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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dear Zerreth, How was NYAF 2009?

NYAF was last week, and this week I was swamped with projects due, so I haven't had much time to post. Sorry.

NYAF this year also had the World Cyber Games (WCG) national finals, so the booth vendors and attendees were actually mixed. Samsung had a booth near WCG as well as Sega, and I think that by hosting WCG at NYAF, it attracted a somewhat bigger crowd than last year. There was no maid cafe this year unfortunately. Next year, Comic-con is co-hosting with NYAF on the same day and share the same space. My thoughts are mixed about that, but I'll dive into that later.

This year, ATK wanted to go to the artist's alley again. This time, however, he and a few of his new friends in college wanted an artist's alley table as well. Prices actually went up in the artist alley by about 30%, whereas booths took a lesser hit. So instead of buying a table at the artist's alley, he decided to buy a booth and share the space with others. He contacted a new found friend at last year's NYAF, RedShoulder, and I contacted one of my college friends, Neolight, who was majoring in animation. Adding one of ATK's college friends we had 4 artists all sharing work at the booth.

Around August, ATK had to think of a name for the booth, so I proposed "Medley" as it was a group of artists with different styles and mediums all sharing work.

The first day (Friday) was relatively slow (as expected). All of us were all over the place trying to determine a better layout for the booth, we eventually ended up with a S shape with 3 tables. The table at the front would display all of our work while the tables to the side and back made an opening for others to enter the booth and allow attendees to extensively look at the artwork of each artist.

We had some support the second day. TheGunrun and his friend brought over some electronic equipment for us to try and advertise the booth better. At first we decided to have a small space dedicated to DJMax Trilogy so that we could try and hook some people in, but what ended up happening was that we were drawing a crowd of the wrong demographic, mainly those of the "join crowd because there's a crowd and leave once point of interest is now boring" group. It ended up distracting any onlookers from looking at the work, so we switched it to a stream of Neolight working on his animation on his tablet, and ATK's speed paints. For the later half of that day, I had to set up a playlist with my Zen as TheGunrun's PC on shuffle didn't really give us the music we needed.

The third day, we switched the setup so that there was only a monitor of DJMax playing and those interested would have to walk into booth to try. This shifted the crowd over to one side and freed up the front table so that it displayed everyone's artwork better.

I didn't track everyone's sales but I believe everyone at least once had a major sale one of the days. What surprised me the most at the convention was this one person who took a liking to ATK's Vocaloid crayon fanart (They're originally on this 17" X 22" paper) and bought them each for $50. We weren't intending to sell them, simply to display them to attract customers but who knew someone would take such a liking to it?

I feel that ATK and I should've also ordered DJMax Trilogy in bulk or something. The number of DJMax fans as well as those interested in buying the game was enormous. If only I linked them to this blog first, I could've probably gotten some commission from Play-asia...

I gotta say though. I was dead tired on Monday. I almost fell asleep in class and my performance in Kendo was atrocious. Regardless, this year was a good experience as well. Maintaining a booth and setting up a table at the Artist's Alley were on whole different levels.

I'm not sure what ATK should do next year though. Because NYAF is co-hosting with Comic-con, there's gonna be a larger number of attendees that will probably head on over to the artist's alley. At the same time, there's also going to be significantly more attendees. The closest thing to Comiket that we have here in the States is probably Otakon but nothing really focused on the artists. Hopefully, we'll get something like that soon.

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