Each year I try to go to at least one convention. While I’d like to go to more, some have proven to be more hassle than they are worth. One thing that always seems to be an issue and a big complaint amongst other convention-goers is the etiquette that we see from our fellows.
Here’s my top tips to be a mindful and polite con-goer.
- Do not “____” the cosplayers without permission. This broad but important. Don’t touch, grab, pull, take props from cosplayers without asking permission and receiving the consent. These fellow fans put a lot of effort into their outfits that includes a ton of money, many failed attempts, and many hours working on one piece. It doesn’t matter if it is just cloth or foam, or if it doesn’t look hard to you, don’t touch them.
- Either buy your tickets with preregistrations or get over having to stand outside and come prepared for all situations. Yes, this is always a problem. Recently here in Boston most cons are being labeled “line con” and several goers are standing in line whining about the wait. We all want to get inside, we all want to do the stuff. To make time go faster, try talking to the other people in line with you about their fandom, their favorite game, movie, anime, manga, comic, or what have you. Ask them questions. You’re both big fans of stuff, learn a little bit, make some friends!
- Number 2 kind of goes for inside too. Once you’re in the convention you’re bound to stand in lines for cool things, and come across “capped” lines and panels. It is up to you that before you go to the convention you dig up as much info on the panels as you can. Once you get a copy of the schedule, set calendar or alarm reminders in your phone for the ones that you really want to go to and set them for a little earlier (some at least an hour and a half early) so you can get a spot.
- Please stop running. Stop shoving other people. Stop using your body as a battering ram. I get it, you want to get to something, but pushing over young kids who are also fans and knocking into people isn’t the way to go. If you can avoid it, try to pass through. If you need to move someone at least say excuse me and do your best to move around them if they are in line or waiting for someone. I can’t say everything will still be there if you go politely, but in general you don’t want to be the person being thrown out for ruining a few cosplays, and hurting some kids just so you could get that copy of a comic.
- Make your best efforts not to be stinky. Okay, I know this is an ongoing joke for some convention goers and for some outsiders, but it is a serious request. Everyone gets stinky at cons. If you don’t, you’re probably a god. Make efforts to shower, put deodorant on in the morning, and throw some powder in your shoes so that when you meet your friend, favorite celeb, or want to take a selfie with Markiplier, you’re not ripe.
- Charging stations are a real thing, use them. I never have an issue seeing someone sit on the floor near an outlet just to get some more phone juice for photos and notes. But I have seen people dragging phone cords across the floor to run up to another person, or excessively long cords. That’s great that your cord is that long but be careful not trip others who are moving through.
- Don’t take pictures of people in the aisles of the trade room. This is so automatic and yet it is endless. Ask a cosplayer to step aside with you in one of the corners of the booths to take a picture. They will also consider your request polite because they probably have this all day and have tons of people running into them while they are in the aisles posing. Really anywhere that there is high traffic, you should try to take pictures in alcoves, corners, or outside.
- With number 7, remember there are photoshoots for big fandoms. If you want a picture with your favorite Kylo Ren, that’s awesome. But what about one with all the Kylo Rens? Try to find out when these shoots are and usually you’ll get some great ones from there since there are designated times and spaces.
- Keep your loot close, and your pals closer. Please don’t have 8 bags on your left bashing into people as you’re moving with all your purchases. If you can bring a bag with you that can rest on your back or side without being an obstruction. Please also try not to lose your friends that you came in with without a designated meeting area and time so you can find them later.
- This one is tough because I like to think no one is actively doing this. Please be careful of young kids. There are little kids who like this stuff and if they are with a parent, I’d do my best not to even cut near them in the crowds so I don’t accidentally separate them. If you do come across a young kid separated from a parent, do your best to help out.