Guest Author - Eugene Bradford
Have you heard about comic book conventions and want to know what the fuss is about? Or are you preparing to attend your first convention and are unsure of what to expect? Here are some easy tips to make your first convention a smooth one.
As with many events, the amount of funds available is a heavy consideration for attending a show. This includes everything from pre-show preparation to the actual money spent over the course of the weekend. Most people probably don’t like carrying too much cash on them. Convention centers will usually have several ATM’s, but a fee is likely to accompany its use. That fee is something to take into consideration as well.
To begin preparation, you look at the location of the convention. If it is held locally, then that’s typically less stress for attendees. When you have to travel, however, the travel and lodging money put into attending the event must be taken into consideration. Flight appears to be the main option for fans when heading to shows across the country. It is usually quicker, but can also prove to be more expensive than other methods.
Also, depending on your proximity to the location of the convention, hotel accommodations are probably necessary. Many of the bigger conventions reserve rooms in blocks within surrounding hotels strictly for their expected attendees. When hotel reservations are made through the host company, attendees are able to book rooms at a discounted rate, while there is open space of course. So when you are planning your trips, booking hotels when the block reservations become available is a priority. Waiting too late can leave you with a convention ticket but no place to stay or having to find lodging an inconvenient distance away.
Being that it is a convention that you are attending, and with the tendency to pick up free swag along with the many goods that are purchasable, you will likely leave with more items than you had on arrival. You should expect this and plan accordingly with your luggage and bags. This is very important if you plan to purchase original art as you do not want it damaged on the return trip.
Pay attention to programming updates leading up to the convention. Many veteran con-goers prepare a “battle plan” which details what panels they would like to attend and also list the names of people they want to meet along with the times during which they may be somewhere signing. Of course when the convention actually comes up, things may change, but this serves as a basis for what you want to do during the weekend. It is good to have some events planned out so you are not scrambling minutes before in an effort to locate it or prepare.
As typical throughout the day, you will get hungry and thirsty. It is not unheard of for people to pack their own snacks and drinks for the day. If you do not, convention centers will usually have small food centers, but they tend to be expensive, so attendees usually opt for eating outside of the convention.
This next bit may have actually begun as a joke, but one thing many veteran convention attendees cannot stress enough is regularly bathing. Convention centers can be hot, and only get hotter as the number of people increase. Showering and bathing each day of the weekend, as any other time actually, will keep you fresh. It will also keep you happy along with those around you.
Taking these tips into consideration and doing some good planning ahead can alleviate some stresses which will make your convention weekend that much more enjoyable. Check your calendars fans, a convention just may be headed your way. Have fun.