A couple weekends ago (September 21-23), Heidi and myself few out to Washington, DC to attend Interventioncon. We'd planned out a new convention table setup that works well for shared tables utilizing the Rascals Rogues and Dames name, and devised a cute theme around 'space', including new products made especially for Interventioncon.
|Heidi handpainting our banner.|
|Our Jackson Polluck'd tablecloth.|
|Brand new! Space buttons, freshly pressed for Interventioncon.|
|Uranus, Neptune, Pluto|
|Our moon, Mars and his Rover, Phebos and Deimos, Jupiter|
|The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth|
With careful curation and packing, we managed to get all of our convention essentials (table set up, display items, and products) packed into one large rolling suitcase. We pretty excited about the trip to DC, not only because I'd heard good things about last year's Interventioncon, but because Emily Kluwin and Chris Paulsen would also be attending, and we'd missed hanging out with them.
|Alien 1 bringing you out of this world deals on charms, buttons, and comics.|
|Alien 2 rockin' the table. Also, an Emily Kluwin.|
The Artist Alley for Interventioncon opened at 2:00p.m on Friday afternoon, and from the start, it was pretty dead. In the beginning, other artists who'd finished setting up walked the room, and I made a few sales that way, but after that, sales stagnated the entire weekend. Upon talking to several other artists, we realized that they were having similar problems.
|Photos taken at various points during the con, on various days. This was considered 'busy'.|
Heidi and I made the best of the situation, taking advantage of our proximity to an actual Container Store to peruse it's glorious contents, hanging out nightly with other artists and chewing the fat, and we even made it to the local zoo for some needed downtime.
While I wouldn't say my time in DC was a waste (I got to see friends, and make new ones), it certainly was not worth the money spent getting there. I made MAYBE $20 the entire weekend, and that's just unacceptable. The crowd was mostly disinterested in what I was selling, although Heidi and I managed to give out a lot of business cards/promotional postcards and a BUNCH of candy (thanks Chris!) I have to hand it to the Interventioncon staff- they were friendly, helpful, mostly knowledgeable, and AVAILABLE, even occasionally checking in on us. Interventioncon's managed to snag some pretty sweet swag and freebies for guest, including free VitaCoco coconut water (though it was hot), and I heard the LARPing events were a lot of fun.
Interventioncon is marketed as an 'Internet culture con'and before attending this year, I assumed that meant the Homestuck, Nyaan-cat Tumblr crowd. I couldn't've been more wrong. An Internet culture convention, at least in my limited experience, seems to mean 'the Internet as of ten years ago. Also, larping." Sadly, this makes for an audience that is both sparse and broke, an audience made primarily of 40+ year old men. It seems that this convention suffers from an identity crisis- the artists believed it was one thing, convention general guests another, and our sales suffered from it. Interventioncon had the unfortunate luck to occur right after SPX, leaving many of the convention crowd too tapped out to attend.
I probably won't attend Interventioncon in the future, especially now that I have a better bead on its focus. I'm not really a fan of LARPing and I tend to sell poorly with that particular demographic. Honestly, I found the crowd in general a bit creepy and rude. I feel like a shift in focus and a more articulate creed would probably help Interventioncon find a larger crowd with a bit more jingle in their pockets for the Artist Alley.