FIRST, a word to the wise, we’ve attended a bunch o’ conventions and even put a bunch on, so for those of you who are not convention savvy here are some tips:
1. If you can , call ahead for discount passes, most conventions have cheaper prices for pre bought passes.
Also, if applicable ask for a convention room rate from the hotel and try to book in as far in advance as possible. Get that hotel room ASAP, you want to get in there on the thursday usually, that way your all settled for friday and into that social groove thing. Also, do a convention outside your city and area, as a tattoo vacation. If you look into it, there are conventions in a lot of interesting cities.
2. If you want to get work done by an artist, particularly a popular one, then try to book time ahead with them, you may get there only to discover that the artist is booked from day one. You can also buzz websites for a listing of artists, or call the infoline for a brochure to see who is working the show.
3. Merchandising makes money, but at the last hour of the last day you will find T-shirt and other prices mysteriously go on sale , so you could save some bucks, however you could screw yourself out of a hot t-shirt too.
4. Some of the artists work hard on their artwork and flash, so be careful when taking photographs that you do not give the impression that you are taking pictures of flash or custom artwork. Also , if you have artwork that you want to show around yourself , and if you don’t have a booth, have the decency to let the promoters know upfront and inquire as to what arrangements you have to sell or trade your flash/machines what have you on their floor. REFRAIN FROM PLACING BEVERAGES ON ANY TABLES WITH ARTWORK, EGAD MAN the life you ruin may be your own !!!
5. Don’t be whimsical , whether your getting a tattoo or buying a book don’t judge either by the cover. Just because they’re at a convention it does not mean they know what they are doing, as always , check out the portfolios first and foremost.
6. Don’t run around like a giddy kid , or interrupt working artists for a photo, just ask politely when they have a free moment , often enough you can get photos in the lounge/ bar later, and god forbid, don’t be dumb enough to touch or hug a working artist, he/she needs a steady hand!! Most of all get out there and support your artists , you don’t have to get tattooed, and if you are interested in learning more about the art, conventions have a wealth of information and collectables. See you out there !!!!