could we get a con advice thread up in here? a lot of the articles basically say the same thing but it'd be good to get life-hack-style tips from people who are regular attendees. the sorta stuff that nobody tells you about (e.g. the gaylord hotel for katsu has no microwaves).
Don't fucking touch people if you're wearing bodypaint. You shouldn't touch people without permission anyway, but I don't know if you're wearing sealer or not andI will shove you away and probably end up looking like an asshole.
A box of protein bars will be your best friend. Bring a massive case of bottled water to the room, it will pay off big time.
Don't waste time doing photoshoots where bystanders are in the fucking background.
When you get your badge confirmation email, send a copy to someone else (especially someone you're planning on going with). I've had at least two conventions where, for some reason or another, people couldn't access their original email and need to get it some other way.
Make pockets in your cosplay if you can, or carry a purse if you can't. Having something big enough to hold a phone, cash/cards, quick repair supplies, a water bottle and granola bar is a god send.
Keep some painkillers on your person. Headaches and aching feet make for shitty con experiences.
bring an empty bag to the dealer's room/AA.
visit the AA first, dealer's halls are usually filled with things you can get online cheaper.
take photos of business cards. you will lose a card but you are definitely going through the pics you took later.
Talking from experience at large UK cons: if your cosplay is huge, or had parts sticking out of it, don't try and navigate crowds and narrow hallways. It just don't work. Your cosplay will get damaged and someone will get hurt.
At October MCM I bore witness to a girl having a chunk of hair pulled out after it caught someone's wing, which in turn then snapped the supports of the wing due to the force.
Go on the last day to the dealer's room.
Negotiate with tables. Most of the time they will cut prices low because they don't want to have to pack shit up and bring it back.
I go buy Gundam kits on the last day and get 25-50% online prices.
The biggest push is you have to be assertive and sales savvy. Seen lots of friends fail to do what I do just because they have no experience.
Guess having a parent in sales helped me with something.
Get a bedroll, like pic related, if you are going to be spending some time sleeping on floors at conventions.
When I was a teenager I remember sleeping on those hard floors no sweat, but now that I'm a bit older I'm already finding it less than fun. And get a kind of nice one if you can. Thirty to forty bucks for a bedroll that you can use at a lot of conventions if you take care of it.
Don't ask for photos when I'm peeing
Not joking, I was at a convention one year ago, and when I was on bathroom, someone knocked the door and asked if she can take a photo with me when I finish. Wtf.
Vitamins and hand sanitiser!
Hand sanitiser is a 100% must over anything else, because often the bathrooms are too crowded for you to afford to sneak in just to wash your hands, and then you're going to be eating some shitty finger food at a con (or even your dried fruit/protein bars) after touching things that all sorts of sick people from different places have touched.
Protip: be polite. As a dealer, if you say something like "this is too expensive" or "I saw it somewhere else for cheaper", I'd rather pack and haul it back than give you a discount.
Acen specific tips:
>The Hyatt is a bunch of cunts and will charge you for minibar stuff the moment you lift an item up. It charges by weight sensor. Just don't even open it.
>Someone WILL pull the goddamn fire alarm so be ready for that shit.
>Fatties will fill up the elevators enough to hit the weight limit and prevent them from moving. They will not be self aware enough to realize being the last one to shove their 250lb selves into it when there was no room to begin with is what's stopping everyone from moving and they will not leave. Just take the stairs whenever possible.
>If you're in a wheelchair, be mean. Tell people to fuck off out of your way to get in the elevators because other people WILL be cunts/autists and jump in front of you. I am not personally in a wheelchair but I'm always the only fucking person in the thing who is willing to move so they can get in.
>The official map sucks so fix it yourself or ask someone who knows the con to mark where the elevators/skywalks meet across map levels. The guidebook map is compressed to hell and is useless if you need to read anything on it. I have a better map saved on my phone.
>Local pizza places have their guys passing out coupons/regular fliers near the fountain. Worth grabbing for the delivery number if you're drunk and hungry later. They deliver super late.
>An ice cream truck will stop at the loading docks and sell until everything is gone but they mark over their normal prices with masking tape and charge a minimum $3 for anything. Fun if you're ok with getting gouged. But there's some nice grassy area there to sit and eat if you need a break.
