Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: First time convention attendee advice

  1. #1
    Heroic Instruct-Or He-Mun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jeffersonville, Indiana
    Posts
    203

    First time convention attendee advice

    This will be my first Power-Con this year but also my first Convention of any kind.

    Any of you who are veterans of these types of events, what was something you wish you knew the first year that would have improved your experience?

    My Toy/Nerd Blog - Ubernerd, Beyond Loserdome https://beyondloserdome.blogspot.com/

    My MOTU Fan Fiction:
    - Direct link to the Google Slides - https://goo.gl/0DJy5p
    - Link to my Thread in the Fan Fiction Forums - http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...e-MOTU-Mythos)

    Twitter/Instagram: @BeyondUbernerd

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior manowar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,291
    Balance. I go to a lot of conventions. One of the things I ultimately fall victim to is getting too focused on 1 thing and missing out on stuff. I would try to plan out your day beforehand, if there's a panel you want to attend, any vendors you want to visit, where they're located, if there's any exclusives you want to pick up.

    If you don't plan these things out, you'll miss a lot.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Heroic Instruct-Or He-Mun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jeffersonville, Indiana
    Posts
    203
    Thank you!

    My Toy/Nerd Blog - Ubernerd, Beyond Loserdome https://beyondloserdome.blogspot.com/

    My MOTU Fan Fiction:
    - Direct link to the Google Slides - https://goo.gl/0DJy5p
    - Link to my Thread in the Fan Fiction Forums - http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...e-MOTU-Mythos)

    Twitter/Instagram: @BeyondUbernerd

  4. #4
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    37,980
    I definitely agree with manowar.
    I'd also suggest patience and savoring the moment.

    I see people who go to shows (I've seen this for MANY shows) and then they complain online with comments like "It only took me an hour to go through it."
    And I'm left thinking "What were you there for?"

    When you go to a show that has panels all day, and lots of guests to talk to, and tons of vendors with booths to sift through, that's easily an all all-day thing.
    And when you mix in taking your time, going and coming as you please, meeting new friends and hanging out with like-minded fans, it's easily a multi-day event when the show is a 2-day, 3-day or 4-day convention.

    But even more important is how many fans meet people like themselves, then go to dinner together, or hang out in the lobby, etc. This is a key component of conventions, IMO.
    It's not just talking to creators, or enjoying panels, or shopping. A big part of conventions is making new friends, and then being able to see old faces year-to-year and spend time together in one location where you can all gather.


    I know this is easier said than done, but I always recommend to try and fight shyness. Remember you are in a place where many people share your interests. There's no reason to feel out of place when you recognize you are among your people!
    Hope to see you at Power-Con 2021!
    JVS3 = Val Staples = Power-Con, Event Director | He-Man.Org, Owner | Guy who has been fortunate to work on a LOT of MOTU & POP projects
    Please check out my Facebook page

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior Hachiman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Third Earth, New Jersey
    Posts
    2,007
    I agree with everyone who has mentioned that it is a wonderful place to meet friends. I've made a bunch this way!

    Also, if Power Con comes to NJ, I will do everything in my power to be the best, hardest working volunteer of all time!

  6. #6
    Inappropriate Tree Hugger The.Idea.of.Evil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Berkeley, Ca
    Posts
    1,924
    I've never been to Powercon, so I don't know that specific show. But I have a more "cynical outlook" for bigger con shows in general that should help get you ready:


    -CASH IS KING. There will be plenty of places that accept credit cards (convention booths, coffee stands, food stands, etc). But a lot of times machines go down, and cash is all that can be accepted. PLUS, exhibition booths generally charge less for their merchandise if you pay in cash. Otherwise, the customer is usually the one that has to pay the extra credit card fees. And then if you need to get cash, there are usually long lines at the minimal atm machines at each convention center, and sometimes they even run out of money. So, bring as much cash as you're comfortable holding in hand, and be mindful that it can go really quickly if you don't pay attention to how much you're spending at any given time. In general, I usually bring about $1000 in cash for the small exhibitor booth stuff and artist commission sales. But then I'll use my cc for company booth purchases that charge the same fees at the convention center that they would online.

    -Expect there to be no real areas to rest in. Unless you're hugging the outer wall of any convention center where a booth or a specific pathway to get to a booth is, there isn't going to be any large areas for you to rest in that isn't already going to have other people resting there already. It's mandatory that you wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Bring a comfortable backpack to hold some small items in. And most importantly, know that there aren't a lot of wall sockets around for you to charge a phone at. Buying a portable recharge battery can be quite helpful for these kind of events. It's gonna be warm, and it's gonna get muggy in there. So even bringing a change of shirt can be a good thing for a mid-day change.

