Take Your Vitamin C!

Barry Bostwick from Rocky Horror!

Only 17 days until Dragon*Con!! 

Note to self: start upping your intake of vitamin C.  The past 2 Dragon*Cons, I have ended up sick.  The first year was due to stress, last year was for dental issues after cracking a tooth.  I would really, really like to NOT be sick this time around.

For my fellow Geeks that are attending their first major convention, here’s my top  tips for a successful Con Adventure:

  1. Pre-planning is key! Review the program schedule ahead of time and pick a few things for each time slot that you might like to do.  Make a simple spreadsheet for yourself with times/places/locations.  Consider sharing your schedule with your friends to figure out when you can hang out.  Figure out when you can eat and relax. 
  2. When packing your costumes – get gallon-sized ziploc bags for all the accessories, and punch a hole in the top so you can slide it over the hanger.  I put hair pieces, stockings/hosery, earrings, purses, and everything in those bags – when I decide to wear that costume, I don’t have to go searching only to find out I forgot something.
  3. Have a good Con-day travel bag – something that’s light to carry, hard to pickpocket, and can carry a few essentials: snacks, your pocket guide, phone charger, pen & paper, aspirin, any flyers or goods you buy, a good book and a card game or two, etc.  Not having to buy an overpriced snack or run up to the room for an aspirin is key.
  4. Bring a re-usable water bottle with you.  Every con panel room has a water station where you can refill for free.  Free is good.  Free keeps you hydrated and saves your dollars for important stuff like dealer’s loot.
  5. Plan your attire for the day’s activities.  If you are going to be sitting in panels all day, don’t wear that binding corset that digs in to your lap.  If you are going to be walking all day, don’t wear your 6″ killer knee-high vinyl boots. Those kind of outfits are better for the night-time parties when the alcohol makes it all a little fuzzy anyway. 
  6. Wear comfortable shoes, or keep a pair handy!  If you have to wear those perfect heels, why not throw a pair of isotoner slippers in your bag for when the blisters make you weep for mercy.
  7. Observe the 3-2-1 rule: Make sure you get 3 hours of sleep, 2 good meals, and 1 shower every day.  Seriously.  It not only helps minimize the con funk – it also keeps you from the dreaded Con Crud – the illness that plagues con noobies and seasoned veterans alike every year. 
  8. Never stand in line.  Seriously, there are people who wait in line for 2 1/2 hours for the mega-panels.  I refuse to do that anymore.  With all the big screens that are put up in the ballrooms, you can often see the big guests better from the back than from the middle.  And if it’s so big you can’t get in – they will re-air it on Dragon*Con TV.  So don’t stand in line – instead, visit some of the smaller panel with some of the lesser known guests.  Those, in my opinion, are the most fun.  You get to ask more questions, it’s a much more intimate setting, and you get to see a lot more panels.
  9. If you must stand in line, don’t just stand there.  Take the time to talk to those around you.  Bring a book or a simple card game that you can play with those nearby.  Make new friends or people-watch.
  10. Remember to have fun!  Try something you’ve never tried before!  Be someone you can’t always be!  Cons are a great way to be yourself or someone else, but you can only do that if you lighten up and look around. 


About Joey 18 Articles
Joey moved to Charlotte in 2008 and loves it here! She started the Charlotte Geeks after returning from Dragon*Con and whining "But I don't want to wait 360 days to hang out with my people again!!" Self-dubbed the GiddyGeeker, her geekdoms are Doctor Who, Marvel, Boardgaming, British TV (MisFits, Orphan Black, Sherlock, The IT Crowd, etc) and she is slightly addicted to FUNKO pops. Check here out here or listen to her on the Guardians of the Geekery podcast.