Improving your convention experience
Tips for having a better convention experience for you and others
Welcome back fellow con-goers! Your favorite convention is fast approaching and there is a need to make sure you are properly prepared. Lots of convention attendees use these events as a getaway and will spend the entire weekend shopping, collecting autographs and photographs as well as hoping from panel to panel. With such a small window to take in so much Team Max@Play wanted to provide with a second list of things to keep in mind when heading to your next convention. If you missed the last list please check out prepping for conventions to see additional tips.
Prop Check Early
This one is mainly geared towards our cosplay friends. Some have spent weeks and months getting their cosplay just right. The next best thing to great cosplay is a great prop. Most conventions have the same set of rules across the board:
- No sharp weapons
- Orange tips on false guns
- No functioning projectile weapons
- No weapons or martial demonstrations
Please refer to your con of choice’s website for specific details. Every con does provide prop check where they examine each article to make sure its not real, sharp and you understand the code of conduct. They usually mark each safe prop with a zip tie or type of unique tape. Prop check usually doesn’t take severely long, but if you want to avoid having to stand in that line everyday take your props to the respective area and have them checked and tagged before you get comfortable.
Make a schedule for events
From the moment the doors open until the final day there are things taking place simultaneously. Some cons offer an app that not only list every panel, autograph signing and main event but sets reminders for you to stay on task. Having your weekend mapped out early can let you know if multiple events you want to attend are overlapping.
Decide when to shop
Knowing when you’re going to start collecting souvenirs is crucial to your comfort. For some seasoned con-goers, they wait till the last day when vendors are willing to sell some merchandise at a discount. Merchants some times discount items that didn’t move well or they made a great profit already and don’t mind making a deal to carry less stock. The downside to waiting to the last day is there may also be slim pickings. Those who decided to shop early got exactly what they wanted with no fear of it being sold out. If you decide to shop between panels, keep in mind you must keep up with your purchases as well as anything else you’re carrying. Also, if you decided to buy a new prop or weapon it is subject to prop check. If its not marked safe you’ll be asked to take it to your car or hotel room immediately. This extra travel time will impact what other events you have time for. Plan ahead.
In an attempt to save time and see as much as possible you may put off eating a healthy meal. For most attendees, the level of walking and carrying taking place is way above average. This means your body will need more fuel and more importantly water. Staying nourished and hydrated will keep you healthy throughout your convention experience. Every con has a group of people that skip this important step resulting in them becoming dangerously ill. Some are weakened to the point where they are hospitalized and forced to miss the rest of the event. Please take care of yourself. Carry bottled water at the least.
Ask for permission
Cosplay is not consent. If you admire someone’s cosplay and/or prop, by all means let them know. Almost all cosplayers are happy to hear you appreciate their hard work and are even happier to pose for a picture. Do not under any circumstances grab or touch a cosplayer without their permission. Do not grab or touch their props! Everyone doesn’t feel the same and by respecting their personal space everyone can remain comfortable. There are instances where a cosplayer may decline your photo:
- Feeling sick or exhausted
- Have to use the bathroom
- Their cosplay or prop has been damaged
- They are also trying to make it to a panel/autograph signing
- Upset after a bad experience with someone else
Don’t take it personally. You may be able to catch them later in a better mood. Even if you don’t, at least you didn’t make matters worse.
And there you have it, our 5 things to help improve your convention experience. Being prepared and respectful goes a long way. These gems can be applied to almost any convention. Enjoy yourselves! Is there anything you think we should add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting Max@Play