Crowded Artist Alley...

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Crowded Artist Alley...

Post by Saka » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:59 pm

I really do think that the artist alley should be in a somewhat BIGGER room next year. Everytime i make a trip in there, Its Far too crowded, especially in the isles and i dont think i've ever been pushed so much in that room, Which isnt cool. Some cosplayers are wearing outfits that I dont want to be accidentally pushed into because it ALMOST happened. That and people pushin other people into me while im in costume. That and i nearly almost tilted into a table. I dont think i heard the words "excuse me" in that room. I'm sure i spent more time trying to get out of there than trying to look at stuff. It was a Zoo in there...
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Post by bowZachan » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:32 pm

I think the problem is how small the aisles are, you know? Think of the dealer's room when compared to the artist's alley; there is much bigger pathways and less booths (although, significantly bigger), and while there is a lot of people in there...the sheer amount of room between the booth 'aisles' makes up for it.

It's hard to go in there and not push into people, I have to agree on that too. I had to push a little when I went in, while meekly saying 'excuse me' or 'sorry' in the place.

In short, a bigger room, or a room that has it set up with wider aisles would be helpful? hmm..~ I agree with your statement too, by the way..~ o:
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Post by fuyuzora » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:34 pm

I agree completely. I was there on Saturday, and myself and my friend were in there for maybe fifteen minutes before we had to leave, which prevented me from seeing pretty much all the art I wanted to. Even if they can't find a bigger room, they should maybe try to limit the amount of people going in...
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Post by CaiserZero » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:13 am

"Even if they can't find a bigger room, they should maybe try to limit the amount of people going in..."

yea but that mean MORE lines people have to wait on... >_>
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Post by H. Guderian » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:40 am

Yes, it was a dilemma I had there too. If I stopped to glance at the art I essentially found that I would be almost entirely shutting down an aisle. If there was already someone browsing a table and I wanted to get in at it that ensured the aisle was clogged so I had to keep moving. Some art you can glance at hanging up but things like craftsmanship or comics I might want to thumb through is impossible with those narrow aisles.

The artists and art groups are paying for this space, and they aren't getting their money outta the AA this way. If you can secure the artists more space by adding on another room and more aisles that would be great. I don't wanna suggest 'charge more so they get more' right away, but may be an option.

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Post by Sonadira » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:28 pm

Agree agree! It should be in a bigger room. Being a newbie I was very concerned when I'd want to look at something but knew I would accidently getting in someone's way if I stopped. I also felt HORRIBLE when someone would ask for me and my friend's picture, because saying no is mean, but saying yes meant almost blocking a booth! Next year I'm planning on saying 'Do you mind taking a picture in this corner?/ Let's go into the hall?' haha, but that browsing issue was still huge. It's terrible because that art deserves attention! All of it was fantastic.
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Crowded Artist Alley...

Post by MerchMaven » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:27 pm

[quote=H. Guderian]The artists and art groups are paying for this space, and they aren't getting their money outta the AA this way. If you can secure the artists more space by adding on another room and more aisles that would be great. I don't wanna suggest 'charge more so they get more' right away, but may be an option.[/quote]

Yeah, that's the last thing most of the artists want. More space, yes. More artists? No. It's simple economics. Most people come to the con with a set amount to spend. yes, some will spend more if they find really good stuff, but the majority have, say, 200.00 to spend, and after that's gone, they just wander around looking at things and saying they wish they had money.

A bigger space MEANS more artists. It's expensive to lay out the rooms, because the Hynes is a union shop. We don't set the tables, they do, and there's a charge for it. Not to mention that if we're canibalizing function space, that needs to be paid for. So either the artists we have pay exponentially more for wider aisles, or we get more artists.

So if we charge more, and people make the same amount, their profits are less. If we add more artists and keep the price of the table the same, the available funds spent in the alley are split between 600 artists instead of 300, and everyone makes less.

Either way, saturation point is reached, both for the attendees and the artists.
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Post by GMSenpai » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:56 pm

I'm sadly with everyone in saying that Artist's Alley was just so insanely crowded. By the time I hit the third row I felt I was going to pass out so going back really wasn't a plan. Really sad too, I was really digging on what art I did see.

