Certainly during the summer period there are tattoo conventions in each country every week. If you want to have a tattoo, but you can’t seem find a suitable artist in your neighborhood for the project you have in mind, these conventions are the perfect opportunity. Each fair has 50 to 600 or more tattoo artists, depending on the size of the convention. These artists come from all around the world and this gives you a unique opportunity to have a tattoo done by the best artists.
Each tattoo convention is different, depending on the preferences of the organizers. Some focus primarily on the entertainment, which ensures that you will not get bored for more than 2 seconds. Freak shows, lingerie fashion shows, fire-breathing models and more will hold your attention throughout your visit to the convention. Often these types of exhibitions are quite busy and they may get a commercial feeling. Either you like or don’t.
Other organizers mainly focus on the tattooing business itself. Although you will find less or even no entertainment at all at such conventions, they are quieter and you can fully focus on the main purpose of a tattoo convention, presenting the tattoo artists. Personally, I am in favor of these conventions. These conventions have a less commercial feeling and give you enough breathing space, especially if you are lying down, getting tattooed.
Although conventions normally have access to food and drinking spots, you should take enough with you if you are planning to get tattooed. Not all conventions focus equally in the food they offer and sometimes there will only be access to things like a sandwich with cheese. Personally, I always take music with me to put into my ears. If you’re getting tattooed on a convention, you will be watched by people passing by in any case, so if you do not feel comfortable with this, it is better to be distracted by a bit of music. It can also be noisy at a convention, so talking with your artist is not always very practical.
A tattoo convention lasts two to three days, from Friday to Sunday or only Saturday and Sunday. For many artists, a convention is kind of mini holiday, away from their own shop and home city. That is why they will usually choose to only do designs that are completely in their own style. So, a convention may not be the ideal place for the idea that you picked yesterday from Google and want to copy exactly like that (but as I said in previous posts, you should never do that anyway). A tattoo artist who goes to a tattoo convention will be booking in the appointments in advance if he likes the ideas of the customers and will also prepare designs to present on his table at the convention that he had wanted to do for a whole year already. Usually these designs are also offered at a reasonable price, to make the offer attractive to the people passing by. So if you have in mind exactly what you want and what artist you want this to be done by, it’s for the best that you send an email a while before the convention has starts. This way you can book an appointment and you are sure that you will effectively get a tattoo done by this artist.
Personally, I often just walk around at a tattoo convention and choose something that appeals to me on the moment itself, I then check the portfolio on Instagram or on the website and ask if he still has time available for me. No time is just bad luck. The nice thing about choosing a design at the moment itself is not only that you do not know what you will go home with in advance, but also that you choose something that the artist really wants to do and so you will most likely get a mega awesome tattoo. If tattoos still need to have a lot of meaning for you before you put them on your skin, then this probably will not be suitable for you. For me personally tattoos have no meaning, as long as they look great!
What you shouldn’t forget on a tattoo convention is that you will have to pay an entrance ticket and that you will have to bring enough cash. Tattoo conventions are often located outside the city center and you will not always have an ATM available in the neighborhood.