2015 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

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Tuberat
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2015 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by Tuberat » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:49 am

So..I didn't leave Boston until Monday afternoon. When I got home I crashed. Sorry for the delay!

Thank you all for coming! I hear the majority of you had a great time and great sales ! (Wonder why I keep doing worse though? I think I need help for my booth!! Lol) And that is great to hear! Okay, so i'll try to list the good, bad and the ugly here in as organized a fashion as my tired brain can do (and hopefully finish it before too many people post in the OLD thread, or start a new one)

Aisles
I have, in the past, heard complaints that the layout of our current room (we've been there 3 years) leaves much to be desired. IE - we need to put in MORE tables and that the super wide aisles are a horrible idea because they lose sales. From what I'm reading, most of you had great sales so that can't be quite right. Also, from the level of foot traffic I had to fight through every time I got up from my table, I'm thinking its a darn good thing.

Floor Signs
New this year, the floor signs with 'street' names. I noticed two that still had the arrows incorrectly pointed even after I had them corrected. but all in all, they looked nice, were quite visible and seemed to hold up to the traffic well. I think my staff liked them and the street names we put on the 3 major aisles as a way to give people directions. Did you notice them? What did you think?

Water Stations
We managed to get 2 water stations in there just as promised! I did have an issue with one of the stations being placed DIRECTLY in front of an artists table...in the middle of the ROOM (i asked for a wall). We called them to move it and they never even came to us before they went and did it. they turned it 90 degrees out into the aisle. I heard no complaints for the weekend about it's location but i'm still unhappy with their solution.

Thursday Setup.
Last year we had SERIOUS problems with the union and getting that room set up - not only in a TIMELY manner, but in a CORRECT one. We had to call them back 2 times to deal with issues they caused - WHILE we were letting artists in. So this year, in anticipation of the same shenanigans (its' really hard to fix a problem when artists are trying to set up) I pushed back the set up hours by an hour and a half start time, and extended the other end by an hour. so we only really lost 30 minutes of setup time.

I was pleasantly surprised to get there and to see that instead of trolleys (or whatever they were) filled with stacked tables and an otherwise empty room, we actually had our room already set up and only 1 table ACTUALLY missing (unlike the 7 from the year before) enabling us to get ready in a much less harried fashion.

Badges
Okay folks, for the most part, things were all good. But we did have a few issues:
  • Some artists managed to get security to escort them into the AA without HAVING an actual convention badge. (or just somehow snuck in on their own)
    Other artists seemed to think that they would get their convention badge at the AA info desk in the convention center instead of in Registration.
    And a few other artists seemed to think that because their convention badges said "Artists Alley" on them, they didn't need to stop by the AA info desk to pick up the secondary AA badge.
This is confusing to me since an explanation on how badges work (and why there are 2 of them) is ALL in the FAQ, and because I gave instructions for badge pick up in the last email prior to con. Even after multiple announcements to come to the AA info desk and get your secondary badges, we had to send staff out to find you and have you report to us.

1- NO, we cannot allow an unbadged person into the convention to help you with setup or breakdown. Even if we did, another staff member outside of our department could come along and escort that person right back out again. This is in the FAQ.

2 - if you leave someone behind your table BY THEMSELVES at any point during con, than they MUST have the secondary badge so that WE KNOW they're supposed to be there. We've had squatters before. Not just people who arrive and take up what appears to be an empty table, but people who wander up to a 'closed up' table, set out their own wares and proceed to sell both without the knowledge of the artist. (this example happened several years prior).

Last minute Badge additions :
There WERE a few other issues with badges that had to do with how LATE I got names for additional artists/helpers. Giving me names within a week of the con CAN mean that your con badge won't say Artists Alley on it, that your name isn't listed on the list given to the Hynes staff and that you may not even have your secondary badge ready for you by con. And if any or all of these 3 things happen, than you CAN have issues dealing with the Hynes.

And even after I sent out an email about folks who I'd been having problems finding in the reg database, and please check with me about the names, I still had at least one artist who failed to give me 4 names for her tables until i made a random comment to her 2 days prior online. So NONE of them were setup or ready. Please, i'd rather check a ton of emails (please just give me time because i do have a regular job that is at odd hours to most people) then get blindsided at con too late to do anything about it.



