACen just doesn't have the staff, so as it stands both groups open together and close together so the whole space can be locked down to keep everything secure. Therefore, we do have the needs and wants of those vendors to consider as well.

3 - 24 and late hour allies are more common fixtures in smaller cons where there's less traffic overall. Whereas, in big cons like ACen, we can get more sales in a shorter period and generally conduct more business in a given period of time. If we stay open until 8, will the alley drain anyway at 7:30 because we're not getting sales and everybody is exhausted and hungry from dealing with hordes of people earlier?

I'm one of those that loves AAs that stay open late due to the fact that I just wind up working on commissions all night anyway so I'd rather just stay and do them at the table. That being said, however, for ACen I can see why they close when they do, as Christy pointed out so thoroughly. Being in with the Dealers as well as the extra cost to simply keep the venue open pretty much seem to make this a no brainer.

Would I like the Alley to stay open later? Heck yes - personally I love the 24/7 AAs (once got the biggest purchase of the con at 1 AM, and they weren't even drunk, lol). But I can understand why ACen's closes when it does, and I'd rather it close at 7 at the current price than at 8 for an extra price tacked on per table (which I would also expect to be the case). I was sad to see it close a 1/2 hour early this year, though.
Cosplay 2013:
Friday: Tsubaki (Sket Dance)
Saturday: Prince Alexander (King's Quest VI)
Sunday: uh, TMNT geek, lol

See you in the Alley! ^_^
Tenkuu no Chibi

#30 User is offline   Voltaire30 

  • Exhibit Space DH
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Department Head
  • Member No.: 8053
  • Posts: 970
  • Joined: 22-September 06
  • Location:Lake Villa

Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:56 PM

For those of you interested, we have had 5 complete submissions in our feedback form. :)
Exhibit Space Department Manager 2009, 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14
Exhibit Space Assistant Manager 2007 & 08

If you have any Questions, Comments, and/or Concerns, Feel Free to Contact us by using one of the emails below.
ArtistAlley@ACen.org - ArtShow@ACen.org - ExhibitHall@ACen.org - ExhibitSpace@ACen.org

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance & Promotes Premium Productivity
"The optimistic way to look at your own art, performance, or results when someone tells you that you're not good enough, is to think that there's still room to improve. When you believe your artwork, performance, or results are perfect, it's the end of your career."

  • 2 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • This topic is locked

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users