2016 Artist Alley Survey results

Well, so much for finishing mid-February, but it’s still earlier than last year!

The 2016’s survey netted 650 responses (down from 2015) for over 250 different conventions (way up from 2015!).

The 2016 Report

The annual Convention Artist Survey collects anonymous data from artists and artisans in North America about various aspects conventions — how much artists make, how much they spend, how far they travel, how good organisation was, how much buying interest there is, etc. This report takes all of those numbers and spreadsheet data and turns it into something visual, something easier to analyse and understand at a glance.

After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided to set a $5 minimum for the 2016 report until the 2017 report is available, at which point it will revert to a $0 minimum.

I always underestimate the amount of time it takes me to make this report. It takes a lot of hours to run numbers on this thing, to check the data for inaccuracies, to write spreadsheet formulas for dozens of sort variables, to generate over a hundred graphs and charts, and to lay them out sort of nicely in InDesign.

This 2016 report includes:

  • 21 pages of overall analysis
    • Including such graphs as Gross Revenue by Experience, by Percentile, by Convention Genre, by Region, by Primary Product, by Artist Recommendation, and many more divisions; Convention Ratings by Size and Genre, 2015 Gross Revenue VS 2016, Top Cons by Average Gross Revenue, by Overall Rating, and much more!
  • 28 pages of individual con data
    • 2 pages each for these 14 conventions: A-Kon, Anime Boston, Anime Central, Anime Expo, Anime North, Anime Weekend Atlanta, FanExpo Toronto, FanimeCon, Katsucon, MetroCon, Otakon, Otakuthon, San Japan, Youmacon
  • 123 total charts

Con genres represented in 2016 report. Tired of the anime dominance? Participate in the 2017 survey!

I think one of the reasons that I always get the report out later than I want, too, is because I always have to prioritise other things. Adding a financial incentive to this project will help me prioritise it better in the future.

After putting out their 2013, 2014, and 2015 reports, it looks Devastator Press and The Beat didn’t do a 2016 report. That makes this survey/report the only one of its kind that I’m aware of — I’d like to keep it going, so your support is appreciated. :)

But if you don’t have $5, that’s cool. You can run the numbers yourself. The raw data from the survey will always be free, because it was given to me for free. Spreadsheet hell can be for everyone! Or you can just wait until next year, when the 2016 report’s minimum becomes $0 and the 2017 report is out for $5+.

Look, there’s not a good way to hide charts (so that you can find them again later) after generating them okay, especially if you prefer to title the charts in InDesign. :’)

The 2016 Data

The adjusted data this year is a little different. I did the usual corrections to convention names (please stop abbreviating things), attendance (I added that “unknown” option for ya’ll), and regions (Texas is not in the Midwest), and I did my best to weed conventions outside of North America. Even the raw data had a few of these flagged, but I didn’t correct them there.

However, since the 2017 survey went live immediately after the 2016 closed, I was also able to pull a few incorrect 2016 entries out of the data for the 2017 survey and add those in here. (Further 2016 entries to the 2017 survey obviously can’t and won’t be used anywhere, sorry.)

The 2017 Survey

The 2017 Survey is here!!

New this year: I’ve added new questions to collect data on specific states/provinces, mobile reception, and wifi availability.

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 2017 survey is already live, no further changes will be made, but chart and graph suggestions will be taken into consideration for the 2017 report.

The 2017 survey will be open for responses until 11:59pm PST, January 15th, 2018.

Mailing List

You can sign up for email updates regarding the survey.

Emails go out very infrequently, but will include (sort of) quarterly reminders to submit responses to the survey, as well as general announcements when the survey is about to close, when the next survey is open, and when the next report is available. These announcements will also be made on How To Be a Con Artist and Artist Alley Network International, but being on the mailing list may help the announcements from getting lost in the Internet shuffle.

That’s it! Go fill out the 2017 survey for Anime Boston, Anime Detour, KawaiiKon, Anime Matsuri, Texas Furry Fiesta, Furry Weekend Atlanta, and whatever other spring convention you were just at!

And come see me this weekend at Sakura-Con Artist Alley table 106!! ヾ(。・ω・。)


  1. I hate to be an asshole, but… even if it’s only $5, I know I personally don’t want to pay for anything when I don’t even know what conventions made the cut. I know you worked really hard, and I appreciate that, but could you maybe list what cons DID make it into the report so people looking for specific con info won’t pay $5 and end up not getting what they were looking for?

    • Like the 2015 report, only cons that received 10 or more responses got an individual report. You can use the spreadsheet data to determine which got those 10 or more responses. It’s sorted alphabetically by convention.

      But here they are also: A-Kon, Anime Boston, Anime Central, Anime Expo, Anime North, Anime Weekend Atlanta, FanExpo Toronto, FanimeCon, Katsucon, MetroCon, Otakon, Otakuthon, San Japan, and Youmacon.

  2. Thank you! I get the report every year, and it is a great service. Well worth the $5 to have all of the graphs.

  3. Are you going to do one of these that includes other kinds of shows? I only see anime cons and “fan” cons in the detailed breakdowns. I’d like to see more from big comic conventions, indie book and zine fests, etc. It must be a huge effort to put these together, but just wondering if those will be included for 2017?

    • Which conventions get detailed breakdowns/individual reports is entirely dependent on how many responses I get per convention. Only cons with 10+ responses get a detailed report, because it doesn’t really make sense to do an individual report when only one person submitted data on a show.

      When I first started the survey, I focused only on anime cons, because at the time, there was another survey doing comic cons (both mainstream and indie/zine). I swapped to including every type of con soon after, but the response has remained heavily anime.

      You can see the breakdown per genre from the 2016 report in the 4th image here — I’m definitely not getting enough responses for other genres to have a lot of individual reports there. If you want to see more, help spread the survey around in comic circles and encourage friends to participate!

      For 2017 so far, I’ve gotten enough responses to do an individual report on Emerald City Comicon and that’s it… I have 9 responses for Denver Comic Con though, so one more to unlock that report, eh? :V

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