Attending a comic convention for the first time can be a bit daunting. The large halls, the costumed people, bright and shiny merchandise, and a handful of famous people can be a bit overwhelming if it’s something you have yet to experience. That’s why today, I’d like to share some insight on what to expect at your first comic convention. Here’s our comic convention advice for all newbies!
Research the line-up at the show and make a plan of what you want to do. Do you plan to check out a panel? Schedule your activities to make sure you don’t miss it. Also, if entry to the panel requires that you purchase a ticket in advance, make sure you’re aware. Did you want to get a signature from a celebrity? Purchase your tickets for that ahead and you might even get a discount when you bundle it with your show tickets. Also, if you’re planning to do a celebrity meet-and-greet, be prepared to stand in a line for a good part of the day so you’ll want to make sure that you plan your time accordingly.
BE PREPARED TO WALK
Most conventions will have halls full of vendors selling lots of cool merchandise from collectible toys and comic books to fan gear and clothing and artists selling their work. Since each booth is unique, you’re going to want to make sure that you take a peek at each one. That means strolling up and down aisles and aisles of booths so you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible. Make sure you wear a pair of shoes with sufficient support and avoid achy feet at the end of the day.
As previously mentioned, there will be plenty of goodies you’ll want to take home. Save yourself the trouble of guessing if the vendor takes card and the heartache of having to pass on that super-rare collectible because you didn’t bring cash. But don’t empty your bank account; set yourself a fair budget and keep your options open. I recommend walking the whole show floor to see which vendor has the best selection and prices.
TREAT COSPLAYERS RESPECTFULLY
Conventions are a great place to see cosplayers. These are people who dress up as a character and act or pose like them. Some cosplayers are so fantastic that you might want to get a picture of them. However, it’s important to note that respect is key and they are not obligated to take a picture with you or pose for you. Don’t worry because most will as long as you ask nicely. However, a cosplayer might be running late to meet a friend or on their way to the bathroom or they might just be kind of shy. Whatever the case, if they refuse to take a photo don’t treat them like a jerk. Be respectful of their wishes and find the next great cosplayer and ask them politely. On the other hand, there are some novice cosplayers who are still learning the craft. If you think their costume is not up to your standards, be kind and keep negative comments to yourself.
CHECK OUT THE ARTIST ALLEY
The artist alley is one of my favorite aspects of a comic convention. You’ll get to purchase original artwork from the artist themselves, how cool is that? In my opinion, it’s like a mini pop culture art gallery. Although you’ll often find that the subject matter is similar, each artist has their own take on how they bring the character to life. If you purchase something from the artist, you can even ask them to sign it!
STAY FOR THE COSPLAY CONTEST
Lots of conventions will host a cosplay contest which is basically like a pageant where cosplayers can show off their work. You might not get a chance to see all the cosplay while you’re out on the hall floor, so the contest would be a good chance to see what people have created. You might even get inspired to get into cosplay yourself!
The food is usually located at one end of the hall and if you’re feeling hungry while you’re at the other end of the hall, you’ll soon find yourself feeling “hangry.” (Hungry and angry). This does not make for a fun time so bring yourself some snacks and a bottle of water to stave off hunger.
Now that you know the basics, it’s time for you to find a local comic convention to attend! Are you a seasoned con attendee? If so, share your tips for attending comic conventions in the comments section!