Okay, so, just before NYCC, we went over with you guys what you should definitely bring with you to the con, whether you’re based in the city or traveling up to it, and what your con attire should totally aim for if you’re not cosplaying.. Nifty, right? Now, this next part was carefully tested and learned over the past four days at last weekend’s New York Comic Con 2013 at the Javits Center; you can use some of these tips for any con at all, and some are NYCC-specific. It’s going to be especially handy when NYCC 2014 comes around!
– There is no such thing as “the merch side of things.” You are in a merch tetrahedron. Plan accordingly.
– Loud pterodactyl shrieks, while frowned upon by society, are a really efficient way to find your friends after being separated on the main show floor.
– Check map of venue prior to con. Make list of all the booths you want to visit. Plan a route. Expect it to go exactly how you DIDN’T plan it to.
– Best time for taking selfies is if a Balrog is behind you.
– NYCC: There are small spaces in the Javits Center by the service elevators that are quiet and semi private. They are found beneath and to the side of the stairs leading up to press lounge.
– Don’t buy food at the con; if you must, try to go before 1 or after 4. Most main panels are around 4-5 so people start getting in line around 3:30. NYCC: The Greek place has short lines. The burgers and onion rings are delicious. Fries not worth it. Nachos are a poor life choice. Don’t let Unique Geek tell you stories while you eat.
– NYCC: If you are in the A Hall, where all the 1A panel rooms are, and need to get upstairs, we advise you to duck under the stairs to your right like your name is Harry James Potter, and use the next escalator you come to. That one is used mainly to go down, not up, and is less crowded than the escalator in A Hall.
– Do you want to be sure you’re going to get great seats at that panel you’re looking forward to? Get in line 2 hours ahead at the minimum. We are not kidding. NYCC don’t clear the rooms in between panels, and most other cons probably won’t either. If you get in to the room a panel or two ahead, use the time in between panels to snag better seats as people depart.
– Is there a sudden and unexpected clearing up ahead in the aisle on the main show floor? It’s not a clearing, someone is taking a photo of a spectacular cosplayer. If you cross through the clearing now, you will ruin the shot and be cursed to wander the merch tetrahedron lost for all eternity.
– Need to pee? Good luck. Get in line before you really need to pee; by the time you get into the toilets, you’ll really really need to go.
– Bring a tote bag with you for all the shit you’re going to buy. You will need it.
– Never trust coat check.
– Beware of Deadpool cosplayers.
– Bow to all Loki cosplayers as they pass; they will probably appreciate that.
– If you are going multiple days, use the first two to scout out things you MUST have that will sell out quickly and compare prices for all the other ones that are less of a priority. Get those last day of con, when most booths will have discounts.
– Check online ahead of time for that con’s giveaways, exclusives, discounts, specials, free signings, and swag you really want. There are some gems amidst the endless fliers. You just need to make a schedule, and know where everything is. Prioritize.
– Saw a Nazgul? Photos first, run second. Priorities, you have got to have them.
– If you want celebrity photo ops… Good luck. Get in line for tickets early, get in line to get into the photo op early, get in line to get your prints early.
– Same goes for signings.
– Bring your own bottled water. It’s $3 + tax for two 1.5l bottles of it at 7-11. It’s $4 +tax for one small bottle at the food court. Do you wish to pay four bucks for a bottle of water, plus a ten percent levy on the stuff that falls out of clouds? Nope, didn’t think so.
– Bring a blanket or a snuggie, and a thermos of hot beverage of your choice if you are planning to be in panels. You’ll be bored, hungry and cold after a while, especially if you came two panels early like we told you to.
– Use easily recognizable landmarks to let your friends know where you are on the main show floor. A typical “location” text from me at NYCC would read something like: “At Chevy booth, hudded behind the Adventure Time car. Chevy booth. Adventure Time. Huddle. Us.” It helps to denote the aisle number also: “Whimsic Alley booth, aisle 3100, across aisle and up a bit from booth with the life size dalek there is hot David Tennant lookalike hurry”
– If you don’t know whom a person is cosplaying, but are impressed by their outfit… it’s okay to ask them who they are. They will be more than happy to tell you.
– Good job on reading this, we’re really proud of you. Have photo of a great TARDIS.