a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

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Hikaru0
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a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby Hikaru0 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:16 pm

Greetings artists!
First of all I want to thank all of you that participated in our move to cobo this year. It wasn't easy for many of us but I think we pulled through for better or worse. I also want to thank again those artists that took the time to speak with me on Sunday. I'm sorry I didn't have time to speak to everyone, hopefully next year I'll have time to get to every table.

Now to address some issues that came to me in the form of a "petition".
Please bear with me as this post is doomed to be lengthy. I'm also typing from a phone so there may be autocorrect typos and incomplete info. I cannot believe the amount of rumors that have started this year, all of them negative, and all of them untrue.
Issue 1. Artists are afraid to give feedback as they fear "repercussions".
-----My response: have I really come across as that petty of an individual? I take note of all feedback, good or bad without holding it over anyone's head. Some feedback is legitimate, and over the years, this feedback has improved the alley exceptionally. Case in point- moving to a secure room this year, and the artists being able to pick up their badge in the alley. This year, as an added bonus, artists could purchase helper badges at the cheapest pre-reg price despite the fact that price already expiring for everyone else.
Some of you may want to refer to a thread that was moved several months ago, but I maintain that was done because it had dissolved into something largely drama-filled and off topic.
HOWEVER. It was never deleted and staff did see it so it was never ignored. If anything gets moved, its usually because a chair wants to review it. You'll find that any thread in any section would get the same treatment.

Issue 2- Communication, or lack thereof, was abysmal and the aa dh should be fired.
------My response: I'm aware of my failings this year as far as communication goes. I won't get into the why's or what fors, but you have my word that I will answer every mail I receive. Just be aware that I may not always have the answers you want, when you want them. As for replacing me, you are more than welcome to intern staff the aa so you can see my responsibilities and aim to replace me. However, the flipside is that you cannot spend your time behind an aa table.

As for rumors I'm seeing on various individual's tumblrs, I am not 'getting fired', nor was I even in consideration of 'being fired' this year. So I did not want to 'watch the AA burn'. Even if I was leaving as DH of the alley, I certainly wouldn't try to destroy it on my way out.

Issue 3- The alleys placement is terrible and unfair. Move it to the front and let it stay open longer than the vendor area. I hear that its all the aa dh's fault that we're here because she doesn't take us seriously and hates us.
------My response: A lot of that is silly poppycock. I wouldn't still be here, let alone typing up this post (on a phone no less) if I didn't care. And its actually too much effort to hate anyone, let alone over a hundred individuals that I only see once a year. As for the placement, both my husband and I have requested that this be different. You are not located behind the vendor booths because I want you there, in fact I spoke against it when I was told that the alley would be going there. We had to move out of the ren cen hallway because it was dangerously overcrowded. While I understand the lines snaking through the alley forced great sales upon many, it was a terrible fire hazard, and made navigation to main programming nearly impossible.

I've already asked about moving the AA again for next year. The Ambassador ballroom back in the Ren Cen was open this year, and as far as I can tell it will be unneeded next year. I was told no, as it would downsize the alley considerably and another department has already requested it. I also asked for the alley, once again, to not be placed at the back, but I was told that the alley was not going anywhere. So my last request was to have the alley alongside of the Vendors, sort of a 'split-screen' effect, if you will. This idea was not shot down, so if everything else is not doable, I will try to push for this layout.

If no change to the AA placement can be done, I will attempt for a better table layout. I will also see what I can do about slightly later hours than the vendor area.

I did recommend that the artists I spoke to, send an email to our conchair to let your opinion be heard about the placement of the alley. In hindsight, I wonder if a few of the artists I spoke to thought I was another staffer, and not the AA DH, which in turn gives me an uncaring rep. That will be amusing if I've dug my own hole.


Issue 4- Registration was a failure mess. I was on the waiting list and never heard from you. I wanted a refund and was given the run-around. We waited in line for check-in way too long and it affected our sales. There were too many unsightly empty tables and it affected our sales. We need compensation.
----My Response: I do apologize for how registration turned out, but that was unfortunately out of my control. It was my intent to have things announced ahead of time, but when I did announce things, the system was delayed. I then announced when it was going live immediately after I was told, but it was still too short of notice for many of you, I know. The plus side, I could accept everyone that registered for a table.

I had no idea that people were being placed on a waiting list, if anyone other than one artist I spoke to, made it on to one. Chalk that up to bad inner-communication. I'll work on bettering that next year.

As for refunds, I have no control over hitting the button to refund your money, so I would re-direct everyone to registration or the webmaster. I have never controlled the money for registration, and as far as I've ever known, that's the best way for it to be. Compensation for anything will never happen. Not for dealers, not for artists, over sales loss. The cold hard fact of this is, I will do my best to make sure you get into the alley in a timely manner, and I will try my best to get everyone into a better location for sales, but what you actually sell is largely dependent on you.
If I've done everything I can for the alley, as I did this year, then there's nothing more I can do to help you get the sales you need to break even or make a profit. If I had unlimited funds I'd buy something from everyone just to donate to the cause, but I'm pretty poor. I did buy a square gengar plush from one artist, and a print from another, so I did put some help in. The two staffers I managed to wrangle in this year also primarily bought items from the alley, so they helped as well. ^_^

There was only supposed to be ten empty tables just in case there were some last minute table swaps (as has happened in previous years), but due to Hurricane Sandy, many artists were unable to make it to the convention, which brought the number of unclaimed tables up to 20. When making my seating chart I had considered interspersing people out through all of the sections, but that would've made the alley much too empty looking, which, in my opinion, would've been worse than the one empty section.

I will end this explanation post here, and continue in another so it lights the thread up once more.

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Hikaru0
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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby Hikaru0 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:40 pm

Issue 5- Lack of lanyards/clips, program guides, blank badges. Opening/Closing times incorrectly displayed or known. No signs. No advertisement for the alley.
----My Response: These were all beyond my control. I was eventually delivered a small bag of badge clips, and sent one of my staffers out into the alley to hand what she could, out. She came back with a grim face after a few minutes, and announced she didn't have enough clips for everyone. I was never given more. In fact, the few that I'd saved for the badges of artists that had not arrived yet, were osmosed by other people. (namely vendors who came up to the info booth, saw the clips on the desk, and snuck off with them)
I did not receive blank badges until midday Friday (at the same time as the clips), as spares had to be laminated by Registration, and you surely understand how swamped they were. These were also promptly handed out as soon as they arrived.
The program guides did not arrive at the convention until Saturday, and my hardworking staffer went and handed them out as quickly as she could. It wasn't just you guys without program guides...it was the entire convention.
If you look at the thread titled "AA Schedule", those are the times I was told. Even I got confused on the opening and closing times, because once I was at the convention, even I was hearing different times. It was just a gigantic cluster...fruit. I admit that, and I also can only apologize because there was nothing I could've done when anyone I talked to was confused as well.

The lack of signs seemed to be an error from a different department. The conchair tells me that the signs were delivered, but a staffer (I have no idea who) placed them in a corner and forgot about them until way later. As for signs leading people through cobo to get to the Dealers Room and AA, that was a general complaint between ALL staffers, all weekend.

As for the lack of mention of the AA in the program guide or advertisement in general (I'm going to assume advertisement in this case is the signs leading people to the alley itself), again, I have no control over that. I send in/request what I want to get put in the program guide, and then another department takes it over from there. So again, all I can do is apologize, and question the departments involved with the actual content of the program guide.


Issue 6-The AA DH 'hid' all weekend. The AA DH 'abandoned' the AA all weekend. The AA DH uses a mule/sockpuppet to hassle attendees. The AA DH -insert other negative rumors here-.
----My Response: Well, all I can say to this is I came to the convention ill. Friday, I was in the alley checking people in, in the morning until nearly the time I understood to be closing time. I hadn't eaten all day and had no money for the concession stand, so I'm sorry for needing to go seek out food. :(
Saturday I will admit I did not come into the alley until closer to noon, 1pm. I spent a good portion of the morning and early afternoon trying to recover a bit, but my hardworking superwoman staffer was there, and from what I've heard from her, she responded to every complaint and question she could.
On Sunday I went through the alley late in the afternoon to get feedback from some of the artists before I had to head out for a long drive home. As I said earlier, I did fail to introduce myself to some of the artists and I may have miscommunicated that I was not a random staffer badmouthing the AA DH, but the AA DH trying to tell everyone to contact the conchair to give feedback on the placement of the alley.
Again, I apologize if I made myself seem like an uncaring individual.

And to be honest, as DH, there is very little I can do AT the con other than answer a few questions and look into complaints. Most of the work is done pre-convention. Other than carrying around a neon sign or hooking a plumbob to my head, I'm not sure how I can advertise my presence to all of you better. ^_^

And no, I'm not going around hassling attendees with a mule/sockpuppet.

Issue 7- Random complaints dealing with lack of access to the loading docks, and misc.
---My Response: This issue is labeled misc for now as I think I've come to the end of the major complaints I've heard for now. I'll add more as I hear them. But, I had no idea that artists were in need of access to the loading docks. I can bring it up for next year, but it may be an extra cost to the convention so please don't be upset if it's not possible.

That's all I have now. You may leave feedback additionally here or in a PM if you wish to not be broadcast everywhere. I will try to respond to questions that you may have.

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby the4saken » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:45 pm

'Superwoman' here. AKA AA Staffer Katie. I think our DH did a great job for how sick she was. She didn't get to experience Youmacon and have fun, it was work and sleep for her. I sincerely hope everyone reads her post and realizes how hard she did work.

Plenty of artists did well, namely the ones who came prepared and had a social outlook. The profits an artist makes are largely dependant on them advertising themselves at the event. When I came in to shop in normal clothing, I was shocked that many did not even look up and greet customers. The traffic in the 'back' of the vendors was high. High enough that if consumer attention had been sought, it would have been given. You can use music, eye contact and smiles, signs, offer small free items, grab bags, I saw all of those types of gimmicks. I saw one of the more social artists actually working late into the night at the Ren Cen finishing up works for customers. It was awesome.

Please just stop complaining about clips or lanyards. You're artists, you can find a creative way to display your badges. It's petty to dwell on such an inconsequential thing. That goes for programs as well. They were not even given to staff at Cobo until saturday, and I made sure to get them to every single artist booth. I took care of you IMMEDIATELY, in every situation that it was possible. You've no idea the squabbles we broke up that initiated from artists, not from the event. A little appreciation would be nice.



Oh, and thank you to all the artists who came! I got a ton of swag, it was great. My Fuzumi knit furry hat/gloves item is a hit, my tail is awesome, I love the duct tape rings Cheshire twins, and i've framed my lovely Megoomba art :)

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby krazehh » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:51 pm

Artist here, On a personal level i did about average-well at this convention no problem so my mood isnt sour. I can't say the same for my group of friends who all tabled though.
A pair of them had tables, all the way in the back, was covered by a PILLAR. no matter how much sales smiles and free stuff you can throw, a table covered by a PILLAR is not acceptable at all and DOES hamper sales completely. Their artwork was seen by No one but said pillar and they were so narrow that people would rather walk around the pillar than look at their table. Likewise for my OTHER pair of friends who faced the dead sea of empty tables. That layout was in general, horrible. from experience Islands ONLY EVER work when the room is used solely for artist alley and a bulk of people (a little less than 50%) would end up with a horrible spot that many passerbyers would overlook completely during a walk through (myself, an artist alley-er included).

I was told we were to be placed in front of the dealer's hall I was also told there'd be events in the same room like autographs and signings (which was another lie). And i was surefire pissed that we weren't given what was promised, especially when we share the SAME hours as dealers, also that measley food court was hardly a draw for people at all (so try not to use the food vendor as an excuse).
I dont doubt the necessary hike in price for the badge/tables covered for the cobo. But never have i seen such poor treatment in helping the Artist Alley at all (not by the Artist head but by the con in general).

