With the 2017 convention season starting (and me still angry with people whom won’t shower at these things), I figure that I’ll be nice and give some helpful advice to survive the convention year. These tips and advice come from my own personal experience such as budgeting, taking care of me, and saving money. I hope you’ll apply these tips for your convention plans.
Generally, the convention’s social media page(s) and website will post booking information such as the start date of booking for hotel(s) blocks (reversed sections of the hotel for the event staff, guests, and attendees) . Once the reservation dates are revealed, mark your calendar. The night before hotel reservation begins, set an alarm up to an hour early than the time the hotel will accept reservation. Have your credit/debit card information ready. If you’re a rewards member of the hotel company (I.E. Hilton HHonors), have that information ready as well. You may gain points or a discount for being a rewards member.
If booking by phone, please note that everyone and their moms are going to do the same. You may get put on hold, and there is a chance you may not get the room. Please, please, PLEASE, do not go off on the operator if this happens. It’s not their fault. Be kind to them.
Some hotels may require an one night deposit upon reservation. This is to prevent last minute cancellation and people hustling and flipping the room(s) to others at a higher price than the average (although the latter is still possible. Make every dollar.). You best be fully committed.
Now that you’ve booked with the hotel, it’s time to pre-register for the badge! If possible, buy the badge as early as possible when pricing is at its cheapest. It’s a smart investment.
Think about it: Would you rather invest that $45 on the badge right now, when it is at its cheapest and not worry about saving up, or would you want to stand in line for hours, and pay $75 for the at-the-door prices? That was $75 for extra food, a cool ass Mystic Gohan figurine at the dealers room, or at least two top shelf liquor for a room party.
If you cannot afford the badge right then and now, stack up and budget for the next tier price. If the next tier price is $50 in about two months and a week, put aside $10 aside each paycheck for five pay periods, or $25 aside for two pay periods. Then, once you got your money straight, buy the badge.
Seriously, you do not want to buy at the door. You’ll lose more money and time that way.
The 3-6-1 Rule
Three meals a day. Six hours of sleep. One bath a day. You think something as simple as taking care of your hygiene, eating, and sleep are easy tasks. Indeed they are! However, you have those few who don’t follow this rule (especially the bathing part). To those who will follow these rules, I’ll break it down for ya.
3 Meals a Day: It’s that simple. Have a healthy breakfast to provide energy until lunch time. Toast, yogurt, eggs, nuts, grains, etc. If your hotel offer free breakfast, take advantage of that, even if its food you do not enjoy. Your favorite food is free food.
For lunch, I tend to go with something between a light and heavy meal. A sandwich with chips and another side is a nice go-to lunch meal. It’s not a bank breaker and it doesn’t leave me feeling tired or sluggish because I ate more than I could handle. Dinner is where you want to eat something heavy, especially if you’re going to be going to a room party with alcohol, the rave, or doing many night time convention things. I recommend pizza, pasta, fried chicken, etc. Do not eat too heavily though.
Another helpful tip: Snack between meals such as fruits, nuts, and those fancy multi-grain bars. Drink plenty of water as well. The key is to have energy and not feel like shit because you haven’t eaten at all. Ramen and pockey does not qualify as meals.
Yes another helpful tip: If your hotel has a full kitchen (stove, oven, fridge, etc.) and you know how to cook, cook your own meals. It’s a money saving tactic and you’ll have leftovers throughout the day.
Six hours of sleep: Please, get some rest. You should sleep for about 8 hours a day, but 6 hours isn’t too bad. If you’re running a panel or event, get as much rest as you can. There is no shame in resting up and missing out on a few things at the convention to keep alert and active.
Sleep Tip: Powernaps are wonderful. If need be, take at least 30-45 minutes every couple of hours to powernap. If you’re doing something major such as hosting or partying, try to get at least 1-2 hours of sleep. Your body and energy levels will thank you.
1 Bath/Shower a Day: There is absolutely no goddamn reason for you not to shower or bathe before going out in public. A convention is not exempted. Nobody is trying to smell your nasty ass because you did not want to shower and use hygiene products. If you’re a cosplayer, plan on changing clothes, or sweat a lot, please take a shower before and after an outfit change.
It’s 2017 and we are still debating if people should shower and take care of their hygiene. Yay for human evolution.
Showering Tip: Beer showers are fun. And an early sign you might be an alcoholic. Go me!
But seriously, fuckin’ take a shower and use deodorant.
Ah the fun part for us adults: budgeting for the convention. In general, the plan is to stack up save up, and split funds for the event. No one’s budget will be alike from the other guy. This is normal. Here’s an example of my budget for Wizard World St. Louis:
Hotel: $217 ($73 for my share between three people)
Misc: $200 (Not required. For things such as dealer room, liquor/mixers for room party, “vices”, etc.)
Total: $383 ($183 if I removed the miscellaneous items)
Paydays until Wizard: 2
Friend owes me $66. Use that for the badge
Save $51.14 per check. Since I’m using the money I’m owed for the badge, this isn’t a huge blow to the budget. Take another $51.14 from income taxes.
Simple budget, yes. Admittedly, my math may not be right and I’m too lazy to whip out my calculator to get the correct total amount. You get the picture here. Just manage your money correctly and save up.
If you’re splitting hotel costs, pay up. Nobody likes a mooch.
Let me say this: If you cannot afford to go to a convention, don’t go. If you have needs such as bills to be paid, medical expenses, etc., take care of that first. Skip out on the convention if your money isn’t right. It’s not worth going broke or screwing up your money just to go to a convention.
The convention ain’t going anywhere soon. Wait until your money is right and go to the next convention.
‘Let me tell you something: You gotta find the balance between having fun and having funds.’
–Nino Brown (American rapper)
I hope my tips will help you in this convention season. If you have anything else to add please feel free to state them in the comments section!
Have a fun and safe time at the convention(s) you’re going to this year!
YURI!!! On Ice Art:
Yuyuko and Son Goku eating:
Best girl bathing: