Artists' Alley FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions regarding the Anime Boston Artists' Alley. Please be aware that all artists must read and comply with all instructions, rules, and policies listed here. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the Artists' Alley. If you have any questions, please post on our Artists' Forum or contact the Artists' Alley Manager.

Artists' Alley Application and Registration Phases

  1. How/When do I rent table space in the Artists' Alley?
  2. How old do I have to be to rent table space?
  3. What do I get with the rental of table space?
  4. What are the space sizes and prices?
  5. Should I get 3, 4, 6, or 8 feet of space?
  6. Do I need a convention membership badge and how do I get one?
  7. What is an Artists' Alley badge and why do I need one?
  8. Do I need a Tax ID to sell in Massachusetts? How and where do I get it?
  9. Can I get a refund?
  10. How do I get on the Reserve List and what are my chances?
  11. I didn't get a table. What can I do now?

Setting Up and Managing Your Artists Alley Space

  1. Can I get space in both the Dealers Room and the Artists' Alley?
  2. How do I check in and what happens if I don't?
  3. Can I come in early to set up and what is the schedule for the Alley?
  4. Are there limits to the number of people/chairs I can list/have at my space?
  5. Can I get electricity?
  6. Are there restrictions on what I can sell or use?
  7. Can I sell adult material?
  8. What constitutes 'adult material'?
  9. Can I sell fanart?
  10. Can I send someone else to the con to sell my work?
  11. What are some other rules I can get in trouble for if I don't follow them?
  12. What are the Legal Provisions of participating in the Artists' Alley?

1. How/When do I rent table space in the Artists' Alley?
There are two ways to get into the Artists' Alley. The first is a special opportunity called Pro Row which will work the same as the standard Artists' Alley Application (formerly known as the Letter of Intent or LOI). Details can be found on the Artists' Alley Pro Row page.

The second is the standard Artists' Alley Application. Both formats will work as described below, but will have different purchasing options and prices and will occur at different times. Each one WILL be treated as a separate application. The process is as follows:

Renting table space in the Artists' Alley is a two-phase process, done on the Anime Boston website. The date when the application becomes available will be announced on the website. When the application date arrives, the link will be available on the Artists' Alley page.

Phase One: Application
Fill out an Artists' Alley Application. This web form processes your name, email, country, and space desires/requirements and is sent to the Artists' Alley staff. If a foreign Artist may have difficulty obtaining the Exhibitor Tax ID in the time allotted, they may be passed over for space. The data is collected in a database so the staff can sort it and see what kind of space demands need to be met. This method will also allow individuals to keep applying without overbooking the alley before staff can determine if there is enough space. This process will be done via lottery. Applicants will have one week to apply, before they close again.

If you absolutely know that you cannot be online during that day, you can appoint someone else to submit your application for you - but you must make sure that they put it in your name with your email address. There will be no passing off of 'places in line'.

Phase Two: Registration
This phase will occur at a later point in time (not the same day). An email will be sent to each individual who completed the Artists' Alley Application and has been accepted into the Artists' Alley. It will have a link to confirm the status of the initial application and proceed with the registration form. Once you have received the link to the Artists' Alley registration form, there is no need to rush through it, as you have a 3 day window from the date when your email notification was sent to fill it out. Make sure all info on your confirmation screen is correct. If you have recently purchased a membership, or if you notice any errors and need to change the information detailed on the confirmation screen, please stop filling out the Registration form and contact the Artists' Alley Manager with the needed changes. The Artists' Alley Manager will correct any discrepancies and resend the link at which time your three day window will restart.

The Artists' Alley registration form requests further, more detailed information regarding your needs as an Artist. Please make sure to go through the entire form and fill it out as thoroughly and correctly as possible. All Artists' Alley information for badges, the online map, etc. will be pulling directly from the form. If you misspell your name or website, it will show up exactly that way. If you are unsure about something (the names of helpers, for instance) you can always fill it in later by contacting the Artists' Alley Manager. After filling out the form, you will then proceed directly to the payment process. After completing the payment process, you will have booked your space.

Artists' Alley Registration may have multiple rounds. If you hear about people who have confirmed space in the Alley and you have not heard yet, please don't panic. Some people will ultimately choose less space than they initially thought they would need, and the Artists' Alley Manager will be able to open it back up for another round. Each round will take a minimum of 4 days (3 for the deadline window and at least 1 for staff to process the next round.)

Please note: when the Artists' Alley has become full, the application form filled out in Phase One will also be serving as the Reserve List. You will be notified when that happens. If the Alley roster is already in Reserve List status, the Artists' Alley manager will not be sending out an update saying that you are on the Reserve List.

2. How old do I have to be to rent table space?
All artists must be at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of applying for space in the Artists' Alley.

This change was initially made to address maturity and responsibility issues stemming from some artists under the age of 18. Now, because of the Exhibitor Tax ID requirements from the state of Massachusetts, we must ensure that all participants are at least 18 years of age for tax and legality purpose.

3. What do I get with the rental of table space?
You get the linear space at a table you have rented and you get the amount of chairs appropriate for that space. You - and any of your fellow artists/assistants also at your space - will get an Artists' Alley badge. This is not the same as a convention badge!

You do not automatically get a convention badge. You do not get tablecloths, walls, extra tables, easels or clothing racks. You do not necessarily get electricity.

4. What are the new space sizes and prices and why did you change them?
The standard space sizes and prices are as follows:

Space Size Space Price
3 Feet $120.00
4 Feet $160.00
6 Feet $240.00
8 Feet $475.00

In our new location, we have a very limited access to 8 foot tables. Our experience in previous years has shown that giving the 8 foot option to standard sign ups gives an unrealistic expectation that we can process more than a mere handful of these. As such, 8 foot spaces will only be available to Pro Row Artists. In addition, we will no longer sell spaces that will span multiple tables due to stability (and therefore safety) issues.

5. Should I get 3, 4, or 6 feet of space?
This is sort of subjective. Most new artists - at least new print artists - won't need more than 3 feet of space. Artists who are veterans and have spent some time building up stock will likely need at least 6 feet.

Here is a picture guide to give you a sample of what that amount of space actually looks like while in use. You can also use it to try to plan what kind of setup you want to use:

As you can see, there are standing flip books, laid out on table browsing books, book stands, sign stands in the back, cubes also in the back with items hanging off them, and so forth. You can also get ideas in the forums about the best ways to maximize your space.

6. Do I need a convention membership badge and how do I get one?
The Anime Boston membership, which includes a convention badge, must be purchased yearly by everyone, including artists, to be able to attend Anime Boston. You will not be allowed to enter the Hynes Convention Center or participate in the Artists' Alley unless you have one.

There are two (2) ways for an artist to get a membership badge:

  1. You can pre-register for a badge prior to Artists' Alley signup. We suggest doing this only if you plan to attend the convention anyway, regardless of whether or not you rent space in the Artists' Alley. However, if you are worried about price hikes and want to ensure the lowest membership rate before you sign up for table space, and if you want to ensure that you have purchased a membership in the event that you are unable to be assigned table space, this is the way to go. You will pay the current membership price, as listed on our Registration Rates page.
  2. You also have the option of purchasing a membership along with your space rental. This is the recommended approach. In fact, if you say that you have not purchased a membership in the Application phase, the subsequent finalization of your purchase will automatically add one (1) and only one (1) convention membership badge in your name (and only your name) at an additional cost of TBD. This price will not increase if it is purchased at the same time as the table space, no matter if the current price as listed on our Registration Rates page has increased. REMEMBER: Do not purchase a badge prior to paying for your table space unless you intend to attend anyway.

All of your assistants and helpers are responsible for purchasing their own badges. Assistants' badges will not be included in the table sign up. They will be required to purchase their own convention badge at the current price at that time. Their names are only listed in the sign up as notification to the Artists' Alley Manager, in order for her to create the Artists' Alley badges.

