Animation Celebration 2014 Review
Edit 3/25/2015: Just a note, but I can’t help you with any other information about the organizer or the convention. I only have what I posted. :/
Edit 5/30 – Confirmed the con owner’s husband did pass on May 10th. Found in on the Animation Celebration Galveston comments. My understanding/ what I’ve heard, is facilities are reserved, but there are a lot of rumors going around and no news from anyone. Be cautious. I doubt the current trajectory was planned, but it’s a huge, depressing trainwreck of rumors. Maybe they’ll pull it together, but right now, money isn’t worth driving someone over the edge.
I know a bit more than I posted… just want to warn people to wait for confirmation the convention is still on before registering.
Ok, so I was a little slow in putting this up. There’s a reason for that. Recovery.
That being said, I’m going to start with the convention itself. The convention was fine for what it all went on beforehand. They recovered and put on an excellent show for most of the attendees. It was fun for them and I’d recommend the convention if you’re an attendee in the future, when it moves to Frisco. But yeah, they’re moving to a nicer, more expensive location.
Now, on to my own experience, which I wish could be a bit better, but here’s what happened.
We got in and they had completely moved the tables around from where we were supposed to be and were placing people wherever they could. I was a bit disappointed not to be right by the door where they’d originally placed me, but oh well, these things happen. Not something I would complain about. Everyone was nice and courteous and were on top of things as much as can be expected.
Second glitch, which I was prepared for the disappointment that followed. There was not any electricity. I overhead it was handled by the previous guy or something and he had promised us that this year, we would HAVE electricity. Only half of my income depends on electricity availability at conventions. 🙁 The people across from us brought in a cable so they could run their rather awesome pachinko machines. There were outlets in the wall, just none of the usual electrical services I expect from a convention. This is something VERY important to so many of us.
Things went smoothly from there. I settled myself in to not expect much and to just have fun with my daughter, who did enjoy it. I got to chat with a number of people and sold a bunch of my comics and random other things, enough to offset the money I had put into being there and all the preparatory costs, plus meals and gas to get back and forth. I used to say, if I broke even, it was a success. I stopped saying that five years ago when I seemed to be making money just to pay for the table/food/admission to A-kon and stopped doing the dealer room. 😀 I would have done worse, had I not created a whole bunch of new products in the two weeks prior to the convention, which all sold well.
So no, it wasn’t a success for me and it was kind of depressing. I know several other people were still annoyed that we had prepared for a pony convention and had the theme changed without enough notice to make the kind of changes we needed to make to have the right array of products.
Gone was the rather nice feeling of the togetherness of Brony-fest. Honestly, completely different convention that was more business and less fun. I met more than one Brony and a couple of others who had commented to me, the bronies looked rather lost and pushed aside. We had more traffic, more sales, but yeah, that was something noticeably missing. It has become yet another generic convention in the area, which is probably best for them considering their growth goals. ( I felt REALLY BAD for the Bronies who were expecting the same as last year.)
So I’ll take my losses and turned down the offer to get a table for the next one in the new location, because honestly, I couldn’t afford it, plus the gas and time to drive back and forth unless I want to burn myself out and never go to another convention again. Table prices went up, new location, etc, etc. I was very down after the convention and it took this long to pull my thoughts together and go over it, now that it’s no longer financially affecting me. They made so many positive changes to how they were dealing with things, that I don’t like posting a somewhat negative review for half of this, but this is how it went.
I’m still waiting for a refund. That was my primary request to give it another chance. I found out that there were others who also requested this, due to the theme change. I don’t think they really understood how much changing the theme like that would affect some of us vendors. So I’m still down while I type this, but it’s over and in a couple of years, I may give it another chance if I hear good things about it, and that refund arrives.
PS I am very baffled about WHY the facebook page has vanished for Animation Celebration, but the website is still up. Maybe something else is going on?
Update 5/28: Nothing to add.
Oh, their July Galveston page and Twitter and Facebook page. It has some interesting comments. Rumors at the moment that it has folded due to the death of the owner’s husband. He was terminally ill with brain cancer. That being said, and likely, everything is messy, but perfectly understandable… and what I’d privately wondered.
Apparently there are guests who have no ida they’re attending… ?? And the hotel does have room blocks reserved…
Rumor, not confirmed.