Tag Archive: Packing


Packing for the Convention

“What should I bring to the con with me?” Well, that all depends. What do you want to do? How long are you staying? There’s a lot to consider. It’s never good to bring too much or too little.

Whether you’re planning on coming for the day or staying the whole weekend, make sure to have all the essentials you can’t live without, and we’re not talking about just your smart phone. Don’t forget to bring any medication you might need. Bring a bottle of water, preferably a bottle with a lanyard, so you don’t have to hold it in your hand the whole time. Stay hydrated because Otakudom is thirsty work!  Be sure to bring your wallet, ID, and cash/credit cards. You’ll need to pay for your badge and any souvenirs you want to buy. The best things in life are free, but Otakudom isn’t cheap!

Don’t forget the appropriate cables and accessories for your phone, computer, or any other electronics you plan to bring too! At least make sure your phone is charged and ready for emergencies. There are emergency charging stations with a variety of different plugs in the Convention Center lobby, but they may be in use when you get there, especially during the busiest times of the Convention.

This may be your only chance to meet that celebrity you love so much, so bring all the things you want autographed with you too! Don’t bring too much to sign, as a celebrity may have limits to what they will sign. At the very least, they may make you go back to the end of the line after a certain limit. The full rules for autographs are posted in the program guide, but a celebrity may have addition rules beyond that.

If you are planning on staying more than one day, make sure you have all your toiletries with you. Your toothbrush and deodorant are not optional! The hotel you’re staying at will have complimentary soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and towels, but make sure there’s enough to go around if you are staying in a room with friends. Hoopy froods always knows where their towels are.

Don’t forget regular clothes too! Your costume may be too complicated to put on at a moment’s notice, or you might just want to relax in a t-shirt and comfy pants. Make sure you always wear clean underwear; you never know what might happen!

Odds are you’re coming to the Convention to buy stuff! If you’re just coming for one day to see a few panels and do a quick browse of the exhibit hall, all you need is enough backpack space to carry what you purchased, and enough room in your car to be able to take it home. Your friend probably wouldn’t appreciate having to hold 3 broadswords, 5 wall scrolls, and 7 boxes of manga in his lap the whole drive home. Even if you’re planning on staying for more than one day, and you’re getting a hotel room to have a place to sleep and somewhere to keep your stuff, make sure that you have enough room to take everything home with you after the con is over.

Are you planning on participating in the Masquerade, or do you have costumes you worked hard on and want to show off? How intricate are you costumes? How many parts do they have? How many costumes are you planning on bringing? The Convention is only for 3 days, so unless you’re looking to go through Lady Gaga amounts of costume changes, one costume per day is usually enough, but feel free to wear as many costumes as you like, as long as you’re having fun doing it!

On Friday, the Convention is usually starting; you’re excited for the con, and have a lot of energy. You might be tempted to wear your fancy (heavy), intricate (delicate), detailed (uncomfortable) costume on Friday, but most people aren’t getting to the Convention until later in the evening. Saturday is usually the best day to show off your costume because you’ll have the whole day and evening to show off your ensemble. Saturday is also the night of the Masquerade. If you’re going to wear a costume on Sunday (still highly recommended, as the fun still isn’t over yet), make sure that you don’t pack parts of your costume so deep in your suitcase that you can’t get them, and that when you do take it off to leave, you should still have room in your luggage and/or vehicle to take it with you! Sunday is Children’s day, so make sure your little ones join in on the fun and get to cosplay too!

For Friday and Sunday cosplay, a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Dress as a character who wears a laid back or casual costume. Arthur Dent travelled the universe in nothing but his pajamas and bathrobe. If you’re coming from work on Friday you might even be coming to the con *in* your work clothes. Why not make your work clothes work for you? Many characters look dapper in a suit and tie which is always workplace office appropriate. If you’re lucky, Friday is casual day in your office anyway. If you can get away with it, just wear your costume to work! See how many people notice. You might discover a fellow otaku you previously did not know about.

What are your tips and tricks for packing for the Convention? Feel free to leave a comment!

Staying Healthy and Special Needs at the Convention

At Anime Central, we want all our attendees to have a good time. So it’s important to us that you have any health issues or special needs that you might have seen to! We have a well trained and experienced staff ready to help you!