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Post by MacX » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:25 pm

Speaking as an artist, the aisles were actually improved from last year and Nikki/Tuberat actually made it so that 2.5ish lines of people can be 'walking through' Here is what Tuberat wrote in the AA forum.

[quote]Aisles & rows
i'm glad to hear all the widths worked out for you guys! after hearing stuff from last year, i took a tape measure with me this year. the entire room was off and had to be redone. it is probably for this reason that the last few years have been bad.

i hope everyone also liked the 'endcap' tables. i felt that this clearly marked that attendees should NOT be going into those aisle, though it did make things a little cramped on those corners for the artists. i was one of them, but i felt the tradeoff was fair. also, by doing the endcap tables, it helped me make the two wall rows much wider for traffic as well.

[/quote]
Yes its a simple fact that no matter the size of the room, it will be CROWDED. You get the highs and the lows. I mean I even had to 'shove' a lil so that I can return to my table to sell stuff...
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Post by DrakaDark » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:44 pm

This was the first year artist alley had any real problems with space. It had to do with the amount of people going in and then the amount standing in front of booths.
I agree, and believe AB should consider getting a larger room for artist alley next year. I don't agree on limiting spaces. I never want to see the artist alley or 2005 and 2006. with only 5-10 people in artist alley.
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Post by MerchMaven » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:59 pm

[quote=DrakaDark]This was the first year artist alley had any real problems with space. It had to do with the amount of people going in and then the amount standing in front of booths.
I agree, and believe AB should consider getting a larger room for artist alley next year. I don't agree on limiting spaces. I never want to see the artist alley or 2005 and 2006. with only 5-10 people in artist alley.[/quote]

The lowest table count AB has every had in the Artist's Alley was 15, 32 spaces, and that was in 2003, our first year.

AB 2005 was 26 tables, officially 52 spaces.

AB 2006 was the "Annex" year with 42 tables (84 spaces) and including the annex, 59 tables (118 spaces) in total.

Even in our first year, AB didn't have "5 to 10" artists, and since hitting the Hynes, it would be just silly to even contemplate that.
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Post by Secret Duckie » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:49 pm

One of the HUGE problems this year was photo's. I was getting SO SICK of the amount of people taking photo's in the alley. I know that is a rule, but it feels as if no one enforces it. I hate to be 'that guy' (although I'm actually a girl.. haha) and tell someone to stop taking pictures, but with the already limited space it's just getting to be too much.

Perhaps we can have a big sign out before the doors that says 'NO PHOTOGRAPHY' to get the point across. I don't know if they either don't know, or if they don't care. Ignorance or arrogance, that was one of the biggest issues I found this year.

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Post by Tuberat » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:05 pm

i know it seemed like the alley was too crowded - but generally, it only got bad during certain times - like when big things suddenly let out.

remember that there were 19k people there - those aisles were between 8 and 10 feet wide in places (no smaller - and that was an improvement on last year) and we had staff going through and asking folks not to stop and just talk in the middle of the road. (unless they were talking to artists)

and not to take photos (we used to have a sign. it was still ignored. also, artists are allowed to take photos since they can't get out of the alley, but usually, that made it their choice to block their own table. of course, that doesn't keep folks from blocking aisle traffic, but we hope they make it quick, or stand close to the table - i know everyone i asked did for me). obviously, we can't be going through every second, and sometimes the amount of traffic couldn't be helped.

but honestly, having been there pretty much 24/7, i can assure you that the really bad traffic crowding was not the norm...i had to resist an urge to shoot my nerf gun over at the tables in the aisle across from me as it really wouldn't have been appropriate and security probably would have had words with me, even if i am staff, if that gives you any idea how empty it got at times.
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Post by TheNintendOtaku » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:31 pm

Seems like a lot of the problems this year were the result of the high attendance. I wonder how long it'll be before AB decides to limit it (Either by choice to make things easier or, eventually, out of necessity and lack of room)
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Post by ErinErin » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:50 pm

[quote=Tuberat]i know it seemed like the alley was too crowded - but generally, it only got bad during certain times - like when big things suddenly let out. [/quote]

I was just about to say this. There seemed to be a few hours each day of peak traffic but otherwise it was pretty easy to move around in there. I was helping my friend with her table so it was my job to run and get snacks/food/change, etc. for the table. At certain points in the day it took me a while to squeeze through the crowd to get back to our table, but most of the time it wasn't too bad. If you find yourself browsing the AA during these heavy traffic times, just come back later. AA stayed open pretty late and after 9pm there was barely anyone there besides fellow artists.

