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Author Topic: Conventions and advice?  (Read 494 times)

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Offline CrazTopic starter

Conventions and advice?
« on: August 10, 2011, 07:46:31 PM »
So, I'm going to Dragon Con this year with some coworkers and a few family. This is my first real sci-fi convention, and so I want to be a bit prepared for what I should know. Two of our group are veteran convention-goers, so I've been getting advice fro them on which of the hotels are the party ones, but I'm also looking for some con-survival tips.

Does anyone here have experience with conventions, and can offer some advice? It'd be appreciated.

Offline Major Major

Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 09:05:32 PM »
Dress for comfort, unless you're cosplaying; and even then, always carry a pair of comfortable shoes with you; I went to a con last year as Aizen from Bleachm abd the sandals I had to wear were so uncomfortable they made my feet bleed.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 09:12:46 PM »
Hmm.. let's see..

The Major is right.. dress for comfort, be sure to stay hydrated and make to stay clean.

That and watch your gear/wallet.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 09:40:22 PM »
Bring snacks.  It's possible to survive on consuite munchies, but having a PowerBar or similar close at hand is something that can get you through that next panel to the dinner break (if they schedule one).

Oh - look over the schedule the first day and see if there's anything that you really want to go to.  Set your watch/cellphone alarm to make sure you don't miss it.  Autograph sessions usually have a line, so be prepared for that.  Learn where the different conference rooms are, so you're not standing in the main lobby looking for signage five minutes before the panel on the other end of the hotel starts.

Be nice to the con-staff.  It's typically a thankless job.

Oh, and remember that the GoHs are people, too.  They may show up wandering around, and it's possible to end up having a nice conversation with them if you treat them like anyone else.  (I had a nice chat with Margaret Weis over my needlework once - didn't realize who I was talking to until halfway through.)

EDIT:  If you're staying at the hotel, remember to SLEEP!  It helps in distinguishing the hall costumes from the hallucinations.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 09:41:50 PM by Oniya »

Offline undisclosedtoyou

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Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 01:22:20 AM »
Bring snacks.  It's possible to survive on consuite munchies, but having a PowerBar or similar close at hand is something that can get you through that next panel to the dinner break (if they schedule one).

Oh - look over the schedule the first day and see if there's anything that you really want to go to.  Set your watch/cellphone alarm to make sure you don't miss it.  Autograph sessions usually have a line, so be prepared for that.  Learn where the different conference rooms are, so you're not standing in the main lobby looking for signage five minutes before the panel on the other end of the hotel starts.

+1 a lot for Snacks and drinks, I personally always make it my mission to know where to find the nearest coffee cart, or hospitality room.  Also, planning your schedule, as Oniya has said, is important.  So finding the things you want to attend at the conference, and highlighting them is important.  When you go in and register, you should get a map with everything.

Quote
EDIT:  If you're staying at the hotel, remember to SLEEP!  It helps in distinguishing the hall costumes from the hallucinations.

Hahaha, yes I +1 this to!

Offline Oniya

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Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 01:58:51 AM »
Hahaha, yes I +1 this to!

(I once pulled a 3-day con and never saw the inside of the hotel room once.  Sleep-dep is a definite mind-altering substance.)

Offline undisclosedtoyou

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Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 02:24:45 AM »
(I once pulled a 3-day con and never saw the inside of the hotel room once.  Sleep-dep is a definite mind-altering substance.)

Oh wow, I can't even imagine doing that, I value sleep at con's like a dragon guarding it's hoard.  But yeah, when you keep in mind the sheer amount of people who attend these things, sleep to keep your sanity is a precious thing indeed!

Offline kylie

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Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 04:53:52 AM »
     It depends on how you are with crowds.  This won't surprise you if you're used to big cons I guess...  But DragonCon is huge and the event buildings can be packed. 

     Be prepared for severe crowding, jostling, and heat.  Wear something you can breathe in, but don't mind being bumped in.  ::)  If you're a packrat like me, I know it's easier said than done --- avoid unnecessary luggage.  You'll probably be starting and stopping for long stretches on your feet. 

     Autograph sessions:  Yes.  Do not be surprised by lines that fill up a couple hours before the event.  Some popular ones have closed off the queue long before event time, for lack of space.

     If taking pictures, try to be careful.  There have been reports of incidents where security was not friendly to chance shots of/toward celebrities.  Some figures may also be expecting gratuities for any pictures.

Warnings aside, can be a very amusing con!

    If you're at all into movies or just want some peace, do check out the film festival.  The early ones were not jam-packed last year, and they have some nifty stuff.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 11:47:49 AM »
Oh wow, I can't even imagine doing that, I value sleep at con's like a dragon guarding it's hoard.  But yeah, when you keep in mind the sheer amount of people who attend these things, sleep to keep your sanity is a precious thing indeed!

I was young and naive.  ::)

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Conventions and advice?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 11:59:41 AM »
Another vote for planning your schedule in advance. You may stumble across something better when you get there, but you want to go through the program & at least have an outline of what you want to get to on each day.

That said, don't forget to leave unscheduled time for roaming the vendors, wandering into exhibits or events you hadn't thought about going to, or just cooling your heels for an hour.