How To Survive NYCC
By Jeff Zyra
Going to conventions whether it is comic book, sci-fi, multimedia or what have you can be either very fun or very stressful. Most times it is very stressful as well laid plans never happen and you have to improvise on the run. Take it from me no matter how well you plan you can never predict the human element. Something always goes wrong. It always does its inevitable. So here I have a nifty list of things to be prepared for NYCC or any convention you plan on attending. So like the Joker says, “And Here We Go.”
The most important thing is to have lots of money saved up. Cons are expensive. Especially with guests charging for their autograph your money supply will be sucked dry in no time. Plus you might see something cool in the dealer’s room that you might want to buy. Plus food is expensive and if you don’t bring snacks you will need money for food. Well for supper at least.
This brings us to this tidbit. If you’re going to a four day con like NYCC it would be to your benefit to bring snacks with you. Snacks are essential because food inside a convention center is pretty outrageously priced. I generally will bring peanut butter crackers and pop tarts with me. Granola bars are good also. You need to snack on something substantial that will keep your energy up. Candy and sugar is fine but will leave you feeling low later on when the high wears off.
When I was younger I never really did this but now I do. Bringing a water bottle is a good idea. You can always refill the water bottle at the water cooler and it will cost you nothing. Plus it is better than having a soda even though drinking a soda once in a while is pretty good also. But it is very important to keep hydrated at NYCC as there are tons of people and it gets quite warm there. So drinking lots of fluids is a wise thing to do.
While walking through a very crowded convention center you experience lots of different smells. Not all of them are pleasant. So for the love of god please wear deodorant and take a shower. My hotel room has a shower and it comes with complimentary soap. USE IT. Plus if you forget your deodorant NYC has thousands of stores that sell it. PLEASE for the sake of our noses PLEASE shower and wear deodorant. Plus as a side note extra shirts are good also especially if the building gets really warm with 100,000 plus people inside and you sweat through the shirt. Be a good idea to put on a fresh shirt also.
I like watching people at cons and one of the amazing things is seeing the costumes that people make and are wearing. Some people do an amazing job and well some people just well at least they try and participate. But I know we come in all different shapes and sizes and girls we all aren’t shaped like Sara Jean Underwood from Attack of the Show and guys we all aren’t shaped like Hugh Jackman so please wear clothing or make your costumes that compliment your shape and build. I know I don’t have the best body on the planet, I’m lying Its not bad, but I do know to wear clothing that will be comfortable for a four day convention and will compliment my form.
Wearing shoes that are comfortable is a must. For all the walking and standing in line over the course of a 4 day convention wearing comfortable shoes is a must. Think about it. You are standing in line for hours to get an autograph from your favorite celebrity or comic book writer/artist and sometimes in line twice for that person if you need to get a wristband so if you do not have comfortable footwear you will be a hurting puppy when your feet start to kill you from all the abuse they will be taking.
Have a plan and work the plan. That is truly the important thing. Plan out what you want to do and who you want to see and make a list of things you want signed and keep tabs on it. Plus always have a backup plan as things don’t normally go as planned. Panels change times and location and guest cancel at the last minute. Those things happen and you need to be prepared for it. Always have a check list of the books and who is signing what. It makes it easier and when you get to said guest you can have your items ready and be in and out and on to the next person or panel.
Make sure you know what line you are getting in to. If you get in the wrong line you could be wasting time in line for something you really have no interest in. It would be a bummer if you are in the wrong line and then realize it is too late and you missed the person or attraction you really wanted to see. You have a mouth with vocal cords so ask someone what the line is for. Don’t be shy and arrogant that you know it all for all you know you could be in the wrong line and that would be a bad thing. So pocket your pride and ask someone they won’t bite your head off they will in most cases tell you what the line is for. Unless they are an ass hole in which case there is nothing you can do but investigate the beginning of the line.
The main thing is to have fun. Despite what disappointments or snags you hit along the way the important thing is to enjoy yourself and have a great time. NYCC and conventions in general have lots to offer and you get to meet lots of people with the same interests as you. But the main thing is to have fun and then when you get home start to plan what to do differently for the next year’s convention.