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2012 applications are up

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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby Pikiu » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:32 pm

I was jumping all over my friend when she told me we were accepted and asking her repeatedly if she read her email correctly. Thank you so much for giving us a chance AZ.

I'm really sorry to see so may wonderful artists waitlisted D: I do hope some of you will still have a chance to join the AA in the second wave.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby BobGuy » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:51 pm

Shenanagan wrote:Still, with so many of us waitlisted, I can't help but feel a bit discouraged. But maybe it is just the fact that they want new faces to have a go, being that the tables are so limited for now.


BobGuy wrote:Veteran artists do not receive preference, nor do they get shafted for new blood. An artist of 8 AZ's competes the same as one from 5, 2, or none. We love repeat artists, but we also love new artist.


I cannot stress this enough. NO ONE gets preference. New faces or old faces.


And yes, cutting the balcony is the reason we lost 20 tables. But, we couldn't really keep it, as apparently the balcony is a cesspool of poor sales. And having the alley split up didn't seem to work.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby Shenanagan » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:44 am

BobGuy wrote:And yes, cutting the balcony is the reason we lost 20 tables. But, we couldn't really keep it, as apparently the balcony is a cesspool of poor sales. And having the alley split up didn't seem to work.


I know that artists up in the balcony mentioned they had very little traffic, so I'm glad that it will be unified this year. And wishful thinking here, but would there have been a way to squeeze a few extra tables into the Mezzanine?
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby BobGuy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:24 pm

Shenanagan wrote:
BobGuy wrote:And yes, cutting the balcony is the reason we lost 20 tables. But, we couldn't really keep it, as apparently the balcony is a cesspool of poor sales. And having the alley split up didn't seem to work.


I know that artists up in the balcony mentioned they had very little traffic, so I'm glad that it will be unified this year. And wishful thinking here, but would there have been a way to squeeze a few extra tables into the Mezzanine?


Well, the view on the balcony traffic all depends on which artists from the balcony you talk to, but I digress... it's just one of those things, we're damned no matter what. If we keep the balcony, half the artists that sit up there will be unhappy. If we remove it, then 20 artists will be unhappy they didn't get in because we lost 20 tables.

We are looking to add tables to the Mezza, but it's not looking good. Lots of fire codes and stuff. Wishful thinking indeed, we might get lucky, but I'm not holding my breath.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby SailorAstera » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:47 pm

Maybe you could have people volunteer to use the balcony?

I liked it up there last year, but I was on an end so maybe that was better. I think the trouble with the balcony was that some of the middle tables were set so far back from where the traffic was flowing that you didn't get the same "window shopping" effect you'd have otherwise. In contrast, the tables downstairs were so tight it seemed like the artists behind it were really crammed in. Maybe the tables on the balcony just need to be in a line that's closer to where the people are walking (it's such a big space up there), or maybe fill it in with more tables so there's a few rows and it looks more like a marketplace than just a line of lonely tables.

I don't think splitting the alley would be that bad if there was a lot of signage and maybe something in the book about it. People do go up there, it's just getting them in front of the tables that needs to be done better it seems. My guess is that there are probably artists who would rather volunteer for the "bad" balcony spots knowing the risks to their sales rather than just not getting in at all.

It's clear there's a lot more interest than there are tables - but not enough for us to get the room. It would be a shame for so many artists to miss out when there might be other possible solutions. If the balcony isn't used then that space seems wasted when it could be bringing in revenue both for the con and for artists who want to be there.

Maybe it's too late in the game now, but just some thoughts and ideas. Keep up the good work BobGuy. :D
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby Marzipan » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:10 pm

SailorAstera wrote:I don't think splitting the alley would be that bad if there was a lot of signage and maybe something in the book about it. People do go up there, it's just getting them in front of the tables that needs to be done better it seems. My guess is that there are probably artists who would rather volunteer for the "bad" balcony spots knowing the risks to their sales rather than just not getting in at all.

Maybe it's too late in the game now, but just some thoughts and ideas. Keep up the good work BobGuy. :D


Your guess is correct in my case. A table somewhere is better than a table nowhere. :D

Ditto to the good work Bobguy. :3
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby Hiryuu » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:30 pm

I can sense where Bobguy is coming from when he doesn't want to open the balcony. So many artists that were up there -complained-, and had their money refunded. That's extreme loss of revenue from the con. I mean, if you're willing to sign a waiver that says you'll not complain regardless of how much traffic or money you make, then maybe they would open it. But there was one guy on here who belittled all of the staff and said he'd never come back and would tell all of his friends to never come back also because of the balcony situation.

