All in all, Galaxy Fest in Colorado Springs wasn’t a bad convention, despite a few hiccups along the way. I paid for an author table in the hallway of the convention hotel, rather than the dealer room, and went in intending to just sell my books and a few little prints and buttons related to my books. Load in information in the e-mail said that small scale vendors could start loading in around 11am on Friday, so I got there about then only to find my table was being used for a rotary club event until 2pm. I was a little miffed, as it would’ve been nice to be warned ahead of time so that I could’ve stayed home a few more hours. Thankfully, though, a friend was at the table across from me and let me stash my stuff with him until 2pm so I could wander around without dragging it everywhere. While wandering I found out a couple friends had had their own issues, as the dealer’s room had been oversold and they’d been put in a weird little side room instead. The con staff were apparently very apologetic, but still.
Eventually I was able to claim my table and get set up, which didn’t take much time as I didn’t have my usual full load of stuff. As I set up my table neighbors trickled in and…they were not authors. One was an author, one was a book fan group, one was an anime artist, one was a Victorian Silhouette artist, and one was a Youtube gaming channel. Because my neighbors were so varied, and my sales weren’t good on Friday, I decided to just say “fuck it” and brought all my stuff for Saturday and Sunday, rather than just selling my books and such. Looking over my sales, this was the only reason I made any real profit. I would’ve just about broken even with only selling my books, but by bringing my other stuff I was able to make about twice what I spent for the table and product costs.
Sales wise, the convention was…weird. I actually don’t feel like I did well because I didn’t actually have to many people stop by my table. But I did make a decent profit, so…? I did have a few “I’ll come back” people ACTUALLY come back and buy something, which is a rarity. I also had a mother daughter duo who came and bought stuff a couple times, including one of my more expensive originals. But, talking to the other people in my section, I actually apparently did super well comparatively. So, a bit of a weird convention.
My section of the hallway actually ended up being rearranged a couple times due to the con staff trying to better accommodate people who weren’t as happy with their placement. The other author didn’t come back after Friday, so his table was given to a sewing crafter who’d been in a super bad spot before, then the anime artist moved away to another spot, then the fan-club moved to the anime artist’s spot so the crafter could have two tables. It was a little chaotic, but everyone was very efficient and friendly so it wasn’t bad.
I think, for next year, the best thing the con could do is to have a better arrangement of tables. The Youtubers next to me were alright guys, but by the nature of what they were doing (filming people gaming with them for their channel) they were loud, and distracting, and frequently spilling over into my area. There’s a reason bigger conventions have areas for youtubers/podcasters, and areas for authors, and areas for artists. Having the sections helps keeps things better organized and helps prevent people stepping on one another’s toes.
I think I will go back next year. It is an affordable local convention, and it was a good place to clear out a lot of my old stock at a discount before I start doing the bigger conventions I have scheduled for the rest of the year. Hotel Conventions are also just nice because they don’t wring you dry for every little thing. The internet was free, access to power was free, and they even validated parking so we could park in the garage. So, yes, a good little convention, despite a few hiccups!