As I mentioned before, this past weekend was Arisia. It was the first con I’ve vended — and what a great first experience it was!
Mike and Kate and I got there early Friday afternoon to set up, and we were fortunate in our neighbor, Thomas of Brute Force Studios. He readily offered advice on how to use our gridwall and displays easily and effectively, and even allowed us to hang things off the back side of his own gridwall to give us more display space. It was fantastic to have somebody so willing to share what he’d learned over the years, and help out newcomers, as a neighbor.
While I’m sure there is still a lot we could do to make the space more eye-catching, I’m pretty happy with the effect here. All of the bags and scarves and (nearly all of) the patches got good display space, and we had plenty of traffic all weekend, despite being tucked in a sort of cul-de-sac corner of the dealers’ room.
One thing that I knew intellectually, but was still somehow surprised by, was the number of patrons in cosplay. I’m used to vending at faires, and while there is always a bit of cosplay there, it’s NOTHING compared to a con, where it seemed as though every other person in the shop was dressed as a character.
There were, of course, a TON of Doctors. Tens and Fours were the most popular, but I saw a bunch of others as well as Weeping Angels, Clockwork Men, and TARDISes. Several Arthur Dents and a Ford Prefect. Pretty much every cast member of “Firefly”, plus Nathan Fillion’s other alter egos Captain Hammer and Richard Castle.
And of course — Loki! There were at least half a dozen Lokis around, one of whom was even sporting one of our own Loki’s Army messenger bags. (She and I had a great talk about making our costumes, and the annoyance of suddenly hitting your horns on EVERYTHING around you.) Kate and I observed that pretty much every Loki cosplayer we’ve ever seen has been a woman, which is kind of interesting to me. It rather made me wish I’d brought my own Loki outfit with me, but I think I’d like to get a handle on just vending a con before I start doing so in costume.
Overall, I had a great time at Arisia. It was successful as a business venture, and the people were great to work with, both the patrons and the con staff. I fully plan to go back again next year — maybe in costume myself next time!