Woohoo! The Fandom Jumper’s first guest post! I’ve always been very fascinated with cosplay and conventions, but other than small local events, I’ve never been to a major con. I’m always working or can’t afford the travel, but I’d love to go to one in the near future. I’ve asked my good friend Lodestar to write tips for conventions for a newb like me and others who would find this useful. Enjoy! ~Kraeraenyeh
Hey, everybody! My name is Lodestar and I am guest writing this post for The Fandom Jumper! A little about me, I am an avid geek culture follower: comics, film, anime, tv you name it, I know something about it…usually. I am highly active on the salt pool that is known as League of Legends, admittingly contributing to the salt fest. I am a proud admin on the Facebook page “Kingdom Hearts Series,” go have a look, I mainly track news and other fun things. I am an avid convention attendee and panelist; in fact, I was one of three Anime USA “Educational Guest Speakers” for the 2016 convention. That is part of why I am here to chat with you today. Sadly, Kraeraenyeh has never been to a con before. I have many experiences I could share, and with Katsucon only days away, I thought now was the time to post about it.
Going to a convention is incomparable to anything I have ever been to. With the hype in the air, the fandoms coming together, mixed with the guests (voice actors and other talents) and the creativity of the cosplayers that roam around, there really is nothing like it. Maybe Disney World, but even there you will have more restrictions than at cons. The main reason I go to cons is because I like seeing the friends I have made. Many people within the Geekdoms suffer from anxiety, and surprisingly when you throw them all together at a con, the anxiety somehow melts away. Conventions are the easiest place I have ever been to make friends. People go to have a good time, and by all means, they will have it.
The big one this weekend is called Katsucon. Katsucon is always held around Valentine’s Day and it has been dubbed as “Cosplay Con” because this is where the elite cosplayers come out to show off. Many people know this as well because companies send professional photographers to come and photograph the cosplayers for promotions for them. League of Legends (based in the same state of Maryland) is avid for using Katsucon cosplayers as promotional items for themselves and the people who pour their heart and soul into the craft.
At a bigger con like Katsucon though, there are always stories that happen. In 2016 there was “the Fire” which stemmed the Fire Nation memes. Damages in the hallways, floods, and more are inescapable at big cons like this. Usually, if you are there, you never even know any of this happened until you go online and see the memes. So there really is nothing to fear.
There are a few things to know when attending these cons, though, as safety tips and just general information.
- Bring Cash – Most conventions have shopping “Dealer’s Rooms” that until recently, have only accepted cash for their purchases.
- Bring Snacks – Buying food at cons can be very expensive, so packing and bringing your own snacks to the hotel room or to carry around can be a life saver.
- Bring Phone Chargers – Many times, people will be using their phones to meet others and take photos, all of which destroy phone battery life. A charger will be your friend.
- Stay Clean – Cons bring out the best of times for some people, which is awesome. That also means it brings out a lot of people into a small, condensed space where the infamous “Con Plague” happens. Germs run rampant, so bring hand sanitizer or something to help combat the germs.
- Business or ID Cards – Going to conventions, you will meet a lot of people. The best practice to save time for everyone when trying to exchange contact information is to hand a card to them and be on your merry way. People will find you if they want to once you give them the cards. Con goers are experts at the internet, so a card is all you will need. Feel free to put any information you want on these cards as well!
- Have Fun – There will ALWAYS be someone having a bad time everywhere. Do not get trapped up in it. It is okay to be like, “Ya know what? I am here to have fun. I will go and do that.” No one will advocate for yourself as much as you will.
These are the main pointers I can think of for newbies to conventions. It may be a lot to take in, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me on Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr. If you feel I missed anything, let me know! I can always make more follow up posts!