Clarifications:
Remember that if at any point at all you are CONFUSED by the wording on our explanations you CAN email for clarification. I may get a little frustrated because I do have to answer some of the same questions over and over but as long as it seems like you TRIED to read the text, i'm okay with clarifying. its when the questions and actions that i read or see seems to imply that there was no ATTEMPT to read the FAQ that I really get frustrated. (And then I normally just vent to my husband so I don't take it out on anyone :D )

Waitlist
So, a few folks got last minute tables at the con. I know several of you had already planned on staking out the alley before i even sent out the emails that were to note that there WERE tables available. I did get flack about that because the notice was so last minute. That's kinda what happens with cancellations, and i figured most people would get that. But i Just wanted to point that out that that WAS the reason it was so last minute.

I would also like to take this time to state that when I sent those emails out, I wasn't expecting every and all folks on that list to drop everything, book flights and have massive amounts of merch ready. I sent them out because I KNEW there are always artists who will be attending anyway (or were very local), who always have something ready and that *I* Had no clue which ones of those on my waitlist those were, so i did the easy thing and mailed the entire waitlist so i could reach the people who COULD take advantage.

We had a number of spaces and they were all filled on Friday. Then when 1 or 2 tables did not appear on Saturday, those were quickly filled as well.

Rudeness
Okay...now...I don't know who did it. But from what I heard, it was a small number of folks - some who got in, some who did not - who had been waiting on Friday to get first crack at the tables that were available.

Once the door was opened, one of the artists in the line for tables, who'd been FIRST IN LINE, got shoved out of the way by SEVERAL other artists. We learned of this afterwards, when she reached the table and had to be turned away. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR! IT's one thing to be disappointed because there just wasn't enough space. THIS was uncalled for.

We at AB have always prided ourselves on being a community. not just a random gathering of strangers, but people who wind up attending many cons together, getting to know each other, who share common goals and interests and are often helping each other out, giving advice, holding down the fort so you can hit the bathroom, things like that. This was not an example of that behavior. We are already thinking of steps we can take to prevent that kind of thing again.

Please, if you see anything like this, let us know. IT's a big room and we can't be everywhere at the exact right second every single time.

Autograph Line

Okay, so i got up on Saturday to hit the bathroom and there was this godawful line coming out of the sheraton and wrapping into our Alley. I had not been made aware of this - neither that it was GOING to happen, nor that it HAD happened. I had to stop security to find out what was going on. They managed to at least CONTAIN it so it wouldn't block of tables, but it did still impede traffic. AGAIN, thank god for Wide Aisles. I'm STILL not happy that it was there to begin with....thankfully, I was told it was handled quickly once security got their hands on it (as apparently it kinda just formed on its own.) And i'm hoping we won't see a repeat of this.

Taping things up in the Hynes
We have a rule NOT to tape or otherwise attach ANYTHING to any wall (or rug, which we don't have to worry about anymore) in the Hynes. This includes business cards in bathroom stalls. This rule is not an AB rule, it is a HYNES rule. You think that tape isn't hurting anything, and mostly it's not. But the next person might not use the right tape and the Hynes is paranoid that someone is going to use the wrong thing - be it on purpose or on accident. So if they see you doing it, they could take action. And yes, people do deliberately do those things - we've already had to scrape STICKERS off of walls....it is why ALL stickers sales have been banned from the convention.

Wrap up
I am....coming up blank at the moment on anything else to go over. I heard mostly good things about how everything was running. we had fewer bag check complaints this year than ever, and most complaints were about things outside of our control. We had an additional staff member in our Alley this year and our Info Desk felt it was a great improvement in the flow of work and our breaks.

So...have at! what are your thoughts about the convention itself (not even thinking about the sign up procedrues, as this is the convention feedback i'm looking for)
Nikki O'Shea Bean
http://www.dragonpressgraphics.com
http://www.bardscomic.com

Artists Alley Manager 2008-2017
Artists Alley Co-Manager 2005-07
Attendee 2004
Artists Alley Accidental Volunteer 2003

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Re: 2016 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by Shattered-Earth » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:46 am

Me first me first haha!

