Smoky Mountain Fan Fest

The issue with having a convention in a tourist town is the abundance of amazing alternatives to participate in. Shops, museums, local attractions, and restaurants all compete for the the traveler's attention. In short, the show which should stand out simply blends in to the scenery. 

For Tortured Earth, the convention is a bust. The traffic was light both days, spending was conservative, and attendee interest was mild. The observation seems shared among several vendors - evident by the abundance of free time and ability to roam without customers at their booth.

We did meet some amazing creators and picked up a potential artist. However, attending conventions for contacts would be far more beneficial and economical as attendees and not vendors. 

We are looking for venues in the area. The region is amazing and the community does support conventions. The power of other events simply overshadows the allure of any event held in the city proper. More than one attendee commented that the convention was very similar to the shops outside.

In all fairness, I did speak with one artist who managed to pull a profit. His artist table was cheap, he didn't travel with a convention team, and his hotel choice was minimalistic. The guests did fair well. None down the two rows near me boasted such earnings.

Personally, I'd be interested in seeing what would happen if the convention was moved to Knoxville or Chattanooga, TN. Both towns are similar in size but do not have the tourist trap feel of Gatlinburg. I feel if the glamour factor of a town is removed, the convention itself should be able to shine a whole lot brighter. I observed this with VisionCon, a convention held in Branson Missouri. 

Branson itself is a tourist trap. However, the convention was held after the tourist season when the convention center was a whole lot cheaper to rent. Without the theme parks, restaurants, and gift shops working at full capacity, the town has a bit of a ghost town feel. The convention was well attended and maintained a high interest among the attendees. 

It would be interesting to see if shifting the location or timing of the convention would have an impact on attendance. 

Vendors and artists we've met worth note:

Comic book artist: Michael Phillips, The Draconis Project and Grund

Artist: Terry Collier. Terry is a mixed media horror artist. 
As a horror artist, Terry can definitely design a booth for both drama and interest!

Jessica Collier, Instagram: @losthermarbles_21
Jessica will be commissioned to complete some creature illustrations for the upcoming modules.

Thanks for reading!

K. B. Kidder

If you are checking out this blog for the first time, you may access our website by clicking here: Tortured Earth.

Character Species released for review: AllornDwarfElfEoceph, and Goblin.

Combat Creatures released for review: BraunachFaedaFetid HoundMinotaur, and Wolf.

The 2.0 version of Tortured Earth are now available on Amazon through the following links:

Tortured Earth Core Rule Book 

Tortured Earth Supplemental: The Unofficial Account of Gavin Harris

Tortured Earth Supplemental: The Travel Journal of Mica Greer 

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