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Post by LinaLoN » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:37 am

On one hand it really was better than past years where it was so crowded I had to leave to breathe some air. However, there's still too many tables, too many people back to back and too many people looking at stuff or looking at people. Perhaps there's a way to split the room or organize it in a particular way. With posters over there... jewlery tables over there... clay/hand made stuff over here... something like that? Still is there an even bigger room that can be used next time? What about one of the main event rooms or a big room at the Sheraton where it can be off to the side of the covention. Any other suggestions?

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Post by DrakaDark » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:27 pm

[quote=SciFiGrl47][quote=DrakaDark]This was the first year artist alley had any real problems with space. It had to do with the amount of people going in and then the amount standing in front of booths.
I agree, and believe AB should consider getting a larger room for artist alley next year. I don't agree on limiting spaces. I never want to see the artist alley or 2005 and 2006. with only 5-10 people in artist alley.[/quote]

The lowest table count AB has every had in the Artist's Alley was 15, 32 spaces, and that was in 2003, our first year.

AB 2005 was 26 tables, officially 52 spaces.

AB 2006 was the "Annex" year with 42 tables (84 spaces) and including the annex, 59 tables (118 spaces) in total.

Even in our first year, AB didn't have "5 to 10" artists, and since hitting the Hynes, it would be just silly to even contemplate that.[/quote]

I don't remember that many artist 05 and 06 and one of my friends was in artist alley those two years. may be its just the fact that it was so spread out in the side hallway those two years.
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Post by Crufix » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:11 pm

IMO just have person limits. close off the alley if it gets too much, and as people leave, let other people in. I think we can a security person to do that.
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Post by Kogarashi » Sun May 01, 2011 12:44 am

[quote=Sonadira]I also felt HORRIBLE when someone would ask for me and my friend's picture, because saying no is mean, but saying yes meant almost blocking a booth! Next year I'm planning on saying 'Do you mind taking a picture in this corner?/ Let's go into the hall?'[/quote]

Do us artists a favor and do just that! :) Really, by the rules, the only people who should be involved in photos are artists (if you want to check, just ask to see the person's Alley badge; I had to send my assistant running after a photo or two that escaped our table). So if non-artists ask you for your photo, politely say that you don't want to block the aisle, but maybe you could take it to the hallway.

As for everything else, this year was by far the best I've seen with aisle widths, both for the patrons and for the artists themselves. The balance in the Alley seemed just about perfect, and I only really had trouble when it was at its most crowded (like right after the Dealer's Room let out). Even then, it was nothing compared to the regular standstill in front of my table last year, due to the Hynes staff squishing up that side of the room. Traffic flowed steadily by our table this year, except for one brief moment when an extended photoshoot started up in front of our space. Luckily it broke up before I had to call them out on it.

I'll second the suggestion to come by in the evening, when numbers thin out again because of the dances and evening events. If the Alley seems far overcrowded, try again later (or start from the other end of the room. Sometimes that helps, really).

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Post by Tuberat » Sun May 01, 2011 11:42 am

i just went and looked up the information...becuase despite how many spaces there are, some artists take up more than one space....

so, in 2004 - the last year in the Park Plaza, we had 19 artists.
in 2005 - first year in the hall in the hynes, we had 34
in 2006, the second year in the hynes, we increased it to 56 by adding the little annex room to the hallway

i tried to doublecheck the 2003 numbers just for comparison but couldn't get them to load from the website and i have the AA computer packed away right now.

anyway, after the hallways we've gone up to a [color:red]minimum[/color] of 96 - 146 artists at any given time (Depending on which year and which room set up)

just thought people might like some numbers :D
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Post by HeavenlyAnime » Sun May 01, 2011 1:00 pm

[quote=Tuberat]i just went and looked up the information...becuase despite how many spaces there are, some artists take up more than one space....

