There is no better way to learn or celebrate ones interest then a weekend at a convention. Be it industry or fan – a convention is the best place to meet new friends, learn something new and have a good time.
Given how often I cover conventions in the Bay Area, I have written a lot about the mistakes that are made by event organizers. Now I want to look at the mistakes attendees make. It’s not just first timers that make these mistakes but also people who attend regularly can be guilty of these.
This is a look at some of the most common mistakes attendees will make during a convention. Therefore this list will not look into the mistakes panelists, event volunteers and celebrity guests make.
5. Bringing a Stroller
Anyone who brings their child to a convention is always guaranteed to become the center of attention. Let’s be honest, a 5 year old running around in a Spider-Man cosplay with their nerd parents is awesome.
That being said, anyone who brings a stroller to conventions is just an a**hole. Let’s look at the facts, the walkway on the expo floor are narrow and will be congested with all the foot traffic. Add in a stroller and the problem is made worse. Most parents who do bring a strollers don’t even need to, they are just too lazy to watch their kid. Not helping is that almost anyone with a stroller is going to have a nasty entitlement attitude.
If you’re a parent wanting to bring your child to a fan convention, please leave the stroller at home.
4. Poor Hygiene
I’ve talked about con stank before: that awful smell that is concocted when the body odor of sweaty fans mixes with the chemicals from costumes and body paint. It’s an unbearable smell that could be avoided if some people showered or used deodorant.
Jokes aside, having piss poor hygiene is not funny and it ruins the experience for everyone. It has gotten so bad that some events even handout hygiene products at the registration booth. Personally, I’ve had to change seats due to the disgusting body odor of the person sitting next to me.
As a curtsy to those around you, please remember to shower and use deodorant.
3. Bad Camera Etiquette
Be it someone taking a photo with an iPhone or with a Canon T7i/800, everyone is going to be a photographer during a convention. Regardless, it’s important to abide by simple sense of etiquette.
The most common etiquette that seem to be violated is asking for permission to photograph someone. When wanting to take a photo of a cosplayer, it’s respectful and ethical to ask for permission. It also gives you the opportunity to exchange business cards. Not asking or taking a photos from a distance makes you look like a creeper.
As a bonus, be aware of your surroundings and don’t walk into someones photo shot.
2. Going Buck Wild at the Open Bar
The open bar has been a staple of mixers at industry conventions and a treat for the VIP’s at fan conventions. An open bar brings people together for a moment to either share the work they do or get to know one another. An unwritten rule is don’t over due it and make a fool out of yourself. Many follow this rule but there will be a few who abuse this privilege.
Yes, there have been moments were someone has had a little too much to drink and regretted it the next day. On a professional level, getting wild at the open bar is the fastest way to get yourself blacklisted. If you are there to start a career, kudos because you just killed your chance of breaking into the industry.
On a side note, don’t be the person to suggest “they should end the open bar”. This will also get you blacklisted at mixers because everyone will now think of you as a buzzkill.
1. Cosplay Elitism
Dressing up as your favorite character has been an age old tradition at fan conventions. This may look easy to anyone who cosplay professionally but it’s a different feeling if someone is an amateur or doing for the first time. Experienced cosplayers are always happy to help beginners improve their work or get them started.
Sadly there will be those who are total elitists. They will mock someone over the quality or accuracy of the work. Not everyone has the skill set or the finance to make a 100% recreation. So don’t use that as an excuse to discourage someone form getting involved in the community.
8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.
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