A tattoo convention is a festive occasion for the tattoo community. This is where tattooists attend to promote their work, and others go for a visit to buy tattoo stuff and get a tattoo from their favorite tattooist. As fun as it sounds, it may not be for everyone because of the cost. That concerns both tattoo artists and visitors.
There are various types of costs (i.e., booth fees, staff expenses, etc.) that tattoo artists have to bear to attend a convention. Since it demands a high budget, they charge extra for their tattoos during the show than they typically do at their tattoo shops.
If you have never been to a tattoo convention, you need more details about it. Find all of them as you scroll down.
What Is A Tattoo Convention?
A tattoo convention refers to a meetup of tattoo businesses, tattoo artists, and tattoo enthusiasts. Hundreds of individuals working in this field get together from different parts of a country and the world. They meet in a specific place for the experience of live tattooing, which continues for 3 days. Some tattooists sell various products, whereas some arrange seminars to discuss relevant topics.
What Is The Reason For Organizing A Tattoo Convention?
The reason for organizing a tattoo convention is the same as other typical ones. It is like a network station where enthusiasts and visitors get to know and exchange their views.
For instance, if you are a tattoo enthusiast, you might want to meet a certain tattooist that you idolize. Or you might have your dream tattoo done by a prominent artist. If that is the case, a tattoo convention could be just the place for you.
A tattoo convention presents a golden opportunity for people to meet and greet world-famous tattoo artists. Some are collectors who get tattoos from specific artists as a hobby. They often wait eagerly for the convention.
In addition, small and new tattoo parlors can utilize their chance to join the convention by engaging with potential clients and expanding their target market. They can also collab with professional tattoo artists to learn and get more experience. When experts hold seminars and symposiums, they can get important tattoo-related information. That will benefit them in their work.
As people sharing the same passion gather here, it gives them a memorable and informative experience with each other.
What Are The Typical Arrangements In A Tattoo Convention?
Apart from the regular events regarding tattooing, a convention also arranges different activities for its people to enjoy. For instance:
You will see multiple contests at a typical and standard convention where tattoo collectors and tattooists exhibit their expertise to achieve a prize. The competition has specific tattoo themes like the best circle tattoo, the best Japanese tattoo style, etc.
The most anticipated contest is where participants present their work, and the judges select the best one from them. The winner’s tattoo gets the title of the best tattoo of the day.
Here, you will see the artwork of reputed tattoo artists in the exhibitions. Sometimes the convention keeps it as a competition while other times, it is simply a regular arrangement of the show.
A Place For Setting Up Stalls
Each tattoo convention holds stalls for tattooists and visitors. If you are a visitor, you can purchase a dress or other stuff. If you are an artist, you can look for accessories like tattoo inks.
You may also find established tattoo parlors, brands, and artists selling their own products.
Are Tattoo Conventions Cheaper?
That is not even all. If the program is in a different country, there will be costs for work visas and work permits. So, it won’t be an overstatement if I say it requires a fortune to make it to a convention for a tattoo artist, especially an emerging one. Due to these expenses, tattooists often prefer pre-booking the show to get guaranteed work during the convention.
Are Tattoos At Conventions Cheaper?
Again, no. Tattoos at conventions are not cheaper for the same reason why the show is not cheaper.
If anything, you will have to spend more on a tattoo at a convention than you would have to at a tattoo parlor. As I already explained, attending the show is a big-budget plan. So, tattooists charge extra during the convention to recover their expenses and make some profit.
Also, not only can you not even think of bargaining but also be prepared to pay a handsome tip to the artist. Some might have thought getting a tattoo at a convention would be cheaper or free of cost. But that is not how it works.
However, if budget is not a matter for you, and you want quality, getting tattooed at conventions will be wise. Since artists go there with the aim of showcasing their expertise and promoting their business, they will give their best to make your tattoo. So you can be sure that paying extra for your tattoo will not be wasteful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get a tattoo in a tattoo convention?
Of course, you can get a tattoo in a tattoo convention. But I suggest you not to get your hopes high because many people go there for a tattoo. So you might need to wait and be patient until your turn comes.
Is there an age limit to participate in the convention?
Yes, there is an age limit. One must be more than 18 years old with legitimate identification to participate in the convention and get a tattoo.
The minimum age is 16 if the host country is a member of the EU. But you will have to go there with someone 18+. It is also applicable to particular states in the USA.
What should the first-time visitors keep in mind before going to a tattoo convention?
The most important thing is to go with cash, not cards. There are ATM booths at conventions, but their fees are exceptionally high. Besides, the transaction limit is small.
There will be a long queue for sure. So, the odds are there will not be much money when it is your turn. The best option to avoid that hassle is to bring enough cash. (This also applies to food. You might have to starve throughout your visit due to the long lines in front of the food stalls. Bringing your own food will help a lot in that regard.)
Secondly, and apparently, there will be loud noise due to buzzing tattoo devices, music, and hundreds of people conversing with each other. The contests and seminars will also add up to that.
If you plan to stay there for hours, you should keep earplugs or headphones. Otherwise, you may fall sick when the noise becomes excessive after a while.
Finally, getting a tattoo will grab the attention of other people. They will approach you to see your tattoo and comment on it. If that makes you anxious, maybe pass on the idea of getting a tattoo?
Is it possible to pre-book a visiting tattoo artist? If yes, how?
Yes. In fact, it would be a smart move to book an artist beforehand.
You will be one of many to want to get a tattoo from a tattoo artist. What if you miss a spot in the line? Since that is a huge possibility, you can try pre-booking your favorite tattooist in advance.
You can go through the artist list to contact and book them by paying a deposit. That will allow you to make a reservation for your tattoo.
But if that does not work for you, you can try going to the show early to approach your artist before others.
Is there any dress code?
No, there is no dress code. However, it is better to wear something simple, loose, and comfy, especially if you want to get a tattoo. Wearing layers will also be a good idea so that you can easily remove them while getting tattooed.
The main questions were whether tattoo conventions and tattoos at conventions were cheaper. Well, now you know they are not, and for good reasons. I also brought up other information and answered some commonly asked questions to give you the general concept of a tattoo convention.
Nonetheless, there are differences in the arrangements based on the hosting organizations. If you want to know the specifics of an imminent convention, you can visit its website and talk about it with local tattooists. You can get regular updates from different online community groups too.
I hope your experience at your first or next tattoo convention is one to remember. Best of luck!