How to Prepare For a Cosplay Convention

Okay, so you've made your costume, registered for the con, and it's almost here. And you're freaking out because it's your first time, and you don't know what to do. Here are some hints based on experience.


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    Make a list. What do you need to bring? The very last thing you want is to be sprinting all around your house because you can't find item X. Think about what you need, write it down, and gather it up. Be like Santa, and check it twice.
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    Pack your stuff. The night before, check again to make sure you have everything, then pack it up. Check things off on your list as you go. Don't just throw everything into a bag an hour before your train leaves.
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    Have your costume ready. Make sure that all its pieces are on your list and marked off. Forgetting a crucial part can make all that hard work and patient waiting go right down the drain. To be sure you have everything, put it on. Look it over, make double sure you've got all its parts, then pack it away. Put all the parts together if you can. Also, if you can wear any parts as street clothes, then do that. It saves space for other things, and ensures that you don't forget it. You can't forget what's attached to your body. Just know what's acceptable and what's going to look silly. Ask yourself, "Would I wear this in school/at work?" If yes, then wear it. If no, pack it away.
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    Check your tickets. Make very sure you have the right tickets for both the con and your transportation there.
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    Make a con plan. Are you meeting someone? If so, when and where? When is mealtime? Bathroom breaks? Time to go home? Get a copy of the con schedule if you can, and then plan your day around that. Mark down what you really want to see. Wear a watch, or something else with a clock on it, regardless of how badly it clashes with your costume. It's better to look a tiny bit less realistic then miss a favourite event, or your ride home, so plan ahead!
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    Sleep! So you're all packed and ready. You have your schedule, and it's foolproof. Now go to bed. Sure, you're excited, stressed, nervous, elated. Just don't be tired. It will be a long day tomorrow. You will be on your feet a lot, surrounded by hundreds of other people, all jostling and yelling. It will be tiring. Go to bed now, get what sleep you can. Sleep on the way there too, if you can. Being tired will lead to misery later on, after hours of walking around. So go to sleep.
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    Be calm, and and have a good attitude. Once you're on your way, don't be nervous. Cons are a ton of fun if you're prepared. Chances are you'll meet people there who will become good friends. Go there with a mindset of, "I'm going to have fun!" Thinking, "This will stink" will make it stink. Your fellow con goers are just like you, and everyone always is super-nice. You'll have fun, but not if you don't turn that frown upside-down.
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    Take breaks. Go to the bathroom. Eat something. Sit down for five minutes. Cons last all day and often all night, and you'll be on your feet for most, if not all, of that time. Be sure to pace yourself, and not run yourself into the ground.


  • Be ready for people to ask for pictures/hugs/glomps if you're in costume, especially if it turns out to be a popular one. Be ready for gushing fans who are total strangers to ask for hugs. As long as you're comfortable doing so, oblige them. You just might make a new friend, or make someone's day.
  • Bring entertainment. Be prepared for wait times and long lines, especially if you're traveling to get there.
  • Bring a friend or make a new one when you arrive. If nothing else, you'll have someone you know you can BS with should it all go down the pipes.
  • Be flexible. If something is cancelled, don't mope around. Go find something else to do/see. Sometimes, wandering around and taking pictures for an hour is just as fun as what you had planned.


  • Pay attention to any con rules. They're there for a reason. Getting kicked out will ruin your day and hard work. Don't be an idiot; abide by any rules or regulations, and you'll be just fine.

Things You'll Need

  • Costume (if applicable)
  • Tickets/Pre-register receipts
  • Street clothes
  • Money
  • Camera
  • Extra film/batteries
  • Food/Water
  • Cell Phone (chargers)
  • Friends (optional, but very highly recommended)
  • ID (hey, you never know)
  • Bag (book-bag, satchel, whatever)
  • Comfortable shoes, preferably already broken in
  • Costume repair kit (sewing supplies - fabric tape/glue )

Article Info

Categories: Cosplay