I've never been to a Con ...
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34 / M / Midwest USA
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Posted 12/17/13
To be a bit more clear; I've never been to an Anime or Comic-con; I've participated (was a guest speaker on numerous occasions) for a number of technology-based conventions, but they were all business oriented. I really want to go to an Anime Con, though, I don't really know what to expect ...

I live in South-central Michigan so I am able to drive / fly to cons in the area, but I'm just looking for tips / thoughts / ideas on going to cons.

First and foremost, I'm thinking of heading to Shuto Con here in Lansing, MI and wanted to know if there was anyone around that was planning on going? I'd be interested in possibly meeting up and enjoying my first con with others here at Crunchyroll.

Second, I'm thinking of doing the Anime Central con (my brother doesn't live far away, so boarding is free, which is my favorite price); anyone been that can provide pointers / tips?

Generally speaking, I have no idea what to expect, as mentioned the conventions that I've been to have been extremely business oriented (generally stiff people until the booze starts flowing after the convention).

Thanks, all!
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17 / M / Location
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Posted 12/17/13
You're not the only one, I've never been to any sort of con.

I'm way to poor to make a cosplay, buy a ticket, and actually go to a convention.
Dragon
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Posted 12/17/13
It'll be quite different from business cons, I'm guessing... I've been to game development cons and anime cons, and they are worlds apart as well.

What to expect at an anime con.. well..
* Look up the schedule if you can. I'm not sure what you'd be into, but with the voice actors, industry panels, and so on, you might want to plan your time before you go if possible
* If you want to go to the dealer's room, wait. The line on the first morning will still be in line until early afternoon in many cases unless you arrive super early, and unless there are super rare items, you won't miss out on anything by wandering by after lunch
* If you want to go to the masquerade, get in line early and bring a book, games, and something to drink. That'll get you a good seat, but those often last until past midnight, so don't forget a snack!
* If you're ever bored, check out the video screening rooms. May find a new show to enjoy! And the AMV sessions are often quite fun.
* Pre-order your badge. At-con registration lines are horrible.

Anime cons will be a lot more relaxed than what you're used to, I think. There's booze around them as well, but people are in costume and laughing while in line to get into the con, so loosening up isn't a problem. Dress casual, it'll be hot when you're in line. You might end up spending more because of the dealer's room if you're into figures, soundtracks, or other items. No shipping costs means cheaper prices, even with the con markup on things. Just don't bother with swords or other weapons, they're easier and cheaper to buy elsewhere.

Expect to stay up late if you go to events or parties. A lot of those don't get out until early morning hours, but most con panels don't start until late morning to make up for that. There are often things that go on 24 hours a day if you get bored, though, like video screening rooms.

Oh, and.. avoid the people with the "free hug" or "glomp me" signs.

All in all, I'd say the cons are weird, but a lot of fun. Hope something in there helped!
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Posted 12/17/13 , edited 12/17/13
Much appreciated, MakotoKamui!

I'm seriously hoping they're more laid back than the conventions I'm used to ... Stuffy folks in suits aren't the most fun in large groups.

Thanks for the pointers about the planning the trip and pre-ordering badges (since I'll need to travel to go, I don't intend on picking up the badge at the door, definitely preordering).

Thanks to Crunchyroll's excellent listing of Con dates, I'm able to plan well ahead and hope to be able to get everything in order in time to go.

Thanks for the tips, they are much appreciated!
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Posted 12/17/13
If you do go to Anime Central, you should order your badge early enough that they will mail it to you, which is recommened, as ACen doesn't manage lines very well.
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Posted 12/22/13
Anime cons are really fun and exciting. Try to always have water with you. Make sure you know which events you want to go to so you can plan before time, depending on how big the con is you might want to go line up early for the events.

Make sure you check the respective forums of the con you are attending since you can find a lot of useful information there and find more events that might interest you. Also cons can be crowded sometimes but they are a lot of fun, and they are probably more laid back than the business oriented conventions you described.

Oh and expect to see all kinds of ''people'' at cons!

Regarding badges, preregistering is better most of the time! But expect things like long lines to get your badge if it's a big con. It depends on which con you are going to. If you visit their forums you can probably talk to someone who has been to that specific con before so they can tell you what is usually the best time to go line up to get your badge.

Even if you don't do that much planning, I'm sure you'll have tons of fun!
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Posted 1/5/14
One of the things I would say to do before going to a con is go online to all the shops you like to buy your anime stuff from and write down the prices including taxs and shipping of things you would like to buy if you see it at the dealers room. I have made the mistake of buying things at cons then finding it cheaper online from a site I trust. Also watch out for anything that may be a knockoff. Some cons will give you advice on how to spot a knockoff and they try to only have honest shops.

Also most cons have a game room that will let you play video games and card/board games. Also if you have a DS bring it with you. With will get some many street passes.

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25 / M / Canada
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Posted 1/6/14
Take...
your camera
a backpack for merch and stuff
some kind of hard cover file folder for prints/autographs
water/snacks
moneys
comfortable shoes
a good attitude
and don't forget your ticket!

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Posted 1/6/14
So you're going to Anime Central? Well I've been there once so here's a little something. I noticed a lot of the events were held the convention center AND at other hotels near by so put on walking shoes lol It wasn't that bad of a convention but that was my only complaint about it. I dont know if they'll change it up this year.

Now as a veteran convention-goer, there are a few things you need to prepare for.
1. If the convention you are going to is driving distance, one of the things my friends and I do is bring microwavable food. Saves money. Of course you need to make sure the hotel provides a microwave! (once we actually sneaked in a microwave shhhhhh )

2. Search the area for cheap food vendors. DO NOT buy food at the convention center unless you're made of money. It's wayyy overpriced.

3. Look at the event calendar. Depending on how big the guest speaker or panel is, you might wanna line up early. I lined up for and Eri Kitamura panel at like 7am (totally worth it. here's a clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZnbAE0EW8g)

4. Get there early for badge pick up, or go on day 0 (if there is one) to pick up your badge, OR if there is a service to mail your badge, do it. Lines are ridiculously long. For Anime Expo, I usually go on day 0 to pick em up.

5. MONEY. You'll need it after walking through the exhibit hall lol

AND most importantly, BRING YOUR CAMERA! and have fun as well lol
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