Author Topic: How to enjoy the con  (Read 5693 times)

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Offline nikku5

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How to enjoy the con
« on: July 11, 2011, 04:25:09 pm »
Hey all, I wanted to ask, in what ways can I enjoy the con the most? I'm mainly asking this because whenever I go to kumoricon, I feel kinda lost when it comes to panels and everything else. What I end up doing is just kinda go around the dealers room and buy stuff, then go home lol. I think what I'm asking is, how do I get involved with panels, events, artist alley or anything else.

I think especially for this year, I'm looking for anything that has to do with drawing manga or things in that sense. Where do I start? where would I go? Thank in advance for help everyone (sorry if I look like a total noob  :-[ )

Offline superjaz

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 04:50:07 pm »
Before looking to events you have to plan a little to smooth out the over all experience, and take care of YOU
small check list
Money for con and con related things (stuff food ect) ?
Place to stay taken care of?
Costume/s?
and one I can not stress enough

FOOD

Really is important, how do you plan to eat during con? Where do you plan to eat?

Like you can plan for like lunches and dinners out, but bring something for an easy snack or breakfast like bagels or a pbj sammich

May seem silly, but say there is an event happening NOW and you haven't eaten yet, if you have something you can bring and snack on in line, you will have more fun then if your tummy rumbling the entire event
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Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 08:14:43 pm »
I'd say dive right in. Just stop by a panel, hear a speaker, watch a show, or just wander around and take pictures and talk to people.

Offline yelloweyedowl

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 08:23:47 pm »
No worries. I was in your shoes for my first Kcon (back in 2008).

For me it's having friends there that makes the difference. Yeah, the dealers hall is awesome and I always love the panels, but half of the fun of con is hanging out with your friends, and meeting new ones. Not everyone is a people person, so I get it if you don't like to randomly make friends at Kcon, but I've met some people that I ONLY hang out with at Kcon and Sakuracon and it's pretty awesome. Cosplay also helps with this. Photoshoots are great places to meet people who love the same anime you do!

Another thing that will help maxamize your experience is checking out the schedule online before you actually get there. It's usually available at least a few days early and it's a great way to plan your weekend. Plus you'll start to recognize the people who tend to go to the things you do, and it's a great way to instantly find a connection (apart from being at con, of course).

If all else fails, get involved! You can volunteer for just a few hours or sign up to be on staff and it's a great way to really feel like your making a difference. You said you were interested in manga and drawing, right? Check the staff list and see if there are any positions open that relate to either of those. Plus the warm fuzzies you get from helping out usually help things be more fun (at least for me).

Offline @random

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 08:59:13 pm »
Here are a couple of threads from the past that you might find interesting:
http://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=15058.0
http://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=13172.0

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Thanks a million for pointing out something that I would've overlooked, yelloweyedowl. Volunteering or joining staff is one of the best ways to always have something interesting to do... and you get to be a part of creating a good time for your fellow con-goers while you're at it. :)
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Offline That Young Hooligan

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 08:40:11 am »
I've been to a few conventions and my advice is: get in a line. What line? Any line. Then start talking to the people on either side of you. I've met some cool people that way and it made the whole experience much better.
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Offline kalagei

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 04:22:49 am »
I've been to a few conventions and my advice is: get in a line. What line? Any line. Then start talking to the people on either side of you. I've met some cool people that way and it made the whole experience much better.

Some day I'm going to get up the courage to submit a panel form for a panel where all you do is stand in line, and like every 15 minutes we clear out the room and reform the line.

I'd stand up front in a suit with a mic, and announce the times...

Wait I guess this is like speed dating, except you get to meet the people near you in the line >.>
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Offline Saki-the-cat

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 04:28:43 am »
Well here's an idea that i've been doing for Kumoricon for the past couple of years:
Make a list.
Go on the websight and forums and look for anything relating to events, panels, and photoshoots. Find out the times days, and exact locations of ones that sound interesting to you, and write them down. That way you don't get to the con completely confused of what to go do first xD
Also, go on Google/Google maps write down locations of restaurants and fast food places near the area, that way you won't be roaming around for an hour looking for every food place near by.
Hope this helps ^^

Offline kalagei

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 04:42:15 am »
One thing that I've always enjoyed, is always keeping a backpack with survival-like items in it (Okay, messenger bags are way easier to deal with in a crowd, so that more than a backpack >.>;).

