Having Fun At A Convention… It’s More Diverse Than You Think.

So you are at one of those fancy and hip conventions (be it anime, comic or gaming) and you have little to no clue on what one is to do at one. Well, the fact of the matter is you have a bevy of options laid out before you. You just need to know where to look. Conventions can be broken into a few categories of things to do. Some will attract a certain crowd, more than others so bear that in mind. While I am not the best or official source for this sort of information, I do think that I have at least a good starting point for most to begin from.

  • Attend panels, all the panels! This is the most obvious choice for any convention attendee and it is of course the easiest; mostly. Panels will come in multiple shapes and sizes with some being obviously better than the rest. Fan panels will make up the lager bulk of panels available to attend, but there are also guest and industry focused ones too. These will be on a higher quality level and often provide direct access to important news and tips.DSC_7047
  • Take in the cosplay and snap some pictures! Now just about everyone has access to a camera be it DSLR or smartphone. You don’t need to be a professional to take good images; just perfect ones. I started out on an LG G2 and I can say I had a blast going up to cosplayers and asking for a picture. It just is fun to see individuals so passionate about their costumes that they immediately glow when you ask to take a picture. Just don’t make it awkward and remember that not everyone will want you to snap a picture of them… then again it begs the question as to why they are cosplaying to begin with.
  • Go to Paid Events or Dances! Conventions are melting pots for archaic things, like raves. These are pretty much present at most convention locations however they will massively vary in quality. Besides they are not always the first item of choice for many, myself included. That being said we have other options out there like maid cafes. Sausomecon had several flavors that ranged from Ouran Host to Blend S. Each has a unique theme and menu to accompany it, as well as entertainment factor. Most of these are paid so you ought to look into getting a ticket beforehand. If you are press, like myself, you can still pop in to cover the event, you just can’t partake in the festivities.
  • Go to the Game Room! Every convention and I mean every convention has a game room of some variety. Be it tabletop, console gaming, PC Gaming or VR/AR zones. This is becoming something more prevalent and apart of the larger ecosystem. I however feel these detract away from the overall con experience as you might end up missing out on more memorable experiences.
  • Explore and Mingle in Artist Alley! Now this will really depend on your own convention and just how busy they can be. Sure you might want to get some one on one time with a beloved artist you have, but if you are at a busy body convention (like Naka Kon) you might want to be mindful of them trying to sell their product. Smaller conventions will definitely grant you a more personal and intimate experience with artist alley.

    The Amazing LucidSky! She is a gem!
  • Volunteer at your convention of choice! Okay so hear me out on this one. You can have fun at a convention by volunteering and earning your free ticket to the actual con. It is a bit of work and you get to deal with us wild and untamed (often unshowered) attendees. It can be stressing, but it does have its own benefits and rewards. Just be aware that some conventions may not have a volunteer option.

While not the most varied option these are but just a few options that you have available, outside of directly cosplaying and actually being apart of the cosplay scene. If I missed something, please feel free to let me know down in the comment section below! I enjoy finding ways to enjoy a convention that are a bit off the beaten path of obvious… Okay that is a lie, but you know what I mean!

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