First I just wanted to say over all, as always AB Artist Alley always impresses me with it's organization, respect for artists from staff and well just flat out sales numbers to be honest, no matter where i've been in the room! This was at a fever pitch this year, who knows what it was, every year AB seems to just break my expectations in a new way XD

I liked the shorter hours, although they were still long by my standard any shorter is better and i appreciated we could say it's 10am-10pm to attendees. Easy to remember so people know exactly when we open and close with the "10-10" thought in their head :)

I was in pro-row and it was awesome too, people really gave my original art a lot of unexpected love which makes me feel great of course, they're not just looking at my fanart hurray! The extra chair was also handy.

The water stations were lovely, sometimes there were lines to get water but worth it since it's cooler, tastier and CLOSER instead of walking to the bathroom fountains! A+! Hope we keep them around!

I noticed the floor signs but I don't think i used them because I didn't really "learn" them before hand (so if someone asked me where something was I didn't know the names of the streets before hand) but having the letters probably helped a lot of people looking for specific artists. I can see how they would be really useful for staff too, the signs were colorful and very large and legible. Couldn't miss them if you tried lol.

I think a friend had one issue on saturday when she went out for a little to get prints and on the way back an AB staff (NOT hynes security) tried to stop her and make her do a bag check when she had her AA badges and was in a rush to get back to her table, other than that i heard nothing about bag check being an issue. Myself not being stopped once through the weekend.

Lastly the only thing I could possibly nitpick is maybe this year I had more people try to take pictures of my art again compared to last year. I think last year the no photos of art announcements were more frequent, while this year they were still there but a bit more sparse (or i'm wrong and it just seemed that way lol). I wouldn't mind a little more reminders or signage in the alley reminding people not to willy nilly take close up photos of our art, but in the end i know there's only SO MUCH any of us can do about attendees who just do not read or do not care! Totally understand this. (Side eyes the group of 10 people taking cosplay photos right in front of my table at one point and the large group just standing in the aisle when announcements said explicitly not to the whole day..)

I think other than that though yea.. i struggle to find issues personally. I love that you open at 8am for us, means we can drop off hotel stuff on sunday and get food instead of wheeling our luggage around and for those that need more set up time that's helpful of course. Sales were great, staff was great, badge pick up was smooth as always, A+ con always eager to come again!

Big kudos to Nikki and all the AA staff for running one a fantastic alley that I always hold up as a shining beacon compared to others hehe.

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Re: 2016 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by hygiei » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:30 pm

This was my first year with a table at Anime Boston!

I was, unfortunately, one of those artists that got cut off by people on Friday morning trying to get a last-minute cancelled table. I was very sorely disappointed by that, but I don't fault you guys for that. I wish I hadn't been a pushover and stopped those people from harassing security to let them in. Oh well, hopefully that will be the last time I will have to deal with a situation like that.

However, I did manage to get a no-show table on Saturday! I dragged myself out of bed at 6 A.M. and did nothing but wait in line until 10 just so I could get something. And boy, was it worth the wait. It's been my dream to have a table at Anime Boston since I was about 11 years old when I first attended, and it was amazing. I've just came of age to do AA's at cons, and this has been the best one by far, even though I only had 2 feet of space! I got to meet so many great people and see others from the past. Everything felt efficient and traffic worked great, even though we weren't in a prime location.

I liked the hours, I am someone who loves massively long hours and getting like 2 hours of sleep, and these hours did quite satiate that need. They were convenient to remember, too.

Aisles were good, in my opinion. I liked the wideness because it prevented traffic jams(I know this was a long time ago, but I remember as an attendee what a nightmare the older room could be. We could hardly move, half the time.) And it also would draw people down them, as there was less confusion with the layout.

I liked the floor signs! People, including those I asked to come see me, could find my table very easily.

Thank you for the water stations! I wasn't here last year to experience an alley without them, but I bet it was not a fun time.

I'm surprised people were angry about the small amount of notice on the last minute tables-- I uh, kind of assumed that "Last Minute" means that it just happened. I'm only a short drive from Boston and AB is the con I go to every year, and I was already prepared to show up and see if there were any tables available. I'm glad I got notice at all!

As for Rudeness, I don't think I really need to say anything more about that. I'm happy that I did get a table in the end, though. On Friday I felt pretty ripped off by the people that got in front of us.

