With a 30% increase in space for this year we were not expecting the slots to go nearly this fast. However, adding even more slots would likely not be a good thing. For one, Dealers pay extra and part of that money funds AA. The amount we ask artists to pay for a space does not cover the cost of that space. We need to maintain a balance between Dealers and AA to try to keep the books balanced. (If I go over budget people will be very sad at me.) We also don't want to make it too hard on people just starting out as artists by having a big price jump.
Several years ago while at the Vancouver Hilton, we had over 30 tables available to artists and most of those were vacant or abandoned. There were several factors involved, but in the end, there was space, but no one wanted to fill them. We do not want to have a repeat of this. This is not fair to both the artist and the attendees who see empty tables.
Based on demand, we'd need 50-60 spaces to hold everyone. That would means lots of competition among artists, and lots of duplication. We feel a need to protect those people who did make it in. Many of the people who make it in spend a good deal of time, and possibly money, preparing for this con. Letting someone in only to have them be one of 4 people selling a similar item and also tossing them way in the back would not be fun for them.
Also, where would be even put that many booths? Carving out a space in the lobby would make the crowding issues worse and we'd have to let less people into the con overall. Even doing that would only get us 10 more. We'd love to have a venue with as much space to do whatever we want, but, that venue does not exist in this city.
For a con our size, the amount of AA booths we have is a good one. We simply cannot accommodate everyone. It would be great if we could. But, we need to think about the interests of the attendees and the artists who do make it in. We can't just take over half the vendor spaces or eat a viewing room. Though, we do have an Art Show that offers the opportunity to sell artwork/crafts, but most have yet to full take advantage of this.
Some people have mentioned getting a Dealer's Booth instead. Remember, in Dealer's we will expect you to show proof of having an insurance policy covering Kumoricon and the hotel in the amount of One Million Dollars. No exceptions.
Jen and I are working on some ideas to revamp the process for next year. Once we've firmed the ideas up a bit we will post them in another thread for feedback.
Director of Relations
Artist Alley Manager