THE BIG CON ETIQUETTE POST
because that’s 30,000 people in a 3-block space
as a followup to the How To Survive Otakon post, here’s another one for getting along with your fellow congoers.
This is a common sense post about respect with a con-centric twist. Because there is something about conventions that makes people forget the normal rules of social interaction (rather like high school, come to think of it), self-care, and rules about climbing on shit (I am SO GUILTY of this).
So remember the 3 R’s: Respect yourself, Respect others, and Respect your surroundings.
Respect Yourself. The fastest way to make yourself cranky and miserable at a convention is to not take care of yourself.
- Get plenty to eat and drink. Let’s not lie, you’re going to be running on adrenaline and excitement and forget to have a meal. Try to eat at least one ‘real’ meal a day, with like meat/meat alternatives and vegetables and stuff. And carry a water bottle with you.
- Get some rest. Sleep every night, preferably for at least 5-6 hours.
- Take a shower at LEAST once a day. Everyone’s favorite smell is Sunday con funk, the odor of 10,000 unwashed folks wafting down the halls of the hotel/con center. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and don’t contribute. :)
Respect Others. Yes, we in the video game/anime/comics/tv show fandoms are all one big family of geek, but any one individual at a con is a stranger. Be careful!
- Do NOT throw things at people, hit other people, or otherwise attack other people. It might be funny or in-character for your character to assault another character, but at the end of the day you are both cosplayers and you have just physically assaulted another person, which is, you know, ILLEGAL. Don’t throw buckets at Karkats, don’t hit Akuma with your Innocence, don’t whack people over the head with shinai, don’t smack strangers with a Yaoi Paddle … you get the idea.
- Don’t hug/touch people without asking permission first. OMG IT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THE HISTORY OF EVER STANDING RIGHT THERE HELP YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE A HUG - but don’t surprise them by jumping on them. That’s a cosplayer, and a total stranger - hugging them suddenly and without warning may damage delicate parts of a costume, or hurt them.
- Ask before taking pictures. Sneaking photos of cosplayers when they’re posing already and surrounded by cameras is one thing, but sneaking photos while the cosplayer is rushing by to get somewhere or is eating or whatever is just creepy. Think about how you would feel if someone you didn’t know snapped a candid shot of you!
- Related: if anyone says 'no’ to a hug or photo, do not get angry. You are not entitled to their attention or affection. It doesn’t matter if they have an excuse or not. It might seem absolutely imperative to get that picture or hug at the moment, but I promise you 20 minutes later you’ll see something equally exciting. That’s just how cons are.
- Watch what you say; don’t be rude. Yes, that’s the worst cosplay you have ever seen, and you’re on your tenth banana man screaming 'PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!' Let it go, keep walking, and ignore it. I believe Thumper put it best: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.
- Keep the pathways clear. If you’re stopped for pictures or stop somebody else for a picture, move to the side of the hallway or into an alcove if possible. If you need to sit down, find a corner and be out of the way.
Respect the location. If enough people fail this rule, cons tend to lose their contracts with the venue. D=!
- Keep out of areas that you are supposed to keep out of. There’s a reason that area is off-limits, even if you don’t know what it is/it seems arbitrary.
- If an employee of the venue/con staffer tells you to stop doing something, stop doing it. Some people are power-tripping, yes, but generally speaking if it might be out of line, you’re better off just not continuing.
- Don’t throw wild room parties. Room parties are awesome. Wild room parties can get you kicked out of your hotel.
- Don’t vandalize shit. Uh. This is illegal. On a related note, if you make a mess in your hotel room with paints or whatever, you might end up paying for damages, so take care.
I think I might be PSA’d out for the day. phew.