Although some convention membership badges may say "Artist" on it (we try to make sure all of them do) instead of "Attendee", this is not an Artists' Alley badge!

7. What is an Artists' Alley badge and why do I need one?
An Artists' Alley badge is a courtesy badge that is included with your table rental; there is no extra cost to you or your assistants. As long as we know about them, one badge is automatically added for each person you list as an assistant at your table.

We use the Artists' Alley badge for early admittance into the Artists' Alley only. The Artists' Alley badge does not grant early admittance to any other event at the convention!

All artists and assistants must have an Artists' Alley badge to be able to sit at their rented space without being questioned by the staff. The Artists' Alley staff uses these badges to make sure that someone has not stolen your space simply by walking up to it and setting up his or her stuff. It is quite simple - if someone does not have an Artists' Alley badge, he or she does not belong at a table. We will check. If we cannot see your badge, we will ask to see it. If you do not have a badge, you will be asked to check in to get one. If it is found that you do not belong, you will be asked to leave.

8. Do I need a Tax ID to sell in Massachusetts? How and where do I get it?
Yes. A Massachusetts Tax ID is mandatory for all participants in the Artists' Alley. Read the Exhibitor Tax ID page for more information.

9. Can I get a refund?
You can get a refund for your space rental only if you contact us no later than 1 month prior to the convention. All Convention Badge registrations are non-refundable no matter how they were purchased.

Special Refund Rules for Pro Row can be found here.

10. How do I get on the Reserve List and what are my chances?
If you have sent in an Artists' Alley Application through the web form and if we were not able to provide you with table space during the initial table allocation, then you are already on the Reserve List.

Your chances will vary. While space allocation is determined by lottery, the demands of space needed by each artist will determine who receives the remaining spaces as the available spaces are filled. For example, if we have a three foot space cancellation, only people who are willing to work in a three foot space will be contacted.

11. I didn't get a table. What can I do now?
Unfortunately, the space for the Artists' Alley is limited and not all applicants are guaranteed a table. However, sometimes accepted artists are willing to share. In the [inevitable] event that the Artists' Alley is full, table sharing is permitted. However, there are several ground rules that must be followed by both the renter of the table and the artist borrowing space.

Once the Artists' Alley has been fully booked, a thread will be started in the Anime Boston forum where artists can request or offer table space. This thread will be started by the Artists' Alley Manager, so please wait for it. Be reasonable in your requests - you are more likely to receive 2 feet of space than 6 feet.

  • Artists MAY NOT CHARGE more than $20 for every 1 foot of space. Tables may NOT be sublet for profit.
  • The same space rules still apply, INCLUDING the amount of people per table.
  • The artist who originally rented the table must contact the Artists' Alley Manager to inform her of the sale and provide the information of the artist who is sharing space. (Required information: Name, badge name if they want one, and birth date)
  • The artist who is sharing the space with the original renter of the space MUST ALSO:
    • Register for an EIN with the IRS and fill out a tax form with Massachusetts
    • Check in with the Artists' Alley Info desk as normal.

12. Can I get space in both the Dealers Room and the Artists' Alley?
No. When space is in such demand, it is not fair to the other artists who were not able to get space in the Artists' Alley for you to be in multiple places.

13. How do I check in and what happens if I don't?
Checking in is really easy. After picking up your pre-registered convention badge, and during check in times, you need to go up to the Artists Alley in the Hynes. There, at the Artists' Alley information desk, you will talk to a staff member. Present your convention badge so that the staff member can read your name. To make this easier, we recommend taking the badge off and handing it to the staff member. You will be checked in and your Anime Boston 2016 and Artists' Alley badges will be handed to you.

All parties at your table must check in since each convention badge must be checked. Only one person from your rented space needs to check in for that space to be considered 'checked in'. Your space must be checked into by 10AM Saturday or it will be put out for rental with no refund of your table fee.

If you are at your table when it is put back up for rental, having not checked in properly, you will be asked to leave so that the new renters can take possession of the table.

