Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Nerdversity Guides: Convention Survival


Winter convention season is at it's final peak before they close down and we have to wait until February before they begin again, so this is why we're giving you guys and and gals the ultimate convention survival guide, along with some dos and dont's.

The convention itself:
  • Make sure you purchase your tickets well in advance. Many cons do not allow you buy tickets on the door. 
  • Double check which ticket you have, what you're entitled to at the convention and when the convention opens it's doors. Many cons have priority access, which allows early entry between certain times
  • If you have press passes, make sure you take relevant paperwork
  • This also goes for any paperwork you may need for general entry, it may be a print out confirmation of the ticket with ID. 
  • If your convention gives you a lanyard and badge, keep it safe and on display at all times 
  • If you're travelling in via public transport, make sure you know the timetables, so you can get there and home safely. 
  • If you are bringing in cosplay props and weaponry via public transport, keep them safe and secured away in a backpack or case. 
  • Be sure to fully obey the conventions safety protocols regarding photos and cosplay
  • Many venues are extremely expensive for food and drink. They also don't offer much in the way of dietary needs, so to get around this, buy your own food and drink that you can keep on you.
  • Drink plenty as well, it does get very warm inside a hotel or hall that has many bodies in it all day
  • Take advantage of resting as much as you can in the convention hall, be it sitting down and having breakfast, or eating lunch, It's easy to forget that you'll be on your feet all day. 
  • Don't rely on the convention accepting cards. Not all of them do, so bring cash. Most convention centers and hotels do have card machines, but be prepared for a still charge
  • Get plenty of sleep the night  before, so you're feeling refreshed. You'll be in for an early start
  • Take a spare phone battery and camera battery, they'll run dry very quickly and there's not may places to charge them, if at all.
  • If you have a large and bulky cosplay, then take some friends along as handlers, who'll help guide you through the narrow maze and crowds.
  • Don't hesitate to talk to any of the stewards or even at the welcome desk if you have any problems
  • If the convention staff talk to you about anything, listen to what they say and obey any orders they give
  • Some rules aren't defined by the convention, but by the venue, check the venue rules before heading there
  • Report any bullying or harassment to any convention staff
Hotels
  • Arrive at the hotel with plenty of time for check in, most of the time it's 3pm, but they will let you in before if it's ready.
  • Try to keep your room clean and tidy for the cleaning services
  • If you are returning late from a convention, please be respectful to other guests staying and keep the noise level down.
  • Do NOT trash your hotel room and have wild room parties.
  • If the hotel is hosting the convention, please respect the guests right to privacy. This means NOT following them to their rooms or trying to break into them
  • Be aware that hotels do add surcharges to anything you may do or use in the hotel. 
  • Also, food is a little more expensive than most places. It may be worth eating out instead
  • Many hotels can hold your bags for you after check out until you're ready to leave, just ask
  • If you are staying in a hotel that's near the convention center, it's a great place to store things and food until you need them.

Cosplay
  • Cosplayers usually don't mind photographs being taken, just ask permission
  • Male or female, watch those hands
  • If a cosplayer is talking, eating or otherwise doing anything else, wait for them to finish before taking pictures
  • Remember your please and thank yous.
  • If you are cosplaying, adopt a safe pose for photos. 
  • As stated above, follow the weapons policy to avoid law enforcement intervention and security staff intervention
  • Keep spares with you just in case, such as glue and a needle and thread. 
  • Make sure you can get in and out of your costume in a hurry and easily
  • It's not mandatory, but a business card can be helpful if people want to find you on social media
  • Just remember to have a little consideration with cosplay choices. Large and Bulky cosplays don't really mix that well with large convention halls filled with hundreds of thousands of people and tight walkways. 
Guests
  • Remember to be polite to all guests attending the con
  • Try to limit autographs to one or two items, most cons have this rule
  • Remember cash, as not many guest handlers will have a card machine
  • Try to respect their privacy, don't hang around their table all day asking questions.
Most of all though:
  • Have fun
  • Make some new friends
  • Stay safe
  • take loads of pictures and share your experience