I booth’d at MegaCon Tampa this year (2018). I brought my Son and my Daughter for the weekend. We had a great table and we were surrounded by some really cool artists. So, we were very hopeful the weekend would be a grand success.
The convention was a Friday – Sunday event. So we arrived in Tampa Friday and set up our booth. This was my second MegaCon; my first being MegaCon Orlando. The booth spaces at MegaCon are incredibly small. Especially for the price they charge. We couldn’t set up our full display and the three of us trying to fit behind the booth was terribly cramped. The convention center itself was nice enough. It was easy to unpack our car and getting to our booth was a breeze. They didn’t have much inside in the way of food, but, food trucks were out front to save the day.
So after we set up we settled in and met the artists that were around us. That’s always fun. It’s always great to meet people with similar interests and goals. Then the convention started and people began to fill the convention center. Although we had a nice enough location we only received one visit to the booth. Which is fine. The Friday crowd is mostly filled with people who have the full weekend pass. They’ll come to us later.
Saturday we woke up bright and early to get to the convention center by 9am. The show started at 9:30am. We stopped at Micky D’s for breakfast so we were good to go. The day, however, was grueling. If you’ve ever booth’d before, you’ll know, it’s a long day. The size of the booth, and the cramped environment in general, contribute the hardship. There was a large crowd. There were a lot of great costumes and the people were very friendly and there for a great time. But, I’m not there for a good time. I’m there to sell my art. If I don’t at least make back my costs, then it’s not worth sitting behind a cramped table for a day. At one point my daughter pointed out that no one in the crowd was carrying a bag. Meaning, none of them had made a purchase. And in truth, most were not there to make purchases. They are there to dress up and see something cool. The thing is, that something cool, is there to turn a profit. But beyond the entrance fee, and maybe a overpriced cheese burger, they are not there to spend money. If it were just me then that would be one thing, but, none of the artists around me were making sales either. Eventually that something cool, just isn’t going to show up anymore.
Sunday I was faced with a decision; spend the day manning a booth that’s not generating sales, or enjoy the day with my kids. I didn’t show up for Sunday. I gave my booth to the artists next to me. In fact, I’ll never do another MegaCon again. It’s just a colossal waste of my time.
Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t booth again. I just think that MegaCon is geared to the cosplay crowd, who are not interested in having a piece of my art on their wall. ComicCon is geared more towards the comic book fan. I have a ComicCon coming up, in West Palm Beach, in March. The days are still long and grueling, but, the booths are larger and the crowds are more interested in what I have to sell.
Truthfully, though, ComicCon will be my last convention. It’s just not a constructive use of my time. It’s time to move on from them and devote my efforts and talents towards something else.