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First-Time Con Goer Resources?

#1 User is offline   Frank 

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 10:29 PM

Hey folks,

It seems to me that first-time con going and first-time questions are fairly common. Therefore, I'd like to start up a thread where those more traveled of us can post various resources where one can find more information on going to a con and what it's like at an anime con.

You can either post links or you can post information. If you post information, please try to think about posting items answering the following:

-What is there to do at an anime convention?
-What is the best way to spend the time at an anime convention
-What kinds of things are for sale and for approximately how much?
-What kind of conduct or social guidelines are expected?
-What kinds of "Survival Tips" can you give to a first-time con-goer?
-What makes it worth going to an anime convention?

I do know that people have posted many things already, but I plan on sticking this thread to the top if it gets enough responses. So the more thoughtful and informative your responses are, the more likely I can sticky this and help out your fellow anime and manga fans who are about to go to a con for the very first time. :)

#2 User is offline   Hiei 

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 10:56 PM

Positively wonderful idea, Frank.

What is there to do? Watch the website and read the program book. :) There are panels, voice actors and other guests to meet, artists to check out, anime rooms to sit in the dark and watch anime all con, there is cosplay, the masquerade, big events, small events. Dealer's room, dancing, and the ever-popular sitting in one place and people-watching. A game room with all types of gaming. Oh yeah, and anime music videos. Man, if I'd known there was all kinds of cool, interesting stuff to look at and watch at an anime con, I would have started going to them a lot sooner.

Social guidelines? Oh goodness, we could have fun with this one. Well, for starters, don't stalk people. They don't like that. No matter how hot they are. Cosplayers love to get their picture taken, but it's polite to ask first, so they can get in a good pose. Never glomp a cosplayer (or anyone, for that matter) without their permission. Some cosplayers don't mind such a violent invasion of personal space, but some do, and if you ruin someone's costume with a rabid fanboy/girl tackle-hug, you will probably be seriously maimed. Do not touch the props unless you have permission. Don't run in the halls. Don't be jerk. Don't cut in line. And for crying out loud, there's a reason the ACen motto is "Got Soap?" - personal hygiene does not take a vacation for the con! Use your hotel shower and the free soap! Especially if you've been playing DDR all day.

Survival Tips:
- man cannot survive on the consuite alone. If you can't afford to run down the block to McDonald's twice a day or eat a full meal in the hotel (and face it, hotel food is expensive), bring a cooler and keep it in your room, with GOOD food - fruit, granola bars, PB&J sandwiches. Your body will thank you when it is properly fed with nutrients and not all sugar and caffeine.
- budget for the dealer's room or deny yourself from buying merch if you think it's going to mean you won't have the money to get home
- if you're wearing a costume, think about an emergency costume repair kit. With lots of extra safety pins
- bring a highlighter and go through the program book to mark the things you want to see, so you don't miss them
- be prepared to stand in line for major events
- extra batteries, and extra film/memory card depending on your camera. There's lots of costumes to look at.
- so what if the video rooms are running 24/7? Get more than five hours of sleep a night or you'll be hurting

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure others will have more.
aka: cosplay.com: CapsuleCorp, RPF/ezboard: ObiWannabe
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#3 User is offline   NeoSaturn 

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 12:08 AM

Frank great idea, and Hiei hit it right on the head.
I will put my two cents in.

First timers should go on Saturday(Best events happen then) I go early.

The three most popular event are:

1. Mascarade(Cosplay)
2. Anime Music Video contest (My Favorite part of the con )
3. One of the game shows (Otaku Big Date is good)

Make sure you do one of these and you are assured of a good time.

The five most items you need to bring:

1. Good Shoes (Lot of walking and standing in line)
2. Camera and film (for all the cute cosplayers)
3. Strong bookbag (to hold all the goodies)
4. Food (the hotel will charge a arm and a leg for sandwich)
5. Money lots and lots of money

The three worst things you can do at a convention:

1. Buy a whole bunch of anime stuff and having no place to put it(hotel roon or car trunk will work.You try carry ten Gundam master grades all day then get back to me )
2. Make fun of the cosplayers (Just goes against the spirit of the con and is just not nice)
3. Go alone (Friends and anime just go together)
:cool:


P.S
Take I bath every day. That just for the good of my and everybody elses sense of smell. :P
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#4 User is offline   sentinel28a 

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 04:45 PM

Ain't it the truth. ACen 2003 was my first time at a big con; it was definitely a change from the small, local gaming cons I've been to. Prepare to be overwhelmed.

