Artist Alley Review: Delta H Con 2022
Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Convention Dates: August 19-21
Location: Houston, TX
Booth Cost: $140 (pre-registration price)
Will I do it again?: Yes
Would I recommend?: Not if you're from outside of Houston, and only if you're just starting out in artist alleys. Load in/out Ease: ★★★★★ - Very easy and quick load in and out.
This convention was an unfortunate situation of oversaturation of conventions in an area. Within July and August alone, there were four conventions in Houston, starting with Comicpalooza (July 16-17), Anime Matsuri (July 28-31), Anime Houston (August 12-14), and ending with Delta H Con. Having that many conventions in an area in such a short span of time is sure to be difficult for attendees and vendors alike. It's very likely that attendees may have gone to the larger cons like Comicpalooza and Anime Matsuri and spent all of their energy and money there, so they will probably not have the energy or funds to go to smaller cons like Anime Houston and Delta H. I unfortunately could not make it to Anime Houston, so I can't share a personal account of what happened, but hearing from friends, it did not go as well as they hoped it would.
I fear Delta H suffered a similar fate.
Fortunately for me, DHC is a local con for me, only a few minutes from my home, so there is no real risk of loss in me doing the convention. However, after the last few Delta H's I've attended, I couldn't recommend this con at all for anyone coming from out of town. For transparency, my average totals in sales for a convention is between $2300-2500. I was already not expecting much from DHC, so I set a personal goal of $1000 for the convention.
I did not even hit that meager goal. I made $938 for this convention.
I feel, aside from the unfortunate oversaturation of conventions, DHC's dates coincided with recent back to school sales. My usual demographic appears to fall somewhere around teenaged people, and considering those people didn't show up until Saturday, my sales on Friday were quite sad. Regardless of the lack of younger attendees, there was still such a small number of people walking around, and those who did show up, window shopped more than anything. Those who did purchase didn't seem to interested in items that cost more than $10, which again, after probably spending money on the previous conventions and school supplies for the semester, is reasonable.
DHC frequently has to struggle against having similar dates to the other surrounding conventions. In 2021, they suffered from falling on the same weekend as Comicpalooza. Of course, attendees and vendors would much rather choose the larger convention over the smaller one, as was the case for myself. This year, DHC and AH fell on the same weekend until AH kindly shifted weekends.
For 2023, DHC is scheduled to be June 30-July 2, which is a date that can either hurt them or be in their favor. With that being Fourth of July weekend, people are likely to be partaking in their own festivities instead of going to a convention, but someone I spoke to put it as "Weebs aren't patriotic, so they'll probably be here". They aren't wrong, but as someone that sees July 4th as just an opportunity to barbeque, pop fireworks, and socialize instead of pledging my allegiance to my country, I don't know how next years DHC is going to pan out.
I did pre-register for next year, as like I said before, there's no risk for me to go, but it is very disappointing and frustrating to stand in a room for 12 hours and only make $300 a day. I am left to wonder if DHC is doing a decent job at marketing their event to ensure that there's a decent enough audience for their shows. DHC was my first convention, so I really do want it to succeed and I hope that it figures itself out. Because of the small audience there is though, I would recommend this to smaller Houstonian artists who are just starting out with conventions and artist alleys.