Also please leave the contact information of the chair person for us to get hold of please. Because this is a big issue. We may not be the most PROFITABLE aspect for Youmacon but we should still be shown respect/ service from a convention we're not only SUPPORTIng but PAYING for. Those tables were marked higher for a reason but from the looks of it, it just got worse from last year in addition to being just as disorganized. (also this is a huge contrast to AnimeUSA which i attended just recently where they moved to a new bigger venue also. Even though we were in a very unfavorable room the con realized our situation and responded to our complaints and questions and put up Artist alley direction signs at both the hotel, and the lower floors and that convention center was for more difficult to navigate than Youmacon's. Why didn't we get any signage?) All we got were empty promises and a row of badly managed islands of tables that hid behind the large curtains of the Dealer's hall Booths in a COBO center that was hardly utilized and felt like a ghost town.

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby LittleMeesh » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:33 am

I think most of my issues have been mentioned, but I feel the need to leave my voice here.

With Youmacon this year I have flat out felt like a 'second-class' attendee. First we where given the run around to GET the table due to the artist alley opening with incredibly short notice. Then to top it off I get to the cobo hall and find that we where tucked behind the dealers room's curtains like a bunch of unwanted guests.

Many of the other points that have been mentioned did not affect me much. I have learned to be largely self sufficient at conventions for most of the years attending cons and take what I am handed. This is under the assumption though that the convention is doing what they can to make sure A.) We get good viewership and B.) We get realistic sales and what we where expecting ((not hoping for))
I got none of these. It felt like a slow trickle for most of the convention. People would come up to my table and when I started small talk a couple mentioned "Yeah we were coming around the dealers room and just ran across the Artist Alley, we had no clue you guys where even back here! We thought you where in the RenCen somewhere!" That's never a good thing to hear.

I don't understand why the artist alley can not be placed in front of the DR. Most attendees will still make a straight line path the dealers room no matter what. I have never been to a convention where the artist alley has been real competition in the dealers room at all. And if you take into consideration that we had regulations placed on on what we could sell ((T-shirts, hats, etc)) There would be little tangible competition with with dealers.

Yes, I understand that we do not pay as much as dealers. Yes, I understand that this is their job.

BUT I also know, as an artist of this con that has attended many years in the past that what I make in cash and also what I make in viewership helps support my livelihood and I want to be treated with a shred of respect and decency from the upper brass. I know as a solo artist who only sells prints that even when we are placed in front of the dealers room at a convention, I am only ever going to make a slight fraction of what they do.

((Also I was told there would be an art supply vendor..where was that? I didn't bring back ups of something because I assumed I could just purchase it at con?))
Check out my artwork!

http://Littlemeesh.deviantart.com

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby Craig Bayfield » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:06 pm

Well let's sort out priorities and the right people to talk to if we are going to make our voices heard. If we point at Hikaru and put it all on her (she is a she, right?) then we'll just give her a headache and get nothing done. I imagine she gains nothing from all of the perceived aggrivation that's going around so when she says she faught for the AA to be in front, I am inclined to believe her.

Therefore we need to work out who was responsibile for that decision and calmly plead our case. Maybe it was more to do with Cobo than us? I know there were issues with power supplies and AA typically does not need those. I'm sure there is context to this situation and rather than lynching we should seek it.

As for signage. That was SO not the AA DH's fault becase all 15,000 attendees suffered the same thing. Photoshoots and panels did not have signage either, no books existed until Friday night. I know someone dropped the ball on that one and I'm sure they have heard ten thousand voices of complaint. I doubt we could add anything more than they have already heard.

Registration stuff? Eh. We were in by 11am and the room opened at 1pm. Would I have liked more time? Yes. But did it hurt business to only have 2 hours. Not so much. At the most anyone in that line waited an hour and a half. Half the time anyone else in the entire convention had to wait. I honestly feel like a spoiled brat when I think about waiting 45 minutes for my artist badge when my non-AA friends waited 4 hours. Like... I mentioned it on Friday night and was shamed within 2 sentenses.

