Friday, March 8, 2013

Matthew's Response to "10 Tips For Surviving Con Season"

Click the picture to the link to the original article
This article was published on March 6th, 2013, on the website Nerdist News. The title says it all: tips on surviving a convention season. While the "convention year" is already set in motion with conventions like ALA, SacAnime, and AOD, the "convention season" is when the meat of the conventions, mostly the biggest, prestigious, and costly, occur: the Sakura-Cons, Fanimes, Anime Expos, and Otakons of the world.

I'll be reposting these tips as well as a my personal expertise and suggestions that accompany them.

10. Nothing is worse than having someone disparage the cosplay you spent hours and hours making. Brandon Parks directs the haters to the left with this pearl of wisdom: "Not letting random jerks badger you about your costume for not making it yourself. All that matters is your opinion of it and no one else's. Positive feedback is nothing but icing on the cake for having the guts to wear your costume." Where was Brandon when we were trying to choose our outfit this morning?

Apply this to both at the convention and after the convention when photos of your cosplay will show up on various websites and people are more likely to voice their opinions behind the wall of the internet then.

9. One of the facts of con life is that you're going to be walking. A lot. Even though you spent what felt like forever waiting for the AMV Contest, you're going to be on your feet all day long. How do you combat podiatrical pain? Larry Hester's got two words for you - "Comfortable shoes." 

Gel insoles from Dr. Scholls will also go a long way.

8. Stay positive! Craig Corpuz's limited edition con glass is always half full: "Never frown or be dissatisfied. If a panel, event or cosplay meetup flops, just move on to the next activity on your agenda. It's all about being the fan that brought you to the con in the first place." Wise words, Craig.

While you want to just move on, wonder why said panel, event, or cosplay meetup flopped, but again try not to worry about it at the convention; try to deal with it afterwards. Do you need to consult those that you were going to gather with and figure out if the location or time didn't work out? Do you need to tweak things to make the panel, event, or cosplay gathering better? That way, it makes your experience much better in the future, and it shows some accountability and responsibility for you and those around you.

7. Overwhelmed by a mysterious aroma? Andrew Reistroffe says, "Bring a bottle of Febreeze and spray everyone who smells bad." Obviously, he's joking around, but remember - not everyone is anosmic; apply deodorant liberally (to yourself, not strangers).

An easy way to keep your cosplay smelling good: spray all your cosplay with Febreeze before you pack them up then do it again the night before you wear it. To save money, buy a generic brand that'll work just as well: you can buy a gallon of ZAP Air and Fabric Odor Eliminator and a Home Depot-branded All-Purpose Spray Bottle for about $11 plus tax.

6. Hungry? Don't grab a Snickers; grab one of the healthy snacks you packed yourself in advance. Tina Israel knows whats up: "Take juice boxes/bottled water and dried/vacuum sealed food to save money for stuff you really want! Think fruit cups, beef jerky and trail mix!"

See my comments for #5.

5. Sometimes snacks don't cut it, but neither does that gross microwaved pizza that they try to sell you for $14 at the convention center commissary. Twitter user @bhstudios01 has your solution: "Figure out in advance where the locals eat. This way you eat real food for an affordable price. Do NOT eat con center food!" Got a smartphone? We recommend the Yelp app to make your comestible quest even easier.

Better yet, do some research beforehand. It'll help you when it comes to budgeting for food and you can even plan around eating at a certain place especially if it's well known around town (i.e. the CCB crew eating at Jim-Dennys at SacAnime). It's even better when you head to a grocery store and stock up on food that in the long run is cheaper than even buying fast food and fast casual. However, do not restrict yourself to just eating ramen in the hotel room all weekend; make some time to at least go out once, that way you get some real food and you'll feel much better throughout the weekend.

4. What do you do when something going wrong with the cosplay you spent the last year slaving away on? Evelyn Morales has a sound plan to help guarantee sartorial success. "Whether or not you're cosplaying, it's always a nice gesture to carry duct tape or sewing equipment."  Believe it or not, a travel-sized sewing kit might just be your best friend (or help you make a friend in a grieving cosplayer)!

Pretty much explainatory.

3. Many of you chimed in about bringing plenty of money to spend on the shiny new toys you'll find in the [Dealer's Room]. Look, we know you want an original Akira animation cel, but it's important to budget yourself because the dealer's room can knock you out of your current tax bracket. Cash is king; bringing a credit card with you may be too much of a temptation for some. 

If you know what you want beforehand, you can compare internet prices + shipping to what you're being charged at a convention. But there are some exceptions where items are not sold online, as we'll see when Good Smile Company comes to AX and proceeds to suck the money out of everyone's wallet, myself and my colleague Ryan included.

Our responses to Good Smile Company selling at Anime Expo 2013.
In that case, make a budget and stick to it. People hate it when you're begging for money to eat or even go home because you spent all your money in the Dealer's Room.

2.  Despite the Red Bull intravenously flowing into your veins, you're going to need a break at some point. Sleep is just as important as seeing every last panel imaginable. Adrienne Brintnall has a simple formula for avoiding exhaustion: "The 5-2-1 rule. 5 hours of sleep, 2 square meals, 1 hot shower." Yep, her math checks out!

I would take it to the "6-3-1 rule:" 6 hours of sleep, 3 square meals, 1 hot shower.

1. Reader Ellyn Foster writes, "Go with the right people. They can make or break a con." While going to a con on your own can be fun, having a buddy to talk to in line can take your experience from sad to rad in no time flat.

Make sure you apply this to people in your hotel room. If you're the one putting the charge on the room, you can establish the rules and more importantly who's in the room. The same can apply for those who are driving (and make sure that they have enough money to get to and from the convention). Many horror stories stem from people who you don't know. Also, be really firm and don't give any free passes to anyone, even if they're best friend in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, as AX is going to be my first Con ever, this helps. :)
    Of course, I'll have Ryan with me at all times, so I should be okay....right? Haha.


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