People say that they would be happy regardless of the space, but when it comes down to it, if you don't make enough to cover table and traveling costs most artists are going to throw a hissy fit and blame it on the con. And that's not fair to the convention staff either.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby Marzipan » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:27 pm

Yup. That's true I don't blame him one bit. Some people aren't happy unless they are complaining. xD

Did they really refund their money? That's ridiculous.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby Hiryuu » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:31 pm

I'm not sure of the logistics but they were compensated for their 'loss'.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby BobGuy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:55 pm

The layout of the balcony was the only option we had available. It is what we were allowed to set up. Sadly, there was no way to have any other set up.

As for the traffic, I do somewhat feel like there is an assumption that traffic means sales. I talked to nearly every artist in balcony and mezzanine last year, and got mixed reviews (obviously, no two artists will sale exactly the same way). I do know, a lot of mezzanine artists said that they were getting a lot of people passing by, but not all would stop. And even the ones that stopped weren't buying much. I think it was just a generally crap year for sales in most cases. I know my sales were down a lot.

Basically, as it stands, we need to see what happens minus the balcony this year. I know a lot of artists would be willing to take it just to get a table, and we never have promised any artist sales or traffic (we can't, it's not within our control). But, there was just too many problems with the split alley last year.

We'll see what happens next year. Who knows?
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby ao-tan » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 am

ik every one is probably wanting to put this to rest but i just wanted to say one last thing.

In my experience with Az last year was one of my better years in terms of sales, however they weren't that hot either even though i was on the main floor in a relatively good location. In my experience as well many people where walking by, browsing, and many stopped, touched and showed interest in items, however they either never purchased, or had already bought something similar or wanted to buy something from the dealers room.

I think it's ambitious and great to want to expand the AA, but i feel like at this time we shouldn't and here's why. I think it's good to have a little competion. Already even with having not gotten in, i'd rather have not made the cut, than made the cut but have say 30 or so more artist's to compete with in sales, along with rising table prices, and not having it be in a package like it is with dealers. Even though it sucks that we've lost 20 tables that i think we could eventually add some more back, in terms of next year, expansion i don't think is a good idea, b/c it's just too much competion for many artist's who are struggling to even break even for just getting their table and expenses to attend the con.

ok now back to the balcony...

Either way i think it'd be great to bring back the balcony tables or at least some of them in the future, i don't see how it could hurt. I think some of the issues or that i noticed was just simple table placement. I don't remember exactly where, but there were some tables further down near the elevator area, and that area is very dark, and not alot of light, and you almost wouldn't even take notice of the tables because of that, also the atmosphere wasn't doing much for showcasing their work, so maybe that was a contributing factor.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby BobGuy » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:39 am

ao-tan wrote:I don't remember exactly where, but there were some tables further down near the elevator area, and that area is very dark, and not alot of light, and you almost wouldn't even take notice of the tables because of that, also the atmosphere wasn't doing much for showcasing their work, so maybe that was a contributing factor.


Ironically, I think most of the artists in that dark area were happy with their sales, at least when I talked to them.
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby Shenanagan » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:24 pm

You know, last year was actually my best year as far as sales. But that may have been due to where we were placed, right in the front line of all the Dealer's Room traffic. True, you can never guarantee where you'll be placed in the alley, but to me it's what you sell that determines if you get a lot of people to your table. I know I scout all the alley tables (even balcony ones) to see what everyone's selling, and if their stuff was cool, I bought it :)

And I have to disagree with ao-tan: I honestly never saw myself and my work as "competing" against other artists, per se. True, you're trying to make your work and prices stand out from the rest, but it really is up to the consumer if they're going to like one's artist's stuff over another artist's stuff.

And that is lame that someone would belittle the AZ staff for having poor sales. BobGuy and the AA staff are doing their best despite all the setbacks!
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Re: 2012 applications are up

Postby kojika » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:34 pm

Ever since I started doing Animazement, it's always been my best selling con, which is why I can keep affording to attend it. I'll admit I was initially put off last year by the new layout, but it didn't really effect my sales that much. In general, sales at every con have dropped because of the economy, but the people who want to buy, will still be buying, just not as much. I'll admit I never really got out to go see the balcony last year, and all I heard was "bad things" but I agree with what everyone else has said in regard to that.

Sure, placement in the AA can affect sales in regards to how many people actually SEE you, but a lot of people looking to purchase in AA will browse through the whole alley before they make a decision. The spontaneous shoppers, of course, are the type to grab stuff in walking past, but I don't really think most people make a lot of sales that way, period. And at least at AZ, unlike some of the other cons I've been to, most of the tables were directly connected...like, there wasn't a giant gap breaking them up (save for the balcony). I do think it may have been better to have more signs indicating that, but what's done is done, and it seems everyone has mixed feelings on that.
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