Overall, I had such a fantastic, fantastic time. I definitely will be coming back next year, hopefully with a Pro Row table!! Thank you so much to all the staff for creating such an awesome con!!!

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Re: 2016 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by Kogarashi » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:11 pm

Time for my feedback! :D So this is coming from someone who missed the last two years, so my last experience in the AB Alley was back when we were still in one of the ballrooms.

Aisles were PERFECT. I don't think we need more tables at all, because the traffic flow with these aisles was just right. The extra space meant people could still take cosplay photos (like us artists chasing down awesome costumes that walked by) without blocking anyone's table. I don't feel that the super-wide aisles were losing me sales at all--I rarely had a break on Saturday morning, in fact--and only had one instance of people blocking my table without looking at it, and they cleared out before I could even ask them to move. I've dealt with the super-crowded ballroom and the standstill traffic due to too-small aisles. I wouldn't change the aisles in this room at all.

Oh, and the amount of space behind the tables was AWESOME. There was more than enough room for everyone's stuff, plenty of breathing room, and even space enough to accommodate the two babies on our island, which was great. I've dealt with enough cramped behind-table space in previous rooms, and this was a lovely change.

Floor signs were great too. I spotted them easily, though I really only used them once, while trying to find another artist I was looking for specifically. The signs helped me identify which island was the one I wanted (since I'd forgotten to grab my Alley map before walking around). I think they're great, and if I hadn't been in the easiest island to find they would've been very good for helping people find me.

I loved the easy-access water stations, and the adjacent restrooms and charging station were a huge blessing. No more running halfway through the con for a bathroom break, and when my camera died halfway through Saturday when I needed it for reference photos, I was able to take my pencil, paper, and camera over to the charging station and do some work there while I waited for the battery to recharge enough to go back to my table. I was also surprised that we had wifi in the room, and only wished we had the same signal strength for our phones (I had to go out into the noisy hallway to get a signal to call home to say good-night to my girls).

I really only got asked for a badge check once, when I was working on a commission and so my badge wasn't readily visible, but I wouldn't have minded showing frequently if necessary if it helps prevent squatters or the behind-table party I had to deal with a handful of years ago. The staffer who asked was very polite about it, simply asking me to show my badge a quick second, which was no problem.

I only had to deal with one person noticeably taking a picture of my work, and she had the grace to look embarrassed when I stood up and asked if I could help her. She apologized and then actually asked if she could take the photo, and since she was standing at a distance and using a phone as her camera, I allowed it (since she asked nicely), since the quality would be low anyway. But yes, more reminders about not taking photos of the art (at least without asking) would be nice.

Speaking of the announcements, I do like that they were all informative, not just funny, and I do like the humor put into them. Especially the "running from zombies" one. And the unintentional humor of asking people if they've lost a battle axe or skull somewhere. Only at conventions....

I had no issues with bag checks, thankfully--each time Hynes security or AB security saw my artists' badge and let us through--but apparently one of our neighbors had problems with being told to get bag checks anyway on Saturday. We told them to let you know, Nikki, but I don't know if that happened.

The hours were great. The Alley opened late enough that my assistant and I weren't in a super rush each morning (having to commute from her place 1.5 hours away), and it closed just early enough that we weren't worried about catching our train back either, yet the hours were also long enough that we didn't feel like we were losing sales to not being open long enough. 10-10 is a great block of time and I at least vote for keeping it at those hours.

If I have any complaints at all, it would probably be that the tables weren't as deep as they should have been by about 3-4 inches, but I know that's something you don't always have direct control over. The length of our table seemed fine, though I heard from a friend elsewhere in the Alley that some of the tables might have been shorter than the expected length based on how well displays fit on them. Luckily, as far as our display hanging off of the front of the table by a couple inches goes, we were able to borrow some C-clamps from my assistant's dad and clamp the wire cubes down, and thanks to the beautifully wide aisles we didn't have anyone bumping into it either.

This AB might very well have been my best ever, and we had a blast. I even had several people buying prints of original artwork, which was a huge compliment as I think I've only ever sold one or two original prints in the past. I actually ran out of two different original designs late Saturday and still had people asking for them. The whole weekend was awesome, and I look forward to the next time I can sell at AB (whenever that ends up happening).

