If you’re a hardcore anime fan who loves anime almost more than life itself, but never been to an anime convention before, then the information from this post is gonna be quite beneficial to you. A. Goldman and Yours Truly have been going to anime conventions for over eight years, and let me tell you, the things we’ve seen happen while we’ve been a part of them, are memories that no one in the ‘real world’ can take away from you. So to help you enjoy the full experience of an anime convention (cosplay, merch, voice actors, etc.), we’re gonna unlock the vault containing the biggest secrets on how to successfully plan for an anime convention!
Tip #1: Find the Con!
Everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right? So why not start by surfing through the web. If you google up anime conventions you’re bound to find hundreds of different ones all across the U.S. as well as the UK, South America, and even Africa (which I didn’t even know they had). If you’ve gotten past this step then the next is to find a con that’s either in your area or state and head to its website. Check out the con’s history and see what events they have there, and if they’re to your liking (and we’re pretty sure they are), then look for the convention’s hotel tab and book it, Dano!** 😛
(**Make sure you take some friends who love anime and cosplay with you if you plan on going to your con. Hotels can be expensive depending on where you stay, but if you got a buddy or two to split the cost with, then you’ll be alright!)
Tip #2: Prepare for the Con!
You’ve booked it, so now you have to prepare for it! Going to an anime con is just like planning for a vacation; you got to pack your clothes, your toothbrush, your electronic gaming system (in this case a 3DS or any other handheld gaming device will do, trust me, you can leave the PS4, Xbox One, or whatever gaming brand console you’re into at home, cuz’ you’re not gonna be in the room that much anyway), and anything else that you think you may or may not need.
The next step after doing that is finding a way to the hotel/convention. Nine times outta ten your mom or dad might be happy enough to take you and your friends to your hotel (convention), but that all depends on these three things: location, location, LOCATION!
If your hotel or anime convention is no more than 45 minutes away from where you live, then your parents shouldn’t have a problem taking you there. (Unless you’re over 16 and got your own car, then you can cut mommy n’ daddy out of the equation.) However if your hotel is either 2-3 hours away or even in another state, mom and dad might say you’re shitzu-outta-luck. Not to worry though, because thanks to the advancements of technology, we’ve got Uber and Lyft!
Just make sure you’ve got some extra money saved up to cover the cost. Heck, you can even divide who pays going to the hotel/con and who pays coming back. (Like we just did for Zenkaikon.)
Tip #3: Set Some Ground Rules
We all know the old saying; “It’s all fun and games until someone ends up in the corner crying–or something to that effect!” In other words just lay down some ground rules on what goes on while inside your hotel room. We’ve heard a lot about con drama happening at almost every anime convention, and when it happens, it can (sometimes) kill the whole happy vibe that you been having while at the con. I’m not trying to sound like your parents/guardian(s) but setting these ground rules can help you enjoy the full extent of the con without having any tense moments.
Those rules can range from the sleeping arrangements to if your roommate/friend decides to indulge in some after con hours activity (i.e. drinking or sex with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend/best friend, though we won’t judge about that last part). Remember, it is better to be safe at a con, then sorry on the way back home.
Also, if you plan on going to the convention’s rave party (or shindig), keep an eye on how long you stay out at night. I dunno what it is about midnight, but bad things always happen after midnight. (Unless the convention is inside the hotel itself, then in this case party on you party animal! ^.^)
Tip #4: Let The Map Be Your Guide
There is never going to be an anime convention that doesn’t give you a map on how to find a Q&A panel for Sonny Strait, or where the next showing of Dragon Ball Super is. If you’re traveling in a group then this tip is going to be quite crucial for you, especially if the events or panels you want to check out might not be the same ones that your friends wanna check out.
For this tip it would be in your best interest to mark the panels and workshops that you want to check out while at the con in advance. This tip also refers back to Tip #1, so if you and your friends already have a good idea of which voice actor(s) you want to see or which panel you want to go to, then you should be a-okay! Also as an add-on to this tip; make sure you set up a meeting place on where you should meet up, should you and your friends take off in different directions for different panels. (Don’t forget to put in some time for food, cuz’ otaku can have a Broly-sized appetite.)
Finally, just have fun! Make new friends and awesome geeky memories that will last a lifetime. Who says you only have to go to just one anime con a year, go to multiple ones so you can enjoy that happy con feeling over, and over, and over again! As long as you follow these tips that we’ve given you, you’ll know what to do if you plan on going to an anime con; whether you’ve been going to them as long as we have, or you’re just stepping out to one for the very first time.