I was also surprised by the degree to which the event lived up to its name "international". It seems that most of the tattooists came from abroad and many of the visitors I spoke to had travelled from around the world especially to be there. Conversations weren't always easy as not everyone had good English.
The weather was unseasonably sunny and warm and many people hung around outside the main building by the dock where I found it too hot to remain for other than short bursts of time but it was easy to chat to people there including the charming Sally who was selling coffee and muffins. She kept shouting out hello to me. Hello Stephen, she cried at every opportunity.
The activities were on two levels. An off key note for me was on the lower level where the entertainments took place. Lined up on both sides of one wide corridor were tables with impossibly beautiful tattoo models sitting behind them selling photos of themselves, which they would autograph if you bought their pictures. It would be hypocritical of me to say that I found it hard not to gawp at these fantasy-like creatures. They were all stunningly pretty. But I don't think it did justice to them asking them to sit for hours selling their wares as if in De Walletjes in Amsterdam. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Wallen
Some broke away periodically to perform in aerial displays or fire eating, all of which were the main focus of the convention. They were very talented, no escaping that. But this is a tattoo convention surely, not the Moulin Rouge with lots of ink.
I could and should have taken many more photos at the convention, but somehow I didn't. I just enjoyed relaxing and being with my fellow freaks.