If you’re keeping track of these posts, you’ll see that in some cases I had maybe a few days to about two weeks between shows happening. And I didn't realize it, but it was affecting me.
I didn’t know a lot about the show except that according to their website, it was an annual family friendly game-based charity event that benefited the Hillcrest Platte county’s young adult housing program. The fact that it had community based help as a focus made doing the show an easy yes for me.
One surprise was the show's location was in a closed Kmart.
Meeple-a-thon is a long form gaming convention that lasts almost 3 days solid. I was sort of familiar with the format from another show that I had attended some years back, and I know that these gaming shows often have all night long game sessions.
|The table was enormous, so I brought everything but my luggage to sell.|
If I recall correctly, this was only the second year that they included vendors, more specifically creators and artists at the show. Set up was painless, and had I figured out a way to utilize them, there was still a lot of original shelving from when the location had been an active retail store, that I could’ve used.
Because the hours of the show were so long, that also meant that any vendors participating in the show, had to decide exactly how long they would be manning their booths. For example, the longest day was Saturday, October 1, which had a run time of 9 AM to 1 AM. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out at shows, and I’ve done it before in years past at Naka-Kon. But that’s also with a specific set of hours for the vendor room, and then afterward, I’d go hit the arcade, or some after hours panels.
I figured since the hours were so long at this show, I would bring some things to keep me busy. I brought some art in progress to work on, started getting caught up on previous show reviews, and worked on a bunch of social media content. There were also a lot of vendors at this show I’ve never met before, so it was a really great to connect with them..
|The entrance of the show.|
So real talk, for the first time, real show fatigue was beginning to rear its head. Even now, as I write this review, and look at the ones already done, and the shows that I still have not yet done, and it seems overwhelming. In a good way mind you, but still overwhelming. Something that’s really important for me is that if I do a show, I want to be at the top of my game, (no pun intended), and be attentive, productive, and clear minded.
Which leads me to the attendance of the show. Because I didn’t really leave my booth while I was at the show, and I was pretty tired, so I didn’t get a good gauge as to how many people attended the show. But from what I could tell Friday and Saturday had the most people show up. The artists were all lined up towards the back of the building/show floor. The layout wasn’t terrible, but I had a few people that spoke to me that didn’t realize there were artists in the back until late Saturday early Sunday.
I made some sales, and did a few trades, but I’m guessing at the amount because the few sales I did make were cash. Nevermind that by Sunday I was so slap happy tired, that if I wasn't in a conversation with someone, I was singing One Direction songs out loud to myself. As all cool dudes do, don't ya know...
|The lighting situation was beyond great at the show.|
All of the attendees that I spoke to seemed to enjoy the show, and even when other shows that I have done came up in conversation, many of them alluded to the fact that they were primarily tabletop gamers, and didn’t really crossover into the Comic, Anime, or pop-culture shows. That was kind of a first for me, as I am a tabletop gamer, and very much enjoy any show that has anything remotely close to my hobby.
|View down the Artist Alley area from my booth.|
Once again, networking came in handy, and I was able to make some inroads for a possible future work, which is always great. I had also by this time started humming Dwight Yoakam songs to myself.
|One of the gaming tables down from Artist Alley.|
Finally as the last day came, I took time to repack everything solidly, and headed home to get some sleep. I think I slept most all of Monday and part of Tuesday away.
Meeple-A-Thon was held Sept 30th - October 2nd 2022.
Location: Former KMart - 7100 NW Prairie View Road Kansas City, MO 64151
Is it worth it?
As a creator? I would say yes. The mission, the staff, and the organization of the show, were all on point. The booth size is insanely generous, and the lighting is not even an issue. Loading was painless as well as load out. And most importantly, the people running the show, really seemed open to new input and ideas.
As an attendee? If you’re really into tabletop gaming, this is a great show. I didn’t see a lot of young children at the show, but on Sunday, there were more than a few family units making their way around the artist area. Just remember, this is not a Pop culture center show, nor is it somewhere you would expect to pick up comic books or assorted media. It is first and foremost, a gaming convention.
- Show Entry Fee/Table Cost: $0.00 if donation was made to the raffle prize table
- Fuel: $20.00
- Food: $35.00 (offsite before and after show)
- Purchases from vendors and other artists: $55
- Parking: Free
Total Expenses: $110.00
- 2 large art reproductions - $50
- 4 comic books - $10
- 2 packs of button pins - $10
Total Earnings: $179.89
- It benefits the Hillcrest Platte County’s Young Adult Housing program
- The staff was fantastic
- there was a good mix of artists and vendors
- The location was spacious and well lit
- No parking problems
- Not one thing came to mind
The Final Evaluation
If you’ve been reading this blog, for very long, you’re coming to the same consensus that I am, there’s no shortage of family friendly events happening in the Kansas City area. This show has a lot going for it, and it has a low-key vibe to it. It will be interesting to see where they take the show next year, in regards to hours, vendors, and overall set up of the show.
If they’ll have me back, I’d be happy to do the show again, no problem. I do think the show could benefit from more visible advertising, as even many of my gamer friends, who specifically are into shows like Gen Con and Midwest game Fest, didn’t know anything about this show.
Meeple-A-Thon 2022 Show Haul
I picked up a few things at the show, but because I knew I still had a few more shows rounding out this year, I once again kept my budget, fairly tight.
|Just missing the cat hat I picked up from Legacy Loop Crochet.|
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist