How to surivive Dragon Con

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#16 vampirate on 13 years ago

MakioTwist: About the Masquerade, just watch it from your hotel room. Host hotels get D*Con TV streamed in. Then you can watch it while wearing your pajamas drinking in your room with your buddies.

#17 fightstar on 13 years ago

[QUOTE=vampirate;1966802]MakioTwist: About the Masquerade, just watch it from your hotel room. Host hotels get D*Con TV streamed in. Then you can watch it while wearing your pajamas drinking in your room with your buddies.[/QUOTE]

...and don't forget you can go all 'Science Mystery Theater 3000' on the whole thing from you hotel room! LOL Every year since 2005 for me!

#18 TechieCL on 13 years ago

I put together this all encompassing guide for a Firefly forum back when I was a fanatical Browncoat (2005) to educate the Dragon*Con newbies. A lot of the cast were slated to show. Some of the specific references are out of date, but the general information isn't. Please excuse all spelling and grammar errors. I'll probably fully update this again after this year's.

Travel, Room & Board
* Book hotels early. They go pretty quick once the convention publishes the discount codes for the convention hotels. Keep a copy of the confirmation code on you if you booked online.

* Parking. Parking garages and valet parking, while more expensive are much safer than outdoor lots.

* Most conventions are in urban or downtown areas. Just because a con is occurring and there is more police and security about doesn't mean you should let your guard down. Always be aware of your surroundings.

* Know how much gas money you need to get home, then keep that money separate from your spending money. Hotel safes are a good place for that. Nothing is worse than realizing you have to sell back goods you've bought to get home.

* If your flying to the con, always have photocopