How to Plan for and Survive a Nerdy Convention
Conventions are fun gatherings of people with similar interests. The most publicized conventions just happen to be nerdier topics such as Comics, Anime and Video games. They are typically held over weekends and, if planned and executed right by the staff, are a lot of fun for everyone. If you’ve never been to a con and are planning on going all weekend long. Here are some things that will help your convention experience.
First off you need to consider a few things about the convention you are going to. You need to think about how far away it is, will you need a hotel room, do you want to wear a costume, how will you get there, and a few others questions might come to mind as well. All of this is important to have planned out a good bit in advance. Since conventions are big gatherings, you can’t wait till the day of the convention to wait and get a hotel room. At that point most of the surrounding hotels aren’t going to have any vacancies available. Also, most conventions have deals at hotels a few months before hand to give you discounted room rates. Utilize these deals as this cheapens the cost of your trip and most convention tickets aren’t too cheap to begin with.
If you don’t have a car, or can’t drive it is also good to try and plan out how you are going to get the convention. Are you in school and parents can take you? Do you have friends or siblings that are going that you can ride with? Maybe you want to bum a ride with another con goer. This is very important as if you can’t get to the convention it doesn’t matter if you have a hotel room or your tickets already paid for because you can’t get there. Also keep in mind that if you drive yourself, you will most likely have to pay for parking since most conventions are in highly populated areas like downtown areas.
Also if the cosplayer in you is raring to come out, you need to plan the costumes you want to take. These need to be planned out MONTHS in advance. First decide if you are going to make the costume or if you are going to buy one. If you make one you have to give yourself time to make it around your schedule. If you plan on buying you need to give time for the company to make your costume, and THEN ship it to you. Most companies that sell costumes only make them when they are ordered, so it isn’t unusual for a bought costume to take 40 to 50 days to get to you.
Also keep in mind that there will be a lot of people. If you are in costume keep in mind that people will want pictures and/or hugs so make sure you are comfortable with that. If you aren’t either don’t wear a costume or skip the convention entirely.
Things to bring
A Photo ID- This is needed if you booked a hotel room(s) as well as if you pre-registered for the convention. This is also usually used for the adult 21+ panels as well if you intend on going to those.
Food- This is important to bring that not many people think of. Food provided by the convention is going to be very expensive. Some conventions are in good areas with reasonably priced restaurants nearby, but some are not. So it’s a good idea to bring things like Pop Tarts, Applesauce, and other foods that are quick to eat and easy to store preferably that don’t have to be refrigerated.
Money- this is very important. Money is need for entrance into the con, parking, food, stuff that you want to buy, and tons of other things. Have a nice supply of this on hand at all times. Just try not to lose it. And keep in mind that not all convention centers have ATM machines and not all dealers will accept your credit or debit cards.
A Backpack- simply to hold stuff in. a backpack is especially important if you are only going to be at the convention for a day. It beats carrying tons of bags in your hands.
Costume emergency kit- this will most likely consist of a needle and thread, hot glue and various other materials you used for you costume. Sometimes things happen, and sometimes it happens to your costume. Best be prepared… just in case.
I hope I have been able to help you better plan for your trip to a convention, as it tends to be stressful right before a convention and you tend to overlook some important factors.
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