14. Can I come in early to set up and what is the schedule for the Alley?
Yes, but only as scheduled. If the schedule says 6 PM, that does not mean you can come in at 5 PM. Hynes Public Safety has the schedule and will stop you from entering.

Early setup will only be allowed if you have already picked up your convention badge. Only pre-registered people can pick up badges on Thursday night before the convention starts. If you have others at your table and you want them to come in early with you, make sure they have pre-registered and that we know their names.

Here is the schedule:

Artists Set-up:

  • Thursday: 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
  • Sunday: 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Artists Take-down:

  • Friday: 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 PM to 11:00PM
  • Sunday: 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Hours of Operation:

  • Friday: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Check-in deadline:

  • Saturday: 10:00 AM

Make sure you are capable of cleaning up within the allotted time. The room cannot be locked up until you leave, and we can't leave until the room is locked up. If the allotted time for clean up is not enough time for you, we suggest you start before the specified times.

In the past, we did a poll on the hours for the Artists' Alley. We found that most people like the versatility of the long hours but would like a more rounded number.

Also, we are altering the Thursday setup times due to issues we had previously when setting up the room. Trying to resolve those issues and process artists at the same time actually complicated things to a point where it was almost unfixable.

Note: Your friend or relative who will not be attending the con can NOT help you set up on Thursday. ONLY badged people are allowed into the Hynes while staff is still setting up. This is for security reasons.

15. Are there limits to the number of people/chairs I can list/have at my space?
YES. We allow two people per 2 foot space.

Two feet is not a lot of room. One chair can fit in there. We do not provide two chairs per two foot space so you can all be behind your table, but so you can take breaks, use the bathroom, get food, see a panel, check out the rest of the Artists' Alley, or anything you would care to do at the convention or in the surrounding area. You basically take turns.

Space Available Maximum Chairs Allowed Total Individuals Allowed
8 Feet (Pro Row Only) Four (4) Eight (8)
6 Feet Three (3) Six (6)
4 Feet Two (2) Four (4)
3 Feet One (1) * Three (3) *

* All six foot tables will be allocated three chairs. Artists with three foot spaces at a six foot table will be able to share the additional chair between the themselves. Please be respectful of your neighbors in the use of this extra chair as it is also theirs.

In addition - if you have (for example) an 8 foot space and only two people listed on your Artists' Alley registration, we will assume YOU only need 2 chairs even if there is the the space for 4. If you do need additional chairs above the number of people associated, make sure to contact the Artists' Alley Manager.

16. Can I get electricity?
Yes, if you're willing to pay for it.

Due to being located in Hall C, electricity is now even available in a limited quantity unless you purchase a power drop. It won't matter where in the room you are, but if you tell us ahead of time, the cost is only $95 and you can split that with table mates or neighbors.

However, if you wait until the last minute pre-convention or at convention, the cost increases (you won't be paying us, you will be paying the convention center).

If you use electricity, all wires must be taped down with gaffer's tape anywhere anybody may trip over it (including yourself). NO OTHER TYPES OF TAPE will be accepted by the Hynes. Make sure you clean it up when you leave for the weekend. If you cannot find gaffer's tape in your local store, here are some links:

17. Are there restrictions on what I can sell or use?
Yes. Following is a list of what is allowed and what isn't allowed. Do not panic if you don't see what you what you are looking for; if it's not on either list, just contact the Artists' Alley Manager for clarifications on items allowed. You can sell just about anything you want at your table. The catch is that everything you sell must be your own work and your own designs and must not be mass produced.

For example, if you buy Hello Kitty products at a store, you cannot sell them at your table; instead, consider applying for a Dealer's room space. However, if you design a picture and send it out to be printed on a tee shirt and only have 30 tee-shirts printed, you would be eligible to apply for an Artists' Alley table.

