Tips for Surviving Your First Convention

Surviving your first convention

I’ve been to a few conventions and if you ever plan on going to a comic book, video game, anime, or other convention there are a few things I’d like to share with you. If you have already attended one, these tips for surviving your first convention might make whatever one you plan on going to next even better, so here goes.

1. Plan Ahead, Plan Way Ahead

From personal experience, every convention I have ever gone to ended being the personal hell for the gods of Murphy’s law to have fun at my expense. Anyone can tell you plan at least a year ahead especially if you are are coming from out of town. You will need to reserve your room, con badges, and your method of transportation be it planes, trains, or automobiles.

You will want to do your research and find a con that you’re interested in going to, because the last thing you want to do is invest all that money into going and completely hate the experience.. Search around the internet and see some cons near your home or near the homes of friends or family. You can save a lot of money on hotel costs that way. See what events or vendors are going to be showing up at this con. Lines are insanely long, so you’ll want to know exactly what you want to do and where you’ll want to be. Planning makes everything so much easier when the time of the con actually comes.

2. Pack Wisely

Just like any trip, you will have to find the balance between over-packing and under-packing. Try to think of some personal things you may need to keep with you, i.e. inhalers or insulin.

  • Cell Phone, Wallet, Keys
  • Camera
  • Small Personal Bag
  • Water Bottle
  • Headphone/Earbuds
  • Portable Game System

Events cannot deny you water, so keeping a water bottle on you is essential. Carrying a a powdered or liquid drink mix with you is a super cost effective way to to stay hydrated. As I mentioned earlier, the lines will be long so you’ll also want to entertain yourself in some way.

3. Keep Your Health

One thing you want to consider while you’re packing is the possibility that you could get sick during the convention. So make sure to drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest, and keep your hygiene up. That last one is both for the sake of yourself and the other attendees. Showering and brushing your teeth are just common courtesies when you’re surrounded by hundreds of people. Wash your hands often and consider carrying around hand sanitizer and/or towelettes. They can be useful on occasion.

4. Budgeting

When you’re there, you’ll get the urge to buy everything you set your eyes on. You still need to keep enough money for food and maybe set aside an emergency stash in case something goes wrong. Some things you can do to stay in your budget are:

  • Haggle- going to a con isn’t like going to a Wal-Mart. Unless explicitly stated, you might be able to get the vendor to lower the price for you or give you a deal. Cons are great places for many shops to make profits so they would probably be more willing to give you deal here.
  • Buy on the last day- Many of the vendors will say that they might not be there on the last day, which in most cases is just a gimmick. Unless it is something rare and unlikely to still be there the last day, get it then. Prices drop dramatically then and they are more likely to haggle with you on the last day just to make a few more sales
  • Buy groceries not concessions- Concessions stands are rip offs. Period.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to meet and talk to new people, cons are great places to meet people just like you and some of the best friends you’ll ever make might be at a con. Going even strengthens current friendships. I know it has for me. I hope you found these convention tips useful.


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