I remember attending my first con in the summer of 2013 and feeling that I belong there. Convergence holds a special place in my heart for introducing me to the convention season and how to survive the four days. Conventions are a great time, but also tiring too. It’s easy to get distracted and become dehydrated which leads to a killer headache or just simply forgetting to eat. Based on my attendance at 6 different conventions, I wanted to come up with a list of survival tips on having a good time, but taking care of yourself along the way.
Drink Your Water
Being dehydrated is the worst feeling because I always get this horrible headache that leaves me nauseous. I find it most helpful to bring a backpack with a holder for a water bottle. If you have a water bottle on you, you’re more likely to drink from it.
The first year I went to a con, I only brought my purse. This was a rookie mistake because I bought stuff and had no where to put it. Sure, I could run out to my friend’s car to drop stuff off, but that’s just a hassle. I usually bring a string backpack because it’s light weight, but holds all my gear. Backpacks are great for carrying water bottles aka. see my above paragraph.
Protein Bars/Protein Snacks
Snacking is absolutely necessary to have the energy to last all day and possibly all night. I find that if I eat more protein, it keeps me more full. Snacks higher in sugar will be loaded with calories, but aren’t as filling so you’re left even hungrier than before. Tree nuts and protein bars are excellent snacks that can be tucked in the backpack.
Don’t Blow Your Money Right Away
My rule when spending money at a convention is to walk around and see all the booths and artists. In the back of my mind I’ll keep track of certain items that appealed to me. Nothing is worse than seeing something you want to buy and having no money because you spent it all already. I’m adding more to this tip which includes coming up with a budget. Pull out cash and after it’s gone, you’re done. If you don’t do this prior to attending, you will spend too much money. Believe me, I know from experience.
Artists are at a convention to help support their career. They rely on attendees to purchase their art or comics to make a profit from renting space at the convention. I prioritize spending my money at the artist’s table or purchase comics written by Minnesota locals. I find that when I spend money this way, it’s more meaningful since I had an actual conversation with that creator over their art and/or comics.
Take plenty of pictures
I am so glad I took many pictures from my prior conventions because sometimes I take a day and browse through them all. There is so much to see at a convention and pictures are saved memories. Bring your phone fully charged or a digital camera.
Conventions are one of my favorite events to attend in the geek community. I feel so at home at a convention and I’m already counting down the days till my con next week. Have fun, and tell me which conventions you have been too. My goal is to make it to either C2E2 or Planet City Comic Con in Kansas City.