Once you assemble your costume, and you are all ready to go to your first con, here are a few tips to keep in mind to make your time as fun and successful as possible.
- Plan in advance: When the event list comes out, plan your days of the con in advance so you are not scrambling or confused any more than necessary the day of. Find the events you want to go to and start mapping it out!
- Download the Dragon*Con app: Dragon*Con has a fantastic app with the events list, maps and schedulers all ready to go and waiting for you.
- Get a hotel nearby: When costuming, it really does pay to be close. You will save loads of time in commuting to and from Atlanta in the bad traffic and get more time at the con. You can also rest for a few hours if you need to in the middle. This does not mean you have to stay in one of the host hotels that sell out in 15 min after opening. There are plenty of options nearby the host hotels and near Marta stations that will get you in walking distance of the con. See the Dragon*Con overflow hotels page for details.
- Bring a handler: In cosplay speak, a handler is someone who is not in costume who can help you touch up or “handle” your costume at the con. Depending on the costume, you may not be able to easily bend or sit. What if a piece of the costume falls off and you can’t reach it? This is what a handler is for. Have your handler bring extra batteries or items that your costume will need. In general, always go with friends not in costume. It’s also more fun that way.
- Pack food / water: Have your handler pack a backpack with food, snacks and water. There will be a lot of walking at the con and you will get thirsty and hungry! And the food at the con is very expensive. It pays to pack well. There’s no penalty for bringing your own goods.
- Plan to be uncomfortable: If you are wearing a suit of armor that’s heavy, you probably won’t be able to wear it more than a few hours. Besides that, inside a costume it’s hot. And it’s the end of summer in Georgia. Usually, it can be extremely hot outside walking between the hotels and events. It may be prudent to bring a fan. Other than that, just expect to be hot. There’s not much one can do about it.
- Use Event Brite to register for events: Event Brite has some awesome tools to help you be prepared for cons! Check out their events registration page here. They are also great for planning your own events, gatherings and cosplays.