35 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your First Con
I recently asked 27 cosplayers to tell me what they wish they knew before going to their first con. Here's what they said.
1. If anyone would actually be there -- YES and chances are it will be crowded
2. That socializing is way less daunting than in the real world
3. Be okay with any type of cosplay. Everyone is at different levels and may or may not look like the character they are trying to be
4. Don’t take cosplay negativity to heart
5. WEAR DEODERANT
6. What to bring - don't forget your normal clothes, pajamas, deodorant, money or your badge
7. What panels are like - they vary greatly but you can expect a discussion from most, though you don't HAVE to participate in it
8. Social vs Wizard cons - Wizard World Cons tend to be significantly more focused around merchandise and meeting celebrities. Other cons are more about the social experience.
9. Will everyone be older/younger than me? I have seen people who are 80 at cons and babies at cons. You will be fine.
10. What fandoms will people recognize? As a general rule of thumb there will always be someone to recognize every fandom. So if you're thinking about being a character that seems kind of obscure--chances are at least one person will know who you are.
11. Should I cosplay? If you are comfortable with it or think you could learn to be comfortable with it, YES. If you feel like it's really not your thing, no pressure. There are always people both in and out of costume at conventions.
12. Expect lines
13. It’s always ok to ask for a pic – except when cosplayer is eating/taking a break. Don't be afraid. The worst that can happen is that they say no.
14. Bring cash, and keep it safe
15. Don’t touch/hug/touch props/take pics without permission
16. Ask how costumes were made if you really want to get on a cosplayer's good side
17. Eat real food – don’t rely on the con suite
18. Drink Water!!
19. Actually sleep
21. Don’t lose your badge
22. Practice cosplay poses before going to the con so you don't feel completely awkward if someone asks for a photo
23. Bring healthy snacks !
24. Plan events before hand – or you’ll never actually do anything
25. Also leave some time to explore
26. If you’re drinking, don’t do it a lone (be responsible)
27. Bring a cosplay repair kit.
28. Introverts will now be extroverts – be open to that
29. Known where con-ops is in case of emergencies or lost items
30. If a child asks for a picture, stay in character. You can make their day.
31. Be sure you have a way of carrying your things(secret pockets, designated person with a bag, or bring your own bag)
32. Cons accept EVERYONE – so don’t be scared if you're LGBTQA or any other form of minority
33. Cons are fun, but don’t let your guard down – people are still people
34. Carpool – parking can be difficult
35. Don’t be afraid to say no (to anything) if it makes you uncomfortable