If you’re a tattoo freak and want to meet some of your favorite tattoo artists, a tattoo convention is just the place to visit. Tattoo conventions have been around since 1976. Today, they are popular events where millions of people from around the world attend to see some of the most unique tattoos.
Tattoo enthusiasts can meet their idols and get a chance to get a cool tattoo as well. These conventions are obviously more fun and unique in contrast to regular business conventions.
Tattoo conventions an opportunity for up-and-coming tattoo artists, as well as potential clients, to meet each other and gain inspiration. They can meet their favorite tattoo artists, visiting from the other side of the world.
This may all seem very exciting to you, but before you go ahead and buy a ticket to an upcoming tattoo convention, you must know what to expect there and the right way to attend it.
To help you out, here is a small guide on going to tattoo conventions. We’ll also cover if it’s appropriate for you to get a tattoo while you’re there.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Tattoo at a Convention
Tattoo conventions are a fun event to attend, but there are always two sides to every large-scale event. You might want to get a tattoo at the convention, but to help you figure out if it’s the right place to get one, here are a few pros and cons.
Pros of Getting a Tattoo at a Convention
You Will Come across Famous Tattoo Artists
If you’re a true tattoo enthusiast and make it on tattoo artists’ fan lists, a tattoo convention is a perfect place to visit.
You get a chance to meet some famous tattoo artists, and who knows? Maybe even a tattoo by them. To get a tattoo by one of your favorite artists, you’ll have to book a slot in advance by choosing specific tattoo artists who will be there.
This is also a good chance for up-and-coming tattoo artists to learn different tattooing tips and tricks from professional tattoo artists. These tips can help them build a great career in tattoo artistry.
Tattoo conventions are perfect for up-and-coming tattoo artists. At a convention, they can talk to and learn from skilled tattoo artists.
In fact, many experienced tattoo artists speak about what they have learned throughout their careers at these conventions. Other than getting a tattoo, these conventions are more like a learning experience.
However, make sure to ask valid questions as you will only get a few minutes to speak with them. After all, they will be busy throughout the convention. If you’re lucky enough, you can have a personal chat with them as well.
Get the Chance to Party/Enjoy
Some tattoo conventions turn into a party with good music, drinks, and tattoo artists building the vibe. This is both a pro and a con as it can get too wild and can lead to consequences like violence or assault.
Such incidents prevent tattoo artists from focusing on the tattooing process and learning new techniques. Similarly, such distractions may prevent you from getting a good tat.
Cons of Getting a Tattoo at a Convention
You will come across millions of people as tattoo convections happen very rarely, so you should expect a large crowd and lots of noise. Due to large crowds, security becomes a great concern.
There will be many pickpocketing instances or even the sale of fake tickets. If you plan to go, you have to be very late, and if large crowds make you very anxious, then a tattoo convention might not be the best place for you to get a tattoo.
Going to a tattoo convention means preparing a hefty budget, as tickets for this event are quite expensive. Many famous artists from around the world come to attend.
Therefore, a trip to a convention will involve numerous expenses, such as hotel stay and traveling fees, which makes tickets quite pricey. You will definitely pay more for a tattoo at a convention than you would by going to a tattoo parlor.
Not to mention, you have to tip them as well. So if you want to save money, then it’s probably best if you get a tattoo privately as opposed to at a convention.
Are Tattoos More Expensive At a Convention?
Tattoo artists take advantage of conventions as a way to come up and make some good money. As millions of people attend this convention, artists have a chance to charge higher prices.
Most tattoo artists charge on an hourly basis, whereas some keep a flat day rate. So yes, getting a tattoo by going to a convention will be more expensive than going for one to a tattoo parlor.
When getting a tattoo, especially for the first time, remember to keep two main factors in mind: money and quality.
Tattoo conventions are quite crowded and very noisy. This can compromise the quality of your tattoo as the artist will be in a hurry to attend to all the customers in line. If you really want to get a tattoo by a specific artist at a convention, go for it after seeing if it’s worth the price.
But it’s recommended to book an appointment with them privately in their parlor.
What Should You Expect?
A lot more happens at tattoo conventions than just getting tattoos. As mentioned earlier, these conventions are amazing for both tattoo artists and potential clients who love learning about new art styles and techniques.
As a client, you get the chance to meet some of your favorite tattoo artists. You can also get a tattoo from them. For this, you may have to book a slot in advance.
Tattoo artists get a chance to show off their skills and meet potential clients. This explains why they plan to put on their best show and attract people to their work.
You will see examples of their work on their stall. Veteran tattoo artists may be on a panel to talk about different tattoo styles and techniques. You can expect to meet them privately for a few minutes if you’re lucky enough.
After all, the artists are quite occupied during these conventions.
You will come across many tattoo collaborations in which a group of famous tattoo artists gets together, create a unique name for their team and carry out different tattoo designs at the convention together.
You will come across many shop vendors offering clothing, accessories, and tattoo supplies. The clothes are interesting apparel as they link to tattooing themes. So this gives you a mini shopping experience at the convention. Surely, you will end up buying something.
This is the best place to find some of the best tattoo inks that you usually don’t get at common stores.
You will find a big crowd here as millions of people attend this convention. This may annoy you as people can sometimes become very rowdy, and with the influence of alcohol and drugs, things can get a bit complicated.
If you’re the type of person who hates large crowds, you might want to reconsider before attending a tattoo convention. Regardless of the things that could go wrong at a tattoo convention, it can be one of the best experiences for a real tattoo lover.
After all, you learn a lot and get the opportunity to meet some inspirational tattoo artists.
Things to Do Before Going to a Tattoo Convention
Before attending a tattoo convention, and to have the best experience, you must keep a few things in mind and prepare yourself accordingly. Mentioned below are a few things you should do and keep with you during the tattoo convention.
1. Keep Extra Cash
Before going, make sure to carry extra cash, so you don’t have to run around looking for ATMs. While you will come across many, they will have long lines. You will want to buy things from vendors and obviously pay for your tattoo if you plan to get one.
Hence, save yourself the embarrassment and regret, and carry enough money with you to make it through the whole convention.
2. Take Some Snacks
There will be food on sale at the tattoo convention, but the long lines will definitely make you lose your appetite. Hence, to keep yourself hydrated and your stomach full during the convention, carry snacks with you.
Conventions get too crowded, which can sometimes make you a bit sick, especially when you’re getting your tattoo. So equip yourself with food and eat something before getting a tattoo.
3. Stay Comfortable
You will probably be at the convention for a long time, so you must wear something comfortable, especially if you plan to get tattooed. You will want to wear something appropriate and easy to remove when getting a tattoo in a specific place. Of course, keep in mind that a lot of people will be looking at you.
4. Make the Appropriate Bookings
If you plan to get a tattoo, you must schedule an appointment with a specific artist in advance. This way, you won’t miss out on getting a tattoo at the convention. Check the artist lineup before going so that you know it’s worth attending the tattoo convention.
Hopefully, this article will help you prepare for your first tattoo convention. There is a lot to expect there, and you surely will have a great time if you go to the right one. If you are a tattoo lover or someone who wants to excel their skills in this industry, then you should definitely experience a tattoo convention.