SakuraCon 2013 Review Part 2: Thoughts and Impressions

April 5, 2013 at 4:43 am 3 comments

Part 1 covered a basic run down of the con and my weekend in Seattle, Washington. Now for my impressions and thoughts of SakuraCon. 🙂

This was the Frosted Fleur section of my table at SakuraCon.

This was the Frosted Fleur section of my table at SakuraCon.

This was my very first time selling out of state. I was kind of nervous and really didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I would have a much higher set of expenses for sure what with flight and lodging. What about food you ask? Well, I seem to run on con vibes when I get to artist alleys and honestly, I didn’t even eat all that much, lol! I purposely got Chipotle the first night because I knew I couldn’t finish it and that would mean making a $6-7 food purchase cover two meals.

Anyway, when I found out my location in the AA a few months back, I was sort of worried that it was going to hurt my sales. The AA shares the room with the dealers. We are off to the right. I was in the second to last grouping near the back corner of the Alley. Placement can really be key in an AA. I also had my back to the main flow of traffic. I figured I would just grin and bear it. Cons are mostly about just getting your brand out there.

Friends and family had to listen to me fret and moan about my location and worry that I would barely break even. Boy was I wrong. Friday was the best sales on a first day I’ve ever had and SakuraCon set a new record for most total sales at a single con. This was my fifth Artist Alley, so I know I’ve learned some things too in setting up my table and product placement, but people were also buying more items or some of my pricier items.

I also had repeat customers during the con. That’s rare for me. Usually, it’s a one shot thing. As con went on, people started coming back to my table, and often wearing some of the stuff they bought. My deco rings were a huge hit. They were also bringing friends back to my table too which was really cool.

One of my puns 'Loafing Around' which I'm definitely not doing these days!

One of my puns ‘Loafing Around’ which I’m definitely not doing these days!

Last year at AX, I started selling my artwork as prints. I’ve been putting them up on an overhead display to get them in the public eye and it really helped boost sales. This was the third con selling them and I’ve noticed that people REALLY like the bad puns I create so I put them front and center. I’ve noticed that people will be walking by and then stop and start laughing which will often then draw them in to my table where they will then look at some of the other stuff they may not otherwise have seen and make purchases. It’s also fun for me to see people getting a kick out of my creations.

I took a huge box of them and sold over half my prints. I also managed to move most of the cupcakes and cake boxes. I had lots of requests for t-shirts. I wish screen printing wasn’t so expensive and am still searching for a cost effective way to have quality printed shirts at con.

Friday was definitely the slower of the three days, but as I stated earlier, I still sold a lot as people were buying in higher quantities. Saturday was very steady all day long. There was a brief break in the afternoon, but it was very brief. Sunday was still pretty busy which surprised me for a last day of con that also fell on Easter Sunday. At past cons, Sundays are usually rather slow and that’s when I sketch or make a list for future cons.

The facility where SakuraCon is held was very nice. The Washington State Convention Center is huge and therefore a bit disorienting. I got lost a few times, but they had convention center staff placed all over and they were very helpful and friendly. There were many food options within the convention center itself from Subway to a bunch of cafes and coffee shops to the snack bar kiosks that most conventions have. I noticed there was also a FedEx Kinkos downstairs which I’m not sure if it was open during the con, but if so, this will be very helpful for next time when I hopefully have a helper and if I run out of prints.

Check-in (once I found it and I suspect that was more my fault with not re-reading the AA checkin email when I got there) was easy. I really liked how they had a separate artist check in right next to the AA entrance. More cons should DEFINITELY do this. I also really liked how they let us in on Day 0 to get set up. It’s so nice to not be a nervous wreck trying to set up on Day 1 minutes before they open to the public. In past cons, I’ve still been setting up when they open and I’m not the only one either.

The exhibit hall staff were very good in announcing things like special events and the time when it was getting closer to the end of the day. I also appreciated the reminder they announced a few times a day about ‘Please ASK the artist if it’s ok to take pictures of their items’. I know this is a general understanding and stated in many con guides, but I definitely think it helps to have a verbal reminder AT con.

I didn’t get out to explore the con much at all as I was there on my own so most of my experience is from the AA point of view. I did see a lot of creative cosplays. I noticed that there weren’t as many lolitas as there are at CA cons. There also didn’t seem to be as many people in the AA selling lolita items. I’m not sure if this was just from the group that got tables this year or if lolita isn’t as big in WA as CA.

So to sum up, I was very happy with the way SakuraCon went. I will definitely be returning in 2014!

Entry filed under: Artist Alley Reviews. Tags: , , , , , , , .

SakuraCon 2013 Review: Part 1 – The Breakdown ASAHiCon 2013 Review

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. illeander  |  May 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for the helpful article. I’m a little nervous about my first artist alley coming up, so its nice to hear what other people have done. I work a lot with polymer clay.

    • 2. kimchikawaii  |  May 2, 2013 at 5:13 am

      No problem! If you have any questions, feel free to ask 🙂 Where are you going to be selling for your first AA? You have some cute stuff and I added you to my watch list on deviantART.

      • 3. illeander  |  May 3, 2013 at 12:30 am

        I’m going to be selling at Midoricon which is in southern ohio at Shawnee Lodge. I’m adding you to my watchlist too.

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