Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

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Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Starrydance » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:23 pm

Akon 2012, Go nuts. <3
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Ladre » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:39 am

This was my best convention EVER as far as sales go, so I'm happy! Even beat Sakuracon, Otakon and San Japan =D

I had fantastic neighbors and an amazing location which I'm very thankful for. Volunteers for the most part were constantly coming by asking if I needed a break or some water. The only bad thing was all the noise from the music being played in the open area in front of the D section.

I didn't get to see a lot of forum people as much as I'd have liked to, so many were upstairs! But a lot of good friends were together in the D section and I hope we all had fun being neighbors. I didn't notice any theft of my things, but I heard someone behind me got his t-shirt displays stolen and silvernomiko had her phone stolen while it was charging at the column in the middle of the island late at night. I don't recall often seeing anyone checking badges at the entrances of the islands, if we are still doing that.

This seemed like a slow convention for Prints Sellers, myself included, but in my case button sales more than made up for that. I still sold a good amount of prints though and sold out of most of my newer designs; I hope that means I'm getting better at this! =D

I was able to chat with both Starry and Hastur (sorry I wasn't able to join the Iron Artist Hastur, but omg I was so excited that you invited me. If I had a table buddy I would have joined!) and Spizzy you were very missed by everyone, I hope you enjoy the presents we got you, if RavenMoon ever makes it home! I hope someone was able to help her with her car trouble.

I was rather ashamed of the massive mess that the convention left behind all over the Artist Alley, various hallways and sky bridges in the hotels. I'm very glad I stayed in the Marriott instead of the Sheraton even though the Marriott was crazy expensive. The lines for the Elevator were insane at the Sheraton O.O

I can't really think of anything else right now, but I hope everyone had a great time! See you all next year at the new hotel =D
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby sgirl » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:20 pm

Overall, everything was pretty much as expected operationally. Thought the alley ran well and had no major problems. Loved the volunteers... that was great to know that they'd be coming around to check up on us pretty regularly although I think I only saw one on Sunday as opposed to the 2-4 I saw on the other days.

Liked my neighbors. Probably the only thing that did bother us collectively were the instrument players camping out somewhere at a booth and doing multiple renditions of the same songs over and over. By the end of the convention though it was just becoming a running joke about how many instruments we could pick out in the noisy alley. I think we just gave up on being able to hear anything. I couldn't hear people across the table... that's how loud it got upstairs.

The only thing that I could add about the second floor is that it would be good to give the person closing down a megaphone to use as she wandered the aisle. I couldn't hear what she was saying once she left the speaker system. Believe me, those kids weren't moving once the announcements started and definitely did not move until the staff threatened to pull badges. If "security" might wander the floor with the staff as well, it might get people to seriously pay attention.

Other than that met lots of folks from the forum, although some of you I just harassed as a customer :3. (I know with Cinnamoron I just gushed about her UNICORN PRINT and all that, but didn't leave a card or anything because I ran out ._.)

That's it. I have some other thoughts about how this compares with other cons, but eh... we can talk shop offline.
Thanks guys. Well run operation. Will put this on my list for future years when I have something to promote :)
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Starrydance » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:27 pm

My short feedback:

We were prepped for A-kon with no serious trauma or concern early on Thursday and set up with no worries and sold well.

I dont.. understand a non stressful not dramatic prep for a show, wtf?!

This was our best sales year, hooray!

I got the same unicorn print, Sgirl, omg its so beautiful. *huggles it*
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Foolish Mortal » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:07 am

A-kon was very successful for me. Best sales I've had so far.

Haven't done the math yet to figure out how much of the sales were commissions or buttons or prints but I'm fairly sure most of my sales were buttons since my button boxes are now 90 percent lighter.

We had some minor drama this con, The Drama of the Business Cards and the Tale of the Executive Suite that Never Was. But those aren't Artist Alley related - Artist Alley related were the initial concerns and panic about our table placement (secure section on the very back row across from a large space of nothing) and trying to make the small corner half table back space work. But we managed to work through it, our table neighbors were very nice and I spent most of the weekend sitting on the floor behind Raging Gauges cranking out commissions while the Minion did Minion things and the Apprentice did her pony portraits. I only got to be at the table when either of them needed a break or I needed to discuss commission work with someone.

I don't think I've ever done so many commissions in one weekend, a lot of them were ponies, or pony related (I ended up drawing Discord a rather odd amount of times considering I actually know very little about him). But I had like a dozen commissions this weekend when I normally only get like four or five if I'm lucky. Not sure if this was just a con thing, the bronies (I've been adopted into The Herd apparently) or my change in choice of signage but still, there was a definite hike in commissions. I was constantly busy most of weekend cranking out ponies or sketches or quick paintings and also got a few larger more elaborate ones I got to take home with me to deal with later.

