I was recently approached to do a post what to do before a convention. I have yet to go to a con, but I’ve watched some livestreams and heard lots of stories about people who went to some, so I know what to expect. I still thought it was a really great idea to make for a post, because not only are there cons for anime, comics, and games, there are also cons for YA books. (I’ve always wanted to go to one.) This list includes some things to bring for anime cons, but it’s still relevant to other types of conventions too.
Now, on with the post!
Stuff to Bring
Always remember your tickets! It’d be very bad if you ended up forgetting about bringing you ticket! (Unless it’s a digital ticket; which you don’t need to worry about losing.)
During cons, there are many different opportunities to see something special, and many of those events are ticket only. Events like that showcase their tickets online at the convention’s site, or other helpful sites that they allow to distribute their tickets.
Eventbrite is a site that you can get tickets from, or sell them (if you’re part of the event and have registered on their site.) You can even see the events that they help in at an area near you.
A Tote Bag
Whether it’s decorated with fandom art or not, tote bags will be very helpful if you plan on buying a lot of merch. Of course, you get bags when you buy things most of the time, but it’s just more convenient to carry on bag instead of many. (Although you might need to bring an extra, in case the other gets full.)
If you have an unused tote from a grocery store, that works too! (It’s probably what I’d use.) It doesn’t have to be anything flashy, but you can decorate it to fit your outfit if you’re going to cosplay. 😉
(Snack, Cash, Water, etc.)
I don’t know if you can bring food or not to most cons, but bring a snack for the trip or just save something to eat outside.
Bring lots of water! If you intend to stay all day, bring about 4-5 bottles at least. You may think that’s too much, but it’s better to have an abundance of water, than none at all. (During lots of outside activities, I always had to go through 3-4 bottles everyday.) (<The heat was cruel. 😖)
Cash is always important. Not a lot of vendors at cons accept checks or credit cards and will only take dollar bills. Prices are also very high at cons because a lot of the merch is collectible, so be sure to plan ahead how much to take.
Comfy shoes are also a big deal. You will do a lot of walking, sometimes outside or to other buildings. This is basically commonsense, I don’t think I have to elaborate any more.
A Small Sewing Kit/Felt Glue
I don’t know which cons have this, but I do know that Anime Expo had a cosplay station where there were people around to help you if something when wrong with your outfit. I bet they had supplies there, but with a lot of people, they might not have always been available. Which is why it’s just better to bring your own supplies to mend your cosplay.
Even if there isn’t a cosplay station in your con, you can still bring some supplies and quickly fix yourself in a bathroom/porta-potty.
(Or just your phone)
Cons even have sets put out for you and your cosplay. Sometimes they may take place in your favorite show, and others are just there because they look nice (like garden sets). Either way, they are places for you to take pictures at and pose in [with friends].
Another use is for streaming. There will be a few people around who like to stream their experience on either Twitch, YouTube, or somewhere else. You can record everything that you see and allow other people who aren’t able to go have a chance to see some of the sites.
There are some panels that don’t allow cameras, but if there are any that do, take the opportunity to take a photo so that you can remember what you did when you went to the convention! But know when it is okay to take a photo, sometimes the panel doesn’t want to leak any trailers out.
Prep For Different Conventions
There’s not a whole lot I’d prepare. I’d say I’d like to bring a lot of bags, because I’d be buying books left and right. I’d also bring a few writing utensils, like a sharpie, if I ever wanted to pay/ask for an autographed copy. (Though I bet they have sharpies already there, it’s just nice to pack one.)
I don’t have to bother too much with clothing. Sadly, I don’t own any book fandom T-Shirts, so I can’t wear anything to represent my favorite YA book. But I’d wear any book related thing I have, if I could.
I’ve always wanted to go to Comic-Con. It’s always fun to bring friends to conventions, and for this one, I’d like to invite some people to wander the grounds with me. (Also, if you plan to cosplay, you can all go as a group cosplay, which is more fun.)
I forgot to mention it in the book conventions, but I’ll say it now for all convention types, and that is to make a schedule. There will be many panels to see, and all in different areas. It’s better to schedule the times each panel you want to see is, and determine if you can go to where it’s hosted. There’s so many things to see at a con, and panels are one of the things I’d aim for seeing, so knowing beforehand which ones I plan on going to will be handy.
Video Game Conventions
I don’t know too much about game conventions, sadly, but I’d expect them to be like any other convention.
I’d probably just focus on keeping track of all new releases that the game devs showcase, so I’d bring either a pen and some paper, or just my phone, so I could remember everything I plan to play before it comes out.
Also I know that there are areas where you can game by yourself, so if you have anything that you can bring to help you game (like a USB with everything on it, or something else) than go ahead and take it with you.
There are different type of game cons, either they’re ones that revolve around one game (like MineCon), or they showcase many (like IndieCade). Either way, there are still lots of things to see, regarding panels or meet and greets, so be sure to take advantage of those.
There are also certain media sites/companies that have their own conventions (like TwitchCon). They showcase popular users of those sites, and/or bring special guests to see fans.
I am also not too familiar with what goes on in these conventions, but I’d pack all the necessities I’ve mentioned above, and look into what that specific con will display.
I’ve never cosplayed before, I never know who to go as, but because the majority of people go as another character, I’d prepare to bring a camera with me to capture some inspiration for future cosplays or just to remember all the awesome ones I saw. The neat thing about cosplay is that the people who create their own outfits have always got at least one clever trick. Don’t be afraid to ask, sometimes I’d bet a few of them would like to talk about how they assembled their clothes.
You don’t have to cosplay if you aren’t able to. You can just go in normal clothes, and it wouldn’t matter to most people. Just be prepared to take all the basic things you need (what I’ve mentioned above) and be ready to go.
I know that Anime Expo has come and gone, but I hear that there’s a CrunchyRoll Expo coming up August 25-27, so you can still get a chance to visit an anime con!
That’s all for now, thank you for reading! Be sure to click on the links I’ve mentioned, you can see if there are any large events near you! Have you been to a con? Which one, and what did you like to see? Give me a shout out in the comments, I’d love to hear your story!