    -Don't bring a lot of unneeded things into the convention center with you. I've seen plenty of people bringing in lawn chairs, stools, poster holders, giant bags to hold merch in, etc., and you'll always find that carrying all that equipment with you is more of a pain than they're worth. And even if you were able to fill up such things (bags, etc), that's just more that you'll have to carry around in hand on the convention floor. Bring a medium sized bag that you can fold into a backpack if you're worried, but be willing to do A LOT of walking. And don't be afraid to leave the convention center itself to go back to your car if need be. There you can sit, you can drop off merch, you can recharge your phone and yourself, and then you can go back into the convention feeling refreshed at any time of the day.

    -There are going to be A LOT of big ego people who all work booths who want to push you around. "Get out of the way," "Don't take any pictures," "You're not supposed to be here," "You're not allowed to take these freebies," and a lot of bossy attitudes should be expected. But you can only be polite and listen to them, no matter how annoying those people are. Sadly, I've never been to one convention where there weren't these types of people, and you'll just have to get used to them over time.

    -There's usually a lot of talk of parties and get-togethers after the show closes on any given day - and you're not invited to any of them. This is mostly for the larger con shows where professionals and industry insiders get to rub shoulders with one another. But understand that every restaurant and bar will be packed and taped off from run of the mill walk-ins, and you're gonna have to make early plans on where you're gonna want to go well before any day of the convention is over. Plus, if you think even a local McDonalds will make due for lunch or dinner, expect that every other convention attendee who has nowhere to go will be there as well. Be prepared for the chance that to get a decent meal somewhere, you might have to drive 30 minutes away from the convention center to get somewhere where there isn't a crowd.

    -Keep your hydration and your protein levels up. Bring bottled water, bring snacks, and make sure to take breaks every hour or two. You'd be surprised how all-of-the-sudden a headache or a soreness or a weakness hits you, and it's because you've been on your feet all day, indoors, and not replenishing your energy. And trust me, when those ailments hit you and you're stuck in the middle of the convention floor, you're gonna have a bad time - guaranteed.

    -People camp out for everything. And like said above in the other replies, you gotta plan what you want to do every day well in advance. Other people are going to be in line a whole day before any specific event takes place. So don't expect to arrive 30 minutes/1 hour/2 hours/3 hours in advance to some panel or exclusive toy sale at a specific booth and thinking you should be fine. Make sure to notice any lines forming early and to talk to any industry booth about their plans for the following day's events that you want to attend. You should always make it a point to know what you're in for the following day before you leave the previous day.

    -Other fans, in general, are very polite and nice to talk to. But there are those occasional inner-circle folk who might treat you odd because they don't know you. Don't let those people bring you down. You'll find new friends who are more than willing to be open and courteous. It just might take a little more effort from you to find them, and when you do things tend to be great.

    -But mostly, have fun and don't be upset if you don't get to do everything that you wanted to do. You can plan to get an exclusive toy on one day, then get an autograph on another day, then get a sketch from an artist the next, and on and on. But they all sell out, and no company/person is ever solid with their sale plans. Exclusive toys for the entire convention weekend can sell out on the first day, "by mistake," and there's nothing you can do about it. Artists might book up their sketching schedule for one day, fall behind and not take sketches the next, and when you see them on the third they've stopped taking commissions altogether. These moments suck, so don't be surprised that you might only be able to get one thing you wanted out of the five things you planned for. To hopefully feel better if it doesn't go the way you wanted it, just really consider yourself lucky that you even got the chance to get something. Because there are days when people show up and get nothing for the entire time they're there. It happens, it sucks. But consider that you even made it to the convention at all when there are people stuck at home who couldn't make it out to even have a chance in trying to get something that they would have wanted.



    You're in for a lot of fun, you're in for some annoyances, and you're gonna have some awesome memories when all is said and over =)

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior manowar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,291
    If I may

    I would also like to add....scope out the area around the convention center and where you'll be staying. Get to know the area. You're likely to forget something, like toothpaste, deodorant....etc. Knowing where a drugstore is located is very helpful. Also, what's around to eat. The convention center is more than likely going to have food on site, but it usually consists of very basic stuff, a slice of mediocre $12 pizza, a $7 warm pretzel, $3 bottled water. If there are places outside the convention center to eat, you might be better off going there for bigger meals. Or, maybe the place is in the middle of nowhere and nothing is around, then you might need to do a little shopping and have a few food items in your room.

    I've gone to some conventions where the hotels are "off site" and require a shuttle bus to get around. It's terrible, especially if you don't have your own transportation.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •