Trotcon 2014 Write Up: Booze, Spaghetti and a Sauna

This year’s Trotcon was bigger than ever with over 1,000 people in attendance. However it wouldn’t be a real convention without petty drama, and with a brony wedding going on inside the convention this year shenanigans ensued. Details below the break!

First off, I want to clear up the fact that this write up is coming from the perspective of someone that spent most of their time vending in the artist alley. There will be way more details on vending than there will be panels, but I will have some side notes at the end for things I either saw or overheard. If there’s something you feel is missed you can always one up me and post about it in the comments section. Grab a beer and get comfortable, because this is gonna be a loooooong article.
Inb4 I'm just using this article as an excuse to shill my goods. Okay, maybe just a little...
So to begin with the 15 hour drive over to Trotcon wasn’t as bad as my Bronycon drive last year. It was a rather peaceful trip despite driving through the mountains for the first time. I drove up with vendors Nekocrispy and Princess Gryph and split the hotel with them. We got to the hotel around noon on Thursday and found the place deserted, which I guess beats waiting in a long lobby line to check into your room. Still, getting pumped on the long drive there only to find no one around is a bit of a downer. At least we got some cute con exclusive hotel keys!
Despite being really easy to photoshop a blowjob in it, the keys are genuinely adorable. More cons need to do this!
The hotel room itself was surprisingly spacious, even if some of the furniture was missing a few chunks and there was a flickering light in the bathroom. While my vendor friends immediately went to unload their merch out of the car I tried to take a nap fully clothed. This unfortunately resulted in me waking up half an hour later drenched in sweat since I covered myself in all the sheets, so I gave up and got my merch out of the car as well. From there Gryph and I bossed Nekocrispy around on how to set up his display before going out for Trotcon pre-registration.
"You seriously put Twilight above DJ, you filthy casual!? Change it or you’re sleeping on the floor tonight!"
Pre-reg itself wasn’t all that bad. Sure, there was a bit of a line… I mean, at least until they told us there was a special line for vendors, panelists, and special guests. Then there was a lot less of a line! Needless to say we were out of there in 15 minutes once pre-reg actually started.

That’s right normal attendees, give me your death stares as I click my heels and gallop past you to an unfairly shorter line.
After that I met Pony Toast in the lobby. He needed a last minute room, and since a lot of our potential roomies dropped out last minute I was more than happy to have him help with the hotel bill. We also had a teenage brony artist get in the room last minute, whom I think was frightened by Pony Toast after Thursday night.
I’m not sure what happened with those two, but I think we’re gonna need to keep this guy on a leash during Bronycon.
So on Friday all the vendors brought their merch downstairs to the artist alley, (because they wouldn’t let us set up our displays on Thursday night despite the vendor’s room being wide open), and sales started on a high note at around 11:30 am. People came pouring in and sales were steady throughout the day. Friday would have been a great day if it weren’t for the fucking A/C breaking.
Good thing my cosplay had full chest ventilation that day!
  You may have heard Trotcon being called Saunacon on Twitter. That’s because of the A/C going down and never fully recovering. About 2 hours in on Friday the downed A/C became incredibly noticeable. It was especially fortunate that I was wearing the smuttier of the two Chrysalis cosplays I packed. Others wearing jeans were not so lucky. Needless to say everyone complained to the hotel and by the end of Friday they put two small fans by the doors. Beats me why finding two fans took so fucking long, but it was better than nothing. On the bright side, Peter New actually took the time to visit my table on Friday, so I gave him a free Big Mac before he went on his merry way to the VIP party.
But seriously, this is how big the fans were. They didn’t even reach my knees, and I’m short as fuck!
With Friday sales over with, I immediately went back to the hotel room to change out of the sweaty cosplay only to notice that literally every other place in the hotel was air conditioned BUT the vendor’s room. I ended up getting dinner and drinks with another vendor that night as my other friends were busy elsewhere. Instead of looking up a restaurant I decided that we should wander around until we found a nice looking place. Believe it or not we actually did find a pretty nice place by sheer luck with reasonable prices for upper class food. The place is called Sidebar and was only about 10 minutes away on foot.

