New Orleans Wizard World starts this afternoon. Here are some tips and tricks to having a great con.
Bring cash: A lot of vendors and artists do take cards but not all. Most autographs will be cash only. Every con we over here at least 2 conversations about how no one told them to bring cash.
Budget: Go in with a set amount and do your best to stick to it. It’s easy to want everything. I often describe cons to non-nerds as huge jewelry show for geeks. There will be lots of vendors with lots of things you want, but remember, you do live in the real world.
Shop Cautiously: We buy lots of things at cons, and over the years we have learned to know when we are getting a good deal or not. Your phone is a great resource to see if that figurine is really worth what they are asking. Now, you will overpay some, the vendors have to make a living. Just try not to pay double.
Be Patient in Long Lines: Lines will develop for autographs that could take hours. The more popular and/or sociable the celebrity is, the longer it will take. Know this. Plan for it. Be sociable. The person in line with you obviously has one shared interest. Make a friend.
Plan: You can’t plan for everything but use your calendar on your phone. Put your autograph and photo op times on there. Set alarms. Put panels that you want to go on there. But also don’t be afraid to deviate if something fun comes along.
Eat and Drink: Saturday is a busy day for me. I will have very little time to take care of myself, but I must. Cons can be exhausting and without proper nourishment and hydration, you will feel miserable.
Cosplay Doesn’t Equal Consent: You see a great costume and you want to make sure you get a picture of it. Then ask. It’s rude to not ask. Also, it should go without saying, but you should never make anyone feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Be at the Ready: Make sure your batteries are charged and you have tons of space on your memory card. Your camera can’t take a good picture if it is in the bag.
Rest: You will get tired. Take a moment to sit down. We highly suggest you attend a panel and do so. That way you can rest and still take part. (And may I suggest a panel at 3:30 in room 240. I’ll be on this panel).
Make Friends: Unless you only like some obscure comic that was only made once in your neighbor’s garage, you will find people with like interests. There are people who go to comic cons and never actually buy a ticket. They just meet up with friends outside the venue and take pictures and have fun. For our first comic con blog, I entitled it “Nerds of the World Unite.” You are bound to meet people who are just like you and would love to be your friend.
Phones: I’m setting mine to lower power mode at 100% so that it can use lest battery. I also have an extra charger just in case.
Stay Healthy: You will be in a large building with thousands of people. Germs are everywhere. Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands anytime you can. If you cough or sneeze, please cover your mouth. Dab if you must, but cover up. And then still go wash your hands.