Monday, January 31, 2011
Chattacon 36 - A review
Alrighty. So last weekend, January 21-23, I attended Chattacon 36 as an art exhibitor. I packed tons of extra work to display and even brought some of my painted minis to display with my maquettes. The show was well lit and adjacent to check-in. The event setup was interesting in that all of destinations were in nearby buildings rather than adjoined. The con suite and party central was in a stand alone building at the back lot near the hotel. The Art Show was across the street from the dealer's room and limited programming. This lent a strange sense of ambling around that was not unpleasant. At least we got exercise.
I spent most of the weekend days painting in the art show and the evenings partying to the utmost. I participated in a charity dragon draw with Ruth Thompson and did a neat sketch that raised some money. My Dionysius costume is still in progress and Tron 1.0 went over well. As always, massive props to the two other members of my Tri-Force of Awesome : Michael Bielaczyc and Laura Jones. We rocked the suits and suites as only Riders on The Storm can. Other than that, I just chilled, sold a few originals and cast the social nets wide.
Overall, I enjoyed the show quite a bit as it is really just a networking relaxacon. I did feel that at $50 the event was drastically overpriced. Admittedly the con suite was well-stocked and they had all hours free beer. Still you would have to glut yourself to the extreme to make up for this exaggerated cover charge. They had no real programming or guests to speak of either. That said, it was still a very friendly atmosphere and I had the opportunity to see a lot of new friends from last year as well as make some great new acquaintances. Quick shout-outs to the Sprakers for getting me in the mood, Ann Robards for putting me in the show, Coy and the lovely Frolicon gals, Amy and Gena, for making me feel at home and getting me in a swimming pool at 4am (it was indoors).
Convention Cost $50
Art Show Cost: $18 per 4x4 Panel, $18 for 8' foot table
Friendly, well lit con to show in. Fantastic con suite with friendly staff and freshly prepared munchies; quite a few veggie options as well! It is in January where any break from the humdrum norm is a bonus. Chattanooga is pretty accessible from anywhere in the Southeast. Ann Robards is a nice Art Show Director and her staff were relatively knowledgeable and extremely patient. The Tesla Coil band Arc Attack were great and are a staple of the show now.
Waaaay too expensive for a membership. It was a bit too pricey to hang as much as I did. This is offset by the fact that they don't charge a cut of the sale. The art show had lots of empty space which diminishes the overall impact. No real programming opportunities to partake of or participate in. Having the show be off on its own is always a negative as many con-goers don't even know it is there. No real flow for the show to funnel people around, but from what I understand, that is half the point.
A nice laid back show that is great for what it is. 'Nooga hosts several great shows throughout the year and this one has its own charm. The time of year is great for scheduling and the art show was well run if a little underwhelming. It is an expensive event to attend as an artist. If your motivation is sales driven, I would not attend, but perhaps mail-in your work. Even then, I wouldn't expect much. If your motivation is self-promotion, then it is a split. You will meet and hang with great folks, but you won't have many chances to push your career initially.
Would I go back? Yes, but only because my best friends are there. If I could work out an arrangement to procure a badge through programming or promotion I would definitely hang in the art show. If not, then it is a toss-up. As a business investment, this is a slow simmer.
As always, take or leave this review at your discretion.