>Embassy Suites WILL run out of towels. Bring your own towels if you're jamming people in your room or you're fucked.
>The hallway in the Hyatt like outside the main ballroom has outlets along the walls where you can charge electronics.
Oh last one, don't leave the dealer's room out toward the cafe unless you're done being in the convention center because that shit is one way and they will not let you back in so you'll have to walk the skywalk and drop back down or round outside the building and go back in the main entrance.
Anyone have advice for a chill non-cosplay day? I had a way2intense cosplay today and I'm not sure if I'm feeling up to slapping on heavy makeup and uncomfortable clothing tomorrow.
>mostly what do you wear (ie how fannish do you go with your outfit or do you dress normally)
>really curious about what you were dressed as if someone needed a photo with you so badly!
I usually bring some kind of super easy going cosplay with me that I could turn into casual clothing if need be. Like for up coming cons it will be my Frisk from undertale, because thats a sweater and street clothes pretty much. Stuff like a team rocket grunt work well for that too.
As for you just wear casual clothes if you want, talk to friends, enjoy panels, if you feel like getting into cosplay later in the day go ahead and do it.
Thanks for the input! I'd made a generic Jedi knight outfit for the TFA premiere and was considering throwing that on just to get more wear out of it .
>it's missing some small details like belt buckles and food pouches
>only the most diehard SW fans would probably notice that
I've gone FULL THROTTLE COSPLAY DAY for every convention in the past, so I don't have a lot of experience just ...experiencing.. a convention for what it is.
And I'd forgotten that I have two kigus as well! (made instead of purchased because I like custom buttons and pockets) Thanks for the reminder!
I know the feel anon. I dunno, a con isnt a con with out cosplay to me though. I've dressed casual a few times for cons but never had as much fun. Hence why I got a few easy ones, comfy, still get to dress up, and not having to worry about props or uncomfy armor or whatever.
I just go for a fandom themed tee shirt (Marvel/DC hero, etc) and jeans. That's what I usually wear on the drive to the con/Friday and if I want to go to an early morning panel so I don't have to rush to get into my cosplay.
DON'T TAKE PHOTOSHOOTS IN THE FUCKING DEALERROOM.
I'm not even talking about quick snaps with a cosplay you like, I mean really photoshoots. I don't even get why you want people in the background anyway, yet I've seen this to many times.
ive never actually seen this before and ive been to a ton of cons.
though there have been a bunch of times where someone would ask a cosplayer for a picture and then another passerby would stop and take a picture, then another, then another and so on.
never seen anyone set up for a photoshoot in the dealerroom though.
I know this is a con thread but I can't let this incomplete advice stand.
The Joann mobile app and Joann text coupon service are great. But Joann and Michaels also accept competitor coupons (although Joann sometimes won't accept competitor coupons on fabric), so always print out competitor coupons. Michaels always has some kind of coupon, Hobby Lobby always has 40% off one item, Hancock usually has something.
I met the comic artist peter david when he came to the U.K, I was dressed as the leader of his current series at the time.
Lovely chap, signed like 20 of my comics ( I had some of his OG work w me too) spent about 20 minutes chatting with him and his wife and his little kid kept saying how cute I was.
Made my con.
(Also met kieron Gillien, great guy, )
but comic artists may be different than fan ones I'd guess.
they arent really as comfy as air mattresses but yeah they take up less space in the room which is why I opt for a bedroll vs air mattress. I dont want to take up a ton of space when I need to roll it up when I get up so folks can walk around.
Something I wish someone had told me before I ended up missing a day of con from a nasty rash and migraine: if your wig is kinda tight that can help keep it on your head. If your wig is too tight it will make you miserable. I thought it was bearable because the soreness went away after a few minutes and I have had some uncomfortable wigs but I was severely mistaken.
Cosplayer's savior is double sided skin/dress tape. It can hide sideburns from peeking under your wig and even temporarily fix buttons, say for a photoshoot.
Also shitload of bobbypins. Shitload.
