The Mess that was Akicon 2012

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nuriko-kun's avatar

(Very long journal warning)
Wooow, this is probably the worst-run convention ever.

Let me start with the good stuff first, since the bad things will be a far longer list :<

As usual, the people are WONDERFUL T-T!!

It's always great to see familiar people from previous years/other cons (though I suck at remembering names, sorrrry) and meet/talk to new people. Some people kept coming back and buying a little more each time, it was really nice ;-;
Also a random girl hugged me and some guys asked to take photos together (which was a little awkward lolll).

:iconno-wei: gave me a GORGEOUS drawing of Katsura & Eli reading Parashi comics!! It's soo sweeetttt I kept taking it out and looking at it every hour or so, all weekend T_T I LOVE IT SO MUCH, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

All in all everyone was super nice and I got so many compliments >o< It made me really happy when lots of people told me they were excited for Parashi too ;A;!! Sorry I was so loopy and sleepy the whole time. If I looked confused it's because I recognize your face but I couldn't remember who/when/where from OTL

Here's my table after setup.

I got to trade/buy/have some darn cute stuff as well :3 And since it was nearly Halloween, free candy everywhere! :D

Thank you to :iconbesieged-infection: who fed me onigiri on both Saturday and Sunday!!
Look at themmmmmm they're so cute ;-; yummy too!

mhpumpkin10 you're so funny xDD<3 I feel bad taking so much money from you ;-;

I ended up making decent money even though sales were slower than last year (due to long list of reasons below), but I took commissions this year which made up for it. Among my commissions were KuroBasu and Big Bang (kpop) which was fun :3 (But forgot to take pics of them.)

I think artists this year especially bonded because we were so united in our misery ("I'm freezing" is a great conversation starter) in that dreadful location......which I'll now elaborate on... in point form..because I still have a bad headache from that place.

Day 1 (Friday)

- Organization = FAIL. I arrived 15 min before the time they said we could set-up, only to find a huge pre-reg line with AA artists waiting in it. All the other years, AA could skip the lineup, get their badges early so they can set up before the attendees start coming by, so Fi and I went and asked a staff, who told us artists could come right up to the front. There was no signage. We were never notified of this. Nothing. The staff member just walked off at that, leaving me to run and tell all the artists in the line that they could come up front. We formed a new little line at the front of the desk and were then ignored for the next 15 minutes, while the girl at the desk sat there doing nothing. Then the same staff came back and said we had to go to the back of the line .___.?!? We argued a bit and finally the pre-reg girl started getting us our badges. Not a good start.

- After getting my badge, I was directed to AA......across the wet road, in rainy weathe, to a hideous parking garage. Uh oh. (Last time AA was in a parking garage was 3 years ago, oh look, also at Aki-con. It was pitch-black and awful.) Once again there were no signs indicating AA was there.

(this is someone else's pic, but here's the garage. I am the yellow blob near the bottom right)

- As like all the previous years, Aki-con still uses those bizarrely tiny tables. (They're like regular tables, but broken in half like a Kitkat bar.) But at least this one was expected.

- It was FREEZING COLD. We may as well have been outdoor. This is October in Washington, and it's rainy and windy. I was in my Psyduck costume which is essentially a big fleece-lined hoodie, and still I was shivering and sitting on my hands the entire day. I don't know how people in skimpy costumes could handle it. Needless to say, there was nearly no traffic, because WHO WANTS TO SHOP IN A FRIGID UGLY PARKING LOT when you can go back to the warm carpeted hotel?? It was really miserable and sales really sucked on Friday.

- As if it wasn't cold enough, there was a huge fan blowing a draft throughout the entire building. All my posters were waving back and forth all day. It was so cold I could not squeeze my lipbalm out of its tube, it was congealed solid -@

- Even worse than the cold, there were several dozen blue buckets hanging all over the ceiling, because the ceiling was LEAKING.....which could have been ok if the buckets were doing their job, but the buckets themselves were full to the brim, so nasty rainwater was dripping FROM the buckets, while the buckets themselves were wobbling dangerously the entire time. There were also leaks with no buckets to catch the water.

- A lake of brownish water from drippy buckets formed a few feet from my table. By afternoon, there was a river running down the aisle in front of me. Water was dripping right onto several people's tables/artwork and they had to be moved.

giant ass puddle

- The floor was also filthy (as you can see from the pics). It's a floor and I don't expect to eat off of it, but I only put my knee down for one second to grab something, and it came up black o_o I was scared to put anything on the floor.

- There were extension cords running EVERYWHERE. I was pretty horrified when I walked past one spot where the ceiling was dripping right onto a mess of wires. The fire department came by at some point. I heard rumors of at least one electrical fire that day.

- I had a table facing the wall, so all day I was staring at this beautiful brown stain here:

A couple meters down from this one, there was an even nastier moldy-looking black-green stain. Akicon staff later said it's tar used to fill in wall leaks. I don't know if they meant the brown one or the green one, but I had pretty bad allergies all throughout the con. Even funnier, before this, we got an email telling us not to use tacks on the walls so we don't damage the hotel walls =A= HAHA

- I wasn't there for this one, but I heard from my table neighbor the next morning. Apparently, late Friday night, one of the rain-filled buckets overturned and poured all over some poor boy!!! IT MUST HAVE BEEN FREEEEZING poor guy 8'D

Day 2

- After Day 1, I came wearing 3 sweaters under my hoodie. This time there were working heaters attached to the fans, which made it way too hot where I was sitting, and yet very cold in other parts of the Alley.

- The heat + wetness also made the air super humid. My posters started curling up until my whole display resembled one giant colorful potato chip.

- It was raining and leaking again. By 10am, the buckets were already full and dripping. We informed the staff, but nobody came to empty the buckets until 10PM =_=

- Instead, they "solved" the problem by putting down more buckets under the dripping buckets, which were regularly kicked over by people passing by.

- When someone finally came to change the buckets, the thing was so full it spilled all over him everytime he touched it. All us artists in the area gathered around and took photos of him taking it down.. xD

- My other table neighbor had a cable turn black from fire. By midday, electricity was shut down because too many people were using it and blew the limit. It didn't affect me, but I know there are some tables which rely on power to make their crafts.

Day 3

- We were lucky today because it wasn't raining outside, so no dripping, but the buckets were still full of smelly water from the days before. The room stank and it was hotter and more humid than ever. I gave up trying to uncurl my display posters.

- A lot of artists left early or never came back on Day 3 because sales and conditions were so bad. The price of the table + registration has been doubling the past 2 years too, this year's costed over $100. I wish I had skipped Friday altogether instead of skipping class.

You can see tons more (far angrier) complaints on their forum here if interested:… (It's escalating too.) ((Ahaha and now they've shut down the forum.)) (((Instead there's a whole tumblr dedicated to this mess loolll )))

Sorry so ranty. I'm not particularly angry, but it was definitely an uncomfortable 3 days. Whether or not I go again next year entirely depends on the changes they make. Just hoping I don't get sick now cause I really shouldn't skip any more classes.

Thanks again if you came by >A<!!! Drop me a message if we met so I can maybe match some names to faces ;-;!

