I am ashamed to admit it but I am relatively new to the Con scene. I attended my 1st Con (Mad Monster Party- Charlotte, NC) a mere 2 years ago. From the outside looking in I appear to be a seasoned professional. I know how to dress, how to properly ask questions during a panel discussion, how to ONLY carry cash (you would think celebrities would have the swipey credit card thing for the iPhone by now, it’s 2013!) and how to correctly display my tongue and devil horns when taking a photo with a kick ass celebrity.
On the inside however, I am less confident. This lack of confidence is exactly what can get you into trouble when attending a Con the size of DragonCon. After successfully attending a few Cons over the last couple of years I thought “I got this” when I went online to get what I thought were tickets to the convention….wrong. It is not a ticket you purchase for DragonCon- but a membership. Balloon #1 deflated… I eventually worked that out knowing that I would only be attending one day- there is a whole pre-registration mumbo jumbo bit you have to go through- and you never actually get a ticket…You print out your pre-reg info and take it with you the day of the Con. They at least let you know what hotel to go to actually purchase your BADGE (yes-a nice little souvenir- after literally standing in line for 2.5 hours) that gets you into all of the events.
AHHHH the events- that is cross-to-bear #2. By nature, I am a planner. Some call it OCD- I call it planning (!). I like to map out who I want to see, meet, greet, have sign some shit, ask some questions, and buy ridiculously priced items. The problem with DC is that events are scattered throughout FIVE hotels. You have celebrities in one hotel at a certain time and then a panel discussion across the street and down the road a piece at the same time. The one saving grace is that DC has a downloadable app for smartphones that allows you to, wait for it… PLAN. Mind you this app does not have cloning capabilities and there is some seriously cool shit taking place at the same time that some other seriously cool shit is taking place so you have flip a coin or whatever you do to make life changing decisions and just commit. Otherwise you will drive yourselves crazy with the “what if’s”.
Basically, what I learned, or maybe not, from DragonCon 2013 is that no matter how prepared you think you are, you might want to be more prepared. A Con this size can bring you to your knees. Possibly purchasing your membership several months prior (as opposed to a couple of weeks prior) will alleviate some stress. Maybe visit the website and make a list of events you want to do, see, what have you, and go with it. There is truly no worse feeling than realizing you just missed like literally the whole cast of The Walking Dead while you were waiting in line to pee. Patience is the main thing…55,000 people attended, lines were a little lengthy, a weaker woman would have snapped- luckily I held it together.
Really, just have fun, relax, you can catch Lou Ferrigno the next time! Finally, the people watching is to die for so make sure to bring your camera and your sense of humor :)
Next up…less bitching, more actual experiences from DragonCon!!