Finally posting a review for my 3 Rivers Comicon experience as an artist in the artist alley! 3 Rivers Comicon is probably in my top 5 favorite comic cons to vend at, and this year made no exception.
This con used to be held at the Century III Mall in West Mifflin, PA. However, due to unforeseen circumstances with the mall, they had to change the location in a short amount of time before the event. Even with short notice of changing the venue, the staff still managed to pull off an amazing and well put together event.
The staff is more friendlier and helpful than any other event I have work, table prices are inexpensive, and they provide refreshments for the artists and vendors. Load in was a breeze and parking was free with plenty available. When I got there, I was surprised and delighted to see that I had a corner space. I talked to some of the staff and was able to buy an extra table from them ($25, and I knew they charged extra for tables so I brought one of my own) so I could maximize my table space.
Hours are not too long, so I was able to skip the hotel, drive back and forth for the event, and still manage to get sufficient sleep. In my opinion, foot traffic and sales were slightly lower than in previous years, but with being forced to move the con to a whole new location on a different side of town with very short notice, it is to be expected. The new location was in an old Macy's building. I have done a few other cons that were in old department stores that did not execute layout well causing the flow of foot traffic to suffer, and I was nervous that this might happen here. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case. While it was easy to get a little lost among the booths, because traditional aisles could not be formed, I feel like the flow of foot traffic was just fine.
My only complaints are that if I knew I was going to have a corner booth, I would have been more prepared and have packed another table(which is half my fault. I should have known better at this point in my artist alley career to have packed an extra small table just in case) and the number of vendors. I think the number of vendors increased from previous years, which isn't always a good thing because when you increase the number of vendors and not the amount of attendants, sales will drop. With that being said, I still think I did well even with the drop in sales. However, if you had to get a hotel for this event, I might reconsider because there may be a chance you will not make enough sales to make up for your hotel costs.
All in all, it was a solid event and I do plan on returning next year. I'm excited to see what the folks at New Dimension Comics are able to do with this event in the new space, and I am excited to see this event continue to grow over the years!