kjflksjflsjf omg thank you so much. I usually book a table with my friend, epicteapot-extras (tumblr). We’ve only been in the AA two times, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to give good advice, haha orz. I think for display, the more you can get on or above the table, the better. One year we had posters in front of the table, and they were pretty hard to see. I know a lot of people use binders for their smaller prints, as well, to have more room to hang the large poster-size prints. For those, I would recommend getting either PVC piping or these grid-things (I can’t remember the name of them, but they look like http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/289/a/0/my_artist_alley_table_by_kiomynightmare-d4d27b8.jpg that and you can arrange them however you want. Usually we have prints hanging on either side and above us, and then we keep a cashbox and backstock behind the table. I keep my extra prints in a box! Usually we try to have clear plastic bags for people to put their prints in, although we didn’t last year. We try to cover the popular new animes in terms of fanart, Doctor Who and BBC Sherlock, and Adventure time in terms of variety, but classics are always a good choice, too! Basically, we try to go for the really memorable series, because those are the ones people will buy merchandise of (in our experience). As for stock, PortCon is a pretty small con; I don’t think I sold more than 10 or so of any one print, except for my TARDIS print which sold out super fast haha. But then again, we had a LOT of different prints, so this could change if you didn’t have as many designs as we did. I’m sorry I’m not really too helpful with stock, as I’m still trying to figure it out myself! I do believe PortCon has a cap on how many print designs you can stock, but I think as long as you’re quiet about it they won’t know, hahaha….
I would say for balancing work and con time, try to plan out events that you definitely want to go to, and then play the rest by ear. Definitely talk to other artists in the AA, everyone is so nice and it’s really great to see other peoples’ works. Sometimes you can even do art trades, haha, although not everybody does this. It just depends. But definitely make sure you have fun! And don’t forget to eat. Also, if you have friends, they can get badges to help out with the table, and they can watch your stuff while you eat, go to panels, etc.
I hope that helps! If it doesn’t, please feel free to ask more questions! Also, other AA-goers, if you have advice or disagree with mine, please feel free to chime in! I am still learning about AA myself, so my advice is not necessarily the best way to do things!