All the artists and writers I've met were very nice. Some more chatty than others, usually depending on their popularity... Jock & Snyder only exchanged a few words because they had super long lines whereas Brenden Fletcher bust out his phone and showed me some pics of other people's fanworks that he liked. I met patrick gleason, whose art I really like, and completely spaghetti'd all over the fucking place. He tried hard to chat with me but it was a lost cause; I wasn't even forming coherent sentences. I walked away from that table mortified.
puppy eyes and timid speech are my usual tactics too. my best was i once got a guy to sell me something blatantly fake for £20 when he was asking at least £45 for it, and when i was taking my notes out of my wallet i had to hide the remaining £60 i had in there. feels good man.
my advice is:
>stop when you need to
>avoid eating too much complete junk
>sleep makes you feel better than caffeine
>if you have a usual group you go with, try and set up a mutual "not looking like shit" dynamic with your friends - eg. fixing wigs and pieces of costume, smeared makeup, food on face, etc. - so none of you look like disasters
>too many energy drinks or mints can make you shit your guts out and nobody wants to do that at a convention
and finally, the most important three:
>shower every day
>brush your fucking teeth you stanky ass motherfucker
Just a list of shit I've learned over the years.
>don't eat con/hotel food. Just don't. It's expensive and shit.
>Room host: get everyone's share of the room cost up front. Don't give your bunkmates a chance to stiff you
>Room guest: don't spend a CENT until your share of the room/gas/whatever is in your host's hand. Don't be an asshat
>drink plenty of water, especially if you're in a cosplay that doesn't breathe well (leather/latex, armor, etc.)
>bring a general "go bag" with emergency extra toiletries and OTC medicine
>addendum: make sure you have all your prescriptions as well, especially if they're brain stuff
>don't stand in the middle of major thoroughfares. If you want to take a picture or chat, move off to the side and out of the way
>dealer room stuff is always going to be $5-10 more expensive than it would be online. If you absolutely have to have something, wait until the last day and haggle if you know how
>seal your fucking bodypaint
>shower at least once a day and use deodorant
>also wash your hands often. People are filthy and you will get Con Funk if you aren't careful
>eat REAL FOOD at least twice a day. You can not subsist for an entire weekend on just pocky and/or pop tarts
Don't make your cosplay in a fucking hotel room
Like, legit. One past Otakon I went to this dude was legit making his cosplay start to finish. Killed the entire experience for him as half the con he was in the hotel room and it made everyone in the room restless. Came out like shit too.
Biggest tips I've learned over the years working as a convention volunteer in the registration department.
>Got pre-reg for a convention?
Don't get yours Thursday afternoon/night. If you can stand missing Thursday events, get up early and get your pre-reg badge on Friday morning. It'll save you 3+ hours of waiting.
>Need to buy a pass when you're at the con?
Get it Thursday night. 75% of the time in my experience, there will be hardly any line for at-the-door badges and at most, wait time is probably an hour which is still way less than pre-reg line waits. If you wait until Friday morning you're going to be stuck in a very long line.
>Want to go to a popular event?
You see that part in the schedule that announces when the official lines start for that event? Ignore it and line up the moment you get to the convention that morning, especially if it's for a concert or limited ticket event like autographs.
Some big-name guest was at a convention I worked last summer and a woman flagged me down in the at-the-door registration line that morning absolutely frantic because she thought everyone ahead of her was there for autograph tickets. As soon as the doors opened she immediately camped out in front of the room where they'd give tickets out and was there for about five hours just to make sure she got a ticket.
Another year we had over a hundred people lined up for autographs an entire hour before the line was officially to start and we ran out of tickets. People showed up 30 minutes before the autograph session was to start and got pissed that they wouldn't get a ticket. NEVER underestimate fans.
Definitely wear a fandom tshirt. I've actually had cosplayers from my BBC fandom shirts point them out and come over just to say hello and it makes it so much easier to snap a quick picture of them as well.
Also if you want to dress up without really dressing up, invest in a kigurumi or a cute nanchatte outfit. pic related.
If you have allergies, seizures, asthma, etc, let the con staff know, as well as at the front desk of your hotel. The people working security and ops need to know incase something happens. When we hear "someone has passed out" we need to know whether or not to call for an ambulance.