We did okay for the weekend, I think. Not as great as we could have but I find every convention has its own niche which you need to work out. Youma is still fine tuning its niches. This year may very well be a failed experiment... but we'll get there. Just have faith and patience. 2013 will improve or if it doesn't we'll find other venues. Every place has an audience, after all.

PS: Autographs and signings were in the Cobo dealers hall at the very front hidden to the right hand side. The line stretched all the way across the wall. I'm surprised you missed it.
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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby Shadowednavi » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:58 pm

Poking my nose in for just a moment to reply to the person who commented about having a table behind a pillar:

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 4026_n.jpg

I had less than 5 feet to play with at ACEN 2011 (had an extra foot of space generously donated by the table beside me) and walked away with $500 that convention. It definitely sucks the big one (and on the planning side of things, ideally we would prefer to NOT have a situation like that), but when you find yourself behind a pillar or any other roadblock, you have to put some extra work in to make ends meet. And, I mean. We're artists. We're creative people with tremendous amounts of faith. We can make it work. :)

Other than that, I echo my lovely Craig's sentiments ^_^

~Shadowednavi

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby krazehh » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:42 pm

Shadowednavi wrote:Poking my nose in for just a moment to reply to the person who commented about having a table behind a pillar:

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 4026_n.jpg

I had less than 5 feet to play with at ACEN 2011 (had an extra foot of space generously donated by the table beside me) and walked away with $500 that convention. It definitely sucks the big one (and on the planning side of things, ideally we would prefer to NOT have a situation like that), but when you find yourself behind a pillar or any other roadblock, you have to put some extra work in to make ends meet. And, I mean. We're artists. We're creative people with tremendous amounts of faith. We can make it work. :)

Other than that, I echo my lovely Craig's sentiments ^_^

~Shadowednavi



The Pillar in your image isnt all that large though. The one's my friends tables were behind were huge, probably 4 or 5 times that size. You can squeeze between the table and the pillar no problem but their display was pretty much completely useless and overlooked overall since you cant see the top of the display between that walkway without arching your neck painfully. (their display wasnt even that tall either) and at the same time, it was facing at basically nothing.
Signage isnt necessary but it could have helped especially in front of the dealer's section showing that the AA was hidden and tucked away behind it. (also the island set up is completely in the hands of the Artist alley and not the COBO.)

(also I love youmacon, I deffinitely want to come again because i love the crowd and my friends. but we come all the way from NY, and even though I dont mind a few lost sales, my other friends don't even want to attempt again. This use to be our favorite con and depending on the change, we hope to keep it that way)

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby gandbloot » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:50 am

I already posted some of my thoughts regarding the AA in the general Feedback thread, but I feel as though I need to address a few things here as well.

Before I get into my individual complaints I would like to say that while most of this isn't directed solely at the AA DH, I feel compelled to ask what the AA DH is responsible for. After reading through the first two posts of this thread regarding issues that were brought up I couldn't help but notice that the main reason given was "That was out of my control"
Now, I do understand that some issues (lanyards, the final say of the AA layout, signage, etc) are in fact out of the DHs control, that is not an acceptable excuse for many of the other issues that were brought up. Communication(or lack thereof,as it were), Registration, short notice on Reg opening, the waiting list, empty tables, obstructed tables, unclear hours and many other things should fall to the DH. If all of those things were indeed out of the DHs control, I ask again: what exactly is the AA DH responsible for? Please don't take this as a personal attack, but as an honest question.
As Hikaru mentioned in her original post, most of the work regarding the AA is done well in advance and there isn't much that can be fixed once the con is in motion... but I can't help but feel as though most of these issues were not given enough attention pre-convention.