Special Needs and ADA Assistance

Anime Central is proud to have one of the most extensive ADA Assistance programs of any convention anywhere! We seek to provide a quality experience for all our attendees. For any of our attendees with special needs, we help in any and every way possible! Ask Special Needs Services about accommodations if you…

…cannot stay in a line for extended periods.

…need a sign language interpreter.

…need to obtain a wheelchair or scooter.

…need assistance in getting to a certain area of the Convention.

…need a secluded space to nurse a child or escape packed and noisy crowds for a few minutes.

…have any other special needs not mentioned here.

Our experienced and caring staff will understand your needs, and will keep any personal information you may need to discuss in the strictest confidence. If you have any questions about special needs, visit http://www.acen.org/content/special-needs-ada-compliance, e-mail our Special Needs Department at adacompliance-departmenthead@acen.org, or visit the Special Needs Department at the Convention.

Additionally, if you see an attendee on crutches or in a wheelchair, trying to get on/off the elevator or go through a crowded area, help your fellow otaku by stepping back and letting them through! We can all do our part to make Anime Central a great Con for everyone!

Staying Healthy at the Convention

Avoid sore feet and Con Plague! The best way to stay healthy at the Convention is to be prepared and prevent things from happening!

Many colds and sicknesses travel through hand contact, so make sure to wash your hands early and often! You know where your hands have been; do you know where everyone else’s hands have been? Hand sanitizer is okay for emergencies in a pinch, but washing your hands thoroughly is always better!

In addition to washing your hands regularly, it’s important to shower too! Not only does bathing keep you socially acceptable; it washes off the dirt, grime, and the con funk of the day. Think of a time you didn’t feel better after a shower! There’s a reason why the tagline of the Convention is “Got Soap?”

Keeping your energy up is important as well! Make sure that you eat regularly, and that you eat balanced meals too! Otaku cannot survive on Pocky alone! Be sure to drink water and stay hydrated! Bring a water bottle with a lanyard and hang it off your belt. Avoid caffeinated drinks because they tend to make water go through you faster than water alone would! Additionally, caffeine is not a replacement for sleep! Make sure to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night!

There’s a lot of walking to be had between the hotel and Convention Center, and the Convention Center is big too! In addition to staying hydrated, make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes! Wear your cool (but ill-fitting) costume shoes for just the Masquerade, and wear your comfy shoes when just walking around the Convention casually. It’s harder to go see all the different things at the Convention if you’re having difficulty walking!

Emergency Medical Response Team (EMRT)

In a medical emergency at the Convention, Anime Central’s EMRT staff is on hand to help! If you are going through or are involved in a medical emergency while at the Convention, call EMRT! First of all: Don’t Panic! Help is always near at the Convention.

To request medical assistance, find the nearest Customer Service desk or staff member with a radio; they can radio for help from the nearest EMRT staff member. Let them know what’s happening and where. If you’re not involved in the medical emergency, or you see EMRT staff racing from one location to another, please remain clear and stay back to give EMRT staff to move and work through.

When in doubt, do not move an injured person, unless there are nearby hazards! You may unintentionally do more harm than good. EMRT staff will come to help where the emergency is. If you’re involved in the medical emergency, please stay on the scene until released by EMRT staff. They may need you to help answer any questions about what’s going on. EMRT staff will tend to the patient and make the call if an ambulance is needed. Last of all: Don’t Panic! You’re in good hands.

Non-Critical Issues

EMRT staff are more than happy to provide feminine hygiene products and ace bandages, but please understand that supplies are limited! If you anticipate that you may have those needs, make sure to bring those items with you! They’ll even help you properly wrap you ankle if you bring your own ace bandages as well.

Unfortunately, EMRT staff are not licensed to dispense any medication under any circumstance, so make sure have any important medication with you on hand, or be prepared to make a quick stop at a local pharmacy.

If you have any questions about emergency medical issues, visit the EMRT Department at the Convention.

What advice do you have to stay healthy at the Convention? What can we do to make it easier for everyone to get around the Convention? Feel free to leave a comment!

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