What goes on at an anime convention?
You’re surrounded by thousands of fans just like you. Almost half are cosplaying, though it’s definitely not required. Events start early in the morning and run late past midnight—occasionally all night. At any moment a ton of events are happening—both official and unofficial. Fan panels, presentations, and workshops run all day long. See guests of honor speak and give autographs, and come to Main Events for major shows like the Cosplay Contest and the AMV Contest. Hang out in event areas like video gaming, tabletop gaming, karaoke, manga library, or viewing rooms at your leisure anytime. Make sure to budget some money for exhibitors and artists selling their stuff. Meet cosplayers in the nextdoor park during photoshoots. Often the most memorable moments of a con are the unplanned and spontaneous… with over five thousand fans in one place, great things are sure to happen!
How to make the most of your con:
Pre-register. It’s less expensive than registering at the door and you usually get in quicker. Plus, you get a fancier badge.
Stay at a con hotel. When you live at the con 24 hours for a weekend, the experience is so much more immersive. Share a room with friends to keep the cost as low as possible. Make sure to plan ahead—our hotels usually fill up well before the con.
Review the schedule. Check your printed pocket guide or the website schedule before day 1 and highlight everything that looks interesting. Some of the best events are the things you’ll miss if you don’t hunt for them!
Bring photo ID. You need it to pick up your badge or register, regardless of how you register(ed). If you are under 18, you also need to bring your parent permission form (unless you included it when pre-registering by mail).
Make a packing list. Remember clothes, cosplay supplies, toiletries, phone charger, and any snacks.
Plan a budget. Hotel, con registration, food and snacks each day, transportation, and exhibitors/artist budget.
Use the Guidebook app. If you have a smartphone, this free app includes the entire con schedule, maps, receives live updates, and lets you make a personalized schedule.