As for my complaints/suggestions/two cents, here they are:

Overall Lack of Communication
I think what bothered me the most was the utter lack of communication. The only reason we even managed to get into the AA was pure luck--on a whim I decided to check the forums (after having given up months prior) only to find out that the Reg was opening in a few hours.
I understand that there was a lot of confusion between the webmaster and the DH, but status updates would have been nice. Even a simple "We're still working on getting everything together, but check back in a week or two" would have been much appreciated. Not hearing ANYTHING at ALL just makes things much more confusing.

It also bothered me that Youma's Facebook was constantly announcing new guests that were coming but there wasn't ever any mention of the AA reg. Again, even just letting us know ANYTHING is better than being left completely in the dark.

During the wait for the AA to open, I sent multiple e-mails with various questions I had and never heard any kind of response. My partner also sent various e-mails regarding when the AA would open and the only response he received was an e-mail sent out days after the AA reg was opened and by that time the Alley was already full.
I can only imagine how flooded that inbox must have been... but not responding to any e-mails until AFTER the fact is ridiculous.
On top of that, I sent out a few more e-mails with questions about who to contact for electricity, clarifications on what we could/couldn't sell, etc and never heard a word.
Communication is one of the most vital aspects of making an event work (and is also one of the easiest things to take care of), and not hearing ANYTHING only causes more confusion.

Short Notice of the Alley Reg Opening
From what I've gathered from posts made here on the forums I realize that this is not solely the DH's fault, but is something that seriously needs to be fixed next year.

As a craft artist, I need as much time to prep for a convention as possible. I make pony plushies, scarves, and other sewn items... and all of those items take a LOT of time to make. 40 days notice is simply not enough to get everything done that needs to get done. For a smaller convention, such short notice wouldn't be as big of an issue as there are less people, and therefore not as much inventory to make... but for a convention with 12,000+ attendees, that means I need a much bigger stock to bring with me. We worked on our plushies from the day we got into the AA to the day we left for the con and I still wasn't able to get as many done as I needed. I understand that not everyone has this problem (like print artists) but for anybody that makes handmade crafts, we need as much time as we can get.

Also being someone from out of state who only attends cons to sell in the AA, the short notice meant we missed out on a hotel room that was close to the convention center. We luckily ended up getting a last minute room at the Double Tree a few blocks away which worked out for us quite nicely... but had this been any other convention where things aren't as spread out we would have been out of luck.

I won't even get into the idea of the utter lack of a waiting list...

Set up Times
My biggest question here is why are we not allowed to set up on Thursday? I would have loved to have time to set up our display a day ahead of time instead of trying to rush Friday morning to get everything in place before attendees were let in. It also would have given us artists a bit more time to walk around the dealers room/AA and see what else was there.
If I could have used more time setting up my ARTIST display... I can only imagine the stress most of the DEALERS were under trying to get everything set up.

Location
While I have many of the same concerns as others regarding the AA being behind the Dealers, I won't really get into that.
My main concern here was the layout of the AA tables themselves. If we had so many empty tables in the AA, why were there ANY artists that were placed behind pillars? I would think that making use of some of the empty spots would be a wonderful solution to that problem and I can't believe nobody else thought of that. Why place an artist who paid good money behind a pillar where there are a plethora of empty tables in better locations?
Another idea regarding the empty tables: Instead of placing all of the tables in one row with a lone artist sandwitched inbetween... why not put all of the empty tables in the back of the AA and push all of the other artists closer to the dealers room?
We actually had two tables on the very end of our row, facing the food court. I would have much preferred to claim two of the empty tables in the side row, where our backs weren't to the entire room.

Also, I think it's worth mentioning that the only reason we got as much business as we did was because of our pony plushies. More than two thirds of the business we got was either from people bringing friends over, people who I had spoken to before the convention who were actively searching for our table, or people who had seen other congoers carrying around our ponies. Had we been a print table, we wouldn't have seen nearly as much traffic as we did... I noticed that many of the tables on endcaps (that again... were facing AWAY from the rest of the room!) didn't get nearly as much business as the artists that were placed in the rows.
Again, if there were so many empty tables... why not give the artists who are present the best possible locations?

