Conventions are some of the greatest fun you can have in one extended weekend—if you do it right. If you don’t, you’re in for 48+ hours of physical stress. We recently published a list of pointers for all of you convention newbies to follow. Ya know what? One list wasn’t enough. Thanks to some seasoned convention attendees, we have more helpful tips for you—all of which I have personally battle-tested. Ignore these at your peril.
Conventions are exciting… except for the parts when you’re waiting in those many, many queues, particularly if your con buddies are off on their own adventures. Bring a book, a graphic novel, or perhaps a game to pass the time. Better yet, buy something when you get there. The vendors will love you forever.
CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES
You may have spent weeks, if not months, perfecting your cosplay masterpiece, and darling, you look absolutely fabulous. But after one day of walking the floor, put it away, because no amount of Febreze can replace your dry cleaner.
And it’s not just because the synthetic fabrics you use in your costuming traps odors. It’s because it gives you a chance to display even more of your cosplay creations. Because you’re just that awesome.
You may think you smell fresh as a daisy after three days of happy convention fun time. But I assure you, you don’t. Three days of con-ing has a way of turning any daisy into a skunk. I know it takes time to shower and style your hair. Make time. You’ll look (and smell) better for it. While you’re at it, don’t forget to brush your teeth—and bring along handy dandy Listerine strips for those close conversations. You’re welcome.
DON’T SLATHER YOURSELF IN PERFUME/COLOGNE
Perfume and cologne were pre-deodorant solutions to the problem of sweat and stink. But it also can cause headaches and even trigger asthma attacks in people who are sensitive to chemicals. Considering conventions can attract thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, logic dictates a few of them have perfume sensitivities. So leave your Avengers cologne at home.
A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Trust me when I say this: A good night’s sleep is crucial to your enjoyment of the convention—as well as the rest of your life. A lack of sleep decreases your cognitive functions, and worse, your sex drive. The man/woman/furry (we don’t judge) of your dreams could be out there. Without sleep, you’ll be too tired to notice or care.
Also, it makes you grouchy as hell.
IMHO, this is the most important advice, because it has the most impact on enjoying your con experience. If you think I’m joking, picture this: You’re in your best cosplay, smiling for the cameras, soaking up admiring glances. But your well-earned strut turns into a hobble as you limp through the halls. That’s because, like Cinderella’s step-sisters, you had to cut off your toes to fit into those fancy slippers. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. But foot pain has a way of ruining any enjoyment. Now isn’t the time to break in your new boots, either. Make sure they’re made for walking the convention floor by breaking them in ahead of time.
You’ll never make it to your panels of choice when your walk becomes a slow crawl.
DANCE BELT/JOCK STRAP
Men of any gender: If you’re walking around in revealing garments, do us all a favor and wear a dance belt or a jock strap, that is, a flesh-colored garment that packs your tackle in tight. I know your junk is impressive. But I have it on good authority that your special someone wants to keep you all for him/herself. I respect that. I respect that too much to let you flash me.
Last but not least, when packing your shoes and toothbrush, don’t forget to bring along your manners. Walk, don’t run. Don’t block the halls trying to take cosplay photos, and please oh please, don’t take them on staircases. Consider the flow of traffic, and try not to walk against it. Don’t text/take calls when you’re making purchases. Tell the cosplayer that you like her work, not that you like how hot she is. Be polite. You’re among thousands of like-minded people. Courtesy can turn any of them into your new best friends.
UPDATED: Also, keep in mind that not everyone is as able-bodied as you, and they can’t move as fast as you’d like. So give yourself extra time to get from Point A to Point B.
Featured image credit: Carol Pinchefsky
GIFs via Giphy