Comic Book Conventions, such as San Diego Comic Con, are one of the many highlights on the geek calendar. This is where you would usually spend your hard earned money on comics, figurines, special drawings and video games, usually at a discounted rate. While this is just one aspect of attending conventions, others attend for the vibe or to show off their latest cosplay creations. While it’s nice to think about the great things you hope to do at the event, it’s always good to be prepared for anything, especially if you are a first time attendee. Here are a few tips to help you survive your first comic book convention, based on my personal experiences.
Research the Convention
Before attending the convention, it’s always good to do research on the event and find out what stalls will be there and if there will be any special events happening, such as a cosplay competition, among other things. This will give you a good indication as to whether the convention is worth your time or not. Also, it will help you plan your day accordingly so that you can do everything that you want to do there. For most people, a lot of conventions are out of town and it helps to research the best deals on hotels, restaurants and travel. The LVL UP gaming convention, for example, takes place in Vegas every year and there are lots of great Las Vegas travel deals to help keep your trip affordable. Lots of other cities have deals like these to promote tourism; you just have to do your research to find them! Eventbrite is also a great site to find these types of conventions near you and even has a conference management page that could be used to plan a convention of your own.
Always Have Water With You
More often than not, you’re going to be on your feet most of the time, walking around and observing everything around you. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep water on you so that you can stay hydrated throughout the day and also keep you from getting tired quickly. Keep in mind, though, that most conventions don’t allow you to eat or drink while you’re around the stalls so always look for the designated eating spot before drinking.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for a Photo With a Cosplayer
At a convention you are more than likely going to find many cosplayers there, showing off their latest creations. Though it seems daunting, don’t be afraid to compliment them on their outfit or ask for a photo. More often than not, they’ll be more than happy to pose for a photo. Don’t be rude, though, and take a photo of them without their permission or when they are busy eating or something like that. Cosplayers are still people so treat them, like everyone else, with respect.
It is very easy to become overwhelmed by all the goods available at the convention that you feel like buying almost everything in sight. Easy answer: DON’T. Before attending the convention ask yourself two questions: 1) How much am I willing to pay for an item? 2) How much money am I planning on bringing with me to the convention? Do not buy the most expensive item that you see there. First ask yourself if there is anything else that you would like to buy and also if you are getting value for money. Remember to also leave some money available for food and parking (if you drove to the convention yourself).
Bring a Friend With You
Personally, I find that conventions are more fun when you have a friend with you. Being by yourself in a crowd full of people can be very overwhelming so it’s nice to have a familiar face with you so that you don’t feel lonely. Even if you do not take part in any of the events at the convention, you can still enjoy the personal time with your friend and share in the fandom with them. Plus, it will give you and your friend something to look back on whenever you have a conversation with one another.
Overall, Just Have Fun!
The vibe of a convention is what makes or breaks it. If everyone else is having a good time, chances are you will too. It’s better to go in with an open mind rather than with pre-determined expectations as you will probably be disappointed if things don’t go the way you want them to go. Remember that there are other like-minded people, such as yourself, attending the convention as well so don’t be afraid to go out there and celebrate your geekiness.
Got any other tips or advice for first time convention goers? Let me know in the comments section below