Artist Alley Con Review: Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013

October 17, 2013 at 2:16 am 2 comments

Am back from my last con for 2013. I decided to close the 10 con run out with Anime Weekend Atlanta. This was my first time doing this one and my first time selling in that half of the country. All my previous cons have been along the West Coast (I’m in CA). The main reason I went was to meet some artist friends who I had gotten to know through deviantART. This was going to be the last con for one of them before they moved out of the country, so I figured it was now or never. It was that and I figured a way to expose my brand to the other half of the USA. I knew that with flight and hotel it was going to be a pretty pricey one, but hey, companies pay WAY more than reg fees, airfare and hotel for their marketing campaigns, right? When I saw the seating chart for the artist alley, I was pretty disappointed as I was in the second to last island facing the back. For those of you not familiar with artist alleys table location can sometimes make or break your cons. Usually the back is like the corner of doom. So after seeing the map, I figured “Yep, this one will be purely for marketing and socializing”. I also had people telling me in a group I belong to on Facebook that AWA was more of a social con and sales were generally slow.

Super cute squid amiguri a fan made for me. I was so flattered! He sat on the table all con and helped sell stuff :)Super cute squid amiguri a fan made for me. I was so flattered! He sat on the table all con and helped sell stuff :)

Super cute squid amiguri a fan made for me. I was so flattered! He sat on the table all con and helped sell stuff πŸ™‚

Well, let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised. I just did my sales totals for this one before writing this and AWA ranks as number 3 in top grossing cons for Kimchi Kawaii’s 2013 run!

So what did I think of the con? I had a great time there. I didn’t get to do much sight seeing at all of the Atlanta area so this will just be about the con (unlike my SakuraCon review). One artist had said that the con attendees at AWA are some of the nicest people you’ll meet at a con and I have to agree. Everyone was so polite. I had one of my fans on my Facebook page come by and give me a totally cute squid amiguri that she had made for me. I was super flattered!

Traffic was actually pretty good considering my location. I think the fact that the food area was at the end of the alley helped draw people into what would normally be a dead zone. And the food! You know how most cons have crappy, overpriced hot dogs or something? At this one, they actually drove food trucks into the convention hall and people could pick from chicken and waffles (I never got to try them, the line was always too long), Vietnamese, Mexican and a hot dog truck that had unique offerings like a kimchi hotdog. I had the Vietnamese food one day and it was super delicious and kept me full for the day. The only downside was that the whole hall started smelling like fried food and it wasn’t aired out too well so I would go back to the hotel smelling like a waffle every night.

I actually ran out of business cards at my table about halfway through Saturday so had to McGyver a solution (there, now you know I’m an old fogey, lol). Nearly everyone has smart phones these days so I taped one of my remaining cards to a piece of paper and told people they could take photos of it. I may do that for future cons, although without the last minute Sharpie sign. People collect business cards at cons like Pokemon or something and generally, I don’t see a huge uptick in ‘likes’ to my FB page cause I know that they all get lost in the shuffle. At least with a phone picture, they would come across it when sorting through all their con pics. We’ll see. It’s something I’m thinking about and may try for 2014’s con season. And hey, it would save on resources as well!

I had great fun meeting my friends from dA. One of them was right next to me selling under the name Yarn Candy Sweets and helped me watch my table when I wanted to explore a bit. The other was closer to the front selling resin jewelry under the brand Sweet Fancy Cuteness, but we all got to go out and eat dinner twice this weekend so that was fun. We went to the Marietta Diner which apparently was featured on Diners Dives and Drive-Ins. You can tell a place is good when you’re sitting there eating and talking about coming back again in the same weekend. We did a last lunch there before everyone headed their separate ways on Sunday.

About the only complaint I have about AWA was the internet in there was super spotty, especially on Saturday which is when most of us pull in sales. My friend had her card reader go completely down Saturday morning so for a while, we were running cards through mine and I was just paying her cash. But as the day went on, I found that mine was having difficulty connecting as well. People were saying it was the sheer numbers of people in the convention center all trying to access the internet. I don’t know. I’ve sold at Anime Expo (the biggest anime con in North America) and never had connection issues like I did at AWA. I hope that this isn’t an issue next year.

Yes, I did say next year. I put down a deposit on the last day for the 2014 show πŸ™‚

And that wraps up my 2013 con year. I’m now working on pumping up the shops for the holiday shopping season which is rapidly approaching, taking a little much needed time off and doing some new art. I need to get some new designs in there to keep it fresh for everyone! I’m also compiling my con list for next year and tracking artist alley sign ups. My first one I hope to snag is a table at Anime Boston in March. We’ll see how things go. I’ll be updating stuff on my website and FB page primarily as I confirm cons.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kiri  |  October 17, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Dang, I’ve NEVER THOUGHT to ask people to take pictures of a card scrawled with my bizcard info when I’ve run out of cards… that is REALLY SMART hahahahaha… I’ve always just scribbled the info on a billion slips of random paper and had people take those, but it’s not hard to see how amazingly inefficient that is!

    Glad to hear you had a good time at AWA! It’s been a few years since I’ve gone since I moved across the country, but maybe I’ll go back someday. :O

    Reply
    • 2. kimchikawaii  |  October 18, 2013 at 2:26 am

      I’ve never run out of cards before! It was kinda crazy, lol! Anyway, I flew there from CA, but I’m already planning on going again in 2014. I had a lot of fun.

      Reply

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