May I add some other suggestions--

1) STAY TOGETHER. Two people I came down with for the con disappeared. I didn't see them until Sunday morning. The other three that I traveled with I ran into purely by accident. Failing that, designate a time and place to meet and keep it. While wandering around the con looking for your buddies is a great way to take in all the cosplayers, it's not much fun alone.

2) EAT. There's nothing like getting a spiltting headache from low body sugar during the middle of Anime Hell. Thank Gaia for the ACen hospitality room and for McDonald's. Avoid the hotel food, which tends to be bland, overpriced, and for which they do not take travelers' checks.

3) SLEEP. It's no fun falling asleep and missing kewl stuff. I didn't think it was possible to sleep through an episode of Lupin III, but I did it.

4) GET TO EVENTS EARLY. I missed the best gags of the Masquerade because I was shoehorned in the back between Spike Spiegel and Sesshoumaru.

5) PREPARE FOR LONG WAITS. I've never seen a line as long as the one going into ACen on Friday morning, and we got there early. And I saw the premiere of "Return of the Jedi" in Denver.

6) KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN DURING EVENTS. I probably wouldn't have gotten the Angel Sanctuary skit to begin with, but having Minmei running her mouth behind me didn't help. Just because you dress up as anime's most annoying character doesn't mean you have to *act* like anime's most annoying character.

7) BRING A DECENT CAMERA. I took the cheap route and brought a $5 one-shot Kodak camera. The pics that did turn out were grainy and ugly, which means my stalking of Rei Ayanami came to naught.

8) AVOID THE O'HARE SHUTTLE. Staying at the Marriott four blocks away, I found it cut half an hour off transit time by simply walking. Though I would suggest doing it in groups. Not only do you stay together, it's safer. I got yelled at by two rather mean-looking locals, and I don't think they were complimenting my Gunsmith Cats tee.

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#5 User is offline   DaphHime 

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 09:02 PM

Things you should bring:

-A purse or bag with:
- A cellphone or spare change for payphones.
-Make up and a costume repair kit (if you intend on cosplaying)
-Spare change and cash
-A sandwich or some other form of lunch food. (because the hotel food is way overpriced)
-Bottle of water
-A camera with extra film, memory cards and batteries.
-A large group of friends. Just more fun with a buddy. But don't skimp out on makeing new friends.

-If desired, you can bring a book, a hand held gaming system, or even a stekch pad and some pencils to pass the time away in long lines.

Things to do:

-Videogames: Though they cost some money, that's where the spare change comes in. It's still alot of fun at a good price. And even if you don't play any of the games it's a nice room to hang out and meet new people.

-Dances: While I don't go to these, it's another great place to meet people. Be wary though. Dark rooms and strangers genrealy don't mix. Go in a group and have an escape plan should the worst happen. :sweatdrop

-Dealers room: Where the anime stuff is. Don't be afrade to shop around for the best price on what you want. Make sure you know where all the booths are and what they are selling exactly. Most booths, pericularly ones like ADV or any major anime company, some times give out free stuff.

-Guest panels and autograph signings: The guest that useally come to Anime Central are very intresting. Be sure to take advantage of the chance to meet your favorite voice actor, j-rock band or manga artist.

-Cospaly events: Important to come to these early, but not too early, as space useally runs out fast. And even if you don't make it to these events, it's still fun to check out some of the hall cosplay.

Things to know

-Make sure you know where the Dealers Room, Con-suite, Main event room as well as information and the bathrooms are loacted.

-If you lose your friends make sure you have a meeting place in case you get seperated.

-Keep an eye on your personal belongings.

-Watch out for creeps, perverts and other wise shady people. That goes for in and out of the con.

-If you must glomp/hug people, ask them frist. Most people do not take kindly to those who touch them with out permisson. Espically me! >_<

-Be sure to check the program book for ferther info on events and rules. Still not sure? Ask somone on the con staff.
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#6 User is offline   cerati.z 

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 02:53 PM

The one thing i want to add is bring a architect's storage tube, I learned long ago that when you get your hands on a signed poster or posters you can roll them up and keep them from getting damaged...
Have you seen my pants?

#7 User is offline   Mandy-chan 

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 03:08 PM

For staying in contact with your group, cellphones are a great way to go... everyone except one person in our group has a cell phone, so we can call each other if need be...

Also, don't be disappointed if there are some things you have to miss... there is so much to do at Acen, that there is likely going to be things going at the same time that you want to do...

And just eating junk food all weekend isn't a good idea... if you don't have much money, bring a cooler and some bread & lunchmeat... it's much cheaper to go this route than even eating fast food all weekend, and it's better for you...

Anyway, that's all from me for now :sweatdrop
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#8 User is offline   Sailor Myst 

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 05:55 PM

Remember that being close to Ohare your Cell Phones might not always work. Discuss with your group a set of meeting places for specific times if you intend to seperate.

Set money to the side for food, or bring a cooler with heathy food and soda.

remember that extra set of cloths for when not in costume. Pjs for nap time.
(I forgot my Pjs and had to sleep in my clothes, however I did have a different outfit for all three days, I might add, I just forgot the PJs.) Blue Jeans are not always comfortable to sleep in, I might add.

Also stock up the disposible cameras or batteries and film or memory cards and whatnot.

Remember to take time to hit your room, relax, shower and sleep, and you will have enough energy for the next several hours.

Thats about all I can think of at this time.

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#9 User is offline   Tallanvor 

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 06:29 PM

Quote

Originally posted by Sailor Myst
Remember that being close to Ohare your Cell Phones might not always work. Discuss with your group a set of meeting places for specific times if you intend to seperate.


Actually, with the exception of the basement, I think my phone worked everywhere I went. Remember that a good sized convention center is next door to the hotel, so coverage is generally good with all providers.

-Patrick

#10 User is offline   Yume No Miko 

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 07:04 PM

actually how well you cellphone works depends on two things. Your carrier and the model of phone you have. I had an older model of Motorolla last year at the con with US Celluar as my carrier. I for the life of me couldn't really use the phone inside the hotel at all, but i kept it with me so I would know what time it si :sweatdrop

but on the topic...

I cannot stress this enough. SLEEP!!! and BATHE!!!!

I know by sunday I was sooo tired from lack of sleep by sunday I nearly collapsed outside the dealers hall last year.
Also be careful of who you room with. Last year I roomed with Venus and a bunc of other people. apparently Venus and her daughter were the only ones who were considerate to the fact that I worked grave yard hours attempted to help me get some rest. Sadly the rest of my roomates were not as considerate.

as for the bathing...Please...just do. I've heard too many horror stories from other con attendies about fan boy/girl funk encounters as well as other majorly gross things.
ack, I'm rambling and my supervisor is looking at me...Ja...
:(
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#11 User is offline   Medieval 

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 05:05 PM

:confused: :confused:

my phone is a kyocera 2135
carrier is verizon wireless, mine worked the whole weekend, including in the basement, I only had the antena listed for reception but it was working.

I would also say to make sure to bring something to drink with you, water or juice prefereable, as you can get dehydrated by walking around constantly, not to mention just sweating.

:confused: :confused:
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#12 User is offline   Raven_chan 

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 09:02 PM

How exactly does it work if you pre register. You said that the lines were very long and all. Is the pre registration line as bad as the line for people who do not pre register. and also how long of a wait should we expect.

Thanks

#13 User is offline   Uteki 

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 10:05 PM

I pre-reg'd last year. My group of three (came in one car and stayed in the same room) had another pre-reg'd person and someone who registered at the con. The other pre-reg'er and I got in the pre-reg line Friday evening and were through in less than half an hour. We ran past the at-con-reg line looking for our friend, then got our luggage and went to our room. Our companion was in a line that stretched outside the hotel. He got to the room an hour to an hour and a half after we did (though we were kind enough to get his luggage for him).

The at-con-reg line is surprisingly long, and when you get to the head of it they have to enter your data, take your money, print your badge, etc. If you're pre-reg'd, when you get to the head of the line you hand them your confirmation letter, they find your name on a list and hand you your badge and goody bag on the spot.

I don't know how fast the lines will run this year, but talking to other people, those times were about par for the course for Friday night.

#14 User is offline   GTO jerry 

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 01:51 PM

first thing to do:

PRE-REGISTER NOW!!! it will save you the trouble to wait in line friday morning to get in. plus you won't miss some events because you were in line waiting. and you save money!!!

if you plan to be all the 3 days, you should probably invest on getting or sharing a room with someone. you won't miss anything that goes on at the con! plus if you shop alot, a room might come very usefull!

