Fantasm 2021 Convention Summary
Fantasm Orlando: October 1-3, 2021
Between Omni Expo and Fantasm, I remade my book display. The foamcore model that I used became the blueprint for the new plywood model. It took a lot of work during my days off, as I'm not the most experienced with woodworking, and there are a few things left to work out. However, I'm very happy with the end result.
My keychain display was replaced with a cute coffin-shaped pin board that I found. I also made a new keychain design with matching 8x10" prints. It was a very busy two months.
Fantasm was not my usual genre of conventions. It's a horror-themed event, predominantly focused on horror movies and similar media. It's a newer event, with 2021 being its second active year, and it's on a similar scale to Omni Expo. I went to this convention to test the waters and see how I'd do in a different audience. It was an interesting experience. One table neighbor was a film company promoting their latest movie.
Being a horror convention, the atmosphere of the event was pretty different from what I'm used it. During my time at anime conventions, I've grown used to an abundance of vibrant cosplayers and a high degree of energy. The biggest difference that I noticed about this event was that not as many people were there to cosplay. Fantasm had a far more subdued crowd, and many of the people coming into the vendor hall crowded around the celebrity guests to get autographs from the stars of their favorite films. Not as many people were inclined to linger around the hall to browse the vendors' wares.
During lulls between crowds, I had a lot of time to talk with other vendors. The impression that I got was that the people visiting the convention were nice but the guests were the real stars of the show. It wasn't really a seller's event.
It was also really, really cold on Saturday. My table assistant ended up bringing me a blanket halfway through the day because we were shivering nonstop. The temperature issue was resolved by Sunday, but I brought a warmer outfit just to be safe.
I probably won't go back to this convention any time soon. My art may fit in with the theme but the crowd doesn't feel like the best fit. I may venture into general comic conventions instead, as they're more adjacent to the anime crowd.