Miscellaneous
In one of Hiraku's earlier posts: "This year, as an added bonus, artists could purchase helper badges at the cheapest pre-reg price despite the fact that price already expiring for everyone else."
This is the first I've heard about that... Due to some medical issues that sprang up only a few days before the con, I brought my mom with me to help us set up. Since I didn't know she would be coming until a few days prior, she had no badge. When we went to pick up our badges on Friday, I asked about buying a helper badge for her and was told that she was going to have to go stand in line and buy a PREMIUM badge at full cost in order for her to help us in the AA...
After talking about it a bit more, she was thankfully allowed in to help me set up without a badge and I greatly appreciate that... But if we were indeed allowed to purchase additional helper badges at a lower rate, not everyone was aware of that. Chock that one up to the horrible communication again?

Also regarding badges: We were never asked to show them. In fact, my mom ended up getting a badge for free as someone came around asking if anyone needed additional badges and happily handed one over when I said yes. I was never asked to pay for it, so I'm not sure what happened there.


Another huge issue I have is with an earlier post from the4saken, but especially this particular excerpt: "High enough that if consumer attention had been sought, it would have been given. You can use music, eye contact and smiles, signs, offer small free items, grab bags, I saw all of those types of gimmicks."
I can honestly say that no amount of eye contact, smiles, friendly hellos, signs, etc will bring people over if you're in a bad location.
As for the music, lights, or anything involving electricity--most artists are already reluctant to splurge 100-200$ for a power outlet. Even if they were, I couldn't find any clear information on who to contact and never received any responses to my e-mails regarding such a thing.
On top of that, artists who were unlucky enough to be placed in a not-so-ideal spot would have no idea until they're at the convention. How are they supposed to offer things like grab bags or small free items if they didn't know they needed that until at the convention? Are they supposed to discount their prices, or give away free merch just because they got a bad spot, and basically be forced to undersell themselves due to something out of their control? Even suggesting such a thing infuriates me.

Yet another issue I noticed was potential fraud artist tables, or artists who were breaking clear cut rules. Please keep in mind that I have no clear cut evidence of this, and am not completely sure of the rules regarding prints as I'm not a print artist... but there were a couple of print tables that just didn't sit right with me. Again, not pointing any fingers or saying anyone is guilty of anything... but I feel it's worth mentioning. It seems that there is little more than faith preventing someone from stealing others art, and this is something that can happen at ANY con, not just Youma.
During one of my only opportunities to walk through the room I noticed a table that had astonishing prints. They looked almost as if they were taken straight from the shows themselves. I then turned around and saw a dealer selling the EXACT same art, only on wall scrolls. I looked back and forth multiple times, as they were directly across from one another in the AA/DR row of tables and I couldn't believe my eyes. I even double checked that they were indeed two individual tables and not just a separated DR table... I'm not sure what was going on, but if the artist really did steal those prints I have no idea how they got away with it.
Also, there was one table in particular that had prints with many different styles. I took a closer look and realized that almost every print was signed by a different artist. I'm not 100% sure of the rules when it comes to selling others' art, but I was under the impression we are only allowed to sell goods that we made ourselves, or others at our table have made.




I realize that organizing the AA at a convention of this size is a daunting task, especially when there are venue changes thrown into the mix... but many of the issues we faced this year deserve a better explanation than "It was out of my control" or "Stop blowing that out of proportion" or, the best yet "You're artists; come up with a creative solution"
I feel as though with the amount of time, energy, and MONEY we spent to attend this con we deserve better treatment and a better organized staff.

I sincerely hope that these issues will be fixed, or at least improved upon before next year, for everyone's sake.

TL;DR: "it was out of my control" and "I tried my best" is NOT an acceptable excuse for most of the issues regarding the AA this year.

