Yesterday, I went to Tekkoshocon in Pittsburgh, PA. I nearly flaked out on this convention, since going to a con the weekend before AnimePunch, in which I have a large part in planning and running, seemed kind of ambitious. But eventually I decided I would make a one-day trip on Saturday to sell in the Artist Alley. Even going Saturday and Sunday, I was afraid that my sales wouldn’t cover the costs of a hotel room overnight, so I had a much lower break-even point if I just went for one day.
So a couple weeks ago, I made a post on the Tekko forums looking for someone who wanted to use my table on Friday and Sunday, since I wanted to make sure the table was used the rest of the weekend. As usual, there was a waiting list of people to get into the Artist Alley in case of cancellations, but apparently very few of them were actively stalking the forums like I usually do, and I ended up sharing the table with Chris Miller, who was the only person to actually email me about it.
Since last Friday was AP’s last planning meeting, I didn’t manage to get to bed until quite late, and Chris (my Chris, not to be confused with Miller, who had the table Friday and Sunday) and I had to leave for Pittsburgh at 6 AM in order to make it there before the Artist Alley opened. We got out of the house and on the road at about 6:30, and made pretty good time, getting there around 9:30.
There was a bit of rigamarole in getting myself checked in with Artist Alley, since there wasn’t any staff at the AA desk when I first got there, but the friendly staffers at the nearby information desk sent me down to Registration to check in for my badge instead.
Once we did get into the AA, we only had about 10 minutes before 10 AM, which was when the room opened to the public, so we very quickly set up my table and get everything in place in record time.
For the first hour or so, we kind of discovered that our regular tactics seemed to be too aggressive for this convention. Usually, people will wander by, looking at stuff on the table, and one of us will pipe up with “Draw your face for a dollar?” There was a lot less response to it this time. So we decided to change tactics to a less aggressive “Hi there, how’s it going, etc.” This seemed to be a little more successful, as more people actually stopped to look at comics and prints after that.
Probably the best part of the day was the fact that two Garanos fans found me! Two whole fans! As I told the second one, that has never happened twice at one convention, much less that they actually stopped to talk to me and say hello and such! I think at my last Ohayocon (2008) there was a young lady who said she liked my comic as she walked by, but didn’t stop or anything, so it really made my day to meet them. ^_^
I did many more Dollar Drawings, but unfortunately I forgot to charge my phone before we left, and thus my phone was turned off all day to conserve the battery in case we needed it on the road. So I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of people with their dollar drawings. However, two groups of people got drawings and took pictures of themselves with them near my table, so I asked them to send me copies, which one group already did!
Thank you guys again! Hopefully the other folks who took pictures will send them to me, as well.
All in all, I covered about 85% of my costs in getting to Tekkoshocon. If Chris and I hadn’t eaten lunch and dinner, the percentage would be higher, but what are you gonna do? I’m pretty glad I went, since it seemed like a good oppurtunity to promote myself to people in a location that wasn’t in Central Ohio, and the promotion I did certainly has an immaterial value to add to the sales I made. Hopefully I will get some new readers out of this!
Next weekend, I’ll have a table set up in the Artist Alley of AnimePunch, which my sister Kelly will be running for me while I’m off staffing it up. There’s a small chance I’ll have my Garanos Volume I book order by then, but if not, I’ll definitely have them for SPACE the weekend after that.