10 Tips to Prepare for a Convention
Written by Aesthel
This weekend I’ll be heading off to Granite State Comic Con and I am so excited to tell you all about my experience there! In the meantime though, it seemed like a good time to let you all in on a few convention preparation tips! Hopefully these will help some of you out in the lead up to your next convention too!
10. Make a list (and check it twice)
Okay this might sound silly and pardon my Santa pun, but seriously this is one of the few things that keeps me sane when packing for a convention. I always get so nervous feeling like I’ll forget something, and of course I always end up missing one thing or another. Making checklists is the thing that helps me the most to make sure I have everything! It can help to split your list into different sections too. Make a list for your cosplays and include every part or accessory that goes with it. Make another list for living things like toothbrushes and body care. Another list for the things you’ll be carrying around with you: wallet, phone, etc. Got all those phone chargers? Okay you have your lists. Now gather everything together and make sure to double check it so you know you have everything! This can also be helpful for remembering to back everything before you leave at the end of the weekend!
9. Plan out your weekend
Check out the convention schedule! Are there panels you want to see? Celebrities you want to meet? Make out a personalized schedule for the things you want to see and do! It helps me to put things into my phone calendar so I get sent reminders for them. Make sure to give yourself extra time in case of lines or walking too!
8. Don’t overbook yourself
Now planning out your weekend can be really helpful! But make sure you aren’t packing too much in there. It is ESSENTIAL to take breaks during a busy convention weekend. Sometimes you don’t even know how much your feet are hurting until you sit down! Make sure you leave time for breaks, hanging out with friends, and exploring the convention!
7. Research the area
Make sure you research the area of the convention before you go! How far is your hotel from the convention center? Is the area safe to walk around at night? Those things are extremely important! Another thing I find really important when researching the area around a convention is to take a look at what restaurants are nearby! When it comes to lunch or dinner time, you’ll usually want to have something filling but also something not too far away! Most convention centers or hotels have some pretty good options within walking distance!
6. Stay hydrated
Yeah everybody says it, but again I cannot stress the importance of hydration, especially at a busy crowded event! The last thing you want is to get sick or pass out from lack of water. If you can carry a bag with you while you are at the convention, make sure you have a water bottle with you! It’s especially good to carry a reusable water bottle! They are good for the environment, you can refill them, and generally they seal tighter than a plastic water bottle!
5. Bring extra clothes
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a convention and not brought comfortable clothes! Sure you’ll be wearing your cosplay all day, but when it comes to dinner or the times you’re off the convention? You’ll definitely want something easier to wear. Another thing to launch off this tip? Bring a sweater! Even when you don’t think you’ll need it! Rain can happen at any time and it’s much better to carry something a little extra then to be cold and rained out on.
4. Keep extra clean
We all know about con funk. We know how bad it can get. Be sure to keep yourself extra clean before and during a convention to prevent what you can. You know another huge problem that can hit AFTER a convention? Con plague. During conventions we touch and interact with a lot of things. If you wash your hands a lot it can help prevent germs. I also personally carry a small hand sanitizer with me in my purse to use on the go!
3. Check out the convention hashtags
Check out the convention's social media and hash tags! Its a great way to see other people who will be attending the convention, what cosplays everyone else will be wearing, and what will be going on all weekend! Its a great way to make friends, meet other cosplayers, and find photographers if you're looking to do a photoshoot!
2. Finish your cosplays ahead of time
We seriously could write a whole article on the horrors of con crunch. In fact we might do that later. Leaving work until the last minute causes so much stress and late nights, plus you can't pack things ahead of time! Yeah, it'a easier said than done, but if you are able to have everything for your cosplay finishes well ahead of the convention it will seriously help you so much!
Our number one tip for a great convention? Just relax and have fun! Take some time before your long busy weekend to treat yourself. Watch a show, eat some food, go to bed early. If you stress yourself out before the con it'll last all weekend. Just take some time for yourself and prepare for lots of excitement, wildness, laughs, friendships, and memories that will be made over the next few days!