Go!DaikoCon is an anime convention held in the Detroit area. This year it was held over the weekend of August 2-4, 2013, at the Marriott Detroit Pontiac Centerpoint in Detroit Michigan.
We had spent Wednesday night with family in Fort Wayne so that we wouldn't have to make the whole trip in a single day. As a result, we could make the rest of the trip on Thursday without feeling rushed and still arrive in good time.
We were glad we got there ahead of time, because we got to the dealers' room and discovered that the layout looked nothing like the map we'd been given when we bought our space. We then had to spend a fair amount of time trying to get the situation straightened out and make sure we got all the space we'd paid for, since our planned setup depended upon it.
Fortunately, one of the people in charge of the con is someone we know from Anime Crossroads, so he told the people running the dealers' room to get on the stick and straighten things up. Once they finished that task, he assigned them to help us load in. As a result, we got everything done in record time, and even got set up before the dealers' room closed for the evening.
That meant we could sleep in on Friday and go down to the dealers' room in time to uncover our merchandise and get everything ready for sales. The extra sleep was welcome, but when sales proved disturbingly slow, we were soon fighting drowsiness.
The lack of sales wasn't helped by somebody's decision to close the dealers' room doors for opening ceremonies. One of the guys in charge, who is also one of the principal dealers, came by and bawled out the guy running the dealers' room. Those doors got opened very fast, and customers started filtering in once again. However, sales remained slow.
By the time the dealers' room closed in the evening, we were having serious questions as to whether we'd be able to make our hotel expenses, let alone dealers' tables and gas expenses. We both agreed that unless things picked up a lot, we weren't coming back next year.
After we dropped some stuff off in our room, we headed down to the lobby to use their free WiFi for a while. Then we headed back to our room and turned in for the night.
Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast. Then we headed down to the dealers' room to get our tables open and ready for business. However, sales continued to be very slow and disappointing, and I spent most of the day making notes for some novels I want to write further down the line. We both agreed that we were so far behind on sales that we weren't coming back.
When the dealers' room closed, we headed down to the pool for a good soak in the hot tub. While we were there, we met an older couple who knew some of the other Michigan anime cons and could offer us advice on how sales might be at them.
Then we got our computers went to the lobby to use the WiFi. I also did some work on a book review. Then we turned in for the night.
Sunday morning we gathered up our stuff to get out of our sleeping room. On the way down, I talked to one of the con staffers, making suggestions of things they needed to do to get the con to grow in future years.
When I took the first load down to the van, I made an unhappy discovery -- a bottle of transmission fluid had gotten knocked over and spilled, soaking the entire fluids box and making a thorough mess. So I had to get paper towels to clean up, and then be very careful about how I loaded our personal belongings into the van to make sure nothing got into it, especially our food bags. I'll have to take a bucket of detergent out and clean the PVC mat so it doesn't become a long-term problem for us.
After we got checked out of our room, we headed down to the dealers' room. Sales continued to be pathetic, and I spent most of my time looking at wholesaler websites or working on my con review.
Because sales were almost non-existent by afternoon, we started packing and loading out early. We got some good helpers who snagged two hotel bell carts for us, and we got loaded and out in record time. We made good time back to Fort Wayne to spend the night with family, then continued to Indianapolis Monday morning.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated September 29, 2013.