Saturday, January 9, 2010

Guide to MegaCon 2010: Convention Survival

I have recently introduced MegaCon and what to expect. The convention is pretty cool but it is very big. If you’ve been to a MegaCon or big anime convention before, then you know what to expect and how to prepare. This survival guide is about to get real. All caps will be used when it is necessary.

The first thing you may want to do is get a MegaCon pass. They have day passes and weekend passes. The pass gets you into the Exhibitor’s Hall that has much of what the convention has to offer. You will also need a pass in order to attend anime track events such as the Anime Costume Contest, Cyberia, Karaoke, and other events that we will determine over the next month or so. There may be events from other tracks going on that require you to have a badge. It won’t be known until prior to the convention. In all honesty, if you don’t get a pass to MegaCon and get all huffy when you get turned away from an event, we will not feel sorry for you. Thousands of other people bought a pass; what makes you so special?

You can buy your pass at MegaCon, but the wait in line for that is ridiculously long. I recommend pre-registering if you can. Some people scoff at the pre-registration because you only save a few bucks, but the saving in time is the real benefit. You can pre-register to purchase a pass online.

If you want to get a free pass, volunteering helps. The Anime Events Track needs help with many things, including Thursday setup, Sunday teardown, along with Saturday setup with the Anime Costume Contest and the Cyberia Dance party. There are other events that will probably need volunteer help as well. Contacting me or Anime Sushi is the best way to get connected as a volunteer. We always need good people who are willing to help the anime events succeed!


Next, bring cash. Lots of it. Most dealers who sell merchandise at Megacon do not accept credit or debit cards. Make sure you keep track of all of your cash and belongings. Putting anything down at MegaCon and turning away for even a short moment will result in your valuables disappearing. You will never see those items again.

Speaking of Dealers, make sure you actually find deals. A lot of sales happen on Sunday, but if you wait until Sunday, that cool thing you saw on Friday may be gone by then. Use your best judgment!

Guests who haven’t done anything in their career in over ten years will expect you to pay at least 30 bucks for their autograph or picture. That is so funny.

There are a lot of cool things to see at MegaCon that you will feel nostalgic about years later. Bring a camera and take lots of pictures.

Make sure you get a convention guide when you get your pass at MegaCon. The guide covers EVERYTHING going on at the convention. This includes when and where all of the events are, where artists, dealers, and guests are located, and other random happenings. Try not to lose your guide because they actually will run out of them by Sunday.

Plan events that you want to go to. Circle or highlight events that you may want to go to and look through the guide every now and then to remind yourself that you wanted to check something out. I don’t want your weekend to suck if you missed It’s MANIME! The Manly Anime panel, because it will.

The convention is all weekend and it’s a 40 minute drive from where the Propeller Anime Club meets. Many of us know to stay in a hotel. That is definitely a good idea. Be sure to do your research on hotels (I recommend one with a refrigerator and microwave) and pick one close to the west building of the Orange County Convention Center. Since parking is about $8 a day at MegaCon, I recommend getting a hotel within walking distance to the convention center. Reserve a hotel as soon as you can because they will sell out closer to the convention!

Pick your hotel roommates wisely. If your potential roommates do drugs and hang out with junkies and you don’t, then it’s not going to work out.

Food sold at MegaCon is expensive and it’s quite a hike to some of the external restaurants. It’s a great idea to bring some snacks and bottled water each day. Try to take at least an hour long break at some point in the convention. There’s a lot of walking, people, noise, and sometimes convention drama. I’d recommend taking a rest break when you start to feel fatigue.

If you are cosplaying at MegaCon, think about the costume you wear. It is CROWDED at MegaCon and your giant wings will not be appreciated by anyone. Also, if you are wearing a costume that shows off a lot of your flesh, you will get a lot of unwanted attention. Be wary of con-scum and creepy photographers. Also, if someone solicits that you pose somewhere naked for them, you should probably report them to convention security.

For the love of all that it is good, don’t wear the same costume every day. It will smell at some point. DON’T MAKE ME WHIP OUT MY FEBREEZE CANNON!

Also, you want to see what kinds of cosplay groups are going down at MegaCon, has a forum dedicated to the subject. You may get some great photo-ops and might even make some friends!

At MegaCon, there will be thousands of geeks with different personality types and backgrounds. You may make some new friends there. Remember to be yourself (your best self, if possible) and you’ll find some cool people to hang out with. Also, be careful of who you hang out or party with. Some of the people that go to conventions are completely shady and can’t be trusted.

If you are a female, there will be guys that will tell you whatever they think will get your panties off by the end of the night. If they ask you and nobody else you know to a convention after-party, be very careful. Don't do anything you don't want to do.

Likewise, if you are a dude that finds a girl that you may like talking to and spending time with, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HER AGE! I can’t stress that enough! Especially after last year! Google “Roy Harms arrest” and tell me if I am full of shit!

Kids who are under-aged tend to lie about their age. Note it.

If someone of the gender you prefer is talking to you and being nice THAT DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THAT THEY WANT TO DATE OR BANG YOU! Seriously, people who think that seriously need to get over themselves. But hey, after a weekend of hanging out, don’t be afraid to ask for a phone number or e-mail so that you may meet again.

If you go to a party, don’t get drunk and drive.

Having alcohol to share after a day at the convention makes you a hero.

Walking around the convention with a “Glomp Me” or “Free Hugs” sign makes you a loser.

Don’t piss off the people who are working at MegaCon, especially the anime event staff. Or else I will break off your arms and shove them up your ass. We all work most of the weekend and the stress builds and wears all of us out. In addition, if we snap at you for no reason, it’s probably not your fault; you just picked a bad time to encounter us. We’re doing our best to entertain you but we aren’t superhuman(well, I am).

Have fun. If you aren’t having fun then you are not doing it right!

There will be a panel at MegaCon in anime events that I will be co-hosting with two other veterans of the anime community that will cover these topics and more on the Friday afternoon. Check us out! Until then, stay tuned to Anime Sushi, Propeller Anime Club, and MegaCon’s website for more updates before the convention!

In the near future, I will talk about cool anime events going on at Megacon 2010. It’s going to be awesome!

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