So this past weekend was my “MOCCA weekend”, and my very first convention as an exhibitor. Here’s my half-table setup. It was more sparse on Saturday, but then on Sunday I added more stuff to my display because I didn’t think subtlety would get me anywhere in this situation. I had no idea what to expect, even though I tried to prepare for it. First of all, thanks to everyone who bought something from me, I was able to recoup the cost of exhibiting at Mocca. And also thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to look at what I had. There were a lot of exhibitors this year (with lots of cool stuff), and I can understand that by the time people got to my 1/2 table, they were a bit tired of looking at stuff.
I shared a table with two illustrator : Hiroko Ishikawa and Yuko Yamaguchi. They were both newbies to Mocca as well, so it was nice to have company when surrounded by what I assumed were veterans/ pros. Also the other exhibitors I met were super friendly.
I was a bit surprised by what sold. I thought for sure my $1 buttons would disappear (because of the price), but I only sold 2. My biggest seller was my “Alien Encounters” comic, with about 20 copies sold. And I sold a couple of my handmade books, which I didn’t expect at all since they are more expensive. People were very interested with my popup book, which surprised me because it’s not my most recent book project. I considered not showing it at all because I didn’t think anybody would be interested.
Overall, I enjoyed looking at people’s reaction to my work. I got some very encouraging feedback :).
What stopped the convention from being a totally awesome experience for me was Mocca itself. Now the people who work at Mocca are very friendly and nice, but I felt they lacked a lot of organization. Case in point: I sent in my application for the festival in December and never got a confirmation email. I emailed, called and went to the museum in person to get confirmation. After each encounter, I would hear “we’ll get back to you” and then nothing. It wasn’t until I put on my “über-bitch” face that I finally got a response three months after sending the application. Picking up my badge the day before the festival, there was a slight mixup with the forms I was supposed to get. The day of the festival, there’s no indication whatsoever on the row numbers to find your table. And in the emails they sent, they don’t specify at which time the hall would be open on Sunday (I came in too early).
Maybe I’ve been spoiled by other companies who, when you have a problem, respond immediately, and think ahead by providing complete directions. Or maybe it’s because, when I worked behind a counter, I would have been fired for being that flaky. The point is, the tables at Mocca are expensive and they’ve been doing the festival for years, I expected a higher degree of professionalism.
So I think that about sums up my impression of the Mocca Festival. To all the people who didn’t show up (i’m looking at you ex-co-workers), I’m kinda disappointed. And to all the people who showed up, thanks for your support.