so, in 2004 - the last year in the Park Plaza, we had 19 artists.
in 2005 - first year in the hall in the hynes, we had 34
in 2006, the second year in the hynes, we increased it to 56 by adding the little annex room to the hallway

i tried to doublecheck the 2003 numbers just for comparison but couldn't get them to load from the website and i have the AA computer packed away right now.

anyway, after the hallways we've gone up to a [color:red]minimum[/color] of 96 - 146 artists at any given time (Depending on which year and which room set up)

Dang you seem like you are really good with numbers... i envy you lol. anyway these numbers do help i wonder how big the artist alley is gonna get in the upcoming years?
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Post by Tuberat » Sun May 01, 2011 10:38 pm

no plan on getting bigger, really. the size of the alley, the number of artists is pretty hard to coordinate to begin with. if we got a bigger SPACE we'd probably just spread out instead.

and as another note - which i realized i didn't make clear with this mornings numbers - i counted 'listed' artists from the maps. often times artists will share with friends or are part of studios. so if there were 19 listed on the map, you can bet there was at least 30 there....

for example - this year we had 146 tables (which is A LOT of spaces) and over 190 listed artists. but we MADE over 500 badges for artists, fellow artists and assistants.
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Post by Grumpy Growlithe » Mon May 09, 2011 2:08 am

Yea, I barely got to roam around and view art this year. It was just so congested.

I refused pictures while in AA because I didn't want there to be more traffic issues, but there were a bunch of people (that I saw) just standing there blocking walkways because they were A. Taking a picture or B. Having their picture taken.
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Post by Fetch » Tue May 10, 2011 7:13 pm

[quote=Grumpy Growlithe]Yea, I barely got to roam around and view art this year. It was just so congested.

I refused pictures while in AA because I didn't want there to be more traffic issues, but there were a bunch of people (that I saw) just standing there blocking walkways because they were A. Taking a picture or B. Having their picture taken.
=______=[/quote]

Good Growlithe. THAT was actually a rule listed in the conbook. It stated that the only cosplayers you were allowed to photograph in AA were any of the artists who were cosplaying, since they couldn't really leave AA.


One idea for getting that room less crowded: move the 'Art Show' (perhaps to inside the Manga Library. That way, the Orange shirt there can keep an eye on the books AND the art) but don't put any more artists in the space. That will leave space to widen the pathways a little bit.

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Re: Crowded Artist Alley...

Post by TheNintendOtaku » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:12 am

I like Fetch's idea, I see way too many people handling the Art Show submissions, or confused as to
whether or not they're for sale. We've got plenty of artists, we just need room to spread out a tiny bit.
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Re: Crowded Artist Alley...

Post by Spoofehness » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:20 pm

There is a solution most people aren't considering. Con events make the constant rooms function a lot like auto-traffic or public transportation. Consider dropping in during some times you wouldn't usually, especially just before closing or during some larger events you wouldn't mind missing. Although a lot of artists leave early with the crowds, the artist alley is almost always DESERTED on sunday, maybe we should be petititioning the artists to stick around for a couple extra hours so the more claustophobic buyers can get a more relaxing look on sunday.
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Re: Crowded Artist Alley...

Post by FarFromRedemption » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:02 pm

I had a lot of people stopping me to ask for pictures I told them they are more then welcome to take pictures of me, but they'd have to wait until I was done looking in the alley and meet me outside in the hallway.
I don't think I bought a single things becuse people kept stopping me or stopping infront of me to text their friend to find them, or giggle because there was something "yaoi" on the table.
I finally bought something on sunday right as they artists were cleaning up. I tell you it was depressing. I think I will invest in making myself a button that says "yes you can have a picture, no not right here right now" so save my breath on saying it over and over. =_=
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Re: Crowded Artist Alley...

Post by Fetch » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:28 pm

Something I just thought of. The room where the Video Gaming has been the last 2 years is WAY too big for it.
I say put the Artist Alley in that room and the video games up where Artist Alley has been.

Or, at very least, check the square footage to see which of those rooms is actually bigger. The bigger one should be where AA is.

Also, it will have the added benefit of lessening the crowd on that end of the 3rd floor, which will mean finding the line for the CDG, the Auction, and the balcony seating for the Masq would be easier.

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