A bottle of water or two, hand sanitizer, some munchies (I take canned fruit with a pop top lid), sewing kit (black needle and thread will get you through almost anything), baby powder, band-aids, scissors,a lighter, some dice, a deck of cards (playing, magic the gathering, pokemon, or other) Deodorant, Pens, Paper, and Phone Charger.

I also try to have 5-10$ in change sitting in a bag at the bottom of my pack for emergencies.

One thing I've noticed, is that since most convention venues are inside of heavy duty commercial buildings, and often times have things in the basement, and high up, cell phone batteries don't last as long. So making sure to charge your phone/have an extra charged batter with you (I bought one for a phone a few years back for $10 on ebay) can be a huge life saver.

If you're the camera type, having a spare battery/memory card/place to unload images is pretty crucial too (spare batterys for most digital cameras are fairly cheep as well. Ebay once again has most for $5-20).


I've yet to attend a con where charging something electronic wasn't an issue for me, so I've also started keeping extra phone chargers around (and this year Kumori, even an extra phone...) for emergencies just in case.  Fry's electronics will sometimes have deals on pre-paid phones, where you get the phone, and enough air time for unlimited text/calling for the entire con for $10-20. (I like to think that last part is good practice. I keep a charged pre-paid phone in the glovebox of my car at all times, just in case I need it for some reason... being stranded is pretty much the worst thing ever >.>)

Pen and paper is one that is also kinda huge for me too, just because it doesn't fail. A laptop/phone/pda/ipod/(device) always has a chance to not work for some reason, and having a pen and paper is an (almost, pens do break) easy way to not have problems when trying to give your contact information to someone (cons are for making friends after all =^.^=)
2004 - 2007 Kumoricon Attendee
2008 - Operations Office Staff
2009 - Assistant Ops Director
2010 - Director of Operations
2011 - Registration Manager
2012 - Vice Chair
2013 - I can safely say that I'm not running for a board position :D

Offline @random

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2011, 04:48:13 am »
I've been to a few conventions and my advice is: get in a line. What line? Any line. Then start talking to the people on either side of you. I've met some cool people that way and it made the whole experience much better.

Some day I'm going to get up the courage to submit a panel form for a panel where all you do is stand in line, and like every 15 minutes we clear out the room and reform the line.

I'd stand up front in a suit with a mic, and announce the times...

Wait I guess this is like speed dating, except you get to meet the people near you in the line >.>

This would be a great idea! Drop the pressure of "dating", and you'd have way too many people show up to even fit in the room. The only problem is... what if you get a line waiting outside for the waiting-in-line panel? Does the universe explode in a paradox causality loop?
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Offline Runa

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 07:06:03 am »
To specifically answer your question:
Creation station has many art and writing activity events happening throughout the convention, so likely you'll spend much of your time there or in the Manga Library (reading manga and chatting).   

Other possibilities:
VOLUNTEER or join staff.   I've been attending several different (4-6) conventions per year for about 25 years and I've either volunteered or been staff for every single one of them.     If there is an event that you really want to attend, if you volunteer to help out, often you'll be able to slip into one of the front row seats. Hmmm... usher at Cosplay and sit in front? YEAH. Count ballots at AMV competition and sit in front with the creators of the AMVs? YEAH.... Volunteer to help schelp stuff for <really cool guest> and meet your favorite Anime celebrity.   :D   Volunteer to watch the doors / badge check and you'll be able to people watch and meet all kinds of people. Besides, you'll have an excuse to speak to that really cute cosplayer because you have to ask to see his/her badge.  :)   Or join staff and be part of the lifeblood of the convention.  :D

Offline AllyKat

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 12:49:24 pm »
To specifically answer your question:
Creation station has many art and writing activity events happening throughout the convention, so likely you'll spend much of your time there or in the Manga Library (reading manga and chatting).   

