I typically end up covering what I call the “con job” cons or the ones where something was handled poorly.
The “con job” cons are conventions where management walks away with your money through either deliberate or accidental mishandling of funds; some of the biggest I covered were Daytona 2020 and IfCon Victoria (I’m still waiting to see if Rewind Con falls totally into this category.) I also cover the conventions where they just plain screw something up, such as security at Anime Midwest.
When there is a decent convention, I normally don’t do much for them except show cosplay photos and maybe mention one of two things I liked about them. Unfortunately, I am not a vendor, so I usually only have the perspective of an attendee. There are a lot of conventions out there that vendors hate for a plethora of reasons, but most of them boil down to the fact that the convention treats the vendors like a replaceable commodity. I hear a lot of vendors complain about being given smaller tables or booths than what they paid for, or finding that they have been totally relocated to a different location. And when the vendors complain, they are told to shut up because the convention can always find another vendor to take their spot.
It is rare to find a convention that the vendors rave about…and not because they do great sales, but because of how they are treated by the con organizers.
Here is the first vendor quote that caught my attention:
Y’all the college station/Bryan con? Y’all treated us vendors like kings and queens last year! It was fantastic.
But I also saw others;
You and Ben treat all the vendors and artists so well. One of the main reasons I’m coming back again!
Krystal Fritzsching helps run the Brazos Valley Comic Con. It’s not the largest con (their first year they only got 2,500 attendees) but for a new con those kind of numbers aren’t too shabby. Considering their first weekend corresponded with opening weekend for the Texas Renaissance Faire and apparently Bye weekend for the freshmen (I’m told this is a big thing, but as I’m not into football I couldn’t say).
Krystal Fritzsching stated, “I was a con-going setup wife so I know the struggles. I was hungry when there was no money to have been made and thirsty and couldn’t afford the $3 bottle water.”
When asked about what they do and why they do it, “We do our best to make sure our vendors don’t need to spend any extra funds (i.e. food ) and we try to help out by providing them with our volunteer force which are active duty soldiers from Fort Hood and they check up and down the aisles asking vendors if they need to walk or need a bathroom break. Trust me when I say, we KNOW the struggle. We care. The soldiers help tremendously by helping vendors at the loading dock and help carry their stuff to their spots. They handle vendors stock with care.”
They even give the vendors a cookie and goodie bag, providing them with water and lunch.
This year they are expecting at least twice those numbers and hoping for up to 10k, which is a possibility considering how quickly their reputation is growing. They’ve also earned themselves a grant from the city.
They have about 30 guests from celebrities to comic talent and a total of 131 booths.
The Brazos Valley Comic Con runs November 5-6 at the Brazos County Expo at 5827 Leonard Rd, Bryan, TX 77807. Check them out!