I would not consider this an ‘Angry Artist Alley’ thing unless there is a reason for it. And that is that on Saturday I went to a convention called CogsCon. And I’ll tell you this convention did a lot of great things. Maybe they read my blog? :P
Cogscon was incredibly small in Sunnyvale, California, taking place in the Cogswell College. I don’t care if this was honestly one of the conventions I’ve ever been to with the worst business (PLUS this is the second time I hit the red zone), but I will give my regards and respect to this convention because I know the reason was NOT in the customers and it was more like there wasn’t ENOUGH of them. If you go to a convention like this and stay smiling and happy all the way till you get home, then you know the entire adventure was worth it. In fact, I was much happier at the end of the day. So here’s a list of things that seriously made this day worth it:
note: I am not exaggerating a single piece of information here.
1) When I walked to the building, they immediately greeted my friend and I. In fact, the moment I said my name they knew I was an artist and walked me to the direction of the room. There was blue tape on the floor, and all we had to do is follow it.
2) The moment I got to the room, another person greeted us and walked both of us to the tables! We saw two bags on the thing, PLUS a small nametag with our names just to make sure.
3) In the bag, we saw a bunch of cute goodies. What really opened my eyes was that THERE WAS A BOTTLE OF WATER. Okay, the moment I saw it, I just knew the staff already deserve a lot of love and respect to be so thoughtful. Why a bottle of water? Because when you get dehydrated from talking, you drink water. So this was the WIN of the day, pluuuuus……
4) Another guy in a very beautiful Link cosplay with a sword on his back said if we needed anyone to guard the table if we needed to get food or use the bathroom, he would help us out. WOW, now that’s some seriously thoughtful staff here.
5) During table setup, I was approached twice. One one stop, they asked me if everything was good, and I said yes. And another stop, one person asked if I needed help with setup. Did they do it with my table only? Nope. They approached every table and asked, even if their table was set up, just to make sure.
6) I made a slight complaint to my friend Laurel about being hungry, and guess what? They directed me to the ‘staff room’ where I could get some chips if I wanted (for free). When I walked in, there was indeed two boxes of small chips, AND waterbottles. There was staff there, and I asked if I could get two bags because I was really starving. They didn’t mind.
7) During lunch, they provided free pizza. You do not talk down on a convention that provides free food. This is the second time ever that’s happened to me. But wait, there was even a vegetarian one just in case there too! Of course I got the one with some sausage on it too, coz I love that stuff on my pizza. And another bag of chips.
8) Nice bathrooms. Although in the end of the day two stalls really DID run out of toilet paper (HA! I TOLD YOU!) Actually the other stalls had toilet paper too, so that’s cool. That’s the wonderful thing about college conventions–there’s more than one bathroom place you can go to.
9) Staff walked at my table again to make sure I was okay (remember, this is about 2pm, which means they’ve been doing a routine check just in case).
10) PHOTOGRAPHERS: Of course, I made an article a while ago about photographing without permission. Indeed there were a few, but you see, these people were incredibly thoughtful after a ten second talk with them. One guy was photographing for the school press/website, and after I gave him my short lecture, every single time he walked by my table for a photo, he would ask one more time. This was very thoughtful of him. Another girl accidentally took a photo of one of my friend’s work. She gave her short ten second speech, and even before she could finish, the photographer understood, nodded her head and deleted the photo right in front of her and apologized. Very respectable young lady.
11) After the masquerade that took place (It is a small convention so it was in the same room), the music was slightly louder. I told the staff, and in less than five seconds the music was down and they asked if it was okay. Indeed, I was finally able to hear the staff from my table, and I thanked them.
12) Customers were really nice and polite. No idiots, and even the kids were really thoughtful. I had a comic called Detergent with an ‘Adults Only’ sign on it, no one picked it up and read it without my permission. YUP. I didn’t have a sign that said ‘DO NOT TOUCH BUTTONS’ and people asked before they touched. Amazing.
13) The staff literally had bright orange shirts (not just badges on their thing). You can immediately see who is staff without reading their badges on the other side of their body or looking for a hidden black earpiece on their head. If you had a question, they had an answer, and if they didn’t have an answer, they would IMMEDIATELY find the guy in charge to answer that question. I think the head guy approached me three or four times for my concerns too! All the shirts were purposely noted with a word that describes them. I love the volunteer staff that had shirts that said ‘Minion’ on them, it was so cute. I personally think of them more as knights and bishops in a chess game :3
14) Artist Alley was in the same room as Dealer’s Hall, and some promotion for games.
15) Although I didn’t need it, THERE WAS LOTS OF PARKING. And it was free too.
So business wise, I did very poorly, but I know it was NOT because of the convention, the staff, the customers, or even me (or was it?). Like I said, I walked out of this convention happier than I did walking in it, and it was NOT because of business. I will definitely come again to this convention. Because it was truly a happy experience for me. And that’s what a great convention should be. They asked for an art donation and I gave them some old prints. But if they asked me again, this time I would be prepared and would literally work on a marker piece of a dragon tamer and their dragon if they wanted one, just for donation to this convention.
Recommendation for Cogscon? It’s small; in fact it’s the second time ever. But you know what? This is a place that has potential and deserves to be FAR LARGER than what it is now. Given another chance, I will definitely go and drag as many people there as I can. Because it’s places like these where I want to sell for the enjoyment of the atmosphere, and not always concerning about my business while at the same time sitting behind the table.
Featuring me (left) and Ratgirl Productions (right, and omg SHE MADE THAT THING HERSELF!)