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Re: 2016 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by dDraik » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:04 pm

Hello there! I posted this is in the AA Network FB page and figured I'd add on a few things:

I shared a table with my friend Emily Ree anarchydreamers.com. We had our prints, decoden stuff, her webcomic stuff, and my hand sculpts and accessories. This was my first AB (attendance and AA) and I agree with what most people say here. This was my second time doing an AA and it was certainly more profitable than the first. Sales were very slow, but I would count my money at the end of the day and be surprised.

Good things:

- There is a market for original art. I am not an anime artist nor a fan artist. The things I bring to a con are what I think could sell/catered towards a market. I am a painter/sculptor and brought some original prints along with my usual stuff that I thought COULD bring in interest to the table or get some sales. I ended up selling out of one style, almost selling out of another, and having people show interest in what I do professionally. The best feeling I had during the con.

EDIT: I had a guest express interest in the original piece of a print I had at the con. I gave him my phone number and he texted me and is coming to pick up the piece tomorrow. THIS IS AWESOME. From what I have experienced from my time at the con, there IS a market for original work and that makes me very hopeful for future years.

- I had return customers from the other convention I did who also bought original sculptures (!!!!!!) (and got free/discounted swag because I luv u).

- I spoke with Nikki personally regarding an issue on Saturday and it was settled immediately. I also had issues with the forms prior to the con and personally had to email her and THAT was also settled immediately. Any problems or concerns I addressed to her or AA staff was swiftly recognized and handled and that is FANTASTIC. We had some bumps signing in but that was taken care of easily and something I generally expect, especially if I'm a first timer to a con/vend hall. Con staff even graciously offered to help watch one of our bags because we were red in the face and lost.

- Con parents. Con moms and dads proud of their kids, no matter what age. Con moms ushering around their kid and a horde of their friends and buying them ALL little things to make them happy and learn the value of hand made goods and hard work. Artist Alley moms and dads. You're supporting your child who has already put in COUNTLESS hours of work to make a few bucks. The con parents I met this weekend remind me of my family and they are awesome folks.

- Other artists. Let's face it. We trumped the Dealers Room hard. I've seen the same people at Dealers Rooms all over the East Coast and, although I want those people and their businesses to continue doing well, it's annoying to see the same merch sold over and over again at cons. I spent 5 bucks in the dealers room this year and I usually buy gifts for people when I go to cons. I didn't this time around. There were so many talented people here. And we instantly have a community feeling.

- AA Bingo! What a cute thing to do that helps us interact more with each other. We got a bingo the second day. Thank you Chelsea Yengel for putting that together.

- Unlimited water, clean bathrooms, tons of space behind the table, etc etc. Thank you because my nerves and stomach could not handle not having these necessities.

The Bad:

- I had theft. I expected it. You have to. But WHAT got stolen really bugged me. I have hand sculpted/painted/cast hair barrettes and I had a pair of Horn Barrettes stolen that I was selling for 12$. They were my favorite pair. I also had a necklace stolen that I was selling for 8$. Whoever steals handmade goods from an artist has little morals. You're not only telling me my work is worthless, but you're missing the point of the AA all together. An AA is there to celebrate hard work and give us a chance to make a few bucks off of what we can do as people. So whoever stole that? I hope whoever raised you is ashamed of your actions and you lose what you stole from me. Maybe then someone who values the item will find it.

- Our table neighbor had an awful crowd. Although anytime I spoke to our neighbor, he was very sweet to both of us, his fans were careless and inconsiderate. Being a popular print/commission artist, many people were flocking to his table, which was awesome for him! But they spilled onto the adjacent tables, blocking us from view, deterring people from coming over (losing potential sales), and knocking into our inventory and rig. These folks were generally not even buying things, but waiting for him to finish commissions, playing VIDEO GAMES, and shooting the poopy with the artist. I even saw many folks who wanted to just pick up a print from him turn away because of the constant influx of lurkers (one kid literally would hang around the table area for a few hours. I could recognize him because he wore the exact same outfit all weekend). I had to constantly get up and herd them away from our table and nearly had to go and get security to possibly usher some people away who did NOT care.

