Con Etiquette: A few tips before coming to say “Hi!”

Whether it’s your first time coming to a Festival or your 72nd, it’s always good to keep some pointers in mind. Here are what we recommend doing to make the booth owners’, panelists’, organizer’s, and most importantly, your experience that much enjoyable.

1) Transactions

Gif by Sarah Coldheart, from

Shopping is part and parcel of the festival experience, but don’t let money matters get in the way of you enjoying yourself with these pointers:

Have cash on you – Most of your transactions are going to be in cash, so you’d want to be ready. Some booths may take PayLah or PayNow, but it’s always safer to keep cash on hand.

Have your cash in small change – As much as possible, unless you have the intention to buy a lot from a single stall. It’ll make the transaction go smoother and move the line along so that the festival doesn’t get a choked-pipe situation happening.

The nearest ATMs – Nearest ATMs around LASALLE can be found at Rochor MRT Station, Sim Lim Square, and Burlington Square.


2) Safety

The event organizers and location staff do their best to ensure that the crowd control is at its optimum. However, you can also help matters by taking note of the following:

Always take care of your belongings – What you carry on you and what you bring to the festival or anywhere is your responsibility. It might get crowded and fast-paced, so keep an eye on your stuff.

Take care your surroundings – Like we said, it might get crowded and messy. Take care to keep the traffic moving, especially when you’re just doing a quick browse. You can always head back later – your safety and the safety of others are important.

Recognize the volunteers – IAF has volunteers around to help if you need to look for a particular location, if you need help within the festival, or just for the bathroom. Say hi and thank them for their help when you can!


3) Market

Ah, where the heart of community is at. Also, where all the merchandise and artists gather. Walking through an artist alley is always fine, but there are some things to keep in mind to help support our artists:

Like what you see? Promote it! – Not with sales tweets or what not, but it wouldn’t hurt to recommend the IAF Market to your friends, especially when you see something they might like. More support for the artists you love mean that they’ll be able to do what they and you love for a longer period of time.

Bargaining is off the table – Artists work hard to give you the best price that will cover their costs but still remain accessible and affordable to their audience. At the end of the day, the prices are the prerogative of the artist.

Ask about their work! – If you’re interested in their art, and the artist is that their booth, ask about their other works, or tell them how much you like their work. It’s a great avenue to connect with other artists or creators you love.

Ask before taking photos of work – While we’re on the subject of asking, please ask the artist for permission before you take photos of their work – it’s both out of respect for the artist and for various copyright or censorship issues. Regardless, it’s always better to ask before you snap a photo of a specific piece of artwork or line of products.

Commissions take time – Should you be fortunate enough to commission an artist to draw something for you, ask if they take payment upfront or later. Know that commissions will take time, even sketches, so walk around a little while longer, listen in on a panel, or come back at the end of the day.


4) Panels

At the Illustration Arts Fest, we have a few panels and programmes for interested festival-goers. Apart from the fact that each panel is ticketed, here are some other aspects you’ll need to know:

Know which panel you’re going to – Different panels, different topics, different locations. While our volunteers are more than happy to help you with where you need to go, preparing and heading to your correct panel means you wait less.

Listen – This also means keeping your phone conversations outside (if you really need to), your devices to silent, and staying engaged with what the panelists want to say.

Ask questions – One of the ways to show your support or to show your interest in the topic. Just be sure that you’re asking a question and not telling your life story.

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Article written by Joelyn Alexandra