Surat, Gujarat
6 hours ago

Convergence 2024

Posted by Alesia Gitter on

Convergence sent out their load in information a week before the event, so this is of course they day I will start my blogging about it so here are my notes before the actual load in starts.

They have optional masking policies but strongly recommend people to mask up. I will bring some with me but we'll see what everything looks like since it is a 4th of July convention. 

I have only been to the Hyatt Regency prior to this when I was attending Anime Detour, so I will say I am a little familiar with the area at least. This was helpful when I needed to park so I know exactly where I want to park for this event at least (assuming I can't get a better parking spot at the hotel itself) - but I have low expectations on being able to get a spot I want and have preplanned at least.

Load in times are assigned and on the Wednesday before the event which is nice maybe? I don't know if this is good or bad but the instructions are very clear. I am not sure if this is how they always do it but guess we shall see!

I saw this part of the email though, and I am not sure if this is normal or not for most conventions:

"Please remember that Dealer badges only allow entry into the Exhibition Hall, NOT to the rest of the convention. If access is needed to the rest of the convention, a CONvergence membership badge is required. Each Vendor space (regardless of space size receives ONE (1) CVG membership. Additional Membership Badges can be purchased through the CVG Registration Dept. at its current rate."

Guess this is something I may need to pay more attention to in the future. I'll be driving home each night after this either way but if I had wanted to stay after the vendor hall closed, this would be a little inconvenient. Looking at badge prices at the time I realized this was a concern, it is $135. I paid $250 for my table and it came with badges for me and my helper but I am not sure I would also pay extra for an event that I can't realistically attend until after vendor hall closes. Since I am not staying at the hotel for this event, this is probably just not something I'll worry about for the time being.

So much varies event to event.

Note: I did end up asking after that initial write-up, and you get one full access badge. The helper badges very specifically don't grant full access.

Before the Event & Setup
I had to go to the hospital for my husband before this event, so anything I didn't grab will be brought Thursday or Friday. Load in was a really small entrance so we opted to just park and take the elevator from the hotel down since it was faster and easier in the end. The elevator for the parking garage we were at went directly to where the exhibitor hall is, and check in was directly at the back next to the load in area. I ran into an issue with my ST-19 and had to fill that out before they would allow me to set up. I know I had emailed my ST-19 but I guess in the end they wanted a physical one so I had to fill another one out, which is fine. I just felt bad I was being so slow at check in lol. I usually try and bring them with me anyways.

We didn't have table assignments emailed to us resulting us in being told where we were assigned when we arrived. I was table 45 and since I was already familiar with the exhibit hall after having attended Anime Detour in March, I knew exactly where to go. Tables had a laminated number on them, black table cloth (so I didn't need to bring mine but did just in case) and two chairs. I opted to use the black cloth with my blue table runner instead of my gray table cloth for this.

My husband couldn't help me since he's dealing with what they think is a rotor cuff tear and my daughter set up my sticker display. It was together pretty quickly, thankfully and off we went. Decided I would deal with the plush the day I can actually sell things. Since I didn't ever deposit the cash from Range Fan Con, I will just be using it for this event.

I also want to note that while we had assigned load in times, since it was difficult to even get to the load in area with our vehicle, the time didn't really matter in the end. I assume the whole plan was to spread out vendors who are loading stuff in through the door. Smart idea really, but I am a terrible navigator in Minneapolis and after two circles around the hotel decided I was just going to be parking haha.

I would like to note you do have to pay for parking. I think it was $25 for us to load in, so keep that cost in mind especially since this is a 4 day event. That is easily a $125 minimum cost in addition to everything else.

The Event Itself
I had planned on going by day originally, but it was a long busy weekend and because of that you're just going to get my thoughts and feelings on things instead. I want to note I didn't take a lot of photos so this blog is basically just going to be blank. I finished setting up my table right before the event started first sales. I do actually like the black table cloth they had more than my normal table cloth I think. If I order one, I am going to need to make sure it's large enough to cover all 4 sides. I don't know the table size but it felt pretty large. I guess I just don't have a lot of stuff so everything feels large for now.

Getting into the event was simple. You just arrive early to get parked unless you stayed at the hotel, which I clearly did not do and bam. You wait for the hall to open at 9:15am on the early mornings or 2pm the first evening before opening ceremony starts. It was so nice chatting with many of the other vendors who were selling and getting their opinions on things. One was even there all the way from Oregon! I believe they said their family lives in Minnesota, so they flew in for the event and their expenses were pretty low due to it.

