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Wed, 6 Mar ’13

10 Tips For Surviving Con Season

From your mouths to our ears, here’s the best of the best.

Do you feel that electricity in the air? Do you need to scratch that itch to don a brightly colored wig and carry around a sword three times your size? You’re not alone. Con season is revving into gear with a cavalcade of anime conventions kicking off over the next several months. Want to make it out of the con with your sanity (and wallet) intact? We’ve got you covered – or rather you’ve got you covered; we polled our readers to get their best kept secrets for making the most of of their con experience.

10. Nothing is worse than having someone disparage the cosplay you spent hours and hours making. Brandon Parks directs the haters to the left with this pearl of wisdom: “Not letting random jerks badger you about your costume for not making it yourself. All that matters is your opinion of it and no one else’s. Positive feedback is nothing but icing on the cake for having the guts to wear your costume.” Where was Brandon when we were trying to choose our outfit this morning?

9. One of the facts of con life is that you’re going to be walking. A lot. Even though you spent what felt like forever waiting for the AMV Contest, you’re going to be on your feet all day long. How do you combat podiatrical pain? Larry Hester’s got two words for you – “Comfortable shoes.” 

8. Stay positive! Craig Corpuz’s limited edition con glass is always half full: “Never frown or be dissatisfied. If a panel, event or cosplay meetup flops, just move on to the next activity on your agenda. It’s all about being the fan that brought you to the con in the first place.” Wise words, Craig.

7. Overwhelmed by a mysterious aroma? Andrew Reistroffe says, “Bring a bottle of Febreeze and spray everyone who smells bad.” Obviously, he’s joking around, but remember – not everyone is anosmic; apply deodorant liberally (to yourself, not strangers).

6. Hungry? Don’t grab a Snickers; grab one of the healthy snacks you packed yourself in advance. Tina Israel knows whats up: “Take juice boxes/bottled water and dried/vacuum sealed food to save money for stuff you really want! Think fruit cups, beef jerky and trail mix!”

5. Sometimes snacks don’t cut it, but neither does that gross microwaved pizza that they try to sell you for $14 at the convention center commissary. Twitter user @bhstudios01 has your solution: “Figure out in advance where the locals eat. This way you eat real food for an affordable price. Do NOT eat con center food!” Got a smartphone? We recommend the Yelp app to make your comestible quest even easier.

4. What do you do when something going wrong with the cosplay you spent the last year slaving away on? Evelyn Morales has a sound plan to help guarantee sartorial success. “Whether or not you’re cosplaying, it’s always a nice gesture to carry duct tape or sewing equipment.”  Believe it or not, a travel-sized sewing kit might just be your best friend (or help you make a friend in a grieving cosplayer)!

3. Many of you chimed in about bringing plenty of money to spend on the shiny new toys you’ll find in the dealer’s room. Look, we know you want an original Akira animation cel, but it’s important to budget yourself because the dealer’s room can knock you out of your current tax bracket. Cash is king; bringing a credit card with you may be too much of a temptation for some. 

2.  Despite the Red Bull intravenously flowing into your veins, you’re going to need a break at some point. Sleep is just as important as seeing every last panel imaginable. Adrienne Brintnall has a simple formula for avoiding exhaustion: “The 5-2-1 rule. 5 hours of sleep, 2 square meals, 1 hot shower.” Yep, her math checks out!

1. Reader Ellyn Foster writes, “Go with the right people. They can make or break a con.” While going to a con on your own can be fun, having a buddy to talk to in line can take your experience from sad to rad in no time flat.

Do you have a hot tip for making the most of an anime con? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google+!