Wow, I just saw this thread, and I'm actually really glad to know I'm not alone with my AA problems.
For the past 2 years we have had consistent problems with a few shows. I've attended Akon for about 15 years now, and sold or showed in AA most of those years. My biggest problem with the alleys is simply getting help, from real staff. We've not made it into two important shows just because of lack of understanding or organization on the part of the staff. I remember last year, asking one manager in person if I could sign up for a local con held in February. He simply gave me his card and told me to email him after the show we were at and he'd help me out. Yeah, no. No table for us. What he failed to tell me was that there were only a few tables left. I dont know why he wouldnt just take my cash and let me sign a sheet right there.
Overall, conventions have little appeal for myself and my friends now, at least as fun getaways. The rambunctious kids make it very difficult to actually enjoy things. They bring their own problems to the alley as well. I dont know how to fix it without being unfair. If I were to ever run an alley, man, I'd be such a ball-buster on people who just want to loiter at tables and do nothing, hahaha.
Another thing I'd like personally, is to have dedicated staff members watching the alley at all times. We have had endless trouble finding staff when we needed help in the worst ways. We had a shoplifter, loud noises, kids who had their -entire family and friends' family- behind their table. I feel really bad because we tend to complain alot about poor behavior at cons. But, for people who are serious artists, comikers, jewelry people, these conventions help us make a living. It really hurts when the show is a bust due to lack of management and unruly behavior.
I try to be as professional as I can under pressure. I never mention any names because I dont really know names. I know one name, but someone else has already crossed that bridge on this post, and I will steer clear of it ^^;. I can only say that I agree, this person's style of managing the alleys is less than perfect.
I just want a table. At every Texas con. I love to see people smile when they see something they like. It's a really cool experience to connect with people who really like what you do.
It makes all the hard work totally worth it.