Print wise the usual heavy hitters sold, but I also sold some non fan art pieces that I rarely sell or never ever sell. I've sold out of so many things I'm not sure how/if I'm going to restock in time for my next planned con (SoonerCon in two weeks.)

So yea - good sales - very surprised. Sort of shellshocked.

Sadly I didn't get to talk to too many other artists this weekend, I was fairly busy and I'm shy and always scared I'm going to weird people out so I talk myself out of going to say hi to folks.

Anyways glad to hear it was a good year for everyone! Here's hoping these good trends carry over to the new hotel next year.
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Electriksunshine » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:02 pm

glad to hear everyone had crazy awesome sales. :D

mine were lame, but to be fair, I didn't bring hardly ANY stock. :p

Location was AWESOME, my neighbors were AWESOME, and aside from some non-AA drama, and a hangover or two, my weekend was the bees knees, yo! easiest, smoothest running con i've had yet. no major (or minor) snafus, business, or AA-wise. super happy about that. :D
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Yume » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:25 pm

This was a really great convention for me too. It didn't break any sales records for me but it was close. Moreover I had so much fun at this convention, like it was my first con, but better because of all my friends ;u; Plus not a hint of con drama for me, though sadly some people had stuff stolen downstairs ;-;

I got to see a lot of artists and friends, including Starry and Meauho who I haven't seen in awhile :3 But I missed Hastur, S-Girl, and a number of others.

Every day was a good sale day, Saturday being the best, Friday and then Sunday. Friday a lot was selling, but not the new items and other things I expected to sell o-o; but regardless it was an amazing day for sales.

Saturday was the slowest morning I was SO bored... I don't do well with little activity on so little sleep (oh and no AC). I calculated out that I made twice as much Friday than Saturday from morning to noon. However on Saturday around 5pm-6pm sales exploded 0_o Prints of all kinds were selling. Sells trends were all over the place... I didn't see any trends lmao. I was selling everything, old and new, even charms and prints that don't normally sell.

That being said, I really hope that if we have a secure area at the new location that we don't open so early on Saturday and don't close early on Saturday. It was painful to get up that early to sit around and do nothing.... and then when things are going good, have all our customers shooed away ;-;

Sunday was also a strong sale day, I stayed as long as I could which was worth it. Unfortunately everyone left early or were too tired to eat dinner with me. But I was able to find Tampopo this time and it was still delicious.

I stayed at the Sheraton, and unless I was just lucky the lines were not bad at all (especially compared to last year). Staff was also preventing attendees from getting on elevators on the 2nd floor, but let us artists/vendors with carts on. This helped tremendously! Hotel also gave me the largest room with a kingsize bed and sofa that wasn't a suite, which was exceptionally awesome!

Noise-level downstairs from the event-thingy across from D-island was horrid. It was difficult to hear anyone, especially Kiiyame and Ladre who were right across from it. Even though I was sitting literally right next to Ladre I could not hear him half the time :| Upstairs though, I had no trouble hearing anyone (I love being upstairs lol).

Cons:
- No volunteers were there to make sure non-artists were NOT entering the AA islands either upstairs or downstairs.
- AC went out on Sat and Sun, making it too hot for everyone, cosplayers especially. I hope the new location will not have this issue.
- Saturday secure section opened early and closed early.
-Taped areas weren't accurate, but didn't cause me problems personally.

Pros:
- Exceptionally helpfully staff :D Often we were asked if we needed help with setup, water, or breaks <3
- Staff made sure no one came into the secure section during after hours.
- Hotel gave us a very large room with a sofa ;u;
- I love the secure section and having set hours, allows me to frolic and not over-work ^u^
- Controlled elevator access :)


Overall this year was awesome, thank you A-Kon staff and volunteers <3

I'll be writing a less business oriented all-non-sense journal on my DA:
http://johnyume.deviantart.com/
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby X-Chan » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:27 pm

A-Kon has always been my favourite alley and this year was no exception. Sales did go up a lot for my friends and I, it was great. Thank you Claudia for being accommodating with our requests for seating and adding in artists. See you all next year!
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby KrisCynical » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:54 am

My con started by finding a baggy of pot on the floor in the lobby while heading to the elevators to go to our room after checking in. Somebody's night was probably ruined right there. :lol:

I echo everyone else in saying sales were amazing this year. I shattered my old record for the weekend over all and broke my Friday record by a considerable chunk as well. I think it was because of the attendance spike caused by the ads on Cartoon Network. A con officer I spoke to on Saturday said they were expecting 20,000 people and with all of the crowds I would believe it.

I haven't finished doing my inventory but it seemed that I sold a LOT more prints than I usually do. Bookmarks and buttons are usually the biggest sellers for me since they're lower priced items, but I sold out of a couple 11x17 prints, one 13x19 print, and came really close to selling out of a couple other large prints. I also had a massive spike in credit transactions to about three times what I usually take.

My main praise about this year is A-kon's medical staff. Because they are freaking awesome.

My mom has always been my "gofer" at conventions and invaluable to me being able to do cons at all because of how much she helps at the table. After checking in on Thursday afternoon we found that the tables in D island weren't set up correctly so my table was on the opposite side of the exit than where it was supposed to be, therefore putting us partially in front of a pillar. The feet of my big black print stand extend far enough back that it was going to be kind of tight for space, but we were going to make it work since I thought it would be too much of a hassle for Hastur to ask to move at the last second like that. That ended up being a really big booboo. After we had gotten the print stand assembled and upright I was digging in my bags to get out the gaffer tape to secure it to the floor when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and looked up just in time to see my mom trip over one of the feet of the stand while trying to move a chair and she went down HARD. She's in her early-to-mid 60s, so a fall of any kind can be severe. She fell so hard to her side that I was sure she had broken her arm, wrist, or God forbid her hip, and the chair she was carrying had fallen on top of her when she landed.

As soon as I got her sitting up and could see that nothing was obviously broken (although we were worried about her rapidly swelling knee... she already had surgery on it a few years ago for a torn meniscus) I ran up behind the AA Ops table and told Hastur what had happened. She immediately dropped everything and started running me upstairs to get medics and show me where exactly the medic station even WAS (Hastur, you are freaking awesome, too. You helped to calm me down a LOT.).

A-kon's medics are NINJA, I swear to God. By the time I got back downstairs with one of them another one had already examined my mom's knee, wrapped it, iced it, and wrapped it again. Thankfully nothing was broken, sprained, or torn, she just smacked the hell out of it so it was swelling up like a balloon. She also got a really nasty bruise on her arm (that made Hastur :shock: and "Holy SH*T, woman!!" when she saw it on Sunday), a cut behind her ear, a bruise on the shell of her ear, and a scuff on her chin, all from the chair falling on her. Not only was she incredibly lucky that she didn't break any bones, she was lucky that the chair didn't break her glasses or knock out any teeth. Needless to say I forced her to park it in a chair with her leg up for the rest of the afternoon while I finished setting up the stand. I wasn't going to try to sell that evening because of her, but she insisted she was okay and could walk/put weight on her leg just fine with only a very slight limp so we ended up selling that night. I am never doing that again because I just don't have the energy for it vs. what I made in the time I was open. It ain't worth it. I'd much rather spend Thursday night having a leisurely dinner with a couple drinks and resting up before the insanity starts.

My mom is supportive of me to a fault, I swear to God. Her first concern once she hit the ground was "Oh, no, THE CON!" because I'd worked so hard to get ready for it while I could have given a damn about the con until I knew she was okay (in a manner of speaking). She insisted on still doing food and drink runs through the weekend (even though I had told her *I* would do it this year), saying she needed to walk on her knee a little bit here and there anyway. She was a trooper throughout the con and stubborn as a mule when I kept asking her if she wanted me to get her more ice on Friday and Saturday. I've forced her to take it easy since we've gotten home, keeping her in her recliner as long as possible with her knee iced. She's all sorts of pretty colors all over the place now from purples to greens to yellows. Out of the four times she's fallen in her middle aged adulthood and onward, I've seen three of them and was the ONLY witness for two of them. She has no right to bitch at me any more when I freak out about her wibbles and wobbles, and needless to say I have demanded that she STAY PUT while I'm setting up the stand and tablecloths at future cons. She wasn't supposed to have been moving chairs and all as it was when she fell, and that's exactly why. I've always been scared of her tripping over the feet of the stand. I have neon orange duct tape stripes all along those back feet to keep other people from tripping on them, but it wasn't enough this time for her. >_<

So yeah... besides her shortening my life by a good five years on Thursday afternoon, the con was fantastic. :?
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Kiiyame » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:15 am

Still really tired from the weekend but, sales. Oh god sales. Friday was RIDICULOUS. The moment I had stuff put out I was selling. Saturday was slower, and Sunday was just as busy as Friday - but people weren't doing big purchases it seemed. I ran out of basically all of my buttons, sold all but 4 of my plush, and did decent with prints. Sales were marginally better than last year, but I think last year I had a bit more overall to sell (and did more commissions). I already can't wait for next year. LOL.

KrisCynical wrote:I echo everyone else in saying sales were amazing this year. I shattered my old record for the weekend over all and broke my Friday record by a considerable chunk as well. I think it was because of the attendance spike caused by the ads on Cartoon Network. A con officer I spoke to on Saturday said they were expecting 20,000 people and with all of the crowds I would believe it.


