Written by Lee Travis
I was uninitiated in Con life until I attended WonderCon. From all that I heard, WonderCon is a good starter Con. In 2016, WonderCon had close to 60,000 attend the three-day event in Anaheim, California. By no means is WonderCon a small event, but it was a great first Con experience.
I made my decision to attend WonderCon on February 23. A Thursday. That Monday, I had no idea I would be attending. WonderCon wasn't on my mind. An email from Nerdist changed all of this. After a quick booking process through a popular trip and hotel website, the travel logistics were done. Buying a three-day pass was also painless.
What I learned from my first Con:
1) If you see someone you know on the show floor, say hello. I ran into so many internet personalities that I'm a fan on the floor. Politely go up to them, introduce yourself, ask for a picture (if you want one) then let them be on their way. They're trying to enjoy the Con as well.
2) The show floor is overwhelming. At WonderCon, it was massive. When I saw the show floor for the first time, I was shocked by its size. Set time aside to stroll through the entire floor. I would have missed the R2-D2 and 501 Legion fan clubs hidden in the very back of the show floor without getting lost. Artist Alley is the section that I returned to every day. The alley is filled with artists and their amazing work. If you are going to spend any money, plan on spending it there.
3) Plan your day out. Sadly, Saturday was packed with all the panels I wanted to attend. It seemed the same for most in attendance. Rooms, aside from the large Arena, do not take breaks between panels. If no one leaves the room after one panel, they do not allow anyone else in the room. The longest I waited for a panel was an hour. I didn't make it into the room, but I didn't feel like the time was wasted.
4) Take breaks. My hotel was close enough to the Con that every day I was able to slip out for an hour, charge my phone, freshen-up, and head back out.
5) Sit in the front, or as close as you can, during a panel. Cheer. Clap. Show how much care for the people you are there to see. They won’t mind. They might even give you a shoutout.
6) Bring a jacket. It's cold in the Con. Seriously.
Be social. Have fun. Soak in the sights. You will be tired. Your feet will hurt. Live the adventure.