Convention season is upon us. Really, convention season is year-round, but come the summer months and in rolls larger conventions like SDCC. Whether you’re going to a big one or sticking to something a little smaller, conventions can be a bit hectic and overwhelming. But don’t fret, because PopWrapped has you covered with our convention survival guide, aimed at preparing you for the before, the during, and the after of your con fun.
- Organize and make a schedule. This is especially important if you have a lot on your plate. You don’t want the final day of the convention to roll around and realize that you still have more than half of your things to get. So make a schedule. Use a spreadsheet and plan everything out. Plan when you’re meeting who. Put in when your photo ops are. If you have meet & greets, add those in, too. And don’t forget to schedule in some breaks so you can rest for a minute. If you want to be on the top of your game, you can even color code your schedule – not only does it make it appealing to the eye, but it makes it more organized.
- Plan what to wear. This may sound kind of silly, but you don’t want to spend all morning trying to figure out what you’re going to wear. The most important part of this step is choosing the right shoes. You’ll be on your feet all day, so don’t choose heels or uncomfortable flip flops. Wear comfy shoes and comfy clothes.
- Prepare a backpack. Item #1 in said backpack: that schedule that you made. Throw some snacks in, something that you can eat fast and will give you energy, like granola bars. Add a drink or two, maybe water and an energy drink. A portable charger for your phone. You don’t want to run out of juice during the convention, and there may not be an outlet that you can use to charge your phone. And don’t forget to bring some extra cash – chances are, you’ll get to the convention and want to buy a lot more than you had been anticipating.
- Get there early. Depending on the size of the convention you’ll be going to, the line to get in can grow pretty fast, and sometimes it can begin to form hours before the doors even open. If you have a lot on your schedule or you’re planning on seeing popular guests, you’ll want to be as close to the front of that line as possible.
- Make friends. Maybe you’re going as a lone wolf, or maybe you’re going with a group of friends, either way, don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with people while you’re waiting in lines with. You already have a few common interests (you’re both at the convention and you’re both interested in whoever you’re waiting in line to see). You can meet a lot of people just waiting in lines, and chances are you’ll run into them again during the course of the con.
- HAND SANITIZER. This cannot be stressed enough. At a convention you’re crowded into rooms with hundreds, sometimes thousands of other people. Germs are plentiful, so there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll come down with “con crud.” So try to prevent it by keeping your hands clean.
- Don’t forget to eat! You packed snacks for a reason. Whether it’s a quick bite while waiting in line or sitting down on the floor during a break, get some food in you. It will reenergize you and give you that boost you need to make it the rest of the day.
- Water. Yes, you probably heeded my advice and packed some form of energy drink, but hopefully you were smart and included a bottle of water, too. Hydration is key to pretty much everything in life, including conventions.
- Sleep. Sleep. And more Sleep. No, seriously, you’re going to need a lot of sleep. When you’re at the convention you’re running on adrenaline, excited because the thing you’ve been waiting for is finally here. You spend hours upon hours standing, walking, waiting. You’re going to be tired when it’s all over. So get some shut eye.
- Be prepared for “con crud.” It’s a real thing. Illness, such as a cold, after attending a convention, and it is not fun. Consider yourself lucky if you don’t come down with the dreaded con crud.
- Post-con depression. Just like con crud, this is a real thing, too. You’ll leave the convention on a high, but then you’ll inevitably crash, both physically and emotionally. Cons take a lot out of you, and you’ll find yourself wishing that you could go back.
- Remember all of the goodies you acquired at the convention? All of the art that you collected in the artist’s alley, all of the signed pictures, and all of those photo ops? Don’t just put them away in storage – frame them. Hang them on the wall. Show off your mementos.
Feel free to adjust this survival guide to your liking, and don’t forget to have fun at your con!