My Blog Journal


MegaCon 2014: Behind the Scenes

I returned home from MegaCon on Tuesday morning, shortly after 1:00AM, after driving straight from Orlando, Florida, for 17 hours.

MapQuest estimated that it would only take 14 hours, but I don’t think it factored in the road construction being done near the Beltway, nor the fact that flesh-and-blood human beings need to stop periodically for restroom and coffee breaks, or that machines need to refuel every 4-5 hours. :P

Me being Goofy

Those who say that they can manage the trip in under 12 hours… well… Pffft. I followed the speed limit signs religiously. ;)

This year, my 11-year-old daughter begged to come along for the ride, and having a passenger to chat with did help tremendously to pass time…. it only felt like 12 hours! LOL
Though our conversations often morphed into full-blown arguments, because trapping two highly opinionated and obstinate individuals into a small car (for an entire day) is nothing if not a recipe for war.
Nearly every conceivable topic, and a few inconceivable ones, ignited a passionate battle of wills.

McDonald's Play Area

A brutal feud took place over a McDonald’s play area, across the road from our gas station, which I wouldn’t let her “investigate” due to our tight schedule. Evil, yes, I am.

Lydia’s company enabled us to capture video footage of our trip on my cellphone. I edited a few clips into a 14 minute video to share our Behind the Scenes: Megacon 2014.
Geez, look how fast we were driving! ;)

TaraFly making bookmarks in Florida

Thursday morning, we finished laminating bookmarks and enjoyed the warm weather from my aunt’s lanai.

Collecting exhibitor badges for MegaCon

Signing in on Thursday to collect our exhibitor badges.

Setting Up Booth at MegaCon

While my aunt and I put my displays together, my uncle walked the show floor with his camera, taking videos of the other exhibitors setting up their booths.

Many of them had arrived in U-haul vans, unloading pallets of freight and building materials with forklifts. Some of these booths looked like retail storefronts, with walls and flooring, shelving and track lighting.

T-shirt vendors building the T-Shirt Tower at MegaCon

Building the T-Shirt Tower!

Poster vendor setting up at MegaCon

Even though I was confident in my booth set-up initially, after checking out my neighbors’ arrangements, I still felt like the displaced Farmer’s Market vendor ~ with bedsheets covering my table and lace curtains hanging awkwardly behind me. *amused sigh*

On Sunday afternoon, I took additional footage while everyone packed-up and exited the Convention Center ~ which looked like Ground Zero, after a violent explosion of trash and drapery fabric.

I realize my video isn’t high quality or even original. There are dozens of Megacon videos on YouTube ~ highlighting the elaborate and whimsical costumes, the juvenile antics, and the media guests.

My video mainly focuses on an exhibitor’s view, for anyone interested in seeing what goes on before & after the show. How the frenzied chaos of set-up on Thursday, transforms into a sleek geek’s paradise by Friday afternoon. And how quickly after the lights are dimmed and the attendees are escorted to the exit ~ it dissolves into madness again.

And for some of us, the added anticipation of a loooong drive home, in a car packed to the gills with unsold inventory and displays.

Driving in downtown Orlando, Florida.

As for what I’ve learned this year? It’s a never-ending process of experimentation.
You can never begin prepping too early.

….I should probably start today. :P

Customers shopping my booth, MegaCon 2014.

Some pieces and products sold really well (my new ACEO cards! Redcoat Cat!) …and others languished unseen and unappreciated.
Although I do not foresee painting any Marvel Comic cat portraits, or any characters from The Walking Dead (sorry!), I did receive a lot of positive feedback on my Tudor Cats, Gatsby, Wizard of Oz, and even Pride and Prejudice. I plan to continue along those literary lines.

I returned with a list of ideas, which I plugged into my Google calendar to remind me to work on a new portrait each week. There will be many exciting new pieces to share this year!

Maybe next year I’ll get rich enough to hire somebody to manage my shop(s) and portfolios, so that I can paint more! ;)

TaraFly'a Cat Art booth at MegaCon 2014.

My cat art booth at MegaCon 2014.

Tara Fly

About Tara Fly

A Crazy Cat Lady … who divides her time between painting portraits of cats dressed in period costumes, watching BBC mini-series, growing weeds and wildflowers, and baking pumpkin pies seasoned with cat hair.
Would you like some fur-flavoured coffee?

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