Convention Survival Guide
Thanks to the forum goers, we've compiled a list of 50 tips for coming to Anime Detour. Click a link below to go to any section, or you can just scroll down the page.
It doesn't have to be a 100% fool proof plan (because we'll find a way to break it!), but at least have a rough outline, like Dealer's room, consuite, watch some anime, consuite, get some food, consuite, etc.
GET THERE ASAP!
You don't wanna waste half of your first day waiting to get a badge, right? Well then get there early! I'd recommend either getting a room (shined upon by the hotel and AD staff), or biding your time down 494 at the Mall of America (MoA). Other hotels in the area can also accept you, but keep in mind you don't get the discount.
BRING A CAMERA.
You'll find moments where that you really wish you had one to capture them. Don't forget the spare batteries and the charger, and keep it on your body at all times.
SAFETY PINS, FABRIC GLUE, SCISSORS.
The essential first-aid kit of a cosplayer, and you'll probably want to bring even more. Your costume is bound to ruin when you least expect it, so having your survival kit will always come in hand!
GROUPS ARE YOUR FREINDS!
Yes, a tad redundant...but still. Coming as a group has many benefits. If you register early, it'll cost less in group, you can more easily rent out Hotel Rooms and also have people to look after you and vice-versa.
Things to do
The more people volunteer, the smoother the ride. You also get a few freebies, and it'll give you some time to rest between the big events.
GO TO THE DANCE!
Don't make the mistake of not going, you'll miss a lot. There's some break dancers, people flipping, dancing circles and even some fan fave songs played by our DJs.
PRE-REGISTER FOR NEXT YEAR
On the last day, before the whole shebang ends, remember to pre-register for next year!
You could just go and buy that huge Naruto wall scroll, or that manga volume you've been looking for, or...you could compare prices! That same wall scroll could be half a room away for half the price of the one you were looking at! It can go for manga, DVDs, CDs, even plushies.
DANCE IN MODERATION!
Some people dance way too much. So much that they pass out! To be on the safe side, if you ever feel over heated, sit out for a couple songs and drink some water.
GO TO OPENING CEREMONIES!
At opening ceremonies, you'll be told the rules, be introduced to our guests of honor, and other important information. Read through your programming guide too for important info on the where and when of everything happening at the convention!
THIS IS NOT YOUR HOME!
Sure, at home you probably download music, manga and anime (which you really shouldn't, ya free loading so-and-so), but that does NOT mean that you can do it at the con. Do not distribute licensed materials without consent, or sell bootleg things, or else the consequences will be dire.
MEETUP AT THE MALL!
For those that don't know what a "mall meetup" is, it's when a handful of con-goers trek down 494 to go to the Mall of America (MoA) and do what they usually do at the mall, but in costume. The best part about is the mall-goers giving you weird looks and asking you questions about what's going on, and you may just promote Anime Detour! But make sure NOT TO BRING YOUR WEAPONS.
FELT IS BAD!
Sure, it may be cheap and fairly easy to use, but it tears in an instant and refracts light like a mirror. Besides, costumes should look like normal clothes, not like you're straight out of the cartoon.
ASK BEFORE COMMITTING THY GLOMPING.
Okay, maybe it was a weird way to phrase it, and I'm not sure if others have seen, but there have been some cosplayers being freaked out by random fans through glompage -- not only is it an invasion of personal space, but it might hurt, or even worse, possibly damage the costume and the fan in process! So be sure to ask someone first, no matter what the 'how to glomp' shirt says!
STRIKE A POSE!
When getting asked to have your picture taken means a lot for both you and the photographer. If the character that you're cosplaying as has a famous stance or pose that he/she/it does, don't be shy and pose!
There's bound to be people from your choice of anime also cosplaying there, and group photos get a nice couple of pics too. You can take them as you go, or go over to the cosplay board on the online forum and request a formation for one, or create one yourself!
POCKETS ARE OUR FRIENDS!
Plan for them. Especially if your character does not use a purse, bag, or other such item. Also decreases likelihood of becoming a victim of theft. Have pockets wherever you can fit them: inside of cloaks, in/outside of coats, on pants, wherever. It just helps in general.
KEEP SKITS SHORT!
There have not been many of a problems with this in the past but DON'T drag your skits out in the cosplay masque. Us anime-lovin' folk have the attention of a small child in a store full of shiny objects. Keep it short and keep it funny.
GET IN LINE EARLY!
In Detours past, the lines for the cosplay show stretched as far as the eye can see (and wrapped around the interior of the hotel)! If you're one of the first hundred in line, you'll be able to see the show just fine. But if you're one of the last in line...hope you have good eyes...
ASK BEFORE TOUCHING OTHER'S PROPS!
Some people might see something fluffy, shiny, or well made and feel the urge to reach out and touch it. But please ASK before you touch. Some props can be very fragile and easily broken, and people might not want anyone other than themselves handling their props. Plus it's simply the polite thing to do.
