2015 Artist Alley Survey results

After many delays due to a hectic convention season, the 2015 Convention Artist Survey results are here!


Following 2014’s survey and report, the 2015 survey was expanded to include more questions and to accept responses for all North American conventions, regardless of size or genre. In total, 670 responses were collected for over 160 different conventions. That is a lot of data!

The 2015 Report & Data

The 2015 report is free, but please consider supporting the survey if you can. I’m one person and crunching numbers is very time consuming!

Both the raw and adjusted data are sorted alphabetically by convention name with timestamps wiped to maximise anonymity. The adjusted data includes convention genre, which was not collected in the survey itself; corrections to convention names, size, and location; as well as adjustments to figures assumed to be typos. While the compiled report includes select comments for the conventions with over 10 responses, it’s definitely worthwhile to take a look at the spreadsheet data as there are a lot of other comments there, many for conventions that don’t have an individual report.

Apologies for some of the fuzzy charts in the report this year. Next year I’ll find an actual way to export high-res images from Excel, promise!

If you missed it, this Convention Artist Survey was inspired by and based in part on the annual Exhibitor Survey by Devastator Press and The Beat. Here are their 2013, 2014, and 2015 reports. It’s interesting to compare our data!

Convention genres represented in the report this year.
Convention genres represented in the report this year.

The 2016 Survey

New this year: respondent-assigned convention genre and a visual map of US regional divisions (with slightly different divisions than 2015). Respondents can also choose to edit their responses after submission. Hopefully this will cut down on the number of typos.

One of the biggest issues with 2015’s data was respondents estimating convention attendance inaccurately. In some cases, the convention’s attendance was right on the cuff of two size brackets, but in most others, the guesses were just wildly off. Most conventions — if they announce an attendance number at all — will do so very soon after the event is over. Wait a few days and see if you can find it on their social media. Otherwise, refer to the prior year’s attendance, or make a guess based on the last given figure (Wikipedia should have this information for most large to mid-sized cons). For smaller or newer shows, your best guess will have to do, but please do try to check first!

If you have suggestions for additional data to collect or charts to be drawn up (keeping in mind the data available), do drop a comment or an email. Since the 2016 survey is already live, no further changes will be made, but chart and graph suggestions will be taken into consideration for the 2016 report.

The 2016 survey will be open for responses until 11:59pm PST, January 15th, 2017.

Survey Mailing List

You can sign up for email updates regarding the survey.

Emails to this list will be very infrequent, but will include quarterly reminders to submit responses to the survey as well as general announcements when the 2016 survey is about to close, when the 2017 survey is open, and when the 2016 report is available. These announcements will also be made on How To Be a Con Artist and Artist Alley Network International.


Survey Promotion

More data is better data, so the continued growth of the survey’s respondent pool is important.

You can help spread the word about the survey by sharing this post (or similar ones on HTBACA and AANI) on social media and telling your friends. You can also nab the 300dpi version of this 4″x6″ postcard and distribute to artists at your next convention. This is especially helpful if there’s a convention you want an individual report on, but which hasn’t had sufficient data in the past.


That’s it!

PS — I’ll be at Fanime (Artist Alley table 1507) for the first time this coming weekend and at A-Kon (Artist Alley table C-20) once again the weekend after! Come say hi! :D

About the author

Kiri is a Seattle-based artist, writer, webmaster, and (brush) pen enthusiast with over 12 years of convention and event vending experience and a lot of opinions.