Artist Alley Review: Comic Conroe 2022
Convention Dates: August 26-28
Location: Conroe, TX
Booth Cost: $140 for one; $280 for two tables
Will I do it again?: Absolutely not
Would I recommend?: NO. Load in/out Ease: ★★★★★ - Very easy and quick load in and out, made use of a loading dock.
There are very few conventions that I have on a personal "Will Never Do Again" list, and Comic Conroe is an entry on that list. I have been doing artist alleys since 2016, and even in my baby days of working at cons, I have never ended a convention day with double-digits in sales.
On Friday, I only made $13. Yeah. The con day was meant to last until 7:00pm, but I left at 5 because of how absolutely slow it was. Actually, I can't even say it was slow, because there was barely anyone there. This is likely another unfortunate situation of conventions competing with back-to-school season.
Saturday was better than Friday, but the attendance was still low and most people seemed to do window shopping more than anything. I made about $400 on Saturday, and made $80 on Sunday. All in all, a very frustrating weekend.
KimoKawaii was a shorter event in the exact same convention center and I still ended up making more there than I did at Comic Conroe. The crowd was also filled with a lot of older people, and Conroe is a very conservative area that left me and other exhibitors a little anxious and uncomfortable. I stood very awkwardly at my table to do a transaction with a man with a TRUMP 2020 hat and it was an interaction I would have liked to not have.
I am left to wonder what the problem was for this convention. With multiple big names at the convention such as Adassa, voice actress for Dolores from Encanto, and other voice actors from various anime, there is only one possibility for me to consider: this convention did not do quite enough marketing to bring in the crowd they needed to make this a successful event. It's very telling that a local of Conroe told me that they didn't even know that this show was happening until the week of the event.
Did they not reach out to local comic stores, such as The Adventure Begins or Bedrock City Comics to help sponsor or promote their events? It's hard for me to believe that there's a low population of nerdy individuals in the Conroe area. I cannot help but assume that they did not get the attendance they wanted, especially when, on Friday, exhibitors were given three free badges for Sunday to give to people outside of the convention to get them to come and attend. When I was given those badges, that was a massive red flag for me. You couldn't get people to come to your event, so now you've put it in the hands of your exhibitors get people to come for free? That is not our responsibility.
I left this convention with a heavy heart and an empty wallet. I will not be doing Comic Conroe again, and I advise against it for anyone else.