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  • Writer's pictureVanna

Convention Diary { no.2 } ⋯ Houston Gaming Expo ☞ BTS: Con Review!

Updated: Mar 17

07.17.23

Posting a personal entry from my closed Patreon blog drafts! }

Con review is at the bottom of this blog! } ♡


Over the weekend May 15-16, I got to pop-up shop at HGX! I have lots to say as both an attendee and as a seller. The Houston Gaming Expo is my second attempt to sell at a pop-up booth, and also my second convention, following Comicpalooza in May.


Booth Tour Reel! : here



All weekend I had my friend Amanda help setup and tend my booth - so we had relaxing sleepovers to take the edge off of working! [I made us some iced matcha thai lattes the night before Friday’s setup.]



Full convention review down below, but setup was a breeze. I’ve learned a lot from my first convention what was effective, ineffective, and just unnecessary, so this time I went in with some additional confidence!


In prep for this event I had readied a loooot more to my inventory: more bracelets, bookmarks, stickers, and a new item - my shirt!


You can get my shirt here!


HGX, being its first year as an event, was a lot smaller than Comicpalooza, despite the expenses and location being the same entry level price. And I mean, like 1/6th the size spacially, and less than a 1/10th activity and attendee-wise.


Nevertheless, my strongest day at HGX was about 10% shy of what I made at Comicpalooza. So I feel like some improvements were made, definitely on the design front when it came to figuring what aesthetics sold best. (Spoilers, the goth and dark cottagecore and dark academia stuff cleared out.) Inventory updates are coming real soon, following this blog! 🥂


[My signs are no longer hand-drawn last minute LOL! I discovered at 3am I could print them on this holographic paper I had at home and it feels so on-brand.]



A highlight of the weekend was also a collab'd piece I did with Katie, who also boothed at HGX as her first convention! I accidentally bought two sailor shirts, and had an idea to create a monogram design on the back of the collars, and Katie embroidered them by hand til it was real! Her shop is @tweetysunshineshop on Insta!



There wasn’t much of anything in the way of food and drink there besides starbucks and chick-fil-a… but we definitely made sure to grab good food elsewhere downtown afterwards!


[ I got the toast sampler and an iced charcoal latte at Tout Suite nearby! One of my favorite cafes in town ever.]



HGX was monumental when it came to making friends with other artists and vendors! I had a huge haul of artwork and goodies made and handed out by these amazing artists. One of the items was an ita bag in the style I've been looking for, to display these cute spoils and my own work!




Some of my closest friends, who also helped me during my first con at Comicpalooza, came out with me to eat some yummy food at Jinya's and ice cream at Cloud 9 downtown too!



✧ ・ ♱ ・ ❤︎ ・ ♱ ・ ✧


HGX CON REVIEW

as an artist alley Artist ⎯ ♡


✧ ・ ♱ ・ ❤︎ ・ ♱ ・ ✧


For artists looking to sell there, here’s my honest review as a seller.

Event name: Houston Gaming Expo

Event year: 2023

Location: George R. Brown

Rating ( - / 5 with 5 being the best): 3/5

Profit: $1.3K in total sales

Your Niche: Original Art + handmade jewelry, tarot/fantasy themed stuff

Bestselling Item Type: Prints, tarot cards/art cards this time specifically

PROS

✅ A surprisingly common request from guests wanting more original art (fan art that sold elsewhere did not sell here).

✅ The security were sooo nice in trying to help me get parking.

✅ This con should’ve been called an artist meetup because a lot of energy came from artists hyping each other up (and i got to match faces to icons with a lot of discord peeps)!

✅ The con gets no credit for this but a lot of artists here were selling exactly what I’ve been looking for so I was riding dopamine 👀

✅ Most of the attendees were a delight for real.

✅ Despite my cons, I met my goal to be content (enough).

✅ Also despite the cons, I can tell HGX is learning from mistakes and fixing some between day 1 and 2.

CONS

💀 I was placed in the back row, facing a wall. This might have been the main reason that butchered my sales. Others at the back wall suffered too. No chance of moving for me though because my setup was fragile and complex.

💀 There were high and low currents that were really unpredictable. People wanted to buy stuff once i started packing up. Saturday had busy times but also dead times.

💀 Sunday was so dead and likely attended by those on a budget and didnt even look my way twice (if there even were any). I would have whole half hour spells of no one walking through the channel.

💀 The table was $300 and the con was only one hall big.

💀 The email promised drapes, wastebaskets, and parking passes - all of which I got gaslighted by staff for asking about 🥲

💀 Miscommunication regarding opening and closing times, but luckily cleared up in email.

💀 No food?? Chick-fil-A was the only option and it is egregiously expensive and there was $8 popcorn.

Do you recommend it? (Y/N): No, not unless you’re local and have products (maybe even novelty) you know you can lean onto to sell decently almost anywhere you go.


✧ ・ ♱ ・ ❤︎ ・ ♱ ・ ✧


In conclusion, it was a fun time, I made so many new friends, made decent profits, and came home with not only so many treasures but also new lessons and inspirations to build upon for the next event!


Thank you for reading my blog and supporting my work! ♡

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