In addition, if your staying with other people, let all of them know of these conditions.
If you have a room by your self, let the people staying in the rooms next to you know.
Going to ACen in a wheelchair was the hardest thing I did while stuck in a wheelchair, no joke. You think the sidewalks are crowded? Try it when you can't hop around a fattie and walk in the street.
How about in front of the escalators? Every damn Anime Central I find a pack of cosplayers posing at the top of an escalator, and every one gets offended when I shout 'MOVE!'
You can't just stop on a damn escalator!
>Bring your own towels and pillows if you're cramming in a hotel room.
Especially if you're staying at the main con hotel. If your room is crammed to capacity, almost every other room will be too so the hotel will run out of pillows fairly quickly. You don't want to end up laying down on a pile of clothes, trust me.
>Don't go to a con on 3 hours of sleep.
Most cons go from 10am-2am or so on the main days but it just isn't worth it to stay for the entire time if it means losing sleep. That $50+ ticket won't mean shit if you end up being cranky and tired the whole time.
> Don't buy food at the convention, it's always overpriced
There are exceptions (AWA had a small con cafe that served lunch at a reasonable price), but generally they jack up the price like crazy. Pack your own lunch/snacks or take some time out of your day to find someplace cheap nearby, even if it's a burger king or some shit. Don't skip meals either, you'll have a much better time being fully nourished. Oh and also important:
Bring a water bottle and refill it throughout the day. Most cons I've been to have water stations or at least drinking fountains somewhere. Use them.
>Carry emergency cosplay repair tools with you
Even if its just a hot glue gun and safety pins. Even if you end up not needing, it someone else might.
Everyone always stops at the top of the ends of escalators to think about where they want to go or to talk. Get out! The people behind you can not stop! The floor is pushing them at you ffs!!!
Seconding the towels and pillows.
Make sure that they are a different color than the hotel ones so you don't accidentally get them mixed up or taken away by housekeeping. I'll usually bring a black towel from home because hotel towels are invariably white, so it's easy to find, and few other people will be bringing black towels. Make sure that your roommates that bring their own towels bring different colors than you have.
Just hang it up and let it air dry overnight. If you take multiple showers a day, see if the hotel has laundry facilities or bring two.
This goes double if you are wearing body paint and don't want cleaning charges from getting the paint on hotel towels.
>Make pockets in your cosplay if you can, or carry a purse if you can't. Having something big enough to hold a phone, cash/cards, quick repair supplies, a water bottle and granola bar is a god send.
Seconding this. There are many creative ways you can store stuff, even for characters that wear next to nothing. Sometimes props can serve as storage, or insides of boots, or things like cash can be stuffed inside long socks.
Also pitted dates are a good way to stave off hunger, but I want to add that people should get at least one full meal in a day. Too many kids relying on small snacks to get by and end up having issues/being miserable.
Any photos in the dealers room are aaaaannoying. Same goes for parts of the hallway that are usually crowded. As a cosplayer, I won't take quick hall photos in high traffic areas, I'll suggest a nearby location that's out of people's way.
Honestly speaking, things can get pretty hectic for staff, especially at larger cons, and we might not remember who you are. Doesn't help if you're in cosplay either. If you have serious health risks you really should be there with a friend to help take care of you. I mean, not saying you shouldn't tell staff, just don't rely on staff to remember who you are the whole weekend at an 8k+ person con.
>Bring your own towels and pillows if you're cramming in a hotel room.
We have a guy who always brings a huge trashbag of extra blankets and pillows. Cons which fill the hotel often run out of extra stuff really fast, so this is doubly important for those cons.
>We have a guy who always brings a huge trashbag of extra blankets and pillows.
That reminds me: bring trash bags (or ask hotel stuff for some large ones ahead of time). Having some huge plastic bags to keep trash from accumulating around on the floor, tables, and counters is great.
you gotta have a trash bag if you get pizza delivered or you just have a big empty pizza box spilling crumbs goddamn everywhere because your hotel garbage can is the size of a gallon of milk
>When you get your badge confirmation email, send a copy to someone else
No, you fucking print out 3 copies of that thing. 1 goes in your car, 1 goes in your wallet, 1 goes in your luggage.
