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Amsterdam Tattoo Convention

Amsterdam Tattoo Convention

TFI: Eva, we are on the last day of the Amsterdam Tattoo Convention 2005 – what are the stats?

Eva van der Haar: The first day we had about 100 visitors more than last year, yesterday was about the same as last year even though we had that power outage and today we are expecting the blast. [rem: there WERE a lot of people that Sunday!]

TFI: What power outage? We did not see anything going down here yesterday...

Eva van der Haar: There was a power outage on Friday and the better part of Saturday on the public transport system, so people had trouble getting here.

TFI: How about the number of artists. It looks bigger this year.

Eva van der Haar: Yes, last year we had about 80 artists and this year we have at least 110. We also got more room. There are two extra rooms in the west-wing.

Last year we started up slow. You don’t want to overdo it because Amsterdam did not have a tattoo convention for years and years, but after the response we had last year we said we can do it and get more people in.

TFI: How many staff do you have organizing the event and on the floor?

Eva van der Haar: The organizing group is four people and we got about 20 volunteers in for the floor every day.

TFI: What about the geographical reach?

Eva van der Haar: Well: we covered Europe, the US and Asia last year already. We got more artists in from Japan this year and we got artists from New Zealand now.

TFI: Talking about dealing with artists from other continents… We met some people that were in a European Tattoo Convention for the first time and they were surprised about a few things. What kind of requests or questions do you get from different parts of the world?

Eva van der Haar: Actually I have to say that APAC [Asia-Pacific] artists are very self-sufficient. They travel fully equipped and are prepared to the max. Americans seem to travel more resourceful, but if they can’t exactly find what they need we usually find an alternative. We did not get any requests that were a real nightmare, but what we do encounter is the surprises when it comes to opening times. Shops are just not 24/7 here and last night we had some people that needed something from a drug store and they were surprised that stores here are not open at 8PM.

TFI: What did you learn since the last Tattoo Convention?

Eva van der Haar: We had a problem with the heating last year. One room was too cold, another room was too hot, so this year we started the air conditioning at 5AM. All together our own administration got more efficient. We got dedicated people for each job now, so it makes it more clear whom you have to talk to.
All together I’m definitely less stressed this year and now when I look around I’m pretty happy. Of course there are always some things that can go better.

TFI: One of the things that strikes me as odd is that a beer (2 Euro) is cheaper than a Coke (3 Euro)

Eva van der Haar: Yes, that is because Heineken is one of the main sponsors of the RAI [the venue the convention was held in] and we had to give the catering out to the RAI otherwise the prices [for food and drinks] would have been much higher. We even lost some sponsoring because of that.

It is always stressful if you have to outsource to a different company, we also have to do this for the sound system and this is one of the things I find difficult this year, all the different groups you have to take into account.

TFI: Are you looking into different venues for the next year?

Eva van der Haar: Yes, some things are a bit much and even though we get compliments from the artists saying ‘this is a great there is so much space, we got good light’ and so on,... It is expensive... and even though we are not doing this to make lots and lots of money but at least you want to break even. We did it last year, I guess we will do it this year but eventually you want to at least get something out of it and an expensive venue holds you back on this.

TFI: Which answers the following question already: Is there going to be a Amsterdam Tattoo Convention next year?

Eva van der Haar: Definitely.

TFI: How long did it take to organize this Tattoo Convention?

Eva van der Haar: I would say about eight or nine months, also because you need to reserve the venue a long time ahead of schedule. For example we had to commit in October last year for this weekend.

TFI: You have seen the tattooing industry for longer than just the last two years. Where will it go?

Eva van der Haar: If you look at the situation five years ago I would say that tattooing gets more serious. I would say that that the scene itself does probably not expand that much but the interest and the passion behind it grows.

The organizers

The venue (RAI)

Getting ready

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