Otakcon & Cons
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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14
So I plan on going to Otakcon in Baltimore, MD this August and since its going to be my first CON I thought i'd ask around.
I was wondering what to expect at this event like signings, merch, cosplay, and meeting other people.
I live over an hour away I was planning on getting a hotel so I could go everyday I was thinking there would be different stuff each day.
Anything else I should know would be very helpful thank you!
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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14
First, if you want to take pictures of cosplay, don't do it in high traffic areas. If you take a picture in the middle of a narrow hallway, you clog up the hallway for everyone. Ask if you can move to some place less crowded.

For signings... the name of the game is camping. They'll start forming the line sometime before the signing starts (as in, everyone gets into the line 30 minutes to an hour before the signing, can't remember which). If it's a popular guest and you want a really good shot at an autograph (i.e. Tomokazu Seki), I'd say get there an hour and a half before the signing and wait for the line to form. You still might be able to get into the overflow line if you get there an hour before. You can bring a PSP or something to bide your time once the line finally forms and you're waiting outside the door.

Same goes for ultra-popular events. For the OreImo OVA premiere last year, I think I showed up 90 to 120 minutes before it started, and got a seat mid-back. For the concert, however, I think I lined up an hour before the doors opened, though I did think that was a little late.

A hotel is a good idea if you've got the money and want to spend the entire day at the con, especially if you're with friends. Do be prepared to drop around 250 bucks a night if you want a hotel in walking distance, though. Friends obviously make this easier, and the earlier you get on this, the better (before they run out of rooms). If that's too much, you can try getting a hotel next to a tram stop.

If you're going with a couple of friends, I wouldn't recommend driving in if you can possibly afford something else. It's a pain coordinating people and waiting for them to get ready/meet up with you. It's better if you can plan things so that people can go off on their own.

Finally, the fries at Johnny Rocket's are terribad. I'm also not a fan of Noodles and Company, but you might feel differently.
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X / Rochester, NY
Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14

Moved this to the conventions sub-folder for you
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30 / M / New York
Posted 6/26/14 , edited 6/27/14

To add on to what Caelk has already said...

It is Baltimore and it will be hot so make sure to have water on hand. They do have water coolers within the panel rooms so you can also hang around those if you really need a drink. There is also the "Ice Cold Water Guy" whose generally hanging around outside the convention center all day selling "Ice Ice Cold Cold" water for a $1 [You may not understand anything I have said in this last sentence but when you get there you will know]. They do sell food and drinks within the convention center but it is extremely expensive. There is a sandwich place across the street from the convention center that is moderately priced and good food.

Certain panels, screenings and events tend to fill up fast so if you really want to see something make sure to get there early. I remember last year when the showed the Live Action Rurouni Kenshin movie the first time the line was insane! Luckily they set up another showing for Sunday which was a lot less crowded.

Also if you can grab your ticket the day before the convention starts. For most of the day on Thursday you can head to the convention center to get it. If you wait til Friday it generally becomes a nightmare. Granted they are changing how they're doing things by setting a cap on attendees but you do not DO NOT want to wait to buy your ticket the day of [if they have any left at that time]. The line tends to wrap around the convention building and you could be spending your entire Friday waiting on a line to get it.

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35 / M / Maryland
Posted 6/27/14 , edited 6/27/14
"I got ya ice cold wahta and its only 1 dolla!" Be prepared to hear that a lot. Yeah if you pre-registered pick it up Thursday but wait until like 6 or 7 at night. That's how me and my friends did it and we just walked right up and got our tickets. Although waiting in line with friends is part of the fun so if you do that bring snacks/water/ and entertainment like a ds or psp. If you want to get into panels or a signing get there super early. Also, be prepared to come to a standstill while walking. Otakon is VERY popular and it a bunch of areas it gets so congested walking traffic comes to a complete stop like in the dealers room. If you're going to get something from the dealers room wait until Sunday. Most people are packing up to leave so it is easier to walk around. Plus that's when most of the dealers are having sale to unload the last remaining stuff they have so it's easier to pack up.It is a major city so stay safe. Nightvulture and Caelk pretty much covered it all. Stay hydrated, show up early to panels, be prepared to wait, be safe and most importantly have fun.
Sailor Candy Moderator
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Posted 7/29/15 , edited 7/29/15

Locked for the new one... also this event is so old that the following years otakon already happened!
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