- Young crowd and/or a unprecedented amount of people (adults and older teens/20 somethings) who poo poo and make disgusted faces (rly????) at anything handmade/over 15$. I got a surprising amount of unfiltered reactions from people who thought I, or my table mate, were charging too much. (I cannot stress unfiltered enough.) This is also a disrespect to artists, telling them that their work isn't worth the price. I use reactions to gauge prices like we all should, but when you literally say to my face that the complicated item I am selling for 20$ that took 10+ hours of work (hand painting, sculpting, sanding, mold making, casting) is "Wow, ugh. Too expensive", well you can just go away. I understand people don't have tons of money to blow on everything, but the amount of rude reactions I got this weekend was very surprising. Selling my own work and other fares I've done, I've consistently been told that I undercharge/have reasonable prices. This has been the only time I have ever got a negative reaction to what I charge. This is my first time selling in MA (I am from New York) and I am wondering how well handmade goods go over in other parts of Massachusetts (besides Cape Cod, which I know brings in many tourists looking to spend money on non-necessities).

- A return because some kid thought cramming (LITERALLY CRAMMING. THE BAG WAS WRINKLED AND RIPPED) a handmade item in her shoulder bag and having it break was my fault. Whatever gurl. I gave her the return anyway. Take your 'tude elsewhere.

Concerns:

- Table width. My tablemate and I bought a 6 foot table. Although appropriately six feet, the table felt a little narrow width-wise and I believe I've had wider six foot tables. Was this something anyone else noticed? We're certainly building the rig higher regardless for any other occasion so we're not crammed behind a ton of prints.

TL;DR: I sold a ton of stuff I didn't think I'd sell, I brought home stuff I thought would. I encountered more rudeness than I expected, but I met some fantastic folks that I want to continue to be in contact with. I got some wonderful items from other artists who have amazing talent. I'm learning more and more how to be a seller of my own work and how to think on my toes about marketing myself. This con brought me out of my comfort zone and I really flourished with the way I talk about my work on the spot. I'm proud. In regards to the way the AA is handled and treated like a business, the professionalism is unmatched to anything I've done.

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Re: 2015 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by Smallapple » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:42 pm

I feel pretty cool I get to leave feedback now cause I was in the alley haha a dream come true!!! Anyway, to get started, this was indeed my first time in the AA at Anime Boston, but I've been attending the con for a long time.

Checking in: Going through registration and checking in on Thursday night went pretty smoothly. Though, when I went to pick up my registration badge and I said I was in the alley, the staff told me to just go straight to the alley. I insisted that I needed my pre-reg badge, but the people behind the registration desk seemed a little confused but they went along and found me in the system anyways. This didn't really hinder or annoy me at all, but I can see how other artists might have experienced this and gone straight to the alley without their pre-reg badges? I thought it was worthy of note, and again this was at a registration desk on Thursday night.

Aisles + Signs: I admittedly didn't get around much in the alley besides to make a bee line to the restroom, but I did notice the floor signs. The colors definitely pop. I never had to give directions to anyone, but I can see how theyre useful!
The aisles also were pretty spot on for the amount of traffic there was. I mean, there were still many times where congestion occurred, but still enough space for people to move along and sidestep out of the way. Also, I really enjoyed the announcements! The humor makes it respectful in my opinion, rather than angrily demanding.

Bag Checks + Detours: I had no problem, I navigated around like a breeze haha. My assistants on the other hand, were more out and about and complained to me after the fact. I'm just going to relay what they've told me, but I was not there with them. From the Boylston Street entrance, they were bringing in some stuff for me and were told to go through bag check, but there was no line there and the check was quick.

Then, the detour redirecting people in the Prudential I know was a new thing, and we were unsure if we had to follow that or if being an Artist allowed us to skip it. When I encountered it, I showed a person who was AB staff (orange shirt) my AA badge and he let me through. My assistants (bless them) were going back and forth a lot, and everytime they faced the detour and showed their AA badges, they were told they HAD to follow the detour. I didn't hear about this experience until after the con, but one of my friends got upset because the security guard wasn't exactly answering them kindly. Also of note, they said they did not talk to AB staff, but that these were normal security-dressed people.