Just a quick addendum; the workshop panels we do are no longer under the title "Creation Station" staff will still do Workshop style panels and events but the Creation Station team has been warmly assimilated into complete con-staffyness for Kumoricon. They still exist for Orycon and the like... but we just needed to have it all in too many places to keep the concept of a "Station" viable... now its more a part of daily con life for ANYONE... and less of a artists dungeon... So be excited! Lots of workshops and fun games to be played like that!

I did want to reply personally, with my little story of how I came to be a part of K-con;

As many of you know, (though some may not) this is only my 3rd year ever even BEING at the convention. I was an attendee in 2009, Director in 2010 and now in 2011. I am on a weird sort of track, but it gives me a clear memory of how I got so involved and what will help you have fun.

Walk around!
I was at the Hilton Downtown Portland with a good size group of friends but they all seemed to want to spend their lives in the Dealers, which was fine but I had little money at the time and wanted to see what the whole con had to offer. Just walking through con space taught me first and foremost, where everything was and also how to get anywhere during busy times. I never had a problem with the elevators because I mastered the several staircases (clearly not a viable option for everyone, but was for me) and I could easily orient myself to any section once I'd decided where to go. I spent about an hour just touring the con floor, then made sure I always had my pocket guide on me, so if I felt adventurous, I could drop into a panel about to start and not fret about the location. Feeling comfortable in the space made the con so much better even when I was on my own.

Know what you like
Are you a subbed anime fan? Do you like the cosplayers? Are you interested in party games and funny events that don't quite scream "Japanese culture"? do you want to know more about the industry? art? Once you decide where your passions in the fandom lie, or where you'd like to explore, you can pinpoint where you want to be in panels. I recommend going to something you know you'll be interested in first, and checking out other stuff after you are comfortable.

Bring snacks
Like everyone else said, water and noms are SUPER important to a good full day of con-going. Us over-nighters have a 5-2-1 rule; 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals, 1 shower a day. This will keep you functioning, but a good con goer know protein filled snacks and plenty of water will keep you feeling energized and ready for the next event!

Make a staff friend
This is really what it came down to for me, I befriended a late night female yoji and though I don't remember he name (I never really saw her again) she kinda gave me a gateway into what I do now. And knowing someone on the inside gave me the confidence to explore and adventure, even on my own because I had had a successful social encounter. Chat up the yoji's, find their interests and what is popular, they know the best places to go and what everyone is buzzing about.


Hope those help you! If you see me running around at con (Director of Publicity) give me a shout and maybe I'll try and see whats good to go to at the time, point you in the right direction!
2009 - Attendee
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2011, 12:57:18 pm »
My cosplay plans for 2022 (thus far): Vanir from Konosuba
My son's plans this year (thus far): Penguin Chiyo-chan from Azumanga Daioh

Offline superjaz

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 09:47:50 am »
Bring a highliter marker and mark things in the program you want to go to for easier reference.
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Offline Wrath-Chan19

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 08:00:46 pm »
Even though this is a tad late to say this
Go to the meet-ups during the year
You'll make a lot of friends to hang out with at the con

Panels are fun but don't plan to go to all of them then you will have no fun at all. I think I went to less then ten last year.
Photoshoots are great as well, like yelloweyedowl said, a great place to meet people who love the same stuff you do

I also really love sitting and chatting with my friends or going to the park for glomp circles or random dancy time. Down time is good, since you are there all day and we all need a rest.
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Offline nikku5

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2011, 01:54:32 am »
wow this has been alot of good advice, thx everyone  ;D

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2011, 06:56:36 am »
^ You're welcome!
My cosplay plans for 2022 (thus far): Vanir from Konosuba
My son's plans this year (thus far): Penguin Chiyo-chan from Azumanga Daioh

Offline ocb777

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 11:18:52 pm »
I pent my first two kumoricons "chilling" I went to some game stuff, MTG and Apples to apples, and explored my love of pocky in pocky club.

