Reinstate First-Come-First-Serve System for Artist Alley Registration at Animethon Events
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The first-come-first serve, by which applicants are selected and receive placement in order of their applications received, fairly rewarded us for being diligent, planning ahead, and applying right when applications opened up. It allowed us a sense security. And, if we happened to end up on the waiting list, we were made aware of our numbered spot and could feasibly make plans based on how close we were to the top of the list.
The lottery-based, however, is completely random. While this allows for a reasonable amount of fairness in who is selected from the lot of applicants, it actively inhibits any of us unlucky enough not to be drawn the ability to plan ahead to attend in the event there is a last-minute cancellation. This is especially true for those of us who aren't local and need to plan further for accommodations/travel. Artists who live out of town are the most unjustly impacted.
And as such is random, there is no longer a numbered waiting list. Instead, we were made aware that should anyone drawn forfeit their table, yet another draw would take place to fill the spot.
Not having a numbered waiting list creates undue anxiety and frustration, and completely quashes any hope that your spot may be coming up in the event someone cancels.
One of the arguments in support of the lottery-based system is that it allows for variety in the artwork exhibited, but this is largely untrue.
Since the bulk of applicants who apply annually are the same group of Alberta-based artists, the variety of art is overwhelmingly the same each year.
Most conventions that do have a lottery-based system choose to implement it when they have a high volume of applicants and a limited amount of space.
As we were made aware by Animethon organizers over the summer, the purpose of moving venues to the Shaw Conference Centre is that it accommodates much more artists and vendors.
Therefore, we feel there is more than adequate space available at the Shaw Conference Centre to allow the continuation of the first-come-first-serve system.
Artists, like any other vendors, use the revenue made at conventions to survive. While most artists attend conventions to supplement their income, there are many that attend as a primary source of income and rely on these funds to pay their most basic necessities, such as bills, rent, and food.
For most of us, Animethon is our best convention of the season. Not being able to plan to attend due to a random draw, for many of us, is nothing short of devastating.
And it's not just for financial reasons, either.
We love Animethon.
We love the sense of community, and we love being able to attend, exhibit, and connect with others who share our love of art, anime, and videogames.
We don't want to have to worry about not being drawn in a random lottery and being denied our opportunity to attend.
It is our sincere hope that the organizers take this into consideration.
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