Expectations for your first Convention: an insider’s opinion

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Out part-time reviewer Kate is hitting up her first-ever convention this weekend, C2E2. She’s going to be covering the Con for Lytherus, giving us a summary of the overall feel and some more detailed coverage of a few of her favorite panels. For those of you who have never been to a Con, Kate wrote up a great expectation list for this upcoming weekend. What do you think? Does Kate have all her bases covered? For veteran Con-goers, any suggestions to help her out? Let her know in the comments!

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So I’m going to my first Con

Almost a year ago my friend suggests that we go to C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo). My first thought is cons are expensive and I don’t get paid vacation from work. Second thought is a year is more than enough time to save money and come up with a couple costumes. Well after getting a new job, but still without paid vacation and barely saving any money, we are less than a week from the con. I’m still trying to pull together two costumes, this is kinda sad considering I decided to update two old halloween costumes. Being well known for getting in over my head I thought why not write article for Lytherus while I’m at it.

C2E2So like I said this is my first con. Why go in costume you might ask. Well, everyone else is doing it. Or possibly because I love making my own costumes, have been doing it every year for halloween since my mom was making them for me. But yet somehow I always end up with bleeding fingertips, frazzled hair, a short temper, crying and yelling at the fabric. Blood sweat and tears right? But really it’s worth it in the end.

I really have no idea what I’m getting myself into besides crowds and lines. We are somewhat prepared though, we’ve a place to stay (no hotel) and a guide to the city of Chicago, conveniently in the same person. He’s also a veteran con-goer and cosplayer. But I like hard information. My first stop was the con website. The list of special guests, screenings, and panels is frankly overwhelming. But they have a very nice function on the website to plan out your time, works just like the one I used in college to plan my classes. Of course I’m going with a group so I know that I can’t make any finite plans. But it’s still a convenient way to save what panels interest me, I found this to be a really cool feature. They also have a mobile app, which I may yet download before I go.

Advice I’ve gotten from friends:

  • Bring your own food- Food at cons is expensive like any major event and the lines will be long

  • Your phone will not work- Despite the con offering free wi-fi the sheer amount of wireless devices will not allow you to successfully use internet, send texts or make phone calls (funny that college football games are the same)

  • You will end up separating- no way will your whole group want to do all the same things at the same times, make a meet up point ahead of time

  • If you are wearing a costume be prepared to be stop…a lot- other con goers will want photos or to chat about your character/method/construction etc. and not everyone will be nice and polite about it

  • If you are nice to other con goers they will be nice to you- A friend told me that he got thanked by a girl after taking a photo with her because he was the first guy all day to not grab her butt or be rude is some other fashion

The list of special guests seems endless, everything from hit shows like Game of Thrones and Being Human to classic tv like the original Batman series. Panels include topics like FOES, FANGS & FUR: A Look Inside Urban Fantasy Novels to things like How to Play Quiddich 101. They have plenty of children and family friendly interactives, that sound like fun for almost anyone. There don’t seem to be a lot of screenings but Grimms Fairy Tales Animated caught my eye. Not to mention the extensive list of autograph and photo opportunities with all the special guests.

While I am feeling overwhelmed (only days left now) I am also super excited. Did I mention that this I my first vacation is two years!? Somehow I think though I’ll need a vacation after this con but I’ll be back to let you all know how it went.

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Thanks Kate! We’re looking forward to hearing how it went. Stop back next week to read about her experiences!

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