GET A CAMERA AND LOTS OF FILMS!!!! you will see lots of cool stuff and people at the con! you sure don't want to miss events and cool cosplayers!

EAT and DRINK!!! during the con, you'll be running around, waiting in line... you'll get tired quick if you don't eat or drink, bring lots of water and some snack or meals ready to eat, you will be having more energy to do all the things you want to do!

WATCH YOUR BELONGINGS!!! lock your stuff and always keep an eye on your stuff, it will suck if you lose or someone steal from yyou.

#15 User is offline   icebratrpg 

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 02:56 PM

Quote

Originally posted by Yume No Miko
actually how well you cellphone works depends on two things.  Your carrier and the model of phone you have. I had an older model of Motorolla last year at the con with US Celluar as my carrier.  I for the life of me couldn't really use the phone inside the hotel at all, but i kept it with me so I would know what time it si


*checks her phone* mine's a nokia 3285 through verizion. maybe distance from home has an impact? mine wouldn't work unless i was outside, either.
Member of the Plushie Guardian Alliance <3 ACen 12 pix, you can has them. ^^ Member of the OLRmy, now a member of the Voice of Geeks Network!

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 10:42 AM

Actually, the dance is great, but I say against it. I stayed there to like 430 in the morning dancing with only a few breaks. It's suicide i tell ya1 I'm a heck of a dancer lmao. I say one hour and go to bed.

#17 User is offline   Buutsu-chan 

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 04:07 PM

Any advice for someone who is going it alone?
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nandomo meguriau"- Sailormoon

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#18 User is offline   DJ_Maiku 

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 09:31 AM

http://www.lkwdpl.org/anime/cons.html

another newbie resource that I help upkeep
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#19 User is offline   Mandy-chan 

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 09:40 AM

Quote

Originally posted by Buutsu-chan
Any advice for someone who is going it alone?

I've never gone alone, but this is my advice...

Bring something to amuse yourself in line... because you will spend a lot of time in lines over the weekend...

- Line to get your badge
- Lines to get autographs
- Lines to the concert and the masquerade and the other big
events

Chances are you will strike up conversations with your linemates, but if not it's a good idea to have a game boy or a book... some people have laptop and watch anime as they wait!


:sweatdrop
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Posted 25 February 2004 - 12:15 PM

Ah, my first post here!

Well, um. . . I've never been to a con before, but I've heard about 'em for years and it's about time to check one out! I can probably afford to go for only one day at this time. I've looked all over the official page, but I didn't see the price for one day's admission. How much will it run?

Also, I was just wondering if there might be representatives to talk to about voice acting. I've heard that a lot of voice actors got their start in radio (which is where my fiance works now) and/or talking to some representatives at a con. See, Jeff already makes a living with his voice and ever since I showed him how cool anime is he's been dying to get into the business. But at the very least, both of us cannot wait to meet some of the voice actors listed on the ACen webpage.

Oh, and I can't wait to check out all the cosplay, music videos, and merchandise!

Thanks!

#21 User is offline   neomiroku 

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:24 PM

hi, i'm new here obviously, I was wondering, 'cause i heard this in another thread about buying tickets once we get to the convention, about getting autographs or something.do we have to buy tickets and what exactly for and how much... and I also wanted to know how much exactly will playing the games be 'cause i love playing games and well, i wanna make sure i have enough money. ok, i guess that's it, I'll be sure to bring extra money for merchandise, but the questions about the tickets and gameroom , i need answered, thanks a bunch, peace out(side) bLu Neo
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#22 User is offline   Mandy-chan 

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 08:43 AM

The tickets, as far as I know, don't cost anything.

The way the system worked last year is if you go to a panel you get a ticket. If it was an American panel like voice actors you would get a certain color ticket to be used at the American autograph signing, and same thing for the Japanese panels and Japenese signing... if you have a ticket, you get to be in the line that gets to go first, which means it's more likely that you will get an autograph.

And yes, they are charging for video games this year, but I haven't seen how much.

Hopes this helps!
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#23 User is offline   neomiroku 

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 09:35 PM

thanks, mandy-chan, i hope i can go, if all works out w/ the people i've been in contacting w/ which by the way are very nice people..
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#24 User is offline   neomiroku 

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 12:11 PM

i was wondering, does anyone have images of acen past? and also images of merchandise? 'cause i looked and didn't see any images...i just wanna see them so i know if i wanna buy them ahead of time, and also what's this badge i keep hearing about? what does that look like? and t-shirts, i saw a poor quality pic of the piro shirt from last year but that's it. hopefully someone has these.:D :( :sweatdrop the ways of bipolar, j/k
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#25 User is offline   Alucard 

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 04:06 PM

im going to give a little bit of info that may not have been discussed for first time con goers


1 get enough sleep , it may seem that sleep is an imposiable thing to attain at the con with everything going on for what seems like 24 hrs a day lol, its crucial that u get enough , even if its just cat naps here and there , with all the things to do ur going to need ur energy.

