Your Ultimate Convention Survival Guide
Con season is here at last!
If you’re going to Comic-Con or VidCon for the first time this year, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. After all, there’s just so much to see and do. But with a little planning, you can ensure that you get the most out of the experience. Follow this guide to have the best weekend ever.
What to Pack for Your Trip
All those cosplay props can take up a lot of suitcase space, so you’re going to want to bring only the things you truly need. (Besides, you’ll obviously need a little extra room to bring home some souvenirs!)
The must haves: a comfortable outfit for each day (plus one extra, just in case), a pair of sneakers, a sweatshirt or sweater, as it can get cold in those panel rooms, and a great backpack or bag to carry everything in. Also, don’t forget a portable phone charger; you’re going to be taking tons of pictures and videos of your favorite celebs and costumes, so your phone is likely going to need a recharge at some point during the day.
Pro tip: You may also want to pack a dressier outfit and a nicer pair of shoes in case you go out to dinner with friends. There’s nothing like putting on clean clothes after a long day of running around the convention hall.
How to Plan
A common problem at conventions: There are just too many interesting panels and special guests. How are you supposed to keep track of them all? (It’s a good problem to have, so don’t expect people to feel sorry for you.)
If you’re headed to Comic-Con (or another similar convention), you definitely need to check out the website’s scheduling tool. It’ll help you make sure you don’t miss anything you want to attend. Just remember to consider the anticipated popularity of a panel or signing and build waiting time into your schedule. In most cases, you’ll need to arrive an hour beforehand, but if you want to see one of the major events in Hall H, you’ll have to camp out to get a good seat.
Planning works a little differently for VidCon. There, you choose the track you want: community, creator, or industry. The community track means you'll get to be involved in Q&As with your favorite creators and go to pop-up meet and greets. The creator track is perfect for aspiring influencers who want to learn more about the industry, as you attend panels and workshops to learn how to grow your audience, make money, and create better content. And if you’re already in the field, the industry track is excellent for you to get critical insights to bring back to your company.
One more planning note: No matter which con you’re headed to, make sure you designate a meeting spot in case anyone in your group gets lost or separated. These events get busy and with so many people on their phones, you may not have any reception to track down missing friends.
What to Carry in Your Backpack
It goes without saying that you’ll need a light but sturdy bag to carry your stuff around the convention hall. The Right Pack or the SuperBreak Plus Laptop Backpack are perfect options. You may not have a chance to buy food (or you may not want to pay those high prices at the venue), so slip some snacks into the front pocket and a water bottle into the side slot.
Bonus: These bags also have plenty of room for all the swag you’ll pick up over the course of the weekend. You’re gonna have lots of goodies, trust us. Have fun!
Pop culture conventions are all about showing off your passions and interests. Personalize your pack to express yourself to fellow con-goers.