[Article By: Yoamiwaii]
Without further ado, we enter round two of The Convention Primer, with more helpful tips and advisories to help you with your fun and survival!
• Convention adventures can be extremely expensive when you lay out all the costs. Accommodation, food, Cosplay (optional), photography equipment (again, optional), tickets, shopping and travel. You might be able to cut corners in some areas, like accommodation if you have very kind friends who will share for pittance or even for free (though that’s down to their discretion, so don’t assume anything!). For some, sitting down to cost out time away at a convention can be especially helpful to know ahead of time, just to know how much money will cover what and what they will have left in their pocket when it comes to the event. Spacing out buying tickets, paying for accommodation and organising cosplays (either commissioning or sorting out materials for yourself), for example, months in advance would be an advisable option. You could even cut food costs over your trip by packing foodstuffs to take with you – which might be especially helpful to anyone with dietary requirements or allergies (more on this later!).
• With so many things to do over a convention weekend, sometimes it can be hard to keep track! Making a timetable for performances, meet ups, photo opportunities etc… could help you keep on top of where you need to be and what time. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; maybe just a scrawl in a small notebook you can slip into your bag or pocket. Plans do change, so you don’t have to stick strictly to your plans, but at least you’ll have an idea of the things you’ve considered.
• Though Con-Flu is probably something to discuss after a convention is all said and done, there are some precautions beforehand you could take to try and prevent being struck down by the dreaded lurgy! Get some essential vitamins inside you for a start, like Vitamin C. There are some first defence products like nasal spray and hand foam – though their effectiveness is debatable. Or, alternatively, make sure you at least have hand sanitising gel. It might even be wise to pack some cold and flu products to take with you, just in case. And if you think you’re coming down with something and are intent on going, maybe take a face mask, which will reduce the risk of spreading the dreaded lurgy!
• One for the Cosplayers! With such intricate and sometimes even delicate costumes packed to hit the scene, make sure you have a repair kit tucked somewhere in your suitcase. Essentials are glue, needles and thread, spare buttons etc… - just in case things go wrong on the day, though you may not be able to take things like needles into the convention itself (for security reasons). Safety pins are always a life saver, so make sure you take plenty of those as well!