2 if u smoke (providing that ur 18 or older , the city of rosemont is about the same on statutes about underage smoking as chicago) bring an extra pack or 2 , because the places around the hyatt are expensive on cigs ie btwn 580 and 6.00 per pack.

3 if this is ur first time attending acen take ur time and get a feel of the place , while enjoying ur self , last year was my first time at acen and i ended up running around to catch everything , at the end of the con on sun i was one of the rather dead lookin persons slumped outside the dealers room lol.

with all this and the info from the other posts in this fourm u should be able to have a blast .
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#26 User is offline   Lordi 

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 03:00 AM

going it alone is a double edged sword. i ended up doing it last year because the year before i got caught up in a group of my freinds and they spent so much time bickering that we didnt see anything.

last year, i saw a lot, but without a freind, then you dont have someone to chat with or point and go "d00d! that rulez!"

so my advice - open your mouth and meet people there - im still running into people on the street i met at past acens

and if you do go with a group, dont be afraid to say "ill meet you later cuz i want to see this and im gonna miss it if you keep talking!" (hint - this IS really rude to say, but if you offer to share your pocky with them later, they dont care^_^)

most of all, realize that you are going to have fun. if you walk around going :( then people will notce and avoid you, wich will make you more :( and the cycle will repeat (this aplies even if you're in a group)

smile! be happy! enjoy yourself!

AND MOST OF ALL: SHOWER! (DEAR GOD,THE SMELL!!!)


hope this helps
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#27 User is offline   [AN]The_Stuff 

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 09:39 PM

Quote

Originally posted by Lordi
last year, i saw a lot, but without a freind, then you dont have someone to chat with or point and go "d00d! that rulez!"

smile! be happy! enjoy yourself!

AND MOST OF ALL: SHOWER! (DEAR GOD,THE SMELL!!!)



soo true .. but also remeber ppl .. be friendly .. nothing like being stuck in an elevator with a cold person :sweatdrop

#28 User is offline   DaphHime 

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:42 PM

I just remebered one very important thing. If you have asthma, bring your inhalier. May is during allergy season and if you're like me and senstive to pollen, it chould save your live. Also remeber any meds you may need to take during the con.
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#29 Guest_Moushi_*

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:46 PM

1. Be really nice to everyone. Last year was my first convention experience, and this one person got really mad at me when I was trying to play Halo in the Gaming room (I was really confused... little did I know that I was using a Japanese controller and it was inverted!) I was running around weird and he got mad and called me a loser. I was kind of hurt, but I went to the video rooms and had a nice chat with some people... I felt better :). Nevertheless, be nice to everyone. Ruining the convention for others is NOT cool.

2. If you're going to be using a digital camera, make sure it loads fast! I was using one last year, and I turned it off in between pictures, so when I asked someone to pose, they were waiting for a minute and a half for my camerra to turn on. It was embarrasing! Also, make sure you bring at least 4 rechargable batteries. Extra memory is reccoommended, but if you can't afford it, don't worry. You will most likely go through the pictures you took and say "What was I thinking when I took THAT?!?! later, so you'll be able to delete stupid pics during the con (However, make sure you bring a clean card. Upload all your pictures to your computer and delete everything on the card. I had a 256 MB card, and I thought I would be OK... but I only had 100 pictures left on it! [I know that sounds like a lot... it isn't])

3. Don't hold up the DDR line. Go with another person. Likewise- Don't be a DDR jerk (OMGWTF THAT GUY SUXXORZ!!!11!), and don't cut in line.

4. If this is your first convention... you're going to see a LOT of random stuff. People will be tackled. Random phrases and funny things will be shouted. And most likely anytime that Acen staff puts out a bullitin board or an announcement board, people will draw on it... If you have skills bring a pencil!

#30 User is offline   [AN]The_Stuff 

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 01:43 PM

ohh ohhh .. i thought of one to .. "use the escalators to go to L2!! not the elevator!!"

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