I never really tried a panel until I went, on a friends insistence to Random panel. I had a lot of fun.

This year I look forward to some of the same staples, like Apples to apples or Pocky Club, but after my panel spree last year, I have found ones that are fun and interactive, like Random Panel, Slightly Anime Dating Game,and the like.

The best way to "get into panels is to find a couple you think look fun, and just go! you may find yourself loving it so much you have to prioritize! :D

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Offline Animeman73

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2011, 05:12:37 pm »
Here's another tip that will allow you to have fun. Arrive as early as you can and get the lay of the l;and (or in this case hotels). If you learn where the various rooms are BEFORE you go to any panels or events then you're putting yourself in a good position when it''s time for something.

Another something you can do to make your con experience more entertaining..don't go in with any expectation. If you expect only to do something reasonable such as say...have fun then your con experience will be a whole lot mre enjoyable.
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Offline superjaz

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2011, 05:22:12 pm »
Pocky Club

Sadly no Pocky club this year.
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Offline Wrath-Chan19

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2011, 07:14:35 pm »
Here's another tip that will allow you to have fun. Arrive as early as you can and get the lay of the land (or in this case hotels). If you learn where the various rooms are BEFORE you go to any panels or events then you're putting yourself in a good position when it''s time for something.

this actually seems like a really good idea...
I would hate to get lost when I'm running late
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Offline xxxchihiroxxx

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2011, 07:22:22 pm »
Hm well as some one who has been to maybe.... 3 panels for all their years going to K con (since 06) I got to say hanging out is what makes it fun for me.
I have the most fun when I'm just wandering the halls in cosplay, posing for photos, taking photos, laughing with other con goers, and meeting new people. It's the highlight for me and what makes it grand. I also hit up all my old con friends that I get to see maybe once or twice a year, and make sure to have a ball with them!

Ultimately the way to get the most out of a con, is think of what it is you love to do! Cosplay? Browse the halls! There is so much fun to be had there and really random events. Enjoy a good discussion? Go to some of the panels, or if you want to learn how to do something go to a panel teaching those things. The anime room is always a good breather from events.

And I got to say, I get a kick out of going to the game room dressed as peach and playing a good match of Smash Bro's. Gaming room tournaments are tons of fun to, even as a spectator.

And contest, oh boy are those entertaining. I havent actually attended the cosplay/skit contest as a viewer. I'm always entered in the skit contest (this year I will be too, but with a different group than per usual) and I have loads of fun in them, I really enjoy watching the others skits, its great.

And I think the biggest tip I can give to enjoy a con, dont be shy! Talk to people, dont be afraid to strike up conversations, if you spend the con alone it's not nearly as fun (in my opinion) than if you end up spending it with others, even if your not hanging around with the same group the whole time.

So have fun at kumoricon, theres loads to do. You just have to look for it.
returning with a vengeance to K con~

Offline nikkiolie

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2011, 08:01:44 pm »
Here's another tip that will allow you to have fun. Arrive as early as you can and get the lay of the land (or in this case hotels). If you learn where the various rooms are BEFORE you go to any panels or events then you're putting yourself in a good position when it''s time for something.

this actually seems like a really good idea...
I would hate to get lost when I'm running late
That was kinda the point of the con three weeks early. I took a small group through the hilton and just kinda showed them around. I didn't know what any rooms will be but at least they know WHERE the rooms are.

As for my advice, I'm sure someone already said it, pre-register and pic up your badge day 0. Nothing is going on then so you wont mind waiting in line for an hour or so.

Offline Wrath-Chan19

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2011, 09:18:22 pm »
Here's another tip that will allow you to have fun. Arrive as early as you can and get the lay of the land (or in this case hotels). If you learn where the various rooms are BEFORE you go to any panels or events then you're putting yourself in a good position when it''s time for something.

this actually seems like a really good idea...
I would hate to get lost when I'm running late
That was kinda the point of the con three weeks early. I took a small group through the hilton and just kinda showed them around. I didn't know what any rooms will be but at least they know WHERE the rooms are.