**What can you sell**
  • CD's
  • Books
  • T-Shirts and other clothing
  • Bags
  • Bookmarks
  • Prints
  • Cards
  • Games
  • Costumes and Accessories
  • Plushies
  • Etched Glass
  • Chain Mail
  • Pins/Buttons
  • Posters
  • Face Painting
**What you cannot sell (or use in the Alley)**
  • Stickers or Vinyls (including Clings)*
  • Food**
  • Store bought Merchandise
  • Flammable items (such as chemicals)
  • Convection Ovens
  • Airbrushes
  • Weapons (of any kind of material, including cardboard and duct tape)
  • Heat guns
  • No piercing or permanent tattooing
  • No dental work
  • No machinery of any kind***
  • Images of copyrighted logos and trademarks

The Hynes Convention Center prohibits the following:

  • * Sale and/or distribution of stickers of any kind, whatsoever. This change is because previous exceptions lead to confusion and ultimately the no-sticker rule being broken which caused property damage to the Facilities. In order to better comply with the Facilities' requirements, all stickers of any kind are prohibited from being sold, including ordering at the convention for later delivery.
  • ** Sale or raffle of food of any kind (candy and drinks count).
  • *** If you think equipment you use should be allowed, contact the Artists' Alley Manager. If you bring it and decide to use it without checking with the Artists' Alley Staff, we will ask you to remove it.

Hynes Convention Center policies state that you may not attach anything to the walls; this includes, but is not limited to: tape, tacks, nails, gummy tack, and push pins! If you attach any materials to the walls, you will be required to remove them.

Hynes Convention Center prohibits the selling or distribution of stickers in any way for fear of vandalism. This means that Anime Boston has to prohibit it as well.

When securing wires to the floors, do not use any tape other than gaffer's tape.

18. Can I sell adult material?
Any artist with adult-related material must have it clearly marked, covered, and supervised at all times to ensure that no minors are viewing it. Naturally, this also means you cannot sell this material to minors. Artists are responsible for verifying the ages of potential customers of this art. Failure to comply could result in disciplinary action and repeated offenses may result in expulsion from the convention.

19. What constitutes 'adult material'?
Nudity and/or anything sexually explicit.

Clarifications: A man without a shirt or a woman in a bikini is all right. Otherwise, we ask that you use your best judgement. Play it safe and keep anything questionable with other adult material, and be prepared to remove anything we request you to remove. Please remember: we are a family friendly con.

20. Can I sell fanart?
Fanart is allowed. Please use the following guidelines as you prepare your art:

  • You are NOT allowed to copy, trace or in any way reproduce (either by hand or machine) an existing piece of art and sell it as your own.
  • Fanart MUST be an original design that utilizes your favorite characters.
  • We are not qualified to judge if you have changed a picture enough to make it your own. If you have only modified an existing image, please do not bring it. Use references as references ONLY and not as a base. If we can still recognize the original piece despite your modifications, we will ask you to take it off the table.
  • Many artists practice by copying art from their favorite series or books. This is an excellent way to learn; however, DO NOT BRING IT and DO NOT DISPLAY IT if you do. Avoid problems and avoid complaints by just leaving it home. It will not be an issue if nobody sees it. If you are found displaying it or selling it, you will be found in violation of the rules.
  • Our recommendation is to be safe and don't bring it at all. Even if we don't catch you, your fellow artists will. We pride ourselves on fostering a friendly and supportive artist community. Your fellow artists will feel like their own hard work was for nothing if they find others violating the above rules, so do NOT sell anything that isn't your own idea.

21. Can I send someone else to the con to sell my work?
Yes. We understand that events come up just before the convention and you don't want to lose your money; therefore, proxies are allowed, but you must contact the Artists' Alley Manager prior to the beginning of Anime Boston.

We do not allow an artist to sign up for multiple conventions the same weekend as Anime Boston and not show up at Anime Boston. Space is too limited to allow that and it is not fair to the other 300 artists who were not able to get space.

22. What are some other rules I can get in trouble for if I don't follow them?
Do not use any aliases during the sign-up process. Aliases are only used in a specific part of the table rental process. Anyone found signing up with an alias will lose their table and will not receive a refund. Anyone with an alias who slips through will get double-charged at pre-registration pick up because the alias you give will not match your drivers' license (or other acceptable state-issued identification) that you are required to present when you pick up your convention badge.

