Retro Recap Time! I didn't want to totally flood my blog with a bazillion convention reviews as I had so many so close to each other I was getting exhausted. So here's the recap I had been working on but got distracted with!
INDY POP CON 2014
This year I had the opportunity to vend at Indy Pop Con, which was a "Pop Culture Convention" being held in downtown Indianapolis!
Dave and I got there on Thursday afternoon after an interesting drive of avoiding all the accidents that seemed to be occurring on EVERY FREEWAY EVER. We also picked the route that apparently avoided ALL REST AREAS. Never doing THAT again!
So we got in, and then traveled down to the convention center hall, to which I've only EVER been visiting to during GenCon. I'll admit. I was a tad stoked to be in the hall I had only visited before. The hall they had set up was HUGE, and I'd want to say it was on par with the space size of C2E2 in 2012 when I visited that one. Lots of vendors, lots of artists, and a whole bunch of other things!
Since I was sharing a booth with my pal, Tiny T-Rex studios, we had to figure out how to combine our booths, and we came up with this lovely set up:
|We had a lot of stuff.|
We got set up, and then crashed out at home. Friday was a slightly later starting day, but we still got there pretty early. It was hard to tell exactly how many people were there, as the room was so huge, but it felt kind of sparse. There were some really neat vendors, and I liked walking around the artist's area seeing all my neighbors. I was also selling the books written by my pal Laura (who I did the cover for Con Job for [that I mentioned in an earlier post], and she had written some other stuff too! CHECK OUT THE LINK!)
I even got my own copy, signed by her, I was so excited. I can't wait to read it. :)
ANYWAY, Saturday came, and there were definitely more people, but it still felt sparse? Either way, we were still slow on the business end, but don't worry - Dave and I were using this time to think of new ideas for conventions (as we always do!)
Apparently there was quite the hullabaloo about the Costume Contest, which I certainly didn't enter, I was busy trying to sell things! Kinda glad I didn't though, it was apparently kind of special and I hope they fix it for next year.
Then after the show room closed for the night, we all traveled over to our friend Alena's house and hung out for pizza and fandom chatter, which was a fabulous night! I had a lot of fun just hanging out and relaxing at a con for once. :)
Then Sunday came, and the crowd was about the same? People ended up packing up around 4 pm as the crowds were really dying down at this point, and we were ready and out by 5 pm! On the road, and headed home, which we made great time, and gave us a good amount of time to rest and relax before starting the workweek again.
- Very professional! Hall was set up like actual shows - we had CARPET IN FRONT OMG, everything looked really polished.
- No bad spots, really! No poles to worry about, everybody was pretty visible
- Big room!
- Lots of cosplay! Lots of Kid cosplay! (OMG TINY BEN TEN I <3 YOOOOU)
- PLEASANT CROWD - No running screaming groups, everybody was mostly polite, felt like a real show, not a babysitting service!
- OMG FOOD TRUCKS I LOVE YOU NEVER LEAVE ME.
- Not as much attendance as previously estimated by the show. This probably hurt them the most - they were expecting Indiana Comic Con numbers, but got maybe a third of that (I hear the dealer's weren't very happy about this).
- Attendees really didn't know what they wanted out of the show, or how the show worked (newbies are great! But an entire audience full of newbies is difficult to figure out what they want)
- Lurking cleaners - I swear they all just sat around the Ladies room waiting for somebody to use it, and then hurry in and clean it. I like a clean bathroom, but I don't like having random people just lurking in there waiting to clean and hearing me as I, yanno, USE THE BATHROOM!
- Shrink the areas for a year? It definitely needs sometime to get bigger - I'm glad it was as big as it was this first year, because the attendees appeared to have a blast, so they'll definitely be repeats.
- Increase the number and type of panels - and please change the process for panel sign ups. It was apparently very haphazard and unconventional.
- Advertise specifically to each group you want to cover - I think the comic book fans didn't realize there was a ton of comic stuff here, and the anime fans had no clue what to expect, and the general fantasy/sci-fi/gaming crowds had NO clue what was there! If there was some specified advertisements (not just the general "we're having a PopCon!" flyers), it might help get a lot more out-of-towners in.
- Try to keep the guests in their own area? I was at at able located right next to an art guest who was providing free head sketches, which pretty much killed any chance we had of doing commissions at our booth (and I'm sure others did too).
- Heavier duty badges. Mine got all bent, and I like to keep em, but that's just me. OH, and please have a space for a name? That'd be awesome.
OKAY - I would definitely want to try my own booth again next year. I'm lucky because I know people in the area I can stay with, and I'd like to experiment with my table set ups, so my costs aren't as high. It just needs a little refining. I sense a lot of potential in this convention. :)