Greetings, Curious Crowd! The last year and a half has been, well, interesting to say the least. Last year the world had to pause due to that which shall not be named. Cons were only able to take place online. Now, as long as things continue on a positive trend we may be able to start attending cons in person again! Some of you may remember one of the very first posts I wrote about how to prepare for the con. We recently had a discussion on our Twitch channel about this and about how many of these tips still hold up today. We also discussed what things needed to be added to these procedures in order to fulfill the standards of today’s world (you can watch our discussion here). So let us take a look back upon my old article and see what still holds up, and how we need to re-look at how we prepare for the con today!
1. Preparing for your departure!
“Make yourself a packing list…a very thorough one. I know they say not to over pack, and really you shouldn’t, but don’t skimp on the important stuff that can get you or others out of a bind.”
This still holds true! I always make lists for every trip. I have enclosed an updated packing list in an easier to view PDF format this time.
“If you are cosplaying, make sure you’ve got every single piece of your cosplay together and packed. Make sure you don’t forget anything but if you do, try not to sweat it. There are convenience stores right? Ooh! How convenient! Also, consider the amount of stuff you might be bringing back with you and leave space for that stuff in your bag.”
This part also still rings true! Although you don’t want to have to pay outrageous con prices for forgotten items, there are usually convenience stores nearby that are likely to have the things you are in need of.
2. Leaving on a jet plane…
“Make sure you arrive at the airport when you are supposed to. Dress comfortable and don’t wear shoes that will be difficult to take off. You don’t want to be THAT person in the TSA line do you? Make sure that anything really important that you do not want to get lost in your luggage gets placed into your carry-on. You may even want to pack an extra outfit into your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost.”
In addition to this, look into the requirements for both your departure airport and your returning airport. You will also want to make sure whether or not there are any travel restrictions on either your home turf or your destination, along with any quarantine requirements. Whether or no masks are required at the time you are reading this, it may actually be a good idea to consider wearing one anyway.
3. Your hotel room!
“This is going to be your haven when you’ve had a long day at the con so try to make it comfortable. If you don’t want maid service you can always leave the “do-not-disturb” sign on the door. If you’re cosplaying the next day, lay out everything that you will need, down to the makeup.”
In addition to this information, keep in mind that hotels are not your only option! AirBNBs make a great option if you have other people you are staying with who are willing to split. Just make sure your host’s place is officially licensed to avoid any last minute cancellation that might be imposed by AirBNB.
4. Your con day bag
“This is crucial…bring a bag that is plain and boring if you can. Nothing says “STEAL ME!!!” at a convention more than an awesome nerdy bag.”
I also still agree with these sentiments. I listed out what I normally bring in my con day bag:
- Water and snacks (avoid expensive con food as much as possible and DON’T FORGET TO EAT AND STAY HYDRATED!)
- A notepad and pen/Marker (you never know when you’re gonna need to take notes or whose autograph you might get)
- Band-aids (for the ouchies!)
- Hand Sanitizer (Cause everything is yucky!!!)
- Deodorant (for when you start feeling not so fresh)
- Baby Wipes (for when you’re feeling EXTRA not so fresh!)
- Ladies, bring extra lady things…(you could start unexpectedly, as could a fellow nerdette in need)
- If you are cosplaying consider bringing street clothes and comfy shoes (Refer back to my Cosplay Guide for Newbs article)
- Also if you are cosplaying bring your emergency repair kit (I will be covering this next week!)
- Camera and extra batteries
- Your phone charger (if you have room in your bag consider bringing a power strip…you’ll thank me)
- Money (preferably hidden)
- Gum/breath mints (for when yo breath be dank! Or you can offer to someone standing near you with dragon breath)
- Pain killers (for con headaches)
In addition to these things, I’m gonna say it one more time for the people in the back: BRING FACE MASKS! Even without the fear of catching COVID, if you’ve ever gone home with con crud I am sure you feel me. Also consider taking some preventative meds such as Emergen-C while on your trip to lessen your chances of becoming sick or bringing something back with you to your loved ones.
Dos & Don’ts of the Con!
- Eat, drink (water), and be merry! (Don’t just live on caffeine!)
- Talk to people; make friends!
- Be nice
- Be aware of time management (Consider whether waiting in line for hours is really worth it)
- Get some sleep! (Time zones changes screw with us all and we wanna stay up all night at the parties!!! But we need sleep…)
- Be drunk and annoying (Seriously even at a party don’t get smashed…you will regret it. A few drinks to loosen up is fine)
- GLOMP! (Over-excited running tackle)
- Leave your stuff unattended
- Feel the need to critique or compare cosplays
- Wait until the last minute to head to the con (Especially if you are taking public transportation. Try to get on your transport early and arrive early as there will likely be a line)
In addition to these prior suggestions, please take into consideration that many people who may have been all about the hugs and handshakes before may be more freaked out by physical contact now. Maybe consider elbow bumps instead.
5. Going back home
“I know it sucks; it’s sad, but every amazing journey comes to an end. It’s time to return to everyday life. Before you leave do a sweep of your hotel room and make sure everything is packed, securely. I know you’re tired but if you pack your stuff haphazardly you will not be a happy nerd when you get home and open your luggage. Pack your carry-on with everything you need on your return flight. You hopefully accounted for the swag you would be taking back with you when you packed for your trip initially, cause if not things are going to get real interesting! Have a safe trip home!”
If you have followed everything up to this point then hopefully you have made preparations for your trip home, whether that involves quarantining upon your return or not. We all want to have a good time at the con, but now eve more so we need to be smart about the ways in which we hold gatherings. I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if you are able to get vaccinated, please do so! We would all like things to go back to “normal” and we’ve still got a long way to go. More than anything, we do not want things to go back to the way they were in 2020, or worse.
How are you feeling about going back to conventions in person? What are you going to do to prepare? Let us know!