© 2012 - 2021 nuriko-kun
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RiddlesAssassin26's avatar
I was reading that at Akicon 2013 a young lady attending was raped by a staff member who is a known sex offender. The convention was made aware of this and they totally ignored it. Akicon should be shut down.
foeevaddr's avatar
This was all in the Bellevue area right? This year they have moved to the Doubletree SeaTac Hotel. It should be better though right? I plan on going. Need more excitement in my life.
nuriko-kun's avatar
Yup. Ah I see xD I won't be going this year since they never replied to my AA email asking for a contract. Either the email got lost or they thought my "will it be indoor or outdoor this year?" was too cheeky =3=? lol
minkhi's avatar
That makes me extremely upset to hear. It is pushing me far away from ever registering. I love AA so it's such a shame to hear that you guys were so mistreated. Did you sign up for Sakuracon or any other cons to do AA?
nuriko-kun's avatar
Nope, I didn't this year.
EroSempai's avatar
Can I quote your post? Im writing about Aki con and like your story. Those pictures are so fitting to other feedback I read.
nuriko-kun's avatar
Sure, feel free.
EroSempai's avatar
Ok. I'll list the stuff that did happen to you by day in it. I'll send it to you when I'm done. Might be a week or two.
Airiemi's avatar
That sounds like the worse con ever lmao.
GneralMongoose's avatar
And that is why I refuse to go to Aki Con... Excited to see you at Sakura Con though!!!! :la::la::la::gummybear:
nickisashkir's avatar
I never went to a convention before like this. I went to one Simpsons one in Arizona, but that was about it. I'm known as Aki on a lot of RPGs so... I suddenly had a ton of im's going "Aki you held a bad convention." I was like what and googled it found this.
nickisashkir's avatar
So, I apologize on the behalf of my namesake! D:
bluepaws21's avatar
can't remember if i left a comment on this. i did see your table and i have some of your artwork and i wanted to say hi but i was too annoyed and sick and tired to really talk to anyone.
i was also wondering if i may use the pictures for reference? since i was too out of it to get any of the horribleness!
thanks, dea
nuriko-kun's avatar
Sure, feel free. Sorry you had a miserable time there (totally understandable =w= )
bluepaws21's avatar
thanks! did you also fill out akicon's survey? their forums are still down but they did have a survey monkey thing show up for the con and i filled it out and mentioned how aweful the aa was!
Elphu's avatar
...why was that place passed for inspection...let alone for an con...
Southrobin's avatar
That is so scary ;A;

Your stall looked really cool though!
/that gary /charizard print and that fma print hnnnggg
thx4everything's avatar
Holy shit, dude. I just read about what you guys went through. They're even talking about it in the Texas AA forums now. I thought I'd seen some horrible AAs, but that place looks like Silent Hill. You've got a strong stomach to have stayed all weekend. I hope your next con will be the polar opposite, whenevr and wherever it is.
Naya-hime's avatar
wow I'm so sorry this happened to you this year =(
I've bought things from you the one time i went to akicon with my friends, yours was my favorite booth actually and the only thing i miss about not going the last few years. Hopefully they fix the problems. Do let us know if you don't end up going again though and if you end up going to another Washington con as I'd love to buy more of your work at some point as i live in Washington myself too so close access lol.
Anyways i hope you feel completely better soon! ^^
issique's avatar
whewwww.....that sounds terrible man. if i ever get to a con, i hope it's in a nicer venue than a parking lot!// the stains....
aerin08's avatar
Ive heard a lot of people complain about this, im sorry u had such a bad time, but maybe you could try out some different cons like some in october *hint hint* like around the uk, *hint hint* like the october mcm london expo which i go to every year so i could actually meet you *hint hint*? But seriously i cannot believe they expected u to sell in such an envirment :(
nuriko-kun's avatar
Hehe UK is way too far away for me for now xD I hope someday I can go too!
aerin08's avatar
:( Aw ok... Maybe i should travel to cons abroad more...
Suikasen's avatar
I was selling my art there, too. It was a total mess. I wasn't actually in the artist alley, but way in the back left corner of the vendors hall, since they lost my AA contract at least 2 times. They offered me a vendors table but didn't discount it, which sucked, but wasn't the worst thing to happen. There was a bunch of buckets right above me, which thankfully didn't drip too much. The heat didn't really reach back far enough to hit my table, so it was about 45 to 50 degrees, if not less, at my booth the whole time, I could see my breath. I didn't get a headache from the kerosene heat, but multiple people that were running around for me did. I was particularly disappointed in the heating problem because I wasn't able to wear my cosplay that I spent months making, or I would have frozen. The humidity in the parking garage was so high that it ruined the majority of my prints and turned people away from buying certain things and the second anything even just barely touched the floor, it was completely unsellable and wasted because of how gross it was. I heard the majority of people there didn't break even, so far only 2 people I talked to did. I was VERY disappointed and frankly, I think everyone selling there should get their money back.
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