The Do’s and Don’ts of Attending Conventions: ECCC Edition
This post comes to us from Josh Nelson who writes the weekly reviews for the comic shop that I go to, Fantasium Comics, in a piece entitled Theories and Thought Bubbles. This post is also featured in this weeks newsletter from Fantasium.
Josh is an awesome dude that I’ve gotten to hang out with on occasion at different cons. You can probably catch him at the Fantasium booth at ECCC next weekend (#2708). Stop by and say hi. It’ll be easy to spot him at their booth, he’s the one that looks like a viking.
Emerald City Comic Con is almost upon us folks and this year promises to be bigger and better than any of the years before it. Although this is only my third year in attendance, I have learned a thing or two about how to conduct myself during my time at the Washington State Convention Center. Also there are few things that should be done to prepare for the outing to Seattle.
- Do bring plenty of water; Of course we will all buy the obligatory latte or tea to keep ourselves up and at ‘em during the long lines and crowded exhibition hall. But it is most important to stay hydrated, it can prevent painful leg cramps when forced to stand and helps keep you cool in crowded areas.
- Do bring a backpack, murse, or satchel; You are going to be buying things at this convention. Some people will say they won’t spend much money but they are only fooling themselves. Also, you will probably want somewhere to keep your single issues that you intend to have signed, don’t want to carry all that stuff in your hands do you?
- Do bring your tickets; This may seem obvious, but nobody wants to be that guy or that chick that forgot their tickets at home, it’s a major inconvenience and it will just piss you off.
- Do bring cash; I’m not saying stuff your wallet full of bills, but everyone accepts cash and you never know when you’ll need it in a pinch. Plus, if you’ve been saving your change for a while, ECCC is a good time to cash that in.
- Do wear comfortable footwear and clothing; Unless you are coming in some phenomenal cosplay, ECCC is not the time to be wearing your 4” stilettos. You are going to be walking, standing, and probably not sitting a lot, and nothing can make a person crankier than having sore feet. And remember it will be early the first weekend in March, so dress appropriately. But keep in mind that once inside the WSCC it has the potential of being kind of warm due to all the bodies.
- Do bring poster tubes or plastic print protectors; Artist Alley is perhaps the best part of ECCC and people will inevitably be selling prints and working for commission all weekend. It can be a major pain having to carry around these pieces of art and not have anyway of keeping it crisp and free of wrinkles. Exhibitors will probably be selling tubes or protectors, but you can bet they’ll gouge the prices a bit.
- Do be polite, courteous, and patient; This convention has been getting bigger and bigger, meaning more people, longer lines, and less elbow room. I’ve bumped into and knocked over so many things at past cons I’ve learned you can only be apologetic and pray nothing is broken. Pleases, Thank Yous, apologies, smiles. All of these can make the whole experience pleasant for everyone involved.
- Don’t bring every comic ever made by an artist for his/her signature; The urge is hard to resist, but not everyone wants to wait while you get each issue of 52 signed. I would advise limiting your issues to 10. This will show the artist that you truly appreciate their work and it will keep the people behind you from getting miffed.
- Don’t stalk a particular cosplayer because he/she looks good; This is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t be a creeper.
- Don’t take random pictures, ask first; Hiding behind pillars and poking a camera lens in between people is not a popular tactic. And while candid photos are always amusing, it is better to ask permission, you’ll usually get a pretty good pose out of it.
- Don’t spend all your money in one place; The temptation to buy all the things is a strong one, but it is more than likely that you’ll find something cool a few booths over. By all means, show your support for an artist or exhibitor, but be sure to get a look at everything before you hand over all your hard earned dough. Don’t forget to buy a t-shirt!
- Don’t neglect the freebies; If you are offered something for free, take advantage! Nothing wrong with swag.
- Don’t be discouraged by long lines for lunch; Food is good. But just because the lines outside Subway snake around the entire block doesn’t mean you should go without eating. Before you come to the con, take a look around the food joints surrounding the WSCC, it may be a good idea to take a break from the major crowd and walk a couple blocks for a bite to eat.
- Don’t forget to have fun!; This convention is put together by geeks for their fellow geeks. Embrace that! Excelsior!
While I can’t guarantee a good time, following these suggestions may make the experience just that much more enjoyable. Let your inner geek out, wear a badass costume, bring the kids, meet the artists and writers, and increase your collection of comics at discount prices. Whatever your pleasure next weekend, we’ll see you there!
By Josh Nelson
Under the impression that people actually listen to him