Welcome to the Anime Vice's Anime Convention Survival Guide. BigHeart711, sickVisionz and I are here to give you some tips. BigHeart711 and myself are rookies. My first anime con is Anime Expo (2013) while my partner, BigHeart711, visited Momocon andAWA for one day each time. The first experience is all we need! sickVisionz was our expert with plenty of experience, and he helped us out.
Hope you guys and gals have a fun time! Be sure share your moments here in Anime Vice!
Do Your HW!
It sounds cheesy, but it will save you a lot of time if you planned out how to get to con and what to do at a con. If you're traveling by car or metro, check the maps. Some Anime Convention's Websites (like Anime Expo) include directions on how to get there by freeway or public transportation. If you have a smartphone, be sure to follow the Anime Convention's Twitter to stay inform of events.
Before the con starts, check out the brochure or program list where they list events, panels, and guests of honor. You can make a voice actor/guest list and pull up their AnimeVice/ANN page to see if they've done any voices that you like, then check to see if you have something that they can autograph related to it. Our expert sickVisionz has one advice: don't be rigid, be flexible with your schedule. Explore and try a lot of cool things that these conventions offer.
Here's a checklist of things to bring as well optional things. In BigHeart711's experience, bring a good camera because Nintendo DS and old cellphones produce blurry pictures. Also, they will be doing bag checks. Be sure to review the Anime Con's FAQ to see what you can bring and what you cannot bring.
- Backpack / Carrying Case
- Legal ID and Con Badge
- Cash (Depends on your personal budget after the mandatory stuff.)
- Credit Card or Debit Card
- Cellphone with good internet connection
- Hand Sanitizer
- Poster Tube - To protect your posters from being damaged
- Pen and notepad
- A light snack and a bottle of water
- Extra Plastic Bags
- Stuff to be autograph
You should ask if you want to take a picture of someone unless they're posing for the crowd and it's clear that there is a photo session moment and once it's done, they won't want to be bothered too much. This is usually the case for big groups who are doing like an entire cast of a show and aren't going to constantly be all together. Just be civil and things will probably be OK.
Need Help? Need Directions
Don't be shy. Ask the folks who don the volunteer outfits. They are here to make things go smooth.
Booths and Exhibition Hall
If you're going to buy something, we suggest walking around the whole place first and seeing what everyone offers and for how much. Nothing sucks more than buying something cool at the first vendor booth, then walking like 100 ft and seeing another vendor selling it for $20 less. Also, a lot of things can be sold cheaper online. If you have a smart phone, check the price.
Check the industry booths because they give out some free swag with their contests.
Check the Fan Art Gallery
These folks are jumping in the industry with their works that ranges from doujins, portraits, and more. When you buy some or compliment their art work, it makes their day.
Panels and Autographs
When looking at the list of programs and guests of honor on the website or the brochure, plan ahead. Lines form quickly. If you want to meet your favorite VA, line up 1 or 2 hours ahead of schedule. There are times when the staff makes a cut off due to maximum room occupancy. Don't worry or be gloom, there will be a next time. Life is full of surprises.
A lot of these industry panels give out free swag and prizes while guest of honor panels are hilarious. You'll get to see the voice behind the character come to life. For autographs, some conventions will charge money for them.
sickVisionz: Some autograph sessions require pay while some don't. Others give priority to those who pay or if you buy some paraphernalia, you can get more signatures.
Even during the day, plan for some downtime. Don't jam pack panels and stuff back-to-back unless you're a workaholic like Taka. A lot of funny stuff happens in the hallways and open spaces during down time. We have many ways to unwind after a busy day at cons. If you have friends or a big group, hit up a restaurant, diner, or a bar. It's nice to socialize a bit. Some folks who don't have cars will take and metro to rest at home. Those with family members can wind down by sharing their experiences like what swag they get. There was a topic made by Sexytron in our community, How to Deal with Post Con Depression, where you make a scrapbook of your adventures.
- Thanks to BigHeart711 for doing the checklist and banner.
- Thanks to sickVisionz for his write up in the cosplay, shop smart, and break time sections.
- Thanks to Taka for taking on everything left over.
About the Authors
|William Taylor (sickVisionz) wishes everyone a happy convention experience and says if you're contemplating on going to a con, take the plunge! Follow him @mrsickvisionz|
|BigHeart711 is a proud anime fan of the Blue Roses and Magical Mages! Follow him @MasterMenos|
|Kerry Chhay (Takashichea) is an Asian American Studies student who is a big wiki and anime nerd. He serves as a wiki mod in Anime Vice and an Admin in To Hollywood and Beyond Wikia(a 2nd home for Screened users). Follow him @Takashichea|