con preparedness

CONS ARE SCARY: A Beginner's Guide To Your First Convention

A lot of people seemed to like my “Guide to Choosing a Cosplay” post, so I thought I’d make like a con survival/what to expect at your first con post since I know quite a few people have never been to one and want to, or have only been to very small ones. So, here it is.

Basic tips concerning your cosplay:

  • If you have a large/delicate cosplay, and you can’t really wear it in your car on the way there, don’t fret. There are ALWAYS bathrooms available near the entrances of hotels and convention centers. No one would blame you if you put it on there
  • For anyone with bodypaint, don’t fret if you have to put THAT on at the con too. It can be super messy and stain non-leather upholstery, so go ahead and wait if you feel the need
  • If you are staying at a hotel and you have to walk to the con, bring umbrellas! You never know what the weather will do, so bring one just in case.
  • MAKE SURE YOUR COSTUME IS COMPLETE BEFORE THE CON. I cannot stress enough how important that is. If it isn’t, you WILL be up all night on the night before and then you’ll be grumpy and antsy and you WON’T have fun. I promise, I know firsthand.

Basic tips on how to be prepared:

  • You should have a group/buddy at a con, always. It’s a big crowded place and not having anyone there can mean you don’t have much fun. And it can put you in danger.
  • Look online at the event schedule BEFORE you go. This way you can start planning out what you want to do, instead of getting there and having to take the time to figure out which panels you want to go to, etc.
  • I would suggest registering early online. It saves a LOT of time and money.

ALWAYS have a bag. I don’t care if it doesn’t go with your costume and looks bad. You NEED it. And here’s what goes inside:

  • A bottle of water. You can refill it at water fountains and such. It’s very common for people to forget to eat and stay hydrated, but NO ONE wants to be sick at a con.*
  • At least 2 granola bars. Something you’ll eat that (preferably) has protein. This is a great way to get what you need if you’re stuck in a panel.*
  • A sewing kit. It doesn’t have to be huge, just a little thing with a few spools of thread that go with your costume, a few needles, scissors, fasteners that your costume uses, and safety pins. SAFETY. PINS. WILL. SAVE. YOUR. ASS. This can save your cosplay, a friend’s, or even a strangers.
  • A small first aid kit. Because crap happens and nobody wants to get blood on their hard work.
  • For the ladies: Pads/panty liners/tampons. Whether you’re on your cycle or not, you never know if you or anyone else will be caught off guard, and they will be eternally grateful.

*Note: Con food and drinks are expensive. They jack up the prices, so it’s best to bring some stuff of your own, and to leave the con to go to the surrounding area for food, since it’ll be cheaper. Plus my FAVORITE part of conventioning is going out into the “normal world” and seeing people’s reactions to a hoard of teenagers in awesome costumes. I always get stopped for a picture by people on the outside and it is SUCH an awesome feeling when they don’t know ANYTHING about your character, but they think you look cool.