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A Con-Goer’s Primer: Helpful Hints for a Great Convention Experience

A comic convention.
With convention season in full swing, this is a great opportunity to remind everyone how to make the most of your event and avoid feeling like you’re at death’s door by the end of it. Here’s some helpful advice to enjoy a happy and safe con.

A comic convention.

Om Nom Nom

I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you feed yourself and drink plenty of water. Make good use of onsite water fountains and carry water everywhere with you. You’re spending some long hours in a highly ventilated and possibly air-conditioned environment. There’s a lot of walking and a lot of sweating. It’s very possible to burn through as many or more calories in one day at a con as you would in a very intense 1-hour workout at the gym. Be sure to get at least 2 solid meals a day and try to have easy and portable snacks throughout the day to keep you going.

So Tired

Conventions are known for their endless schedule of activities, some of which run late into the night or don’t stop at all. It’s very important to remember to get at least 6 hours of sleep. A lack of sleep can make you a grumpy attendee and be a major cause of a post-convention hangover. A nap on a bench or against a wall does not count as sleep, not to mention the staff of the event and venue are generally not very appreciative of babysitting sleepy con-goers. Even leave the building entirely and go for a walk outside. Breathing in all that recycled air can wear you down, so be sure to explore the outdoors while replenishing your body with fresh oxygen.

Something Stinks

No one is ever too busy to shower. Keep in mind that you’re walking around sweating all day, your body oils are secreting and you may be getting other people’s secretions on you as well. Sounds disgusting, right? Well you’re in close proximity to thousands of other people enclosed in one area. It’s happening, whether you like it or not. Not only will you feel better washing off the day with a quick shower, but your fellow con attendees will appreciate the much sweeter scent of your freshly applied deodorant. Also gum and mints are not a substitute for brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Keep those pearly whites clean!

These Boots are Made for Walkin’

Walking and standing in lines are no stranger to the convention experience. Make sure you’ve got comfortable shoes and spare pairs of comfortable shoes. You know how your feet get sore after walking around all day? You can actually refresh your feet a bit just by changing into a different pair of shoes. Do double duty with your meal breaks and rest your feet for a while.

What’s Next?

Convention events can sometimes be overwhelming. Be sure to look at the schedule before the con and highlight activities you want to attend. If necessary, print out the schedule and color code it for priority event that are a “must see” for you and events you might want to just pop in for. This can help you plan for your personal schedule of sleeping, showering, meals, and meeting up with friends.

Mind Your Manners

A very important reminder here: Please remember to be polite and courteous to everyone you encounter at a convention, whether it’s staff, security, guests or other attendees. Not everyone is there for the same reasons and no one like to be confrontational. Go a step further and try to be helpful to others if you see they’re struggling and maybe you’ll make a new friend out of it. Enjoy engaging with others in polite conversation and you might interest someone in something they’ve never heard about before. Don’t take rejection too personally as sometimes people are just really busy or under a lot of stress.  And try your best to be patient with those involved with the event. Extremely large line ups and conflicts are not always anticipated and staff may need more than a few minutes to assess a situation before resolving an issue.

Let me know if you agree with any of these tips and feel free to comment with any other helpful pointers you have for con attendees.

Enjoy a safe, healthy, and happy convention season!

J. Tanooki is a Contributor for She has been a lover of cosplay for over 10 years and regularly works on new and exciting cosplay projects. She actively posts about her cosplay plans, progress, and random shenanigans on her Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram. Her opinion is her own. 

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