Photo Courtesy of Addison Caluya

Attending your first anime convention

Are you attending your first anime convention? Feeling overwhelmed by everything – all the webpages and social media sites and events and and agh! Don’t fret, we have some helpful tips to aid you in navigating your first convention experience!

To pre-register, or not to pre-register

Now that you’ve decided you want to go to a convention, you have an important decision to make. Will you be able to attend Friday, Saturday and Sunday? If yes, you may want to consider purchasing your membership online to receive a discount on the cost. For Kawaii Kon, in addition to saving on the price, you’ll also be able to pick up your pass before the convention starts on Thursday night! If you only want to attend for 2 or even 1 days, you can wait to purchase your pass at the door.

Clear your phone/camera
Are you getting low storage notifications every time you turn on your phone? Yeah, that’s not going to work for how many pictures you’re going to want to snap at the con. Upload your stuff to your computer, and clear those extra apps early so you have lots of space. Get a cheap battery pack and bring a cord. If you have a camera, clear your memory card, grab an extra and make sure you have extra batteries on hand!

Hotel
Are you planning on being at the con all three days? If you enjoy late night events (the Saturday Night Dance, the ball, or video-rooms etc) and still want to see those early morning panels, maybe you should consider booking a hotel. If your commute is longer than 30 minutes, we’d really recommend it so you’re not driving while exhausted from the con. Conventions generally work out special deals with the nearest hotel so you get a break on the cost when you mention their show. Kawaii Kon’s official hotel is the Ala Moana, located just across the street and connected to the mall for the most convenience!

Budget
Once you’ve figured out what type of badge is for you, and if you plan on staying in the con hotel, decide how much you want to spend on food and how much you want to spend on cool stuff. Make sure you actually figure out a reasonable budget for food! It may also help to stock up on granola bars and on the go snacks to cut costs.

Figure out a savings plan if you need to. Put that money aside and limit yourself to not going over. This way your wallet won’t be crying after the convention.

Cosplay repair kit
If you plan on cosplaying, the best thing you can do is plan on the unexpected and bring a repair kit. Get a pencil case or small bag, and throw in some fabric glue, needle and thread, tape, scissors and anything extra like buttons you may need in an emergency. Even if you don’t need it, you may be able to help a cosplayer who will.

Pack ahead
As you prep your costume and outfits for the weekend, write down all the pieces you’ll need to pack. Make a detailed checklist of everything you need if you need to. Pack as you can! If you are one of the few that finish their cosplay before 10am on Friday, set it up in a way that it can be safely packed and get it ready to go!

Bring a friend!
While cons are a great way to make new friends, sometimes it can be stressful to meet people or wander alone for a few hours. Encourage your otaku friends to come with you. And if not, consider making friends in lines, in panels, or during interactive games. You already know you have anime in common with them, what else do you need!

Plan ahead (schedule etc)
The schedule is usually released 1 month – 2 weeks before the convention. Cons usually post this everywhere – on their website, on their social media accounts, on their foreheads, everywhere! Check through it and make a schedule of what you want to see. Make sure you leave space for video games, table-top, artist alley, dealer’s room, autographs, and eating.

Follow the convention on Twitter
Throughout the weekend, most conventions will tweet the latest schedule updates as well as cool things happening throughout the weekend. Facebook does not like multiple posts per day and won’t show them to everyone who liked the page, so twitter is the best way to get up-to-the-minute updates during the convention. You can follow Kawaii Kon at @kawaiikon.