As for my advice, I'm sure someone already said it, pre-register and pic up your badge day 0. Nothing is going on then so you wont mind waiting in line for an hour or so.
Sadly I was busy, I wanted to go
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Offline superjaz

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2011, 11:05:24 am »
Okay this might sound odd but having a cold right now brought it to mind.

One way to enjoy the con is to AVOID GETTING SICK.

Not always easy, but there are simple things you can do, like wash your hands often, don't eat something with out washing your hands first, don't touch your face without washing your hands first.  Basically whenever you have a chance to wash your hands.
And (I know party kill) don't share food/drink you have had your mouth on with other people, and then eat it.

May sound like I am repeating, but during con you handle a lot of things, including money which is very dirty, tons of people from different areas that have different cold strains you might not have been exposed to before.

Other things to help is getting enough sleep and eating regularly during con but that's been addressed.

Doing these thing can help you avoid the malady known as the con cold or the con plague, which is a terrible cold.
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Offline Wrath-Chan19

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2011, 11:16:53 am »
Sleep and good food is very important! My friend had to miss the first day of school because she got sick from eating unhealthy and getting little to no sleep.

I recommend getting out as well, staying indoors isn't good for your health. Personally I feel so much better after some exercise.
Sometimes you can't help but get sick, but when that I happens I usually go to Acupuncture before it gets bad. I know a cheep place that is really good!
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Offline Drauska

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2011, 02:26:22 pm »
Know where everything outside of the Con is.  Check out Google maps...they show where some of the eateries are.  Get good driving directions. 

Use the program guide and mark what you want to see and do.  Since this is in two hotels you will really want to hammer down the schedule.

Drink lots of water, get some rest that weekend (I'm old and can't stay up for 72 hours anymore) Stay clean, pack snacks and shower at least once.

Keep an emergency $20 somewhere on your person at all times.  You never know when you need to pass a bribe..LOL JK

If you don't want to carry a big ole bag like me...I'm planing on making pockets on the inside of my cosplay for my wallet, Ipod, and cell phone.  You know the essentials...And if you are a girl pack some girlie products (you know what I mean?)

If you are in a group make sure you have all their cell phone numbers cause its really easy to get separated from your friends.

OK mostly talking out of my rearend but this is what I've learned during the last 4 cons.

And above all have a great time!!!

Offline TalaRedWolf33

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2011, 03:30:22 pm »
I did much of the same thing at my last con lol Since it was by Pioneer Square, my friends and I went out and had a glomp circle in the square. Then my bf and I went to the dealer room and just sat in the parking garage and chilled cuz I was having horrible headaches.

But this year! i hope to not do that. I plan on going to see David Vincent and hopefully get his autograph on my notebook or backpack or something.
As other people have said, obviously, you want to make a list. Ive been making kumoricon check lists for the last 5 or 6 days now, just to make sure I have everything; even though I live really close to the hotel and can go between places.

But, to help a little bit, rather than just talking about myself, heres a basic list you want to make :

Exhibits :
Who you want to see


Panals :
Which ones you want to see (art, animation, ect)


Dealer Room :
What kinda of things are you looking for


Photoshoots :
Which ones you want to see, be in, or take pictures of


This usually helps me out

Offline ocb777

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2011, 12:49:51 am »
Pocky Club

Sadly no Pocky club this year.

Yeah I haven't been able to get ahold of Tom... Did anyone ever make sure he was okay? Maybe I'll host my own informal pocky club. Find the angry white guy, get a pocky. :D

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Offline That Young Hooligan

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Re: How to enjoy the con
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2011, 10:20:22 am »
SHOWER!!!

Best answer in this thread so far. I'll just quote it so everyone on page two can see it aswell.
Ever foudn yourself up far too early on a monday? I suggest tuning your Radio box to 90.7 FM and listening in to 'Them Young Hooligans'. Music, chitty-chat and various geeky subjects.

Also known as "One of the better things to do at 3 AM."