I was chatting so often that the entire weekend just flew by. Everyone was fantastic.

I was blessed with amazing booth neighbors who were great company and I got to meet so many people from discords I was in, Convergence and Anime Detour staff and hang out with Anime Fusion for the party room. I actually helped the Anime Fusion Party Room for about 2 and half hours on Saturday night trying to direct people to get free grilled cheese. I hate grilled cheese so I would have run the other way haha but I do like candy which they also had but it was less of a selling point I guess. Selling then volunteering was exhausting. 

My best selling items - as a CORGI VENDOR - were cat stickers and cat enamel pins. Honestly, that blew my mind. I did get a few corgi customers, but nearly all of my sales were from cats. Guess if I make a return for 2025, I will come more prepared with the fluffy kitties. I had to find more cats to even bring because they were selling so well.

At one point I think someone who bought an item also stole a pup-bee sticker, but since I didn't count my inventory before this event, I can't really verify it. I will be counting my inventory before Tekko though.

Jen of Bao WoW Corner came with me on the final day, Sunday. She's also a local artist but she was around to help me do the event and check out events. Having an adult as a helper was the best ever. She's better at customer service than I am for sure so hopefully she does some events in the future too. She'll definitely succeed! Also she sorted my cash way better than I ever have. 

We also got to eat real food since she was able to go pick up an order at a local asian place outside of the hotel - not that the hotel is that bad but I was not impressed by any means with the choices and the Salmon I had on Friday was way overpriced for the quality. 

I will note that parking was around $82.50 for the whole weekend, so while that should have been added into my stuff below I left it out. Everyone will have different expenses so it's hard for anyone to relate to my costs if theirs are also different.

I also don't have any real complaints about the event. I guess if I had one maybe the price of the badge since only one full badge came with my table, but realistically I wasn't there to hang out beyond the one Anime Fusion volunteer day.

What Worked & What Did Not
Load in wasn't the best since the area they expected us to load into was kind of a pain to get to, so parking was my best option there. Not really the fault of Convergence, more of a hotel issue I'd say. That being said, knowing artists were on a different floor at Anime Detour - that's probably better to be in the exhibit hall which is literally next to the elevator and parking lot. Sooo keep that in mind.

Food was limited and not the best. I don't know if there were other food vendors or not but I ended up only getting a real meal on Sunday when I had Jen with me since she was able to walk outside of the hotel to grab it.

Staff was really nice. So many stopped by to say hi and see how things were going.

It wasn't overly crowded. While a ton of people came down with Covid in the end, the crowds were much more pleasant than when I was there for Detour. Obviously Detour has about 5,000 more people in attendance, but still. I could breathe and walk and not stress about getting stuck in traffic. Realistically I was a vendor so this didn't matter until I went to volunteer at the party room, but hey I liked it. 

The vendor community had each others backs in a way I hadn't seen at other events where I didn't know people. Technically I knew people here but wasn't near them making it sort of useless. The fact I could meet vendors and rely on them and trade off for bathroom or food or whatever was great. I hope to see them at future events! Ahhhh!

We got to apply early for 2025 after the event ended. This is pretty awesome if you ask me. Gosh I think I didn't even apply until 2024 for 2024 so I consider it amazing I even got considered!

Convergence has a Facebook group and a Discord. Sorry, you're automatically awesome if you have an active community and despite how small Convergence is, it doesn't FEEL small. It FEELS like a big warm welcoming community!

So I think I had been warned that this event was pretty small so my expectations going in were basically zero, especially after selling at Momocon and attending Anime Detour. Frankly, this was a great event. All the vendors were amazing, the sales were really good since I am local and I already want to go back. 

If you have the opportunity to put your art in the art show, sell in artist alley or even as a normal vendor but are also local with low expenses - this event is 100% worth it. I don't know what hotel costs would have even been, but I think maybe even with a hotel I would have been just fine. 

The Details (TLDR)

Event: Convergence 2024
Dates: July 4th-7th, 2024
Location: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Hours: Thursday 2pm-7pm, Friday/Saturday 10am-6pm & Sunday 10am-4pm CST
Total Vendors: 90 
Attendance: 4,154
Travelworthy: I think this is a good local convention, maybe worth the travel if you're just coming from Wisconsin and expenses are low. Not worth it for further out of state.  
Booth Cost: $250
Total Sales: $2554.50 (this is before all costs are taken out)
Transaction Fees: $52.18
Taxes: $203.71
Total Profit: $2,048.61



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