Convention attendee necessities.

Fanexpo is less than a week away and this year it’s four days. So you feel better and don’t get yourself lost in Toronto or whatever city you go to any convention in, I have made a list of my typical tools for any major convention adventure.

Your cosplay.

Anything goes at Fanexpo. From Deadpool outfits worn by people who have never actually read any Deadpool (Adrian) to Steampunk Sith Lords (as if that’s legit.) But you’re going to be doing a lot of walking so you might want to just go with comfortable footwear. I don’t mind if Sailor Moon wears her Nikes. Keep in mind that you’ll want to make sure that your outfit isn’t too hot or cold – remember that it’s only a costume that looks like the character and not actually supposed to be a functional replica of Sailor Moon’s fuku.

Cosplayers should also be prepared for embarassing rips possibly occuring at any time. Duct tape.


Sturdy bag.

This is important, something that is distinct enough to identify if you leave it in a corner and need to search for it. Mine is adorned by a Domo-kun, who in turn holds a Tigger.

I also make sure to carry a tiny garbage bag in one of my bag’s side-pockets. It’s the quickest way to water-proof the stuff in my bag if I end up needing to travel through a sudden rain.

Also folded up in my bag is another bag, like one of those grocery bags that can compress. There’s always a chance I’ll buy something larger than what can fit into my backpack.
an empty poster tube is a good idea.

Sometimes if you buy something like a poster, don’t be afraid to ask the vendor if they’ll hold onto it until the end of the day when you’re leaving so you don’t have to drag it around and get it banged up all the time.

Most of my cargo during the convention is comic books which I’m bringing to get signed. So before the convention I ceremonially go over the guest list and look at each of their credits and see if i have any good issues they could sign – landmark issues get priority, of course. On the subject of Autographs, it’s smart to bring a black marker in case you unintentionally run into a celebrity in an elevator or something.

There’s sure to be a dealer there selling old comics. If you have a collection like mine, go through it and see if there’s any holes in the runs you’re collecting. Make a tiny list.

Bring Deodorant

It weighs ounces, it’s small enough to fit into any pocket, you can buy it at a dollar store. And you’re going to be running from event to event in a crowd of fat dudes. So there’s no excuse not to bring some and reapply it frequently, your friends will appreciate it. For hairy people like me, it’s only natural to bring a hair brush.

Wallets.

Bring lots of money to spend, if you can, there’s a ton of great deals at the convention. I personally keep my money in my pockets instead of my wallet so that I don’t risk dropping my drivers license when I take my wallet out every ten minutes. And you might need your Driver’s License or some similar government issue ID if you preregistered.

Cellphone, camera.

These are no-brainers, make sure you camera’s memory is empty and your batteries are charged. If you’re in a hotel, bring the chargers you need. Also don’t forget your keys. I take the go train into the city for fanexpo usually. There’s some hassle to it but I don’t have to spend any money on parking. To cut down my time at the train station I just purchased a ten-ride GO Train pass for around $65. I’m sure any rides I don’t use for fanexpo will be used later.
Some people bring their mp3 players at their own risk.

Sustenance:

Energy drinks, protein bars, fruit, and some water. I don’t like energy drinks but I like passing out less. So I keep a can of Popular Brand Energy Drink in my bag as a safety net in case I ever feel I might doze off at the DC Nation panel.

That’s the contents of my utility belt to keep me alive from day to day. Depending on your own priorities you can skip the comic stuff and maybe instead have some Shark Repellent. Also remember to shower and brush your teeth, not just at conventions, but in life in general because really, nothing is worse than living life with Con Breath.

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