Abunai 2019 | Artists review

I didn’t had a table at Abunai this year, because I was helping CheeseCake! Studio. Nevertheless, I want to make this post due to Abunai’s first artist alley. As earlier this year, Animecon was having their Artist alley again, after five years. I knew that Abunai was planning on this for the longest time. Perhaps they were waiting or something, because they were waiting for other convention to take the first step again?

Anyway, a lot had changed in the Dutch artist convention scene in the past few years. It was almost unthinkable that a big convention in the Netherlands wouldn’t implement a space for artists all together, though Artist alleys are quite common across the border. Dutch people are always skeptical by nature. But in the last few years, the artist attending more and more foreign conventions booting the table to sell their merch in the artist alley. The idea of having a table between dealers to make more income isn’t the reason anymore for not being in the artist alley. I must disclaim that the artist alley shouldn’t be placed in a remote area though.

This as proven this weekend. The Brabant’s zaal was an area that you must walk through. Lot of visitors where hanging around, especially before the dealer room were opened. I heard that some of the artist there already made the table back in the first four hours. The artist alley was open from 14.00 and the dealer room from 18.00 After the dealer room opened the
artist alley was empty. It was incredible busy on a Friday. It died slowly of
after nine.

The dealer room

The dealer room was busy as always. As I as I can see the list of dealers, a lot of artists are have a table here. Half of the dealers might have been artists.

CheeseCake! Studio was facing the wall. The placement is not the end of the world, but it’s not good either. What annoys me the most there was too little walking space left between the the DIP (Dealer info point), red lower left corner and the dealer tables. I talk with the dealer manager about it and suggest a different set up of the DIP, but he was half listening and wasn’t even bother to do anything. Isn’t traffic jam in the dealer room, something that a dealer room manager needs to keep an eye on?!

Abunai also send the floor plan of the artist alley. This was actually the second layout. I took picture of three points on Sunday morning. To be honest, the artist alley looked quite cozy. Every time, I was passing by, there were always people browsing. I was talking to a few artists and the overall verdict was okay-ish after all. Some were happy mainly because of the Friday sales helped a lot.

When introducing the artist alley, there were no announce made by Abunai, only a small tick box in the application whether you want to be in the artist alley. Some artists tick the box by mistake. I can imagine that artists were wary about this artist alley idea, which it’s not even placed near the dealer room. But in the end, it seemed it wasn’t such a bad idea.

Hotel room

I don’t go further about Abunai. It was a regular convention for me and there’s not much to talk about, which I haven’t written. One thing is worth to mention and was frustrating to the max: hotel room. Abunai was always known for a convention with battle of the rooms. Some people were not going to Abunai because of this. The dealers get the priority to make a reservation. This year not every room was available due to renovation. First, mail was send out that some dealers have to look for a hotel room themselves, but then not long after the mail was send, Abunai released some rooms to the public, because those rooms weren’t paid on time or were cancelled, without notifying the dealers who missed out of rooms. Luckily, I didn’t happened to me or my closed friends, but know a few people with had happened this to them. I don’t know why this edition so much problem with communication. For dealers having room priority is an extra which the convention offers and we should be grateful, but if a convention offer this, please do it right. 

Next year?

As for me the rest of the weekend okay behind the CheeseCake! Studio table. Though I’m used to be very busy at Abunai tabling on my own. I think, I’ll table again next year. I’m not sure it will be in the dealer room or in the artist alley.

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