Sunday, March 29, 2015

10 Must-Have Items To Pack For Conventions

With Anime Boston just around the corner, I thought I'd give you all my top 10 items to pack for a convention. A number of these tie in with my tips for congoers I did before RuffleCon this past year, but they are no less relevant to any convention you many find yourself traveling to! Conventions are largely the same no matter the genre and as such this list is universal and could even apply to any sort of lolita excursion. Without further ado, let's get down to business!

1. Gel Insoles
These beauties are absolute lifesavers for your everyday travels, but are especially important at conventions where there might not be all that many places to really take a seat and rest your feet. Sure, there are panels and viewing rooms, but before you ever get entry to a lot of these spaces there are bound to be long lines. At the end of the day, any convention requires a decent amount of walking and though those adorable heels might look perfect with your coord, they're not likely to last you the entire day without some sort of support. Do your feet a favor and you'll be thankful by the end of the convention that you did!

2. Tide-to-Go Pen
Accidents happen, and conventions are no exception to this rule. What is even more likely at a convention is someone who forgot to seal their facepaint or fake tattoos and ends up brushing up against others on accident. At the end of the day it's better to be safe than sorry and save your lovely clothes from permanent damage by mopping up stains quickly.

3. Advil
Whether it's the post-party hangover, or the abundance of easily excited kids, headaches are a common occurrence at conventions. This is multiplied by the amount of stress you're under so if you're staffing, working the artists' alley, or performing on stage it's best to have a liberal bottle of pain meds on hand. At the very least your roommates will thank you for your foresight.

4. Flats
After leaving the con each day it's a good idea to have a decent pair of flats on you to slip on for the commute to your hotel or to the restaurant for dinner. You've likely taxed your feet to their absolute limits by the close of the convention so do yourself a favor and give them a bit of time off before you slip into those mega high platforms the next day. In a lot of cities, the historic districts can be excellent to visit, but not particularly friendly for high heels so a pair of flats can really boost your sightseeing game too.

5. Water Bottle
While it's easy to buy a bottle of water in just about any urban center, it can often be expensive. Convention centers tend to mark up the prices of their food and beverages simply because they know that most people will be unprepared and thirsty towards midday. Save your dollars for the dealers room by bringing your own water bottle and filling it either at the hotel or from any of the many water fountains around the convention center.

6. Medium-sized Purse
I've found that there is a happy medium to the purse dilemma. On the one hand, you want a purse that can carry everything you need for the day comfortably, but one that isn't so large that you end up overstuffing it and have to lug around a giant bag all day. The last thing you need is a sore shoulder to complement the post-convention aches. A cute medium-sized purse will allow you to hold just enough without inviting you to carry your entire suitcase on you at all times.

7. Personal Sewing Kit
Every once in a while there is a bit of a wardrobe emergency whether it's a lost button, or needing to sew a friend into his/her cosplay. Should the need ever arise, you'll be thankful that you won't have to combat the lines and disorganization that is the cosplay repair station. Even if you just have a needle, a small pair of scissors, and a neutral-colored thread you'll be the hero at your next convention. Coming from a cosplay background I've had to sew more teammates into costumes than I'd like to admit and it was always comforting to know that I had the basics in my hotel room at any given time.

8. An Abundance of Bobby Pins
Whether you're wearing a bunch of wigs, need to hold up your bangs while you do your makeup, or are just overly prepared, having a large number of bobby pins is always a plus. I always seemed to lose my bobby pins throughout the convention and had to beg a few off of teammates backstage a few times when I realized my wig was not going to last through the rigors of our skit. At the very least, you'll once again retain your title as 'best roommate this century' by stocking up with enough to share.

9. Box of Granola Bars
There is nothing worse than standing in a giant line for a panel, realizing that you missed lunch by several hours and are unlikely to have a chance to eat for at least a few more. A box of granola bars or similar snacks packed away in your hotel room provides a constant supply of pick-me-ups for the day and at the very least ensures that you've gotten some sugar into your system to keep you up and running. Though meals can be tough to work into a packed schedule, a healthy snack is a great way to keep yourself running until you can get yourself a sizeable dinner.

10. Scrap Fabric
This is perhaps my most important tip and one of the most overlooked in the convention-going game. I always pack a yard or two of scrap fabric to use when I iron. At many hotels, they don't check to make sure that the person who used your iron before you hasn't completely botched the relatively simple process. As such, you may find that your iron has crazy residues on it or similar unfortunate circumstances. I've heard horror stories of cosplayers not checking their iron only to find their costume a bit wrecked by the cheap home appliance they were provided. Putting a bit of scrap fabric between the iron and your beloved dream dress can save you a lot of heartache and it's better to be safe than sorry!

Are any of you going to Anime Boston this weekend? If so I'd love to see you there~

Stay strong and beautiful, my lovelies,

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