The 2023 Convention season has begun! Conventions are a great place for people who love things like games, comics, anime, and more to come together to show off their appreciation of these things. People also meet with some of the people who help create these things you appreciate and it’s a chance for you to actually meet them and maybe even thank them for all their hard work. For myself, I love conventions like Star City Games where I can go and play Magic and Flesh & Blood for sweet prizes and have the chance to meet some of my favorite card artists. With all this said, it’s important to be prepared for conventions because they take a lot of energy and its why I am going to give you some of my important Dos and Don’ts for conventions.
1. Drink Water!
When going to a convention, you want to make sure you are properly hydrated at all times. Most conventions I have been to are usually fine with bringing a clear water bottle with you and even if they aren’t, you can usually find a place at the convention to purchase water. The last thing you want is to pass out from dehydration and then wake up in an infirmary or hospital because of it. Trust me when I say, it’s not a good time
2. Plan Out Your Day
It is important to make sure you plan out your day when going to a convention. You want to make sure that you have enough time to eat or rest up before going to an event. Whenever I go to the Star City Games conventions, I try to have an idea of what events I want to participate in and when I will want to eat. A lot of conventions will stop seating people when the room gets too full and sometimes you have to be in line super early for a seat. Make sure to plan enough time to make sure your body is properly nourished and that you still make it to the event you want to see or participate in.
3. Self-Care and Personal Hygiene
This can be a bit of a touchy subject but, it needs to be said. It is super important to make sure that you are ready for a long day or weekend at a convention. If you take medication regularly, make sure you continue doing so and bring it with you. It’s also important to make sure you have a list of your medication and any other medical information that could be needed to know in case of an emergency. You want to make sure that any bags you bring have your name and a way to contact you just in case something gets lost or stolen. Finally, and the touchy subject to talk about, make sure you properly clean yourself before a convention. For conventions with gaming events where you can participate in, a lot of them have rules on personal hygiene that has to be met. It can be really embarrassing for everyone involved when that conversation has to happen. Please make sure you bring things like deodorant, body spray, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and anything else you would use in your normal personal hygiene regimen.
1. Do Not Break Convention Rules
Convention organizers have sets of rules they need everyone to follow in order to make conventions a safe and fun place for people. Some rules may seem silly or going against an opinion you may have but, the rules they set are there to protect you and everyone else that is there. We saw a lot of this both in 2021 and 2022 during the pandemic. Just about every convention required masks and proof of COVID vaccination with booster to help lower the spread of COVID. As we enter 2023, most of the restrictions have been lifted but, masks are still required at most conventions. Please be mindful of these rules and follow them. It is really that simple.
2. Do Not Be Disrespectful
This one may seem a little obvious but, I think it’s still important to cover. Please be mindful when it comes to assuming things while at conventions. A few things you want to not assume are a person’s gender and sexual preference, any disabilities you think they might have based on social cues or whatnot, and you don’t want to assume that people that you are meeting for the first time will want to hang out with you afterwards. Respect is such an important thing to have with people you are meeting with and interacting with for the first time. You want to make sure you are fully listening when they introduce themselves and how they identify. Do not just assume based off their looks or opinions you may have about this subject. Conventions are a place for people to feel safe and for them to be themselves. Finally, remember that if someone declines your offer to maybe get a drink or to hang out to respect that decision and hope they have a great time at the convention.
3. Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute
I cannot stress this enough. Do not wait until the week before a convention to book your hotel or flight to the convention. The closer it gets to day one of a convention, the higher the prices will be for hotels and flights. I always try to book my hotels roughly three weeks to a month prior of the convention. Hotels and flights fill up fast before a convention and unless you have friends or family near the convention, you don’t want to end up staying the night on the street.
Hopefully these Dos and Don’ts help you have a fun and exciting time at the next convention you go to. Make sure to stay safe, drink water, more importantly, have fun!