Friday, April 25, 2014

Wondercon 2014: A Re-Cap in Convention-Attending Tips

Wondercon 2014

Last weekend I ventured out to the Anaheim Convention Center for a geeky staycation - Wondercon 2014.  Wondercon is an excellent place to head out to learn about pop culture, comic books, superheroes, upcoming artists, and even to just check out the great cosplay. Unlike previous years, I attended the convention for all three days - adventuring as per lately with Elizabeth, the Nerdlush Diva! All in all I had a great weekend at Wondercon - I purchased a stack of comic books, learned about artists, enjoyed time with friends, and even made new friends!

As I was getting ready to write this post, it dawned on me that perhaps it would be more helpful to make this a casual recap including some hints and tips for experiencing conventions in general.

1) The Guidebook is Important: We made sure to browse through the guide to discuss what we might want to venture out to and whether we might make it to any specific panels - this takes strategy because you have to get a gauge of what rooms might be full and how long you might need to wait in line to get into a panel.  We admired the guidebook this year especially because it had one of our favorite female superheroes - Wonder Woman - who I may or may not have been cosplaying as on Sunday.

2) Scope Out the Exhibit Hall: If you're going to be at a convention for several days, you should scope out the Exhibit Hall (aka the Dealer's Room).  This gives you the lay of the land and helps you become familiar with your geeky shopping opportunities.  It also lets you know if you'll have to be purchasing specific items on specific days (due to limited quantity or limited appearance) - rather than just do last minute shopping on Sunday.
3) Social Media is Your Friend: Twitter and Facebook are  helpful to make sure you know any last minute scheduling changes.  Conventions have also been offering mobile apps that may be helpful in scheduling and planning as well - so if that's your kind of thing and one's available, make sure to download that beforehand.

4) Artists in the Exhibit Hall: The Exhibit Hall isn't just for sales, often artists will be making appearances.  Sometimes these are easy to just stop on by, but quite often you'll need some kind of ticket or the line will be limited to a number of people.  To avoid disappointment, it's good to find out ahead of time what you might be walking into (or, for many of us, what you might not be able to walk into).

Brad Bell and Jane Espenson (creators/writers for "Husbands")
signing autographsin the Wondercon 2014 Exhibit Hall

 5) Clothe (and Cosplay) with Care: One of the best things about these conventions is that you can be yourself - or your favorite character in cosplay!  It's important to make sure your convention attire is fitting of an event where there are a lot of people, a lot of walking, and where you might want to also make a lot of purchases.  Layering is a great idea and you might want to consider having a backpack handy.  I make an additional note to cosplay with care because we spotted some enthusiastic fans who didn't look so enthused by the end of the day.  Simple considerations regarding shoes and props can not only help you enjoy the day, but allow others to spend more time enjoying the excellent time and creativity that was spent on your outfit.

I close with more photos from Wondercon 2014.  Looking forward to next year!

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Editor

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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