Gen’s Tips: Attending your First Con

Hello and welcome to Gen’s Tips, an advice column for you and your friends. Each week (hopefully) I’ll be writing up a little something giving tips and tricks about conventions and nerdy stuff. Hey Gen, you might ask, I’m going to be attending my first convention ever, do you have any advice?

Here are my tips:

If you know about the con far enough in advance, preregister. It will save you some money.

Make sure you have a way to get to the con. Your car, a friends’ car, public transit, a hang glider, whatever.

Also make sure you have a place to stay for the duration of the con. If there are lots of people that are going to be sharing a room, be ready to possibly sleep on the floor. Everyone has done it at least once at a con and can relate.

Bring a purse or backpack or messenger bag and keep a water bottle and some snacks in there. You need to stay hydrated during the con and a granola bar can save your sanity in a pinch.

Be nice, be patient, be open. Cons are a melting pot of people and experiences, so it’s best to just take it all in and don’t worry what people are thinking. They’re all doing their own thing and nobody should be worrying about what you’re doing. If someone is, talk to con staff/security.

Don’t be afraid to talk to con staff/security. They are there to help you and to keep you safe. If you feel unsafe at all, please find a staff member and tell them.

Stay hygienic. Sounds weird, but cons do get a nasty smell to them sometimes (which we refer to as Con Funk) Please take showers and wear deodorant during the con. Yes this is a real issue.

And I’m not gonna tell you to have fun, because it’s a con! You will have fun.

-Last tip: After the con is over, and you’re back to normal life, it’s completely normal to get a little depressed. Con Depression is a thing and it will pass. Just keep in mind that there are always cons coming up so keep your spirits up by keeping in touch with your con friends and preparing for the next one!

Disclaimer: Gen is not a professional advice person in any way, and can only give tips based on their own experiences. If you’d like to ask Gen for advice though, head to the contact form and make sure you specify “Gen’s Tips” in the subject line.