How do autograph signings for voice actors go? Do we have to bring in our own stuff to get signed or do they have their own supply? What if I want them to sign a print of a certain character they portrayed. Would they have something like that on hand? Where would I even go about finding stuff for them to sign? Just printing out stuff I find on google seems kinda low quality and ghetto.
Usually the convention will provide a stack of free prints that you can grab to have the guest sign. You can also browse the artist alley beforehand to find different pieces of art -- some artists will tailor their offerings to the convention's guests so autograph-getters can bring a more unique thing to get signed.
I also know a dude who brings blank Cards Against Humanity white cards and has the guests fill those out.
This is A+ advice. I do this with everything I need like Amtrak train etickets. I'll print out multiple copies and put them in every piece of luggage I have with me plus my backpack/purse because they always seem to turn up missing when you need them.
>carry cash on you
ATM lines and charges suck, and ive run into occasions on it running out of money. Many dealers use square these days which are good for buying more typically expensive shit, but having cash for things like food, parking, and gas helps you not overspend.
>have a rice cooker for cheap meals
Especially useful if rooming with others and your room doesn't have a microwave.
>Consider staffing/volunteering/paneling at your favorite con
Most work hours are easy enough for you to knock out. In addition to saving badge costs some cons provide some sort of food area for people working the event so you can cut cost there. Being a staff member puts you on the inside track for room reservations, con perks. Often times departments pool their resources to make certain areas super comfy break rooms (or buy tons of food and drinks). Through staffing you'll have an alternate place to rest/eat/store items that is not your hotel room.
If you don't want to work extra but want free badges then being a panelist is the way to go.
Not really a question about advice but how are blind date panels generally? The con I attend annually has one but I've always been too embarrassed to go. Do people go in cosplay or street clothes?
See, the problem with lobby/con space bathrooms is that they're inevitably trashed by the end of the day, so that will only get you so far. Be wary later in the day or you're going to find such lovely things as unflushed toilets, piss/shit on the seat/floor, cum -somewhere- (it happens), you name it.
If you're a cosplayer, make arrangements for a schedule photoshoot ahead of time - paid, with a friend, whatever. Otherwise accept that the two hallway photos of yourself you will find will be garbage.
Ask for a low floor hotel room, so you can bypass the elevator.
If there is a very popular panel that you have no interest in, use that block of time for the dealers room.
Cons within driving distance is the way to go. You can make local friends much easier. Fly to a con only if it's a major one.
Eat real food, drink water and sleep. Wash your hands and shower. A small rice cooker is under $20, if it replaces one meal, it has paid for itself.
Anime cons used to be a great place to find cute Asian guys, but with the popularity of k-pop, and k-drama, every girl is looking for their sexy oppa. Competition is fierce, especially for the tall ones. Look sexy, but not too sexy.
Make sure to follow up after the con if they live nearby. If they are in college, make sure to follow up every year, and the holidays. Try to stay friends and maintain contact, if one of starts to work for a Silicon Valley tech firm, get him before some other girl does.
I have this big ass dog bed I bring to every con with me. I'm always cramming rooms. Sometimes when the room is even too cramped for me and my dog bed, I will bring it to the main floor of the con, find a dark unused corner, put it there and go to sleep. Only thing is the bed is circular so when I sleep on it I curl into a circle. Which is awkward when people find the dark unused corner i'm sleeping in.
Yeah seconding what other anons said, wear a medical bracelet and bring a helpful friend. It's not the responsibility of complete strangers to look out for you. It's always nice when they're able to, but people have their own shit to take care of and it's rude and presumptive to just unload your health problems on people you don't even know.
Actually not. I hate cramped beds because I hate sleeping really close to people. The lack of space isn't the problem. Air mattresses seem nice but I've been sleeping on the dog bed for a long time and it's very comfortable. I don't see any problems with it at this point. Why fix something that isn't broken?
And plus you might need to bring some extra sheets and pillows along with the air mattress/bed roll if the hotel forgets to provide it. I never have this problem with my dog bed as it has warm soft cushion built into it.
>not inflating the mattress before everyone goes to bed