Recently my roommate and I attended NekoCon 20. It was my first time going and her second, and it was also my first time attending any kind of geek-oriented convention. Between her prior experience and my need to have some kind of structure in my life, we were able to plan enough to make the most of the weekend without feeling like we were constraining ourselves.
Below are things that you can do if you’re going to be breaking into the world of cons too.
Luckily for us, the convention center was big and able to accommodate a large number of people comfortably and we weren’t in huge stifling costumes so we were able to stay cool, but I did hear that one or two people passed out. You should always try to stay hydrated, especially when you’re going to be walking around all day in a crowd of people. Bring a reusable water bottle with you if you can otherwise take advantage of any water coolers or fountains. Trust me passing out is not fun.
2. Bring Food
Since we were staying for the weekend and didn’t want to eat out every night, we packed a cooler the night before and brought food with us. Most hotels will allow you to bring a cooler in with you however it never hurts to double check either by going online or calling ahead. Don’t just bring junk food either, I know that seem like a no brainer but it’s worth repeating. This is also helpful if your hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast, which you will want to eat before going off to do con stuff.
3. Budget Yourself
There’s a lot of really cool stuff at cons. There’s also a lot of really expensive stuff. Best thing to do is set a limit for how much you’re going to spend. This was easier for me to do since NekoCon wasn’t focused on my major interests. If you know there’s going to be a number of things that you might want, spend one day walking around the hall without money or a card. Get an idea of what you want to get and how much it’s going to cost. From there you can figure out what you want to buy and what you bear to pass on and go back the next day with a plan. If the con is only one day or you’re only going to be there one day, figure out ahead of time how much you can spend and only go in with that much cash.
4. Plan Your Schedule
The con website should have a schedule of events for you to look at. In general I think you should try to attend as many as you can since you’re paying to be there so why not. If you’ve planned out ahead of time which ones you want to go to then you won’t find yourself staring at the schedule every hour or so trying to figure out where to go next. Also, if you want to go to an event you think will have a long line then you can try to get there sooner so you don’t have a longer wait or risk the hall filling up and missing out. You don’t have to plan out your entire day, maybe pick three events that you definitely want to go to and wing it from there, just do whatever works best for you.
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes
You will probably be walking around a lot. If you’re planning to wear a costume, either pick shoes that you can wear for hours or prepare to suffer. If you decide you absolutely have to wear uncomfortable shoes that complete the outfit, bring a second pair. Get some pictures, show off the whole look, then take care of your feet.