Woo! I had fun exhibiting at International Fan Fest at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. Although it was a baby con, it was great to experience what it’s like to exhibit at the artist alley for three days. I found out that I didn’t have much constitution. I often felt hungry, sleepy and cold (I think I was sitting under a vent)! Haha and my poor husband had to put up with my whining!
Problems of New Conventions
As new conventions are popping up in Ontario, sometimes I feel the cost of an artist table is too much. Especially since they don’t have a huge audience traction like Anime North, FanExpo, Toronto Comic Arts Festival and Toronto Comic Con. For International Fan Fest, an artist table for three days cost $226CAD (tax included). Imagine I still have to pay for parking, gas, prints, food and preparation. The costs add up! Since IFF was a new con, 1) There wasn’t much people attending 2) People were more reserved from spending on higher priced items because bigger cons were coming up soon. At that rate, it was quite hard for artists to cover their starting costs just to be in this show. I would highly suggest to share a table with someone if you’re starting at a new convention like this one.
Was it profitable? Was it worth it?
Despite it not being the most profitable experience, I believe it was worth it. First of all, I got to mingle with other artists and those who did come by my table. Secondly, I was extremely determined to do better so I drew up a lot of sketches for upcoming conventions. Third, since I’m quite an introverted person, I got to practice talking and engaging with people. Lastly, my left over merchandise can always be sold at other cons, so it’s not a complete loss. If you are experiencing a slow convention, don’t let it discourage you from doing more. Starting off may feel like a slow grind but take that opportunity to learn from what other people are doing and think of ways to improve for next time!
Also, during the slow times, it’s great to talk to your art neighbor! It was an honor to chat with Drencielos who was so kind to share his experience of what it’s like to sell at a convention full-time. Check out his work and send him your love: @drencielos
Anyway, big shout out to my hubby James, for helping and accompanying me! He helped me figure a neat way to display my pins using frames, felt, hooks and velcro. We spent the night before preparing everything and didn’t get much sleep! Thanks for those who came by and also supported my work! I super appreciate it. I plan on going to more cons this year so keep an eye for any updates on my instagram: @hqagoncillo