Your Guide to Attending Tattoo Conventions

Tattoo Conventions

If you’ve ever wanted to go to a tattoo convention there’s now one in almost every major city. It’s the perfect opportunity to get immersed in tattoo culture – see artists, see shows, meet people, and take some classes if you’re interested. Tattoo conventions are something everyone should see – my 91 year old grandmother even went to one just to check it out!


All conventions charge an entry fee. This is usually a nominal sum that gets you in the door to wander around. You’ll be able to see the venue and artists and get tattooed but if you want to buy anything or attend any of the shows or classes you may have to pay extra on top. If you’re an artist and looking to work at a booth you’ll have to pay booth rental for space. Different sizes spaces cost different amounts in deposits and you may save money by splitting a booth with other artists.

See The Best Tattoo Artists

Most of the best artists in the world don’t work at a single shop all year round. They travel and go to conventions. A convention is the perfect place to see some of the best tattoo artists. Look at portfolios, see the different styles of work, talk to them about their craft, and watch them make amazing art. You can also see the award ceremonies and fashion shows where people show off the best work and get prizes for the day, the convention and different categories like best color or best sleeves.

Be respectful. If an artist is working they probably don’t want to be bothered with a lot of questions or gushing fans. Those who attend shows often have seminars selling their “secrets” so don’t be surprised if they don’t want to teach you for free if you’re looking to become an artist.

See the Shows

Most tattoo shows are party grounds. They have a variety of fun performers like dancers, aerial artists, bands and more. These tend to be pretty outrageous and impressive. Artists like the Fuel Girls are really popular, and there are usually models from Suicide Girls and other tattoo related culture wandering the floors.

Get Tattooed

While you’re there get a tattoo! This is an opportunity to get tattooed by people from far away who you might not get to see again. Check the convention attendance list a few months in advance as the best artists will book up quick and usually have deposit requirements. Some artists will take smaller bookings at the convention if they have time but not everyone.

Check the Calendar

Most of the convention is decided long before everyone shows up. Shows, events, classes, etc are all scheduled and may be on different days. The average convention runs Friday-Sunday and different things will happen every day so if there is specific things you’re looking to see make sure you check the calendar and find out if you need to book or pay to get in.

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