CaptiveAura
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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby CaptiveAura » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:29 am

I've never been to Youma, but was looking forward to trying to get into AA when it opens this year. (I make fleece hats, scarves, and planning on tshirts and jewelry.) But reading this thread has made me second guess myself. It seems that no matter who is to blame, things need to change. I'm gonna keep a watch on this thread, I'd like to see how many of the artists are still planning on going back this year. :)

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kyuryu
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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby kyuryu » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:33 pm

I can admit I was disapointed with AA this year based off the past two, but I can admit a large part of that was the location change. The only two conventions I've gone to and LOST money on artist alley were conventions that moved, or in this case AA moved. I know I was getting complaints that no one knew where artist alley was.

Also, there were passes for the people mover, but no one really knew about those either. I didn't even find the people selling the passes till late Friday. It would be awesome if those could be included with the artist tables next year since we HAVE to go to COBO daily.

I know this isn't on AA staff, but who was in charge of people mover stuff? I read on their website that if requested by a group they will extend their hours--let me tell you it was a pain to have to walk from the ren center to cobo hauling an old METAL sewing machine that weighs at least 30lbs.

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby YukikaChan » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:25 pm

Feedback from another artist here!

2012 was my very first experience in an Artist Alley, and my third experience in an anime convention. Although I feel my experiences may not be enough to really say or not for sure, but immediately on the first day in the artist alley I had already felt like things just weren't as good as I thought they'd be. I made a few bucks, but definitely didn't break even. At all. A lot of that was definitely my fault, and it was a learning experience, but it also seemed like business what slow and better-off artists weren't doing so well this year, either. I also understand that's from the move to Cobo. But what really bothered me the most was how delayed and unorganized things were, and the lack of communication. In my honest opinion, I don't think it was worth the money I put into the table for my experience. I would have much rather wandered around the convention instead, if I knew it'd be like this.

I think some more changes could be made. Maybe more people helping organizing the AA? Better registration system? A clearer way for the artists to communicate with the higher-ups?

I believe most of the issues in this entire convention itself this year was it was super unorganized and there wasn't much communication from the convention to the congoers.

Sorry if I'm not much help but I thought I'd at least add a bit of a perspective from a different artist
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Lillian8
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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby Lillian8 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:19 am

CaptiveAura wrote:I've never been to Youma, but was looking forward to trying to get into AA when it opens this year. (I make fleece hats, scarves, and planning on tshirts and jewelry.) But reading this thread has made me second guess myself. It seems that no matter who is to blame, things need to change. I'm gonna keep a watch on this thread, I'd like to see how many of the artists are still planning on going back this year. :)


keep a watch on this thread.

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby WeeabooWarehouse » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:59 pm

Set up Times
My biggest question here is why are we not allowed to set up on Thursday? I would have loved to have time to set up our display a day ahead of time instead of trying to rush Friday morning to get everything in place before attendees were let in. It also would have given us artists a bit more time to walk around the dealers room/AA and see what else was there.
If I could have used more time setting up my ARTIST display... I can only imagine the stress most of the DEALERS were under trying to get everything set up.


I agree with this the most. I've never sold at a convention before (first one in September woo!) But every other artist I've talked to, gathered info from, do's and don'ts and whatnot, have all mentioned that setup is usually the day before the official first day of the convention. I was a little surprised to find out that Youma's set up is the morning of the first day.

I used to sell at craft fairs with the "set up the morning of" mentality, and even when I show up 4 hours early things go wrong, items are lost and set up goes slower than expected even with practicing at home.

So yea, I vote for the ability to set up Thursday, even if its in the late afternoon or evening.

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Re: a dh's feedback and to-do list for next year

Postby ETNsilverstar » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:45 pm

Surprisingly, nearly every con I've sold at DIDN'T have set up on Thursday. Generally adding in Thursday is a bit of an extra cost for the con, so many opt not to do it. I don't mind setting up same day because my setup only takes about an hour without any help, but it is nice when I don't have to show up extra early just so I can set up my table. I often wear Lolita at cons too, and setup can get really warm in it! Lol

I wouldn't mind a Thursday set up, but for me personally, it doesn't really matter. I'd be surprised if vendors don't get to do Thursday set up though, and since artists and vendors are in the same room I don't see why both wouldn't be allowed to do early set up at the same time.


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