And now we're back! And WOW we're tired. I also have a few more updates, buuuuuut those'll wait for a little bit.
So, to start my story, the weekend before AWI, we were VERY busy. Between guests in the house, Shutocon Alley sign up, a family birthday party we needed to be at, we had to finish making some products to go in the booth. Spending a large chunk of the week making some new Pokemon badge sets, (I was out of Kanto Region sets), I ended up coming down with an annoying cold on JULY 4th. My one day off.
I spent most of that day dead on the couch, and I had to take Thursday as well to recover.
Since we were trying to save money, we left Friday morning at like 5:30 am. We watched the sunrise as we drove (I was shockingly awake for most of the drive).
We arrived at the hotel around 11, and started the whole check-in process. Got our room, then went to search out the hotel for AA sign in.
EGADS. This hotel is NOT set up for things like conventions. They had a ton of rooms, and the scenery was really pretty, but the hotel made a bit "L" shape. So the panels, events, and reg were up on the second floor and the dealer hall and the alley were downstairs after the restaurant.
|I liked all the spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!|
The dealer hall was in the big room downstairs, and behind that, were the artists. I was able to nab a fellow vendor and found out where the check-in process was. Our table was midway down the hallway (I'd say there was like 10ish artists total, which is pretty good for a small starter), and we had a HUGE amount of space behind us.
Which was lucky for us, since Dave caught my cold, and he was battling unconsciousness a lot.
I was also battling being able to breathe through my nose all weekend. WHEW.
Anyway, Friday was pretty slow. Which, to me, is very typical. You won't see a lot of sales on Fridays as everybody's still browsing and figuring out where everything is. And since this hotel had a bit of a learning curve, they were gonna take a while.
Met some lovely people, made friends with the booth across the hall from me. (HI KIRA) I see her at a lot of other conventions, so it was nice to finally catch up and chat during downtimes.
It seemed like they were having a staffing problem, and they were desperately trying to get attendees to go in one door, and out the one near us. The Enthusiasts were also located near us in a further away nook. So hopefully they got some traffic too.
A couple of the AA vendors were pitching a small fit about location and moving, and theoretically we were gonna get moved to the outside hall, but I didn't bother worrying about it. I liked the big space. :)
|I liked how we had it set up this time, so I took a picture so I'd remember!|
Closed down around 6 pm, went out to dinner, and then Dave took me to the CONTAINER STORE, which is the greatest store next to Ikea. And I'm sad it's not in Michigan. If you don't know me, I love boxes, containers, bottles, whatever you can use to compartmentalize things.
Got back to the hotel, and decided that I was up to going to the Formal Ball. So I donned Princess!Rue, and headed out. And while there weren't a LOT of people there, I happened to have liked it 10x better than the one I went to at ACEN. At least this one had danceable music.
THEN we decided to sleep. Whew. We were tired.
Saturday, got up, got dressed in Pascal for fun's sake, and headed downstairs to the alley. Turns out a few of the other artists moved into the front hallway. This confused me a lot, I'll admit right there. So I drew us a sign that said "MORE ARTISTS THIS WAY" directing people to come find us!
|I unfortunately did not keep the sign.|
It was gone by Sunday morning after we all moved. ALAS.
But I'm stubborn. I liked my hallway, and I'm of the mindset that moving one's booth will only confuse the customers. So several of us stayed throughout the day.
I talked to a LOT of people, sold a decent amount of things, and got my picture taken at the Enthusiasts, which was loads of fun. I can't wait to get my shotstaff done to get more.
I did not go outside. It was clearly made of lava, and I did not want to melt.
Stayed at the booth all day, and my predictions came true when traffic picked up around 12:30-1:00. I figured everybody had to wake up, and/or register in the morning. I did a little bit of shopping in the Dealer hall, got myself some cute little Witch figurines from Madoka Magica. They're so adorable, so I put em with my Petit-Nendoroid figures. I'm gonna need a special shelf for them in my art cave when I finally get it set up.
By the end of the day, we were both exhausted yet again, and packed up, and headed out for dinner and a movie (we saw Spider-Man, which was okaaaaaay, but not great. I blame the fact that Marvel did not have a huge hand in it like their other movies).
Got back, and crashed out on the bed. Slept deeply.
Sunday was.... special to say the least. For those confused on why we were out in the hallway, when Dave and I got down to the booth, it turned out everybody else had moved their tables into the front hallway. Leaving just myself and my alley friend across the way all alone in this big hallway.
Long story short, the two of us were coerced into moving into the big hallway by a non-staff member, which then ignited the staff's ire. It was very stressful for me. I did not like that. And on top of that the location I was at had no room, and I could not do commissions at all on Sunday.
We worked out what happened with the Vendor DH, and she was very understanding of my issues with the whole thing. The staff ended up handling this very well after the debacle, and I appreciate their sympathies. Thank you to those who stopped by on Sunday, as I'm sure you were very confused at the move.
Overall, I enjoyed myself at the convention, and would definitely return. I got to meet a lot of great convention staff (from this and other cons nearby), and did tons of networking.
Despite troubles with other vendors in the hallway, I've learned a great deal, and I'm hoping to volunteer my services as an AA helper (Dave wants to as well).
I think the con can really grow into something great, it just needs some extra care, time, and help. :)
Here's examples of some of the commissions I did this weekend!
|Most of these are original characters / photo portraits. EXCEPT for #3. They're from a game called "Hatoful Boyfriend".|
Which is a game where you are in a school full of pigeons.
And it's a dating sim.
I took like.... no photos. I'm sorry. I was so busy. Perhaps at next convention I'll have better ones for us!
Sooooooo it's been like a week since the convention occurred. In the process of me giving feedback and indicating that I'd love to help out with things like the alley cause they seemed really low on staff--
I just inherited the entire Alley. Yep. I'm now the Artist Alley Coordinator, and I've been getting all my files, and I'm going to start fanning out for some last-minute artists. We've got some spaces to fill, and I know a lot of artists. :)
If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org