First-Time Con Goer Resources?
Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:15 AM
anther thing alwaz get your badges early not inless you would like to waste away for 9hours in line just to get a con bag thous wastes half of the frit day or the hole frist day away
Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:45 AM
At this particular con, there's artwork to view and to buy, various merchandise items to buy in the format I like (rare items all spread out...I usually look there for stuff only sold in Japan), cosplaying to admire, panels on all sorts of things anime/manga related, video gaming, tabletop gaming, a masquerade, a dance, lots of people who share the interests of an otaku, and plenty of other things and acts of silliness.
The best way to spend time depends on you and what you like. One person might have to hit as many panels as possible to have a good time, while another might be content to spend almost all of their time in Artist Alley. However, to maximize time, I always try to cut back on commuting. I try to give myself some "options" to maximize the convention experience...a list of panels I HAVE to go to and some others that are options, then plan to hit the artwork and merchandise in between. Get some sleep because a lot of the good events happen late, such as the Ball, Masquerade and Anime Hell.
Artwork gets its own section of things for sale. There's also, naturally, manga and anime, some in out-of-print additions and on DVD or Blu-Ray...some even on VHS. Then there's art books, wall hangings, posters, figurines (pre-made and models), hats, shirts, accessories, etc. There's also things like sci-fi/fantasy joke shirts, old video games and video-game-related materials. Lots of other "do-dads" as well that I don't have much interest in. Naturally, ACen also has quite a bit of merchandise for itself. I try to pick up one thing as a souvenier if nothing else.
Obviously, you can't act like an animal around there or pick fights. As in any big gathering, there's a lot of "group mentality" things that people start doing, such as violating lines or piling up bags in front of fire escapes. Don't be surprised if the staff gets on you for stuff like that and comply with them. They're just doing their job.
Survival Tip: BATHE. On that note, just make sure to take care of yourself while there. My first time, I sacrificed a lot of personal care to "maximize" fun. As a result, I went away from the convention unwashed and starving. Very entertained, but also unwashed and starving.
Survival Tip: It's a bit late for it this year...but plan early for a hotel room...some time in December if not earlier. The hotels are tradeoffs. Ideally, I want to be as close as possible to cut down on commuting time. However, the hotels that are right at the con are all really expensive. If you're willing to commute just a couple miles, there's far cheaper hotels not far that are very nice. I'd almost say you could get some walking out of it, but you'll be doing plenty of walking at the con. Plus, while walking two miles there and back during the day is one thing, you'll probably stay for the late night stuff, and I don't think it's ever the best idea to two miles in an area like that at night, especially since you'll probably have a lot of cash on you.
Survival Tip: If you cosplay, either make sure your character has decent footwear or you bring a change of footwear for non-pictures. I've done two "bad footwear" cosplays in the past...you think I would have learned after the first time... One in which my shoes were a little too small and the other in which they were slippers, effectively. It was a nightmare.
Survival Tip: People are going to dispute me on this...but bring your own food. NOW, when I say that, I DON'T mean 2 family-sized bags of Doritos, a bag of candy bars, a twelve pack of Coca-Cola, and some Pocky for snacks. REAL food. Fruit, veggies, and non-sugar drinks in addition to the crap. Bring a cooler. You'll have plenty of time to unload and load it and hotels give you ice for free. If you're lucky enough to stay at one of the "lower end" hotels like the Hampton Inn, you can get a nice breakfast every morning for free that will keep you from piling on the junk food later. The fact of the matter is that prices for food at the con are obscene and they're counting on gouging you. For those of us who are low-income, we've had to scrimp and save for months. I personally didn't do it just to blow a fifth of it on food.
Survival Tip: Lines are horrendous, especially since the con keeps growing. Always pre-order a badge. (Cheaper anyway.) As far as autographs are concerned, try to get as many as you can on Friday and Sunday if you plan to hit those up. Saturday is a nightmare because that's when most of the people who are only there for a day show up.
Survival Tip: Budget. The credit card and the debit card stay in the wallet. Like I said earlier, I've saved for months...and that's it. What I've saved is what I spend. Not one penny more. You may not be able to "haggle" at a con (at least, not on the first day or so...), but you definitely have the ability to "shop around" considering how many people are selling things. If you can hold off buying instincts until Sunday, lots of people there will start slashing prices. Now, carrying a ton of cash around with you is dangerous too. If you can commute multiple times, just "draw" out of your savings each time you head back. You might also consider keeping an "emergency" stash hidden.
Finally...have fun! There's lots of friendly nerds like yourself there that will be willing to go off on anime/manga topics just at the drop of a hat, and there's lots to see and do. The whole convention experience is like nothing else, so make sure to enjoy it.
Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:21 AM
What events at the convention cost money to get in to? I keep hearing about the rave, panels, etc., but I am unsure of what events actually cost something (yes, I know this can't be answered fully since not every event is set in stone?).
What restaurants/food places are around, and which ones are fairly cheap? I don't exactly have the most money, and I am already worried about the cost of the badge (getting it in advance), gas to get there, and the hotel room (probably won't be staying at the Hyatt and the others nearby due to cost, but depends on what my group decides). Granted, I will hopefully be going with about 9 others, but I still worry about money. ^.^" Also, on that note, does anyone have any suggestions on what hotel to stay at, that isn't super expensive? I would assume my group would be splitting the cost, but we will also be there probably Thursday night-Monday morning.
Also, any advice how to go about the convention? Suggested things to go see, pictures, etc.
Also, if you guys couldn't tell, this upcoming ACen will be my very first convention ever.
Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:34 AM
The cheapest way to handle food is to bring your own food with you. My group usually packs up a couple big boxes of granola bars, some fruit, things like easy mac or cup ramen (if you don't have a microwave or kettle in the room, though, this becomes difficult to eat), and peanut butter with a loaf of bread. When we know we'll have a fridge we bring sandwich meats. We generally eat that and then all go in on pizza one night. For that, we usually just see whoever's handing out pizza flyers outside the con. If you really wanted to it's probably possible to bring a cooler and just top it off with ice every now and again.
For things to see and do I find it helpful to lurk around on the website before the con and get an idea of what the programming line-up's going to be; that way before I go I already have an idea of what I want to do. There's so much going on at ACen, though, that there's always something interesting to be found.