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FACTS Spring 2024: A disaster to say the least

10. Apr. 2024

I had no high hopes, but that it would be this bad I truly had not expected.

The reason why I had no high hopes for the con was simple: I was underprepared, I had almost no financial means to print more and the lack of experience is of course one factor as well. But let's start from the beginning:

Friday we arrive around noon and prepare our stand. Looks all fine and dandy! I was just very unlucky that there was soooo much traffic in Antwerp that it took us one hour longer than expected to get home. Tired but excited we hit the hay.

Saturday morning! At literally 5 in the morning we hit the road and lucky us no traffic! We put the prints needed on the stand and get to know our stand neighbors. Truly sweet people.

My right side neighbor JJ Mochi Cat, which were super helpful and we chatted about so much. Plus I got a cute spider from them, which now hangs at my rear view mirror :3 At the end of the con JJ was so sweet to gift my a cat paw that has its temporary home on my desk.
Helene Lenoble, who has an absolutely gorgeous style and was super helpful with her advice! Can't thank her enough for sharing!
The sweet sweet lady of Particle Collector with her cute son! They were the back neighbor of JJ and her fiance but one gets to talk and we got a nice groove on with our little corner there.
And last but not least was Art of Chinara. We didn't talk a lot but her insights were super helpful and to be honest very encouraging.
There were plenty more but these needed to be mentioned at least once :)

And as the gates open we are all pretty excited but there has been a strike of public transport in Ghent. But still whenever one of us goes to check the entry place we see a huge crowd. But with time one thing we realize: The crowd doesn't find its way to us.

Close to the end of the first day I make two sales. I did get a few really nice people to talk to that were truly interested in the comic and in general chatting was nice. When the day was finally over we headed over to the hotel and hit the hay. We were dead tired.

Sunday! It is even slower than before. I keep smiling and greeting people but it is merely a trickle of people. I go exploring and finally realize the biggest issue of the organization: The vendors hall leads to 2 exits and the other interesting places. To come to the creators hall (where we are) you need to find the food vendors, go through there and then you are finally there... Mind you: I had been wandering around now and again but getting lost there made it more than clear: the organizers didn't consider us a priority so we were tossed to the tail end.

I had plenty of chances to speak with amazing creators that shared with me their thoughts. For some it has been the worst, for others one of the worst conventions.

I wasn't able to sell even a thing that day. I was defeated, got crying fits (and some other people I have seen crying in the bathroom as well).

The last few months were hard on me, unrelated to this con, that financially screwed us over. I had at least hoped that I would make back the gas money. Getting nods and some nice reactions was indeed nice but I needed at least a small W.

Monday I got to apply to more cons. I got to try again. I am not easy to give up. That is just not me.

Tuesday we get the news that my husband got fired. The unemployment application for me (way back in Feb. to get paid for a total of 4 months, I have been working again for almost 2 months) hasn't gone through.

Let's just say: I really could use some positive news...

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