The look on the waiter’s face when I asked for a business card was priceless. “Oh shit, more of you pimply alcoholic motherfuckers are going to be here next year? Fuck this I quit.”
We went back to the hotel bar for convention exclusive drinks. I personally had the Peanut Bucker and the Flim Flam tonic, and while both were pretty tasty I could barely taste the alcohol in either of them, much less feel it when I got up half an hour later. This may be a good time to mention that while both my friend and I were over 21 we were never asked for IDs when we ordered alcohol at both the restaurant and the bar. Oddly enough the hotel bar had hardly any bronies in it while we were there. Guess they were too busy drinking real booze at convention parties.
Maybe they all thought they were serving the fake alcoholic drinks that Pixel Kitties was selling?
After drinking and not feeling the least bit wobbly, (maybe they were fake alcoholic drinks after all...), we decided to visit the concert to see if it was worth staying up for. Spoilers: it was incredibly ordinary and didn’t exactly attract a huge crowd. So from there we went our separate ways and I crashed in the hotel room. Toast showed up drunk and scared our teenage roomie into sleeping on the floor for whatever reason. Maybe he was afraid of Toast’s hairy chest, I dunno.
Pictured here: Not Pony Toast.
Saturday was shockingly dull. Apparently everyone was hung over from Friday night, so the vendor’s room opened an hour and a half late at 10:30 am. Even with the delayed time hardly anyone entered the vendor’s room during the first few hours. It probably didn’t help that by then everyone knew about the broken down A/C that was still only being replaced with two tiny fans on the floor. Sales were at an all time low on a day many vendors were expecting to make the most amount of money. It was disappointing to say the least. If I wasn’t wearing my ultra kawaii desu desu desu Chrysalis cafĂ© maid cosplay I don’t think anyone would have noticed my table in the forever alone corner of the vendor’s room!
The vendor's room on Saturday.
Needless to say a lot of vendors, (including myself), left the vendor’s room an hour or two early due to lack of sales. I saw one craft vendor leave altogether on Saturday early afternoon looking fed up as hell. They never showed up on Sunday, and another vendor in the forever alone corner I was placed in was more than happy to move to their spot. So I went straight to the hotel room, got the poofy cosplay off, and enjoyed an hour alone of naked time in the hotel room watching cartoons before finally getting some clothes on.
Calpain, Leekfish, my vendor room buddies and a few others were supposed to go to an arcade right away that night. What ended up happening is all of us having to wait on one vendor because they really wanted to go to a writer’s panel. As a result Calpain and his roomies played cards against humanity, (complete with drawings of pony dicks), while the rest of us went out to eat at the earlier mentioned nice restaurant. By the time we got back our vendor friend was finished and Calpain had texted us the address to the arcade. One problem: the arcade was an hour and a half away each way, making it a total 3 hour trip. Leekfish and her friend bailed, understandably wanting to sleep that night. Meanwhile, I was peer pressured into taking my friends for a 3 hour drive to spend 2 hours at an arcade.
Horse News exclusive photo of Calpain's back without a white coat on.
Don’t get me wrong, the arcade was cool and it was really fun hanging out with Calpain in person, but we got back at 3:30 am and the vendor’s room was supposed to open at 8 am. It was especially annoying when I realized that the arcade actually would have been on the way to Ohio from Florida and we had time to burn on Thursday, but I talked to Calpain about it the next day and he was very open to the idea of moving the time next year.
Perhaps we could even make it a big meetup for people driving to Trotcon next year!
On Sunday I took a bet that the vendor's room would open late again and only woke up at 7:30 am to get ready and put our non-vendor related luggage in the car. Surprise surprise, it ended up opening late again. Apparently I had made it just late enough to be on time, and the vendor’s room opened around 9:30 am. This time the vendor’s room was slow, but actually steady. I’m still weirded out that I made more sales Sunday than I did Saturday. The fans were still blowing, but there were 3 of them this time, making the room a bit more bearable. Shockingly enough very few people asked for discounts, which is always a pleasant surprise. Even the few that did ask didn’t push it when I told them no on certain items.
See if you can find my table in this photo. Spoilers: you can’t, because it’s in the back corner that a lot of people skipped over. And yes, the entire vendor’s room is in this photo.
Quite a few vendors left the vendor’s room early, which ended up being their loss since sales picked up. M.A. Larson and Peter New visited us again, although it’s noteworthy that only Peter New and his crew seemed to notice the sad little corner I was in. New took the time to visit most of the tables again and seemed to have a real jones to talk to all the vendors, which is always nice.
He made this face to every vendor he greeted. Photoshop it however you please.
And with the vendor’s room closing on Sunday that about ends my personal experience with Trotcon. Oh sure, I got a free giant Tirek poster from an abandoned Enterplay table and sold a gently used plushie to someone last minute after the room closed, but overall the place was pretty empty with not much going on besides closing ceremonies. With that, my vendor friends and I hit the adorable German part of town for some baked goods and bar food before heading out.

