If you have never been to a comic convention before it can be a daunting and exciting experience the first time. From big to small, most conventions have certain kinds of events, panels and areas to be sought out and enjoyed. This article will help you navigate all those things so you can make the most of your first experience.
Navigating the Convention Floor: Artist Alley, Vendor Booths and more.
There are generally several areas to explore when entering the convention floor. Most conventions provide a map to those attending, though many now also provide apps with maps as well as a plethora of other useful information about the convention. One area of the convention floor will be filled with vendor booths which include lots of items for sale, local groups that relate to the convention, or even test areas for new games or products. Another interesting area is Artist Alley. Here you can get prints from artists who are attending the convention. Artists who have a table in this area can be everyone from big names to those just starting to make their name in the comic business. This tends to be my favorite place to find unique souvenirs for both myself and friends and family. The convention floor also tends to be home to interesting and amazing displays of props and replicas from movies and television. Some do charge to snap a photo, but others may be completely free. One of my favorite things to do at a convention is explore the floor and find all the amazing things on display there.
Panels: Learning more about what interests you.
The best conventions provide a wide arrange of panels that involve everything from celebrity guests to information about starting to cosplay to debates about what might be the next hot thing in comics. Most conventions post their panel schedule at least a few weeks before the convention occurs, so it is best to check that out and plan which panels you are going to attend. The more popular the panel, the less chance you might have of getting into it. Get there early if you find a panel you are dying to attend, to ensure you get a great seat.
Cosplay: Asking for pictures or dressing up.
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and that applies to comic conventions in a big way. Attendees will spend months putting together the perfect costume to wear to these types of events. Others who are just starting out will do their best and seek out advice form other cosplayers at the event to better their costume construction skills. If you see someone in an amazing costume and just have to have a photo, feel free to approach them and ask politely. Most cosplayers would prefer you ask before snapping a shot, so they can pose and put their best foot forward for you.
The most important thing to do when you attend a convention is to have fun and try not to get too concerned with the crowds. Everyone attends for different reasons, so use these tips to make the most of your experience!