Comic book conventions are a huge part of comic book culture. Over the past few years more and more have popped up to the point they are essentially happening every weekend somewhere around the world. They are great fun and a perfect way to celebrate the medium. Although, they are also very tiring days/weekends and if you do not come prepared they are not as fun.
Whether it’s your first convention or you’re a seasoned convention goer, here are 5 tips that will not only help you survive a convention but help increase your enjoyment.
1. Buy Tickets in Advance
If it is an option, buy your tickets in advance. Depending on your method of purchase, this will allow you to get into the convention faster avoid queuing up to purchase tickets. The last thing you want to be doing is spending a chunk of your day lining up just to get in. Or even worse, you don’t want to get to the convention and find out that it has been sold out.
2. Take Snacks
Conventions are tiring so you need to make sure you have enough energy to go all day – or potentially all weekend. Even if you plan on buying food at the convention, I suggest bringing snacks as you will get hungry and lines for food can get long. Bring something that is easy to carry and will not make a mess in your pocket or bag. My suggestions are muesli/health/power bars, sandwiches, nuts and chips.
Additionally, as some conventions can get hot I suggest bringing a bottle of water. With proper hydration, you will be able to enjoy your day without being thirsty or dehydrated. Most conventions will have facilities where you can refill your bottle.
3. Don’t Spend All Your Money Straight Away
At conventions you will see all kinds of things that you will want to buy. My suggestion is to hold off until towards the end of the day/weekend as you don’t want to spend all your money in the first few hours. It would be a shame to have no money for the rest of your day/weekend and limit your enjoyment. Towards the end of the convention is when things are usually the best time to make purchases as stallholders want to pack up as little as possible. Additionally, you don’t want to buy something big and bulky in the morning and be stuck carrying it all day.
Keep in mind that some items might not be around towards the end of the convention, so you’ll have to use your best judgement when it comes to certain items.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes
When you are at a convention you will be doing a lot of standing and walking. As this is the case, I highly suggest you wear shoes that are comfortable. The last thing you want is sore feet ruining your day. It may sound like an obvious tip, but there is still plenty of style conscious people who wear shoes not appropriate for conventions.
This tip also goes for anyone cosplaying. While I understand you might want to stay in character, you also don’t want to have terrible foot pain.
5. Read the Program Guide
This might also seem like an obvious tip, but there are plenty of people who don’t read the convention program. While they are slightly different for each convention you go to, they usually include signing and panel times, a map and other valuable information about the convention. The last thing you want is to miss out something because you didn’t know it existed. Often the program guides will be available on the convention website leading up to the event but are also available on the day. Take a few minutes when you get in to read the guide and you will be much better for it.