First off let me say – I love Awesome Con!
When you’re like me, an artist trying to make your living at shows and conventions and the like, you see quite the range of successful and unsuccessful events. At one end of the extreme is the show I did last year that had no attendees who weren’t organizers or vendors. Seriously – I am not exaggerating. But at the far better extreme, you have shows like Awesome Con.
I have done Awesome Con all three years of its existence, and they are a model of how to successfully grow a show. It’s gone from one small hall and a couple of rooms at the Washington Convention Center, to taking over several of the biggest halls.
One thing that was great this year is that with the new hall move, they actually gave us more space. Not only did that mean we as vendors could be creative and show more things, the aisles were wide enough that the hall could be crowded with guests and not get claustrophobic (hello DragonCon dealer’s room…). It made the whole thing a more pleasant experience.
Plus, guests seemed to be getting really into it. I saw excellent costumes, even on Sunday – usually a lesser costume day at conventions. And more than one attendee told me they now went straight to the artist tables instead of the exhibit hall – they knew that was where they could get more unique things they had not seen tons of times before. I do like the Awesome Con setup for that – the artists and handmade vendors are not in a separate room from the big exhibitors, so buyers just flow from one area to the next.
The only hiccup this year I noticed was the loading docks… but seeing how well this convention has handled other logistics, I’m sure they’ll be better at that next year.
As for my own stuff, it was a successful weekend for me. On an amusing/bewildering note, I added leather work to my products for sale this year, as I’ve mentioned before. And people loved it. Tons of comments and compliments, people were looking and trying things on, it was great. My favorite? The six or so year old boy who really wanted the Wonder Woman set. I loved seeing his face light up when he was allowed to try it on. Yay Wonder Woman!
But for all of that amazing attention, none of the leather sold at Awesome Con. A bit of everything else did. Go figure. (And hey, the leather sold very well the following weekend at Virginia Renaissance Faire, so you never know.)
All told, this convention remains firmly on me “will do again” list.