The things I've learned from my first anime convention:
- Ask cosplayers for their pictures.
- Bring a lunch.
This helps you save more, allowing you to spend on other things! My sister and I did this last time, and it was definitely a life saver.
- Keep your lunches mess-free and "portable".
A bagel, for example is something you can bring that isn't messy, and something you can eat and walk around freely with. If you brought something "messy", for example, a salad, it might take time to find a place to sit, not to mention the mess it can create, which may cause you to lose time cleaning up after it.
- Make sure you know who the guests are.
I've made this sad mistake. Vic Mignogna, an anime voice actor was a guest at Anime North 2010. My friend, V-chan brought us along with her to get his autograph, but just before we got to him (there was no line, by the way) she said, "Never mind". Later, I discovered he was a voice actor of numerous famous animes, such as Dragon Ball, Vampire Knight (as Zero and Ichiru), and Ouran High School Host Club. Hah. The sadness. I found out a few weeks ago that he would be the guest of honour at a convention somewhere down in the states. Yikes! You can usually find out who the guests are on the convention's website.
- Bring a wagon load of money.
I'm not kidding. I brought $60 last time, and all I ended up buying was this:
I lost the Yuki Button at school afterwards! You never know what you'll find at an anime convention. I saw lolita clothes (there were even Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty!), Yuki Cross cosplay, and a lot of rare mangas that I can't find in stores anymore. They were out of my reach because I didn't bring enough money. I went there, thinking I wouldn't buy so much, since I wouldn't feel like busting all my money. I was wrong. VERY wrong.
- Bring snacks
You're going to get pretty hungry. Trust me. It happens to all of us. I'm going to bring Hello Kitty Pocky! I'll see what else I'm going to bring.
- Reseach, research, research!
I did this an entire month before the actual day last time. I should have done that for this weekend's, but due to my laziness, I didn't until a week before. Aside from admission fees and times of operation, what should you look for? 1. Videos/images of the area! If it's held in the same area annually, there should be videos on Youtube of past conventions. Also, search for the area on Google streetview. This will save you time when you search for the building. 2. Reviews. What did people think of the convention? Was it a waste? Was it worth their money? 3. Videos of the Dealer's Room. The Dealer's Room should give you an idea of how much money to bring. How big is it? Is it a tiny room, or a football field-sized room? What are the contents of the past Dealer's Rooms? 4. What events are held there? Is there DDR? Yu gi oh card battles? There are varieties of them out there. At registration, after you pay, there are program books that tell you what events are being held when and where.
I just noticed that there are a lot of Bleach cosplayers in this picture. O.o
- Get ready for a bunch of over-excited fellow otakus.
I was partly shocked at how enthusiastic fellow otakus were at the convention. They were shouting in joy, and also shouting at us to sign their t-shirt (We didn't, in the end). But hey, this is a good thing! Would you rather have depressed otakus, or screaming in joy otakus?
I'm becoming more excited day by day!
I'll post my MTAC adventure up as soon as I have time to upload the pictures and write another entry. We're nearing the end of March Break! T^T