Aside from these few minor thorns, I think the con was expertly run, as it always has been!


My personal experience: The crowds were terrific, people were enthusiastic about purchasing from artists, and I received no negativity. I sold out of some stuff Friday and had to restock overnight, and still I sold out on Saturday! I'm still just wetting my ears but this con always makes me smile and I'm glad I can have a blast even when I'm selling behind a table.
Hours were great, and flew by so fast. There were waves of people, I felt busy all day, but not completely obliterated by 10pm. The spaces in the islands are great too! Even though everyone shares this space, it's cool to feel more neighborly and start a conversation with fellow artists. I honestly have nothing to complain about, and my assistants also admitted that despite their gripes they had an amazing experience.

In conclusion, I'd like to thank Nikki and all AB staff for going above and beyond! :D Thanks for a great con!

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Re: 2015 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by okapirose » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:47 pm

First up, thank you Nikki for yet another wonderful year! AB continues to be the best run convention and best AA ever. Overall, things went smoothly and sales were about average for us.

Just a note for you to maybe help your setup and gain sales. Switch some stuff around, I notice you put your bags on the left and everything else on the right, try flipping them. Also if you haven't changed your tablecloth in a long while, get a new one that is a different color. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh look to your setup. And keep your business cards behind with you so people have to ask, this ensures some sort of conversation is struck up (you can bring up what's on sale) and people don't just come up and take a card and walk off. We keep our cards behind with us now and this usually prompts people to look around the table for the card but then end up actually looking at stuff. You ask them if they have any questions, what they're interested in, etc. I've also taken to writing down the item they eyed the most on the table on the back of the card before giving it to them. Course this doesn't guarantee anything, but now you're not just a card in their pocket anymore and they will likely remember you and perhaps come back.

Aisles: I still feel they're massive, I always feel cut off from the artists across from us, and even at their size, walking around sometimes was a pain as there were absolutely no staff around to help push traffic along. On that note, there SHOULD be staff patrolling the aisles and telling people off for photos and blocking aisles. I only saw staff in the room when it was quiet, and they were usually shopping around or checking badges. I also feel the announcements, while fun, aren't helpful for general attendees (who are, by and large, teenagers, who don't listen to the morning announcements at school, so why would they at a con?). People are far more likely to listen when a solid person is telling them to cease taking pics of art and not to block aisles, so perhaps in the future, some patrol staff?

Floor Signs: I only noticed them when we came in for set up, after that, they were sort of blocked by people walking around and I forgot about them until take down on Sunday. I never had to direct people so I assume this map method worked. If not, perhaps if you can get the Hynes to agree, sticking the block numbers/letters on the pillars would probably be more effective and visible?

Water Stations: I always had water/something to drink with me so I never made use of them, but I was still glad they were there for everyone's convenience.

Thursday set up: Set up was later than usual but it didn't really effect us, we ended up just taking our time at dinner. It took us a few minutes to get in as the security were checking people off some sort of list instead of just looking at our badges that said "Artist Alley" under our names and the butt-load of stuff we were hauling, but other than that, staff always let us pass through without a hitch.

I really don't understand how the autograph line got so out of hand in the first place, AB usually has a 100-150 person cap on their autographs, giving those first hundred or so tickets and after that they boot everyone out of line. Kind of ridiculous and unbelievable they allowed it to go so long that it would wrap into the AA of all places :/ But I guess the weird does happen, hopefully not again though.

I think to help alleviate the rude comments and other annoyances we have to deal with from customers (the AA bingo was brilliant but also reminds us what we go through almost every con), the convention guide should have an artist alley guide within it somewhere. Obviously we don't want it to be malicious, but it can be informative with a fun spin on it. Revolving around bringing smaller bills, telling them that the artists set the prices what they are because they put a lot of time and effort into their work, don't take photos as it spooks the starving artists...I'm sick at the moment and have no witty things to spin on these but I hope you get the idea.

I think that's about it, mostly nit-picky stuff, nothing major.

