Several nights ago, I had a very interesting conversation with a professional artist who shall remain anonymous. This was back when my surveys for the Creative Talent Network eXpo 2015 Review were first posted. We got to talking, and this artist noted to me how they have thoughts of how the expo could improve, but they don't want their words to be viewed the wrong way and end up ruining relationships or their image. They recognize the industry is a small world, but expressed appreciation that I'm writing these articles.
Though I'm very well aware of the fact I'm sticking my neck out there to share information, it didn't click till now how huge my role of doing these articles and reviews might be for other artists. My reviews are based on the responses I get from surveys I've created, as well as my experience. However, I always try my best to restrain my opinions on events or conventions. Why? Because I'm just one person. A convention is not meant for me specifically, but for a community of artists as a whole.
When I first came up with the surveys, I recognized I might not get any responses because most conventions host their own survey system. With that said, no one likes answering multiple surveys and if something goes wrong then we as an audience often are very quick to blame and say "they [the convention/event staff] should have known better." Unlike conventions, however, I am just one artist meaning only one survey. So I take advantage of this fact, draw a few pictures to make the experience slightly more enjoyable, and I try to get the words that conventions may not hear.
My goal through these surveys were to find very simple answers:
- What is the convention/event's culture?
Who are you hoping to attract, and if you're selling what should you sell? Or is this an event you shouldn't expect to make great sales, but make great relationships and networking experiences? What should you expect?
- How did attendees and exhibitors feel?
Did you enjoy your experience, and say "money well spent"? Did you come back from this event with wonderful memories or have a dreadful time? Were you treated well, both as an attendee and/or exhibitor?
- How can we make this experience that much more amazing so we'll not only want to come back every year, but invite others to join us?
I love conventions/expos, and I grew up with them for the past 14 years of my life. I want those experiences to continuously get better every year, and I feel that won't happen unless we know how to improve that experience. This isn't just a shout out to the convention/expo's staff, but also to those who participate. We as artists are often hired to solve visual problems. This is just my visual observation, and my way of finding solutions.
If you like my reviews, and want to see more let me know in the comments below or send me a message.