Convention season is upon us again. Conventions are always a fun time and can be quite exhausting as well. For both new attendees and veterans alike, conventions take their toll on everyone. But today, I’m here with a few helpful hints to help all of us survive a convention weekend.
Hygeine is the most important thing to keep in mind at a convention. Please do us a favor and first of all bathe every day. There is a problem known as con funk that shows up by Sunday afternoon. People start to stink. They sweat. Please shower and use deodorant. Everyone will thank you for it. Also, wear clean clothes every day and try not to wear the same costume every day unless you have a way to wash it.
The next most important piece of advice I can give you is wear a good pair of shoes. Now, that may not be possible if you’re in a costume, but otherwise get a good pair of New Balances or other sturdy walking shoes. You are going to be doing a lot of walking and although they look great, those Chuck Taylor’s just won’t do the job.
Have a rough idea of your plans. Grab the convention guide and have a rough ideas of when the panels you want to attend are and when the celebrity autograph signings you want to attend will be. Allow adequate time to get in line and wait for those events.
It’s a very good idea to carry a backpack. Carry a camera, have a place to store the stuff you buy at the con, and carry snacks. You can carry a refillable water bottle with you. Convention food is ridiculously expensive. Carry around some nuts, protein bars, or even pack some sandwiches to help save some money at the convention.
A tip for the hotel you stay at is to bring a pillow and a blanket. Most hotel bedding is very uncomfortable, and often washed in harsh commercial cleaning products. I have slept in a few hotels where all the bedding had a strong bleach smell. Also, most hotel pillows are very small and very lumpy. You won’t get a lot of sleep over the weekend, but a nice familiar pillow from home will help you take advantage of the couple hours you do manage to sleep.
When you’re in the convention hall, have some business cards or fliers handy if you have something to promote. You don’t always need a media pass or a table to promote your site, business, etc. There will be plenty of opportunities to network. You can visit a lot of tables and make a lot of connections at a convention.