Were they really advertising it on CN? o_o 20,000 is a huuuuge number, especially for the convention area size. I really hope next years place is like 2x as big! (Are AA tables increasing in number? I kinda hope not...)
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby KrisCynical » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:52 am

That same officer said the convention space at the Anatole will be 2/3 again larger than the Sheraton's space. It's HUGE.
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby tsarren » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:26 pm

That back corner across from nothing in the upstairs section gets, as far as I can tell, the same amount of traffic as anywhere else in the upstairs alley. I was there last year, and it was good. Only problem I had with that big empty space is that people hang out in it, eventually fill it up, and then people are hanging out in front of your table talking, diverting foot traffic from seeing your stuff. I am not shy about asking people to move. I was in the front corner this year and had two people who tried to sit in the little corner created by the corner tables - 30 seconds apart from each other. In addition to blocking access to my table, they were within arm's reach of my cash box, had they bothered to look under the tablecloth. I keep most of it on my person, but yeesh.

Actual feedback -

Setup / Alley check-in being open until 11pm was nice; didn't have to stress about getting there in time to not have to set up Friday AM. I was there around 8:30-9:30p, and I noticed that the area wasn't being made secure until around 9. Makes me glad I didn't plan on setting up earlier in the day - there were people just wandering into the area at random. Secure Area is not secure until the white lattice gets put up.

I mis-remembered the email and thought we opened at 9 Friday, so we showed up at 7:55. They were letting exhibitors in, but not artists (that guy apparently also mis-remembered something, because he said, "you have to wait until 8," not "you have to wait until 9"). Doesn't make a lot of sense; same area for artists and exhibitors. However, kudos to the nice person who came along and let us in anyways - I made good use of the two hours before we opened.

The volunteers were frikking awesome. I saw one about every 2-3 hours, and given how much I had to hydrate because the super-air-conditioned air was sucking all of the moisture out of my lungs, that would've been critical had I not had someone there to help me. As it was, at one point when a volunteer showed up, we were so busy I actually did ask for some water.

On getting people out of the secure area once it closes Friday and Saturday:

I observed several groups of people completely ignoring the people on the PA system _after_ closing time; they continued to walk deeper into the Alley. One group without badges walked in about 1 minute before close, ignoring the announcement going on at the time, went past my table up the long axis of the islands, and then showed up on the other side and turned to go even deeper into the Alley. I ran out from behind my table, caught up to them and got in front of them, and said, "guys, this area is closed, you need to leave," and they turned around and left. I did this after a volunteer tried to catch them before they turned the corner - she stood to the side of them and wasn't projecting her voice at all, and they completely ignored her. I did the same thing again on Saturday (minus the volunteer's attempt).

Possibly having volunteers start a sweep from the back towards the exit about 10 minutes after closing time - assuming we've got a secure area at the new location (please) - checking the badges of every single person they encounter who's not behind a table and not letting them go any direction but out - could be helpful.

Topped last year's sales by 6 or 7%, I think. Very awesome.
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby jellykoe » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:54 pm

A-kon is a great con, with a great AA. There aren't really any bad spots, the traffic is pretty consistent. We actually did slightly less than last year, but I attribute that to having had a couple big sales last year that we didn't get. The volunteers came by several times a day asking if we needed water or a break, that was so great and helpful! Overall, it was a great experience again this year. I love the choice of secure AA vs. 24 hour AA. (we always pick secure)

I do agree with Yume about the hours on Saturday, the morning was really slow, but there were plenty of people hanging around at closing time. I felt like it could have opened later and closed later. The only other thing I would suggest is closing the alley an hour before we have to be out of there on Sunday. It's frustrating trying to shut down when people are still browsing, and worrying about people taking things because you have to pack up and can't pay full attention to the table.

Excited about moving to the Anatole next year! Does this mean we will all be in the same room, or will there still be two sections?
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby Starrydance » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:14 pm

Please recall we lost tables the year before last so if more tables ARE added its not 100% "adding more tables", it is somewhat regaining some lost.

Its going to likely look larger no matter what we do - as I believe the alley is in one room/level at the new hotel.


About next year: We dont know. Its going to be a madcap adventure of lulz, and only a time traveler knows how it will settle out.

Basically, ya'll will know when its legit and for sure information. Sharing rumors of rumors from the gods above arent gonna help anyone. =3
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Re: Akon 2012 Feedback and all of that jazz

Postby KrisCynical » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:29 am

This slightly off topic, but... are we going to be using THIS board, or TexasArtistAlley.com?

EDIT:
Okay nevermind. I went to the other board and poked around some more and it seems that everyone needs to migrate over here... so I guess I'll be sticking here if this is where Starry, Hastur, Spizzy, etc. are hanging out. I just got confused because when Proz announced the TexasArtistAlley boards it sounded kind of official so I went there. Oops. :?
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