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!!
– 13 Things You Missed at This Year’s Comic-Con
– Mad Monster Party Event and Film Festival Schedule Released
– 30 Great Costumes from San Diego Comic-Con
Categories: Conventions and Haunts, Guest Writers
Hello. My name is Vampyre Fangs. And I too am a Con newbie. I’ve been a Non-Con for as long as I can remember and was, I thought, perfectly happy. But this summer I went to my first Comic-Con and my life was forever changed. Thank you. 😉
You know what they say…”Once you go Con….” I try to squeeze in a few a year. I start getting restless if I have a horror DVD or photo that isn’t autographed! They are typically local and have never been the size of DragonCon. It could make the most seasoned Con’er feel like a virgin again…
I went to the Star Wars Celebration in LA a number of years ago, but my biggest con experiences have been the local ones that are somewhat smaller and more manageable. But even with those, we still have those pick and choose moments where you realized you were going to miss something awesome in order to see something else awesome.
This is why we really need to press for stem cell research and cloning. Its like trying to decide what you would grab in a fire! The photo albums with the kids baby pictures or my wicked stash of autographed scripts. Either decision would haunt me for years….
You could also take the buddy approach and divide and conquer. Make sure your buddy has a video camera and give him a list of questions you want answered…otherwise you may have to beat him with a sock full of quarters…
I will say that the buddy system does work to a degree, because my daughter and I have done that when there have been two that we’re interested in that are running at the same time. But inevitably, if we divide and conquer, I end up going to the panel that sounded interesting but was a hot mess, while the one that she went to was epic and life changing. Every. Time.
I hate when a good-size con doesn’t offer any kind of planner. If I have to make my own spreadsheet to make sense of things, I’m already cranky!
(that photo of Merle is fabulous, by the way!)
throw in 100% Southern Humidity, 55,000 people and no ATM for 3 blocks and that was me. No plan and butt crack sweat- which us Southern Girls DO NOT talk about… I was cranky but i had fun- butt crack sweat and all 🙂
This is outstanding. And I am jelly.
I’ve never been to a “con”… unless of course you count music teacher cons. I’ve been to a lot of those. I bet they’re just as nerdy. 😉 I would like to make it to a really good paranormal con one of these days.
YOU MUST CON!! Once you go to your first one, its like a tattoo…you just can’t stop. I need to know where you live so I can make a schedule for you 🙂 For your next music teacher con, dress up like a zombie. It will be a lot more fun!