Going to conventions is a lot of fun, but it can also be a little intimidating. Here are five tips I wish I'd known before my first comic con:
1) Maybe the most important tip: wear comfortable shoes. While you don't necessarily have to rock athletic sneakers, you should plan to be standing for most of the day, and that can really take a toll on your feet. I finally bought gel inserts after years of ending each convention in pain, and it was the best thing I've ever done for my feet (and legs, and back).
2) Check out the convention schedule, and write down details for the things you want to do most. There is so much going on at big cons, and it's easy to miss out on panels and signings if you don't know exactly when and where they are.
3) Be prepared for little or no cell signal. Not every convention center has free wifi, and the cell towers can be overloaded with the hundreds or thousands of people using it. Save your favorite artists and vendors booth numbers, panel times and locations, and photo op times somewhere on your phone that you can access without service. Pick a meeting point and time if you split up from your group so you can find each other again!
4) Know your budget. Conventions have a lot to offer, and a lot of things to spend money on. You'll feel better about your purchases if you decide before you even get there how much you're willing to spend.
5) Leave time to eat and drink. If you plan out your day ahead of time, make sure to account for a lunch break. Pack granola bars or fruit snacks in your bag. Bring a refillable water bottle so you can stay hydrated.
What did I forget? What are your best tips for first time con-goers?
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