Pack Like a Nerd
Obviously don’t forget to grab your pass, but there’s a lot more to remember to pack for your weekend of geeky goodness.
Try to leave room for all the swag you’ll be bringing home, but some convention essentials include: a reliable bag, a water bottle, cash, portable chargers, gum, sharpies, lip balm and moisturizer, hand sanitizer, empty poster tubes, comic bag and boards, aspirin, something to do in line, and, of course, patience.
Keep healthy snacks, like apples and granola bars, on hand for mid-day fuel ups.
A watch is handy so that you don’t have to drain your phone battery constantly checking the time. You might even want to have some social media calling cards printed up before you leave – you’ll be meeting so many new people, and you’ll want to stay in touch!
And the number one packing priority? Comfortable shoes. Almost all events take place on acres of concrete, and you’ll be walking a lot. Heels, unsupportive flats, or anything else generally uncomfortable is just not worth the pain. This is not the time to break in those cute new sneaks. Stick to something tried and true.
Schedule Like a Geek
Expo releases its schedule a few weeks before the event, so print one out and spend some quality bonding time with it. The con floor is always a great time – there’s so much to see and buy, you could easily spend all weekend just roaming the aisles admiring the incredible art. But if you stick to the floor alone, you’ll miss the best part of the convention: the panels, photos, and autographs!
The event has to squeeze a lot of content into just four days, so some of the things you want to do or see might overlap, so now’s the time to get your plan for the con in order.
Start by picking the panels and celebrity sessions you absolutely must attend. Don’t forget to factor in about thirty minutes to an hour between events for walking to the next location through a packed crowd, standing in line, hitting the bathroom, etc.
Pick a couple of back-up options! Just because a panel is smaller, or something you might not necessarily think you love in advance, doesn’t mean it won’t be awesome. Some of the best experiences you’ll have at a con are the smaller, expectedly delightful panels that make you a new fan of someone or something.
And, of course, don’t overbook and stay flexible; not everything is going to go according to plan, and let yourself be okay with not making it to everything you thought you would.
Grab Your Squad
Don’t wait until the day before the con to determine which scoundrels are going to make up your con team.
With a good group, you can save on hotel and gas fare, save spots for each other in line or at panels, and grab swag for each other when you go off to do your own thing. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even think about putting together a group cosplay – the gang from Back to the Future, anyone?
Of course, it’s good to be aware that if you’re traveling with a bigger gang you might have to make some concessions on exactly what you want to do and see, and be aware that it can be difficult to find a ton of seats together at busy panels – so don’t be afraid to split off (with a plan to meet up later already in place, of course).
If you’re hitting up the convention alone – nice work! Alone cons are some of my very favourites because you can do whatever you want whenever you want wherever you want! Panels are super easy to attend alone because there are always a few single empty seats between groups of people right at the from of the auditorium. And whether you’re seated or in line, you’re surrounded by potential new friends with whom you automatically have something in common – your fandom for whomever you’re there to see! Just don’t forget to keep your phone charged up so you can send pics to make your friends and fam super jealous.