Food and Drink
GET SOME REAL FOOD
After awhile, that Mountain Dew and pocket full of snacks will start there way down to your gut, and then it's game over. Play again? It's important to get out and gets some real food from one of the near by resturants. You know you'll feel better!
ALWAYS HAVE WATER ON HAND.
Although this may seem like a strange tip, and probably could go under food -- There have been some huge conventions where attendees were actually dehydrated. Plus it's also a good idea to have something other than Consuite pop.
BRING FOOD WITH YOU!
If you're renting out a hotel room for the weekend, then I would suggest at least taking a few edible things along with you (donuts, fruit, croissants, etc.). That way you won't have to waste your money on buying something from the Burger King across the street. Plus you might actually get some nutrition out of it.
On the Floor
WHEN IN DOUBT, IMPROVISE!
The minute you get into AD, you'll be overwhelmed with all of the parties, panels, shops, etc. Relax, let yourself wander until you find something that strikes your fancy. Repeat if necessary.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY THE FIRST DAY!
As the days go on, you'll see and find things that you'll just go crazy for, whether they be original art, Manga, Anime, CDs, clothes, wooden bokkens, wall scrolls, memorabilia and a host of others. If you spend it all on the first day, not only will you not have money for anything else eye-catching, but it means you'll have to wait for a another year! $50 is good for spending, and $100+ is more than adequate for your average person. Plus, you can pop around town and get some real food.
YOUR FEET WILL HURT!
Wear appropriate shoes! If Cosplaying and your footwear allows it put some gel inserts in there, do it. And make sure to sit down every once in a while.
MIND YOUR SWORD!
There's nothing more annoying than having the person walking in front of you's sword whapping at your leg. Remember to mind the sword's placement. Wooden or not, it hurts!
DON'T DO SOMETHING STUPID!
The staff does NOT like it when they have to call for an ambulance, and not to mention the legal ramifications involved when the lawyers come into play.
DON'T GET DRUNK!
There is nothing more obnoxious than a person who's drunk at three a.m., staggering about the hallways thinking he's Nabeshin. Plus, there are many under aged kids, and as said before, the cops should be avoided.
*** If you are falling down drunk and/or being a nuisance you WILL be asked to leave. ***
HANG ON TO YOUR STUFF!
Things like small electronics, cell phones and digicams, etc. can be lost very easily. Be sure to keep everything by your side, or in your room.
HAVE EMERGENCY MONEY!
There may be a time that you run out of spending money... hopefully that's not ALL of the money that you brought with! Make sure you have money stored away ONLY for emergency (i.e.: food, water, transportation, etc.). It will come in handy when you're in a pinch!
Some corridors aren't the biggest place in the world, and what space there is, is needed. If you need to take a picture of someone, put yourselves to the side of the hall and take it, or go down stairs into the empty hallways and lobbies.
Don't just plan to take a Marine shower, I mean actually go wash up or at least go into a bathroom and wash your face. With several thousand people there, I'm sure they'd all like to breathe.
SLEEP IS GOOD!
Considering that the con is positioned during, or before, most people's Spring Breaks, you should try to get some sleep in between your three before the con starts. That way, you can stay up all night and at least go to work/school on Monday without a sugar hangover, or spend your next week doing nothing with a sugar hangover.
If you've got Asthma, Diabetes, etc. Bring your inhaler, epipen, etc. We’ve actually had people pass out at the dance, so take it slow, this thing is a whole weekend's affair you know! And it's gonna be cold, this thing is in early spring, so have a lot of Vitamin C, as we will all be cramped into one space. Spread the love, not the germs!
CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES!
Please, don't wear one thing all three days. The recommended thing is wearing your cosplay the first day, then either wearing normal clothes or a second costume that you'd rather wasn't entered in the competition, or just a different costume each day!
STICK TO YOUR AGE!
A problem at the con is people who are below age, going into shows that are rated for 18+. It makes things easier if you watch shows within your age group and be sure to keep ID on you.
LEARN THE LINGO!
First-time con-goers and/or otaku-newcomers may not know what "glomping" is, or it's the first time they heard the word "AMV." Don’t be afraid to ask other people (veteran con-goers, convention staff, etc.). You might even make a new friend in the process!
ASK YOUR QUESTIONS!
Please, ask questions. At the right times, but ask questions. If something isn't answered in this guide, in any program that is given out, or at a panel, ask someone that isn't busy and looks like they're friendly. They'll either point you to the right person or answer your question. While you should keep it short and sweet, they might have an answer for ya that is con related. As for anime, well... It's just a right place at the right time thing. After seeing a couple episodes of an anime in one of the rooms, between showings ask someone about the show if it's piqued your interest. Heck, after you get some questions answered, buy it at the Dealer's Room!
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR THINGS!
Especially your badge in this case, since you cannot refund it, and your own items. Anime Detour is NOT responsible for stolen/lost items.
Anime Twin Cities, Inc
©2011, Version 2.0
Thanks for original from Menzeeto & Jamklev