Do not pass your Anime Boston badge to someone else. If you have already purchased a convention registration prior to signing up for a table, then we need to know about it. You will have the opportunity to tell us before the completion of Phase 2. If you complete Phase 2 without telling us you have already purchased a convention registration, there will be no refund for a double purchase in your name. If you try to get around it by passing it on, we will cancel your registration.

The convention membersip registration and Artists' Alley table registration must match. This also means you cannot place a hold for someone else who is afraid they won't get in and then pass the table space off to them. The Artists' Alley Application serves that purpose and there is ample time to submit.

If you take money for a commission, you must deliver. It does not matter if you are a hobbyist or a professional - commitment is commitment and money has been exchanged. We can and will ban those who fail to follow through.

In continuation of the above: If you have quoted a customer one price for a piece, you cannot demand more money than has been agreed upon when they come to pick up the commission. If you feel that the piece is better than the price you quoted, you can raise your prices for the next patron who comes along, or ask your patron for permission to make and sell prints of the piece.

23. What are the Legal Provisions of participating in the Artists' Alley? INSURANCE - Artist acknowledges that neither Anime Boston, the New England Anime Society, Inc., the Hynes Convention Center, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the Sheraton Boston, nor Starwood Lodging Corporation maintains insurance covering Artist's property and it is the Sole Responsibility of Artist to obtain such insurance.

HOLD HARMLESS - Artist agrees to assume all risk, and to indemnify and hold harmless Anime Boston, The New England Anime Society, Inc., the Hynes Convention Center, the MCCA, the Sheraton Boston, Starwood Lodging Corporation, its Owners, their respective officials, subsidiaries, agents, affiliates, operators, officers, volunteers and employees (hereafter "the Indemnified Parties") from and against any and all claims, demands, defense costs, liability, expense, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with Anime Boston's or New England Anime Society's use of the leased premises or arising out of any act or omission of Anime Boston, New England Anime Society, or any of Anime Boston's or New England Anime Society's employees, agents, contractors, representatives, patrons, guests or invitees; excepting such claims, demands, defense costs, liability, expense, or damages arising out of the sole negligence of one or more of the Indemnified Parties.

RESPONSIBILITY - Artist assumes responsibility and agrees to defend the Indemnified Parties from and against any and all claims, demands, defense costs, liability, expense or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with Artist's, Anime Boston's, or New England Anime Society's use of the leased premises. Neither Anime Boston, New England Anime Society, nor the Indemnified Parties will be responsible for any injury, loss or damage that may occur to Artist, Artist's employees, or property from any cause whatsoever.

LIABILITY - Anyone visiting, viewing, or otherwise participating in Artist's exhibit is deemed to be the invitee or licensee of Artist, rather than the invitee or licensee of Anime Boston or New England Anime Society. Neither Anime Boston nor New England Anime Society shall be liable for any injury whatsoever to the persons conducting or otherwise participating in the conduct of Artist's exhibit or to invitees, licensees or guests of Artist. Artist assumes full responsibility for the actions of its agents, employees, or independent contractors, whether acting within or without the scope of their authority and agrees to hold harmless the Indemnified Parties from responsibility or liability resulting directly or indirectly, or jointly, from other causes which arise because of the actions or omissions of its agents, employees, or independent contractors.

WARRANTY - There is no other agreement or warranty between Artist and Anime Boston/New England Anime Society except as set forth in this document. The rights of Anime Boston and New England Anime Society under this contract shall not be deemed waived except as specifically stated in writing and signed by an authorized officer of Anime Boston or New England Anime Society. Any action which Anime Boston/New England Anime Society or Artist may bring against each other, based upon or in any way relating to this document or its performance, shall be brought in the Boston Municipal Court located within the County of Sufolk, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Anime Boston/New England Anime Society and Artist hereby waive all defenses concerning personal jurisdiction and/or venue in order to give effect to this provision.