Tips for Con Survival

This weekend kicks off ACen, followed by a whole summer of anime/comic/pop culture cons, concerts, & festivals. Here are some suggestions to make your time enjoyable.
  1. Be prepared
    It's hard to predict what'll happen on a given weekend. I'll go into specifics, but keep this quip in mind.
  2. Plan a budget
    Note down things you'll be expected to pay for including: event pass, gas/transportation, lodging, parking, meals, shopping, & emergency cash. I suggest withdrawing cash 2 nights before the event & keeping track in an envelope. Use your room's safe if you get one. For shopping, check vendors list ahead of time; chances are they're resellers w/gauged prices & you can buy them cheaper via eBay. And please set something aside to tip the housekeepers with!
  3. Pack the week of the event
    And keep a list of your items in your case. Try to pack lightly as you can, but bring extra undergarments & feminine products ( if not for you, then for someone who needs them!).
  4. Please take care of yourself!!!
    Please SHOWER, get SLEEP, and EAT a full meal (pocky doesn't count). Cons are often treated as weekend parties, but please don't kill yourself in the process. Confunk & conflu is real & it's not fun. Bring some multivitamins if you must.
  5. Plan out your day(s) in advance
    The bigger the con, the more impossible it is to so everything, so be willing to compromise. Take advantage of the programming list & mark what events & panels are most important to you. Keep in mind that some will have long waiting lines; a friend &/or handheld game consoles are useful in this case. I suggest visiting the vendors & game room on downtime. Again, make time to eat, rest, & shower.
  6. Become familiar with the area
    Use Google maps to see the nearest gas stations, parking decks/lots, restaurants, and see how the con area is laid out (esp if held at a big con center). I recommend GasBuddy app to check prices in the area.
  7. On Eating cheaply
    I personally prefer checking out where locals eat, but if that's not an option, take advantage of your lodging's ice machine, continental breakfast,and/ or fridge to keep cold cuts cool, invest in a small rice cooker, & look for coffee pot recipes. Definitely get some fruits to snack on through the day.
  8. Party smart
    Not to be that guy, but it's not worth trying to sneak illicit drugs, even if some cons are less enjoyable w/out them. You don't want to be an inconvenience to EMTs, let alone get caught & kicked out/arrested, wasting your weekend pass. Do have a strict age policy for private parties. If you plan to host, ask to book a corner room, and have extra garbage bags & paper towels. Have a zero-vandalism policy. No one likes getting slapped w/a fine after splurging on waifu figures.
  9. Con Pack List
    Part 1, courtesy of /CGL/
  10. Con Pack List pt 2
  11. Lodging tips
    The bigger the con, the early you want to book; summers are particularly hard w/weddings in tow. I suggest as early as Nov in that case. Make continental breakfast & free parking/shuttle as must. Make sure all roomies pay their portion ahead of time, & check when everyone are likely to go to sleep.
  12. Doing a panel?
    Plan & practice before the weekend. Keep backup files (cloud & jump drive). Keep condensed note cards. Have a friend w/you if you need to. Check w/con ops as soon as you walk in/pick up your badge. Check if your laptop is compatible w/provided technology & where to present at. Be ready to go at least 10 mins before your time slot.
  13. Know the con rules
    Ignorantia juris non excusat.
  14. Keep your belongings organized; repack through out the weekend
    Some hotels have offers for free rooms the following year for the first people to check out. If anything, this lessens the hassle of scrambling to pack on a Sunday hangover.
  15. Charge your items every night
    And have a portable charger just in case.
  16. Artist alley fan?
    Bring an architect's tube to keep your prints & posters safe.
  17. Cosplay?
    Have a mini sewing kit and duct/gaffer's tape packed. Please air out your costume every night if you're going to wear it more than once. Have comfy shoes/outfit for nights. Kigurumis are useful and popular choices.
  18. Mind your manners!
    It shouldn't have to be a problem, but it still surprises me to run into rude attendees who are older than I (and I'm considered old in the con scene). Nothing ruins a con weekend better than an asshole.
  19. Have fun!!!😁