Here's to another year at AB and fingers crossed we get in next year! C:

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Re: 2016 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by Kogarashi » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:16 pm

dDraik wrote:- Young crowd and/or a unprecedented amount of people (adults and older teens/20 somethings) who poo poo and make disgusted faces (rly????) at anything handmade/over 15$.
Oddly enough, I didn't get these reactions this year. I sell hand-painted paper fans, and I'm used to those reactions from teenagers who see the fans and expect them to be under $10 even for the fanciest, then go bug-eyed when they see the $20+ price tag. Not this year, surprisingly. I think just about everyone who asked about prices said the prices were actually reasonable. Go figure.
- A return because some kid thought cramming (LITERALLY CRAMMING. THE BAG WAS WRINKLED AND RIPPED) a handmade item in her shoulder bag and having it break was my fault. Whatever gurl. I gave her the return anyway. Take your 'tude elsewhere.
This is why I normally take an "all sales final" stance, especially with breakable items that have clearly been mishandled. I did end up accepting one return on Saturday, but only because the person who'd bought the fan came back an hour later and admitted she didn't really know what she was going to actually do with it, and the fan itself was still undamaged and I knew I could sell it again later. She did seem dismayed that I asked for her freebie charm back as well (which she got for making a $20+ purchase, which I was now refunding), but she didn't argue at least. But if there had been any damage to the fan, I would have refused because then it isn't something I can so readily recover from at-con. I'm sorry you had to deal with someone who ended up breaking their own thing and expecting their money back.
- Table width. My tablemate and I bought a 6 foot table. Although appropriately six feet, the table felt a little narrow width-wise and I believe I've had wider six foot tables. Was this something anyone else noticed? We're certainly building the rig higher regardless for any other occasion so we're not crammed behind a ton of prints.
Do you mean the narrow dimension of the table, or the long dimension? I had half of an 8-foot table and my neighbor and I didn't have any trouble fitting our usual displays in our 4 feet each, so the 8-foot tables, at least, were the correct length. I did mention in my review (and to Nikki on Thursday night) that the narrow dimension of the table was a couple of inches short. She'd noticed too, and this is apparently because the tables in the exhibit hall are different from the ones for the ballrooms, and I believe she mentioned looking into getting that fixed for future years.
TL;DR: I sold a ton of stuff I didn't think I'd sell, I brought home stuff I thought would.
Same. So much original art sold! And I brought home some things I could've sworn would sell well, so yay for market research.

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Re: 2015 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by egyptianruin » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:37 pm

Artist Alley: Check in was smooth. Aisle widths were perfect. Sales were excellent. I liked that staff had badge checks throughout the convention. I liked the donuts. I liked the water stations. I like the table layouts and number of artists. I did really well because the alley wasn't stuffed to the brim with artists. All in all convention goers were pretty nice. I only had to alert the AA staff of congregating in front of the table once and an announcement was made and they moved along. I did have to leave early on Friday because the sound wall wasn't really a sound wall but just an air wall and the band was too loud to hear customers (blame it on working in a wood shop so my hearing is poor now) so I just packed up early Friday and called it a night. I like the short hours.

Registration: No one knew that I was supposed to skip the line. They eventually let me do it but I had to talk to three of four people and none of the volunteers knew about it and had to keep asking people. Eventually they just let me in and said I dunno.

Bag Checks: Hynes Security never asked to check bags once I flashed my AA badge during the con, like promised :)
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Re: 2015 OFFICIAL FEEDBACK Thread for AA :D

Post by skim » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:45 pm

I'm not happy with how many no-shows there were at AA, but I think it's mostly been addressed.
I hope next year there's an e-mail or something sent out a couple of weeks before the show to everyone to make sure they're coming.

By the time I got off the waitlist for a 4' space, my setup was already fully invested in dealers / 12-foot wide setup to celebrate the release of my second comic book -_-;;; I advertised as hard as I could that I was in dealers but many people said they were looking for me in AA later on. (most artist friends never made it to dealers too, because the hours of operation with AA and DH don't allow artists to go in dealers)

Right now is a really critical time to grow a fanbase for my original comic book, so I'm not happy that I wasn't in artist alley, but I think the circumstances were unavoidable.

I think this year was a bit strange because AB's sign ups came up first between three major conventions that all happened on the same weekend (anime matsuri, sakura con, anime boston). Was the number of sign ups and no-shows higher than usual?


Next year, AA~ ^^ I still had a good time at AB.
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