It’s that time of the year again where everyone is excited because their con of choice is just around the corner. From SDCC to local cons we all want to have the experience of a lifetime.
Through my own experience of trial and error going to cons, I have come up with what I feel are a few helpful tips for having a great con experience.
Remember you are going to be on your feet a LOT during the con. So pack light but bring a big bag. I have learned this lesson the hard way. I used to carry every possible thing I thought I’d need for a con in my backpack. This was so wrong of me to do. First off it gets heavy fast. Second I didn’t have room for all the shinies I would have liked to buy.
What I pack in my bag now:
2 Water bottles – Yes I know they can be heavy but the cons are mostly during the summer. Which means you can get dehydrated and fast. So you’re going to need a lot of water. I usually freeze one of them overnight. This way I still have cold water towards the end of the day.
Cash Money – Most vendors at conventions don’t take credit cards or have the machines but sometimes they don’t work very well. So bring enough cash for the things you think you’ll need that day.
Snacks – You’re going to get hungry but the food is very expensive at cons. I don’t know about you but I’d rather spend my money on shinies than $6 for one slice of pizza. I usually bring several granola bars. They’re light but filling. So it tends to work for me. I’ve also found that if you buy a foot long sub and have it cut in half it makes for 2 meals you can enjoy while you’re at the con for a fraction of the price of con food.
Phone – You’re going to need a way to communicate with the people you went with. There are times you’re going to be separated from your group. Phones make it easy to meet back up. Most phones also have a camera. Which can save valuable poundage in not having to bring a separate camera with you.
Makeup – Your bag of makeup might not seem like it would weigh much but when you combine it with everything else it really starts to add up. I have found that I only really need 2 things during the day, face powder and lipstick. Face powder to help with the shine. Lipstick is one of those things that does fade over the day so I bring my color of choice to touch up during the day.
ID – It’s always a good idea to bring your ID where ever you go.
Bank Card – As I said before cash is necessary because most vendors don’t take cards. So you might be asking why bring the card as well? Some vendors do take cards. Another reason is food. There are lots of restaurants around the cons and if you’re going to eat out it’s better to save your on-hand cash for purchases inside the con.
1 pair of socks – Might sound odd but feet do sweat. It’s nice to have an extra clean and dry pair of socks to change into if you need it.
Sunglasses – I live in a state that is sunny all the time. It’s a good idea to protect your eyes while doing outside activities at cons.
Sunscreen – If you plan on doing any activities outside it’s a good idea to bring a small travel sized bottle of sunscreen. If you can not find a small travel sized sunscreen you can purchase 3oz travel squeeze bottles at places like Target and Walmart. You don’t want to ruin your con experience by getting a sunburn. We all know how much fun those are.
Travel sized deodorant – This is more of a courtesy for other con guests. Cons are usually overcrowded and sometimes can become hot, even inside. We all know what happens and have smelled it. So please be kind to the other con goers and bring some deodorant. (For yourself. I do not recommend going around putting deodorant on other con goers. That could get awkward…)
Dress/Cosplay for the weather:
I would love to dress in full Jedi regalia for my con but that’s just begging for heat stroke where I live. While at a con you want to feel comfortable, which means not always going as your favorite person from your favorite fandom. This is ok. There are so many wonderful cosplays out there to choose from. Half the fun is trying to come up with that perfect cosplay for the con. Maybe you’ll find something that you’ll love even more!
Wear comfortable shoes!:
This is a BIG one. You’re going to be walking around all day long… For several days. You don’t want to come back to your hotel room/house with feet that feel like they’re on fire. Yes, those sexy shoes look AMAZING on you. However do you really want to risk having feet you feel like chewing off just to make the pain stop? IF you just HAVE to wear those sexy shoes that go amazing with your cosplay then I suggest doing it on the last day of the con.
Believe it or not, cons are more than comic book artists and media guests. I know right! Cons usually have a bevy of other activities you can join in. The last con I went to had a seminar on pumpkin carving that I attended.
All the different activities provided can be very overwhelming. Most con websites will have a list of all the different activities that you can attend. A lot of cons also have a con planner app. You can go through these and plan out your days so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming when you get there.
Respect your fellow con goers:
The convention floor can be very crowded. Even on the slow days. It’s tempting to just barge your way through to get to where you want to go. Remember everyone is in the same boat here. We all want to find that special shiny that we’ve been dreaming of or that cool shirt we spotted across the floor. Put yourself in other people’s shoes. Would you like someone barging into you? No, you wouldn’t. So try your best not to do it to the other guests.
We all have that one panel that we are desperate to get into. So are all the other people in that line. So be respectful, don’t line cut.
Respect the guests of the con:
This, to me, is a big one. We all have an “OMG SO AND SO IS COMING TO THE CON!!!!” moment. We all want to meet that special someone who’s work we’ve admired. These guests are doing us fans a favor by being there. We don’t want to go scaring them so they never go to another con again. Do we?
When the guests are on the floor it’s probably safe to go over and say hi. When they are on their own time that’s another story. Try to be respectful of them and their free time. We all know it’s tempting to try to get some one on one time but if it were you would you want people trying to track you down like an animal? I didn’t think so. So don’t do it to them.
Lastly, stay safe and just have fun at your con!
If you have any tips or suggestions on how to have an easy, breezy time at con leave a comment down below!