söndag 10 februari 2013

Pantzar’s guide to surviving Swedish conventions.

Disclaimer: This guide is aimed at Swedish conventions and thus might not be applicable to you.

Always carry a filled water bottle, and drink form it regularly. I have one of these and can easily empty it three times a day. If you don’t drink a lot of water you’ll get headaches and that will ruin your mood. Worst case scenario is you getting dehydrated and has to visit the hospital, and it’s not worth it.

Eat more than you do at home. I aim for at least 3 meals á day. Candy and sweets does not count as food! The food at Swedish conventions is not bad, and usually quite cheap. Some conventions even serve breakfast. If you don’t want to eat at the convention, or just want to get some variation then ask the information desk where to closest grocery store is. Do not forget to eat!

This is something most young con-goers tend to overlook. Their parents are not there to tell them to go to bed, so they just stay up for as long as they can. It’s not uncommon to see younglings the last morning that hasn’t slept the last night. I know of no conventions that allow you to sleep inside the convention area, so make sure to have your accommodation sorted before arriving. It is Swedish convention standard to have sleeping halls; a sport hall or classrooms in a nearby school is common. You bring your own sleeping equipment (sleeping bag, mattress etc) and sleep on the floor. If you don’t want to sleep in a sleeping hall, then you can probably find a hotel or hostel. But the majority of Swedish congers sleep in the sleeping halls; it is part of the convention experience.
Sleep for at least 6 hours á night, I aim for 8 hours.

Some sleeping hall etiquette
It’s fun and social to sleep in sleeping halls, but please have some respect for those who are sleeping.
Don’t talk in the hall after that the first person has gone to bed.
Do not slam the doors.
Do not use flashlights.
Do not take up more space than necessary; others will probably arrive later and the halls tend to get very crowded.
I recommend using earplugs and some kind of blindfold.

Other things I recommend

Shower! Shower at least every other day, preferably every day. All conventions I know of have showers the con-goers can use for free. Use them!

If you can, try to not occupy the bathrooms for longer than necessary; others are probably waiting, especially in the morning. Bring your own mirror for doing your makeup.

Check the con-schedule; make sure you know what you want to do, and where and when the activity takes place. Things on the main stage are often very popular, so I recommend to plan some queue time. About an hour if you want a good spot, two hours for the cosplay show.

If it’s a big summer convention (NärCon) and you haven’t got your convention-band the day before; arrive early before the con opens, at least 3 hours early and pray for no rain. The line will get very long! To queue before the con is actually an event in itself, at least at NärCon. There are a lot of things happening in the queue and the excitement is building for the con. Some even have a separate cosplay just for the queue. This is the perfect place to make new friends.

Bring sunscreen and headache-pills. Especially for the summer cons.

When you’ve gotten your convention-band; head straight for the sleeping halls (if they are open) to get a good spot and dump your bags. If you haven’t already, this is also a good time to change into cosplay.

Get to know your surroundings, get hold of a map and make sure you know how to find your way around the con. Good things to know is: where is the information desk, the main stage, the restaurant/café and the rooms for the activities you plan to do?

Do not block hallways or staircases.

(I will add more if I come up with something else)

1 kommentar:

  1. Thanks for writing this, I'm sure it will be useful for many (newer) congoers! :D