Otakon! + a personal list of convention dos and don’ts

Hello, WordPressians!!  I’m back from Otakon!  I have been to this anime convention a few times already, but this year it was definitely one of the most fun conventions I’ve ever attended!  It was also a learning experience, cosplay-wise and convention-wise, so, along with pictures from the convention, I present to you a list of convention dos and don’ts based on my Otakon experience.

DO preregister.  Although I have heard that registration for Otakon was a bit of a bear this year, (I attended on Saturday – Sunday, so I missed the crazy registration mishap)  in my experience I have always benefited from preregistering for cons.  Preregistering ensures that you receive a badge – because badges are limited – and allows you to bypass the regular registration line.  In general, the pre-reg line is much quicker than the regular registration line, and preregistering online is about as easy as can be!  It’s much better to register for a con from the comfort of your couch than to stand waiting in line for up to a few hours.  Do the right thing: preregister!

DON’T underestimate the time it takes to get ready.  I live about an hour away from the Baltimore Convention Center, where Otakon is held, so I thought that I could leave my house at 9:30 and make it to the convention at 10:30.  My sisters and I woke up at 8, thinking it would only take us an hour to prepare for the con.  We were very wrong.  It took us an hour longer than we expected and, because it also took me a while to get my boyfriend ready for the con, we didn’t arrive until 12:30…  Never underestimate the time it will take to eat, brush teeth, put on makeup (especially fake lashes!), put on costumes, and repair last-minute mistakes!

DO bring ample funds.  Part of the fun of attending a convention is being able to stock up on merchandise and art.  There are a lot of unique items, and even if you don’t buy the really expensive stuff, the small stuff can add up, especially if you want to buy a lot.  If you don’t plan on buying any merchandise at the convention (even though you should!), it’s wise to bring a decent amount of money for food.  I was surprised by how much money we spent on lunch alone, and a mid-evening snack ended up being quite expensive as well.  As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry!  So make sure you have a little spending money when you go.

DON’T procrastinate on your cosplay.  If you are making your cosplay, it’s always a good idea to prepare ahead of time.  Preparing your cosplay early-on gives you a period of time for trial.   I made and remade many parts of my cosplay before I was satisfied, and I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t start early.  However, my sister and I did procrastinate on some parts of our cosplays, which led to a few errors that might have been avoided had we prepared ahead of time.  So start your costumes early, and do your research early and thoroughly as well!  Cosplay is luckily a hobby with many available resources at hand.  Many cosplayers post WIP (work in-progress) pics and tutorials online for free.  Doing early research and starting early will really help make cosplay progress less stressful and more efficient.

DO cosplay!  On that note, I highly, highly encourage all convention attendees to cosplay at least once in their lifetimes!  Some people don’t cosplay because they think that it’s too dorky or nerdy; other people think that cosplay is too expensive so they can’t participate.  If you’re going to attend an anime convention, I can assure you that being dorky or nerdy is a very good thing!  Furthermore, cosplaying at a convention really enhances a con experience.  Conventions are full of cosplayers, so when I cosplay at conventions, I really feel like I’m part of a community.  I also love being recognized by other attendees, and meeting up with other cosplayers is a great way to make new friends!  If you don’t think that you have enough money to buy or make a cosplay, consider making a closet cosplay and buying some simple crafting supplies to complete it.  You’ll be surprised with what you can make!  If you’re hoping to go to a convention for the whole weekend, or even for the majority of one day, definitely consider cosplaying for a complete convention experience!

I hope you find these dos and don’ts helpful (or at least interesting) and maybe you’ll consider them when you prepare for your next convention!  And as promised, here are a few pics of my Fire Emblem: Awakening group from Otakon!



Here is our group!  From left to right: my little sister as Donny, my other little sister as Kjelle, me as Nowi, and my boyfriend as Owain.




This last picture was taken by my dear friend Margaret.  Thanks for reading!




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