: 5/5 starsThe Show:
MAGFest (the M
January 1, 2010 - January 4, 2010Which Fandoms: Gaming
--Console, Arcade, TableTop, LAN, Import Games, LARP, Gaming Design, Game Programming, Game Psychology. ALSO MUSIC
--Indie Bands, Game Music Covers, Local Talent, Loads of Concerts!EDIT
Con Demographic: The majority of the folks walking by our booth were menfolk, aged 17-30 years old. But do NOT discount the female gamer and cosplayer population, who were both certainly represented and having a grand time. Size of Con:
Between 2,000 & 3,000 people.How Many Days Did You Attend:
4Why Did You Attend:
Vendor in the 'Marketplace.' More on that below.How Many Years Have You Done This:
This was our first year.Review of Con-Staff interactions:
AMAZING. The website was functional, clear, and straightforward. What wasn't readily available information on the site was promptly and thoroughly answered by staff. (This was during the Thanksgiving/DecemberHolidays rush no less!) I had a family crisis arise days out from the con, so I was swapping around name badges and trying to get extra badges and canceling badges. Yet, no matter how overwhelmed or generally confused I was about my own needs as a vendor, the staff responded within 24 hours with concrete and helpful answers. They accommodated all the changes I needed and greeted my 'emergency stand-in' helpers with special attention!
All those change-ups were happening in the 5 days before the con AND before New Year's Eve. When I was able to join my helper-squad on day 2, the con staff was just as willing to work with me as if I were the only person in the alley. I cannot say enough about how incredibly 'On Top of Their Game' this con's AA was. Review of Pricing:
Totally reasonable. We paid $170 for a full 6' table and 3 convention memberships for a 4 day con with a 24/7 alley. We did not try to offer an panels this year, so I do not know if that would have made any of the badges cheaper, but there's always next year. Review of Location:
The hotel offered FREE PARKING. (Love!) It was also easy to get to (considering it was nested in the clusterf--- that is the DC Metropolitan Area). As for our table location... the AA was at the nexus of the arcade, the gaming rooms, and the concerts. If you came down the escalator, you had to walk through. I love it when a Con considers the traffic flow. :)Review of Panelists:
I did not attend panels that weekend, but our indie game designer did. He was in heaven. Review of Guests:
Very friendly. Again, our indie game designer hung out with them--I'm not really up to speed on all my "Names in Gaming" so I don't really know if the guests were amazingly popular or what... though like I said, the ones we met were very sweet.Review of Artist Alley:
MAGFest has what they call a "Marketplace." All vendors are treated equally--if they are dealers or artists. The space is sold by the table and there were two 'lockable rooms' for people who didn't want do 24/7 sales. There are no divisions by genre or medium. People selling Tshirts and import games could be right next to people selling lego-game-sprite art. The result was that people browsed the entire
floor. This year, there was a healthy mix of crafters, bands promoting their cds & tshirts, clubs, pro-dealers, and artists. As the show gains in popularity, this may need to change just to accommodate the growing demand, but right now, the space fit the entire Marketplace very well.
My only note: Some of the marketplace booths were under the over-hang of the floor above and did not get very good lighting. We were advised by staff when we purchased our table to bring clip-lamps or other lighting for our booth just in case. Electricity was provided for free and the lamps turned out to be a great idea. :)Review of Dealer Room:
See above.Other Thoughts:
I think I covered it all.About the reviewer:
My name's Sarah. I'm with Interrobang Studios,
a webcomics & gaming collective. At conventions we sell comic book collections of our webcomics, a number of parody comic books (which went VERY well at this con), art prints featuring both original characters and popular characters from games and animation (also went well at this con), posters, crochet creatures/plushies, indie game cd's (good seller at this con), and custom art commissions (good seller). The average cost of things at our table: $5. We were able to make back the cost of table and badges by the middle of the second day of con. From the promotional side of things: I was able to hand out approx 800 fliers directly to con-goers--with time to speak to each of them. We saw a 10% bump in our web traffic that I attribute to this con.