I wasn’t kidding when I said this part of town is adorable. Regrettably there was even a German Brewery section of Columbus that we totally missed. Maybe next year.
Overall, the con was both fun and exhausting. After counting up my sales I would definitely do it again if it doesn’t interfere with other conventions. A word to those of you whose top priority at brony conventions is meeting show staff: Seeing the guests at Trotcon was WAY less intimidating than Bronycon and ultimately made the experience more memorable whenever I got the chance to talk to them. For those that refuse to go to smaller brony conventions, I’d say give this one a chance next year before making up your mind. You may be surprised by just how much fun you can have without having to walk a mile in-between panels and concert halls.
Some last things to note here before I sign off:
  •        Nearly every single character I made sold at least once… except for Twilight Sparkle. Meanwhile Applejack sold out early Sunday. Twi, if you could just hand over your wings to AJ and make her a princess, that would be great.
  •         Trotcon is not a great place to sell larger and more expensive items UNLESS you sell plushies or Rainbow Power keys.
  •         Even though Pony Toast was broke by the end of Friday night, he still managed to get booze throughout the weekend. Anyone needing free booze during Bronycon should probably ask him for tips.
  •         Despite being a VIP, Silver Slinger was not guided towards the VIP party on Friday, and in fact a few of the staff actually hindered his way before he gave up.
  •         Apparently Darkly Cute got drunk off her ass before and after her wedding. All I can personally confirm is that she was running around trying to get registration starting on time Thursday night and that she also checked on my table Sunday. I didn’t see her in the hotel bar Friday night.
  •         After a long, fun weekend I can confirm that I ship at least one additional fandom couple together. You know who you are. ;)
  •         If you’re looking to work for WeLoveFine as a full time artist, you should probably just give up and find an individual printer so that you can make a much more reasonable cut of the shirt sales. They aren’t looking to hire, they’re looking to use art from contests and pay a small percent of the shirt sales to each artist. It’s not exactly going to pay the bills even if your art is fucking fantastic. Contact Capper General if you want more details on other printing options.
  •         On a completely unrelated note, We Love Fine can suck Leekfish’s clit multiple times over. Or whatever the female equivalent of sucking dick is.
  •         If you liked this article maybe you could check out my Twitter or my Etsy store? Y-you know, if you want to… baka.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go roll around in my filthy shekels before I pay the bills and start cramming out Bronycon stock. Later faggots! (No really, the hotel parking lot kept giving gold dollar coins as change, and then people gave their coins to me. Shekels everywhere!)

Comments (19)

  1. neat, might hit up the next trotcon

  2. I have high hopes for bronycon. Luckily, I have no craft skills whatsoever, so I won't be spending a majority of my time in the vendor hall.

  3. i really want to go to BUCK but it's freaking 80 quid. Don't get me wrong i do have the opportunity (my family is meant to be going to England for a wedding or something) the very week buck is on at so i have a good chance of going to it. but unless some one is willing to donate to the "desperate teenager brony looking for some fun" charity and donate a minimum of £300 i'm stuck in Ireland :(

    P.S why the heck is it £80 for a standard ticket? BronyCon isn't even that expensive and that's the largest convention out there! Do the English forget how currency exchange works?

    P.P.S why isn't there an irish brony convention? :/

    1. Holy shit! That's over $136 USD as of this writing! What are they smoking?!

      People were annoyed enough when we tacked $5 onto the badge to cover cost increases; I don't even want to imagine the outrage a $100+ BronyCon badge would incite.

    2. Go read the interview they did on here and you'll see why it's fucking expensive as fuck. They are a bunch of stuck up brits living in their own bubble, thinking spending $150,000 on venue hire is smart.

    3. I dunno about Irish brony conventions, but there is a Google+ group for Irish Bronies.

  4. 1) I saw that license plate in the parking garage, ha! :D
    2) Oh man, PerlerPony? That Chrysalis was one of the raddest things I saw all weekend!
    3) I am so mad I never saw Calpain. I couldn't even confirm that he was there, and I spent the whole weekend hanging around someone who wanted to meet him and sign his coat. :(

  5. Look at those sick lats on Calpain

  6. Ahah I was going to sell in the artist alley but ended up not feeling up to the trek this year. I'm sorta glad I didn't if sales were slower this year than last because I barely covered cost last year even though it was fun. In general just glad I didn't sweat my butt off this year. I'll probably plan for 2015 though. I do dig those custom hotel keys.

  7. Your work is really good! Also you look cute in that pic in case no one has mentioned!

  8. Why do I get a feeling both Larson and Peter New hate our guts? Brony and horsefucker alike.

    1. I dunno about Larson because I didn't get the chance to talk to him during this convention, but New seemed like a cool bro that didn't give much of a fuck to what others thought of him.

    2. Larson is trying to hit up more pony conventions. Take that however you want.

    3. They really don't. It's mostly just you they hate.

  9. Finally gave in and read the whole thing. Was fun.

  10. a grill on teh internet impossible