Convention Dates: October 28-30 / July 7-9
Location: Houston (The Woodlands), TX
Booth Cost: $321 (exhibitor space pricing)
Will I do it again?: No
Would I recommend?: No
Load in/out Ease: ★★★★★ - Very easy and quick load in and out. I believe a loading dock was available, but I did not make use of it myself.
Anime Texas is another convention run by Fandom Events, and at the time of applying and going to this con, I was excited to see another convention from them because I had been having a great time with most of their conventions... up until this point. Anime Texas, unfortunately, marks the beginning of the end of my interest in Fandom Events's shows.
Anime Texas was at the Woodlands Resort, which is a venue I'm familiar with outside of conventions. It's not a bad venue at all, but the draw of the Woodlands Resort was to bring people to the amazing attractions such as the water park, among other things. It would have been an amazing show since they had that amazing pull for them, but... Houston gets particularly rainy in the fall and resulted in a lot of floods. To boost, it was a big weekend for Houston, with there being an Astros game that weekend. Two unfortunate events that I feel contributed to the low numbers. This definitely isn't on the fault of the showrunners, since these were completely unable to be predicted.
However, the crowd that came to Anime Texas was nothing like the crowd I had come to see from Fandom's shows. The attendance was very low and in between the painfully slow moments, I had more than enough time to actually do a full inventory count. I left Anime Texas with $803, and a low profit of $422. My average for conventions has been about $2,800.
I was hesitant to reapply for next year. Despite it being local, it was bad enough so me to not want to give it another try... so I didn't. But I did have friends who applied for the 2023 show and their experience was less than stellar. Artist alley prices for 2023 were nearly $300 for a table, which is a very high price for a second year anime convention that also had an abysmal debut the year before.
To boot, Fandom also sent emails out to their exhibitors, begging them to book hotels at their host hotel and asking attendees to book hotels in exchange for a refund on their badge sales. Apparently, they were under the threshold for how many hotel rooms had been booked for their convention. They also proceeded to blame another local convention - which they did not name, but based on the context clues from their email, this con in particular was probably Delta H Con. DHC lowered their ticket prices, is a far more established convention, and the location of the Westchase Marriott is not very far from the Royal Sonesta. Below is their email:
Delta H Con has historically always placed the dates for their shows on the back of their badges and also on the top of their applications for vendors and artists to reapply for the next year. Delta H Con had set its 2023 dates long before the first Anime Texas even started. There was no way for them to have even done this out of spite. This can even be proven by how in my 2022 Delta H review which was posted immediately after DHC 2022. I mentioned they had chosen their dates already. Fandom Events, unfortunately, seemed to have wanted to put the blame on another convention for their shortcomings, whatever they may have been.
Very unfortunate to have watched a convention group fly and get too close to the sun. I truthfully had so much faith in Fandom Events's shows, but now, I turn people away from their conventions if asked. Avoid their shows. I likely won't be doing any of them in the future.