Pre Dokomi 2018

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(Wrote this a few weeks before Dokomi)

I just recovered from Jpopcon and getting into my regular schedule, but Dokomi around the corner, it will be hectic again. Dokomi 2018 will be my third time being there in the artist alley. I’m incredibly looking forward to it. Dokomi 2018 will be huge again, so I split it up into two parts. This part is a bit boring with a lot of text, but might be useful for artist who were interested to go to Dokomi as an artist in the future.

Dokomi 2018 was held for the second time expo halls in Düsseldorf. After evaluation of 2017, the organization had been moving around with areas in the expo halls. As result, the artist alley hall wouldn’t be in between the dealer hall and the game and event hall. Hall 15 still remained the entry hall. Hall 14 and 16 will, fan area and commercial exhibitors will still remains the same. Only hall 16, used to be connected to the fan area, changed to Hall 13 gaming area, now connected to the commercial exhibitors.

This would be will have major impact of the traffic. Only time would tell if it would be a good thing or not.

At least there would be less traffic as passing by the artist alley, meaning that people will specifically heading for this hall for the artists. In theory, the visitors will spread to the rest of the hall. Of course, the most traffic will be near the entrance/exit.

The amount of artist had even grown compared to last year. As for the general rule, you will do good (in sales) if the ratio visitors / artist is high, no matter what the art quality is. The amount visitors and possible buyers spread over the artist are greater.

One the big issue in the artist alley was the orientation or better, the lack of, in the artist alley. It was chaotic, there was no sign where you were at artist alley and imagine that in a hall with 400 booths. It was easy to see that they didn’t keep in account of the sudden double sized growth of the artist alley. (see review about Dokomi 2017). Dokomi promised to optimize the floor plan layout.

Last year, I had some great expectations, because I did very well in 2015. We were in the congress area, the placement where different and the amount of artist is limited, because of the lottery. Last year, I did quite OK, not as well as expected, but couldn’t complained, because I got all expenses covered before dinner time on Saturday. This time, I was not getting expectations high. I hoped to cover at least the expenses and moreover I was going to make more artists friends! Because that’s why I love doing artist alleys and going aboard!

Beside changing the halls and adjusting the floor plan for this year. They are planning to expand from two days to three days in 2019. I really that they will succeed, two days is a bit short to see and meet all the artist. I hope if they going to the congress area again and they could host this many artists.

Registration

The registration opened in November 2017. I mailed the head of the artist alley ahead of time to include me in the mailing list in order to get in time to order a table. They didn’t had a limited the amount of registrations, so in the end it wasn’t even necessary to booth early. The registration ended on end of February 2018.

Mails with info they are sending are great. They are both in German and English. It gives me that they are working on it and gives us an update. And reminder for this and that. But beware though, not everything in German was translated in English. Please use google translate to be sure. I can read a little German, so I know. Though, I’ve heard from few artists friends that they didn’t get all the mail and missed a deadline. The timeline of mails below is what I’ve got. You what kinda mails they have sent (to me) and compare them. I also heard they send them in batches. The down side of receiving that many mail  that it can be overwhelming and you have to search your inbox for some particular information. It would be a lot better if they could keep the general information in one place, for example the opening and set up time to be accessible through the exhibitors account. I summarized the mails below so you will get an idea when and what kind of information they provided and for references for next year, see if they improved.

19th of November – First fan booth information

The first mail, relevant for the people in the fan area were mailed on 19th of November. It informed us to about the upcoming registered which opened at 22nd of November and there wouldn’t be limited to the amount of booths. They also were thinking of doing in the future a minimum quality check prior letting someone to get a booth. It depended on the how things went for this year. Due popular demand they let the artist request for neighbors through the application. If you wanna to sit with a large group of friends, then you need to add them as your neighbors chain linked, because you can only add-on person/email address as your neighbor. In the follow-up mail, you need to accept the request to be your neighbors and you also get a conformation mail with all the detail. It was perfect.

22nd of November – The exhibitor registration is online

Second mail contained a link to their application form. You can change the booking anytime if the booking wasn’t confirmed. Basically, you can get into your account anytime.  I don’t know details about my booking after a few month, glad they changed it this and that I look it up. You can upload a free banner to their homepage (banner in their booklet wasn’t free) with a short description. You can change your description anytime after as well.
After anything was filled in, I’ve got a conformation mail about the booking and also a neighbor requests from a friends who I wanna sit next to.

There were two kind of booths again: professional booth and a regular booth.

The prof booth costs 289 euro, (vat included).
– 6m² exhibitor area (2 x 3 meter)
– 2 tables (180 x 80 cm)
– 2 exhibitor tickets (co-exhibitors are not allowed)
– 1 chair (why just one chair?)
– 2 walls
– superior booth placement (in front of the to entry area of hall 14)

A regular booth will cost 95
– 1 table (180 x 80 cm)
– 1 chair
– 1 exhibitor ticket
– 2 tables can be booked at maximum per person
– those will include no walls
– it is allowed to share your booth with other artists

I took two regular booth because of having two tickets en chairs. Ordering them individually is in the end more expensive.

5th of January – Conformation

The official conformation about the booking was sent. I thought it was already conformed with the mail after my registration, but I guess it didn’t. They also noted that the invoice would be sent through mail in February. The banner for marketing purposes needed to be uploaded before the end of march.

I think I’ll take more effort / time to make a banner for the website in the future. It’s free and wasn’t aware of. I didn’t order the banner in the booklet thing, dunno if I should even though it was only for € 5. I will think about it next year. Just a little note to myself prepping for next years Dokomi.

Banner specs
– image dimension: 709 x 295 Pixel (with x high)
– format JPG, PNG

Image of the selling products, presented on the site.
– minimum dimension 740 x 1020 Pixel (with x high)
– maximum dimension 1500 x 1500 Pixel (with x high)
– format JPG, PNG

info:
– name of the stand
– description of the stand.

24th of January – Reminder/deadline for booth registration.

Reminding us of the deadline for the stand registration will end on 28th of February 2018.

12th of February – Invoice

The mail included the invoice you need to pay within two weeks and also links to for booth set up inspirations
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-c-gibson/19-trade-show-booth-succe_b_10066960.html
http://jojostory.net/post/110452410527/how-to-prepare-for-your-first-artist-alley
This mail was only in German, but just use google translate. I’ve got exactly the mail with the invoice twice. The second one on the 14th of February, with also the conformation (it was conformed for the third time, lol). I paid the bill immediately and got 16th of February a conformation of the payment. So, i guess there was a hick up on their side.

26th of February – (another) Reminder

Deadline for changes in the booking ended 28th of February 2018. Deadline for uploading booklet banner was on 30th of April.

6 of April – FAQ Artist alley information

Probably because the convention was just a month away and receiving a lot of question in the mail, Dokomi summarized some FAQ.
– The parking and exhibition tickets would be sent in a few weeks.
– Changes in the booking can’t be done, because it ended on 15th of February. (I thought it was ended on 28th.) If changes, extra exhibition or parking tickets is required, this needed to be done on the convention itself.
– Time to set up was preferred on Friday from 12.00 to 20.00. It’s also possible on Saturday from 7.00 to 8.30. They are working on the floor plan.
– The regular artist booth didn’t had a backing wall, but the pro booth did.
There was a special mug printing service and pick up during Dokomi. I made a quick panda mug and a mug for my moms belated birthday present. Also an advertise for JapAniManga Night in Davos in Switzerland. It’s a bit far, but I will keep in mind.

20th of April – More solid artist alley information

The floor plans would be sent next week. The included the setting up and dismounting times (it’s the same for the exhibitors booth in the dealer hall)
Fr, 18.5.: 10.00am – 10.00pm
Sa, 19.5.: 7.00am – 9.30am
Sa, 19.5.: 10.00am – 8.00pm [Event times!]
Su, 20.5.: 10.00am – 6.00pm [Event times!]
Su, 20.5.: 6.00pm – 12.00pm

(in the previous mail, they said the set up was between 12.00 to 20.00. I believe this mail was correct, because we were late last year and the venue was about to closed when we were done. And also, the latest mail is also the most up to date. And that’s why they should put these important info on their website.

They had also an organization which handle international logistics. Overseas artist or artists who travel by plane can send their goods through this company to the convention.

If you will there by car, you can enter the convention ground through gate 1.15263042239555416243159791964889.jpg
This mail includes entry and parking tickets, and parking permit for Friday to be able to park near the convention halls.

26th of April – Floor plan

This was the mail where we all waiting for: the floor plan. I’m placed on G13 together with my friends and on the orange carpet cross-road.

Hallenplan 14

15th of May – Security advises for exhibitors

They mailed us about to be wary of thieves and targeting exhibitors and their cash registers at events. Last year, small coordinated groups tried to distract vendors to give their compliance an opening. They had even police stationed at the event.

The exhibitor parking area is located behind hall 13 & 14, as well as on the left side of hall 9. Parking on the inner courtyard during the event days (Saturday / Sunday) is not permitted.

The plastic shelves (and also wired grids i presume?) was allowed to build higher than 2 meters at max (counted from the table, I presume?)!

They also got an exhibitor toilets in every hall like last year. the thing was that some visitors remove the sign, because of the long cue.when that happens we could report and they will fix.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, Dokomi provides super much information. It would be great if they could condense it and place it in one overview for everyone to access to prevent confusion.

 

 

 

 

 

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