28 October 2012
If you’re a fan of stuff (and not agoraphobic), you should consider going to a Con. If you’re interested in selling, writing, illustrating, or otherwise creating comics, you should definitely go to a Comic Con, they’re an invaluable source of information and networking opportunities. And if you’re in New York next October, NYCC is pretty awesome. But if you’ve never been to a Con before, there are some things you should know, and tips to keep in mind:
-Pre-register. Before you even get to the Con of your choice, go to their website, block out the dates, and pre-register, if you can. Because trying to buy tickets at the Con can be impossible (NYCC 2012 sold out in September), or just really difficult and annoying.
-It will be crowded. To mitigate this, try going on the off days (usually the first and last day of the Con). For NYCC this year, Thursday and Sunday were by far the most humane days to go, whereas on Saturday it was hard to move. It was so bad that I definitely tripped over the footrest of someone’s wheelchair on Saturday. I felt awful. If you must go on Friday and Saturday, do it, but try to at least save your shopping for Thursday or Sunday.
-Get there early. Whatever days you go, get there early because it will be massive line of people to get into the building (and you want time to figure out where you’re going before that panel/event you really want to see starts).
-Plan ahead a little. You want to give yourself some wiggle room (…needing to schedule in pee breaks seems a little excessive), but having a general idea of where you want to go and what you want to see will help when it gets a little crazy. This year NYCC had a planning app to help each attendee keep everything straight.
-Drink water. If you’re running around to a bunch of things, you’ll probably forget to hydrate and then you’ll have a headache and be cranky (and possibly pass out) and that’s the last thing you want. You’re at a Con to have fun.
-Wear comfy shoes. This seems obvious, but given the temptation to dress up/dress crazy, I’ll say it anyway. Wear comfy shoes. Most Cons involve a LOT of walking (sometimes also dancing and partying), so comfy shoes are really important.
-If you’re with a group, make a meeting spot in case someone’s phone dies (or they turn it off while they’re in a panel, or whatever). You thinks, pshaw. We have modern technology, we don’t need a meeting spot. That’s cute, but you’re wrong. Someone’s phone will inevitably die. Such is the Con. Also, be ready to compromise on lunch and some of the panels/events you want to see.
-If you’re allowed, bring your own food and drink (non-alcoholic, you winos). If nothing else, it’ll save you on some astronomical food costs.
-Cough up the money for coat check. This year it was $3 for coat check at NYCC, but if you’re honestly there ALL DAY, it’s $3 well spent. Besides, then you have more free hands for things like merch, giveaways, and various props (if you’re a cosplayer).
-Speaking of cosplay…If you’re a cosplayer, pick your outfit wisely. As awesome as they can be, remember that wings, big props, tails, and anything that sticks out from your body is liable to make crowds a pain/cause someone injury/get destroyed. So hey, if you make the best dang wings in town and you really want to show them off, go for it. Just remember that you might have some maneuverability issues. Also, it can get hot in the show rooms and hallways (especially on the busy days), so if you’re thinking of wearing a full-body suit, keep that in mind and double up on the water.
-Be friendly and have a marvelous time.