So you wanna go to a convention? You wanna be a convention goer? You wanna be part of a community filled with nerds, freaks, and geeks? Well, then you need to know the basic do’s and don’ts of attending conventions, so that you, and others, can have a great time as you empty your wallets on merchandise that will only affirm just how nerdy you know you are.
Article by Taylor Boswell
- DO have fun. Most people only get to go to one or two conventions a year, and that’s why you need to make the most of it! Get out there, explore new fandoms and meet new people.
- DO be open-minded. You’re bound to see something that might make you raise your eyebrows a bit. But, don’t allow yourself to make assumptions about a group of people just because you don’t understand the reasoning behind their costume or their love for a certain movie, anime, manga, comic, or even lifestyle. Remember that everyone is different and being different isn’t something to be frowned upon.
- DO bring money. Chances are you’re going to see some pretty awesome stuff that you’re going to want, and chances are it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. I’m not saying that you need to empty out your entire bank account, but definitely bring enough money so you can buy a couple of things and maybe get something to eat and drink. (Tip: be careful with the food and drinks, because convention centers tend to increase prices for a better profit.)
- DO wear comfortable shoes. You’re going to be walking. And walking. And walking. If you’re in cosplay and it requires uncomfortable footwear, be sure to buy some insoles for yourself. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
- DO politely ask for photos with cosplayers/celebrities. They’re there to have fun too, so calmly and politely ask for photos when you see that they’re not too busy.
- DON’T touch a cosplayer (or anyone for that matter) without consent. It’s sad that I feel like this has to be said, but it does. I want to make it clear to all of my readers, and future convention goers, that cosplay does NOT equal consent. A man or woman wearing a costume that shows a lot of skin does not give you the right to touch them inappropriately without permission. They wear the costume to show off their creativity and love for a certain character, book, movie, etc. They are not there for you to touch.
- DON’T make fun of anyone’s fandom. This goes back to my point of being open-minded; it does not matter if you find a certain character or show or book or whatever idiotic and unworthy of any kind of attention from convention goers. People are always going to love something you don’t, so instead of ruining their time at the convention, just look away and focus your attention on the fandoms that you do like. There’s enough hate in this world-don’t add to it.
- DON’T frantically run up to people to take pictures. Cosplayers are there to enjoy the convention just as much as you are. Sure, they’re wearing a cool costume and you want to be able to appreciate it even after the convention is over, but running up to them and pouncing on them for pictures is a big no-no. Instead, calmly walk up to them and politely ask for a picture, and from there you can compliment them and show just how much you love their work.
- DON’T touch part of a costume without permission. Creating a costume takes a lot of time and effort, and it hurts to see something that you made fall apart. One thing that many cosplayers have to take into consideration is making something that can be worn and carried around a convention for many hours, this means that many parts of costumes can be fragile and easily broken if touched in a certain way. If you want to learn more about how a cosplayer made something, ask them, and 99 percent of the time they will gladly tell you how they made their prop and/or costume.
And there you have it, the big dos and don’ts for attending conventions. I hope you all feel a little more prepared and are ready to dive into the world of conventions, nerds, and happiness galore. Going to conventions is a great way to meet new people, discover exciting new worlds, and just be yourself. You don’t have to worry too much, just follow me and it will be smooth sailing from here.