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Looking back at the Gearing up for Anime Expo this weekend - July 5 & 6th blog I did, I did a lot of preparations, and I ask some folks about what stuff I should keep an eye out. You can read it if you want. Hope it helps you.
sickVisionz's comment was the most useful I had:
You seem pretty set. If you're going to buy something I'd suggested 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. That happened to me when I bought the School Days game. Someone had the regular for $50 so I bought that, then walked and saw someone selling the LE for like $40. It took about 20 minutes of haggling to get a partial refund despite no "No refunds" sign being up. In general, I'd suggest only buying "stuff" as opposed to anime and manga. You can probably get most of that online and cheap from legit sites while other physical goods may be harder to come buy online or only be at sketchy sites.
As for other stuff, maybe buy some hand sanitizer. I got a little sick at my first two cons and I figure germs plus lack of sleep caused it.
I'd also say to plan for some downtime. I wouldn't jam pack panels and stuff back-to-back. A lot of funny stuff happens in the hallways and open spaces during down time. Autographs are cool but last year I really focused on that and I kind of regret it because I spent soooooo much time waiting in line. I met some interesting people and had fun conversations but I missed a lot.
Oh, most cosplayers are cool with people asking for pictures of them. I'm somewhat shy and my first convention I was reluctant to ask people at first but everyone seemed super amped whenever I did. As long as you don't like rush and harass them, I think they're pretty cool with it. Especially the nicher and nicher you go.
Um, that's all I can really think of. Just have fun. You don't seem like a dick so you probably won't have any issues. With the articles you write, I think you might enjoy going to some of the industry panels for companies like Funi, Sentai, etc.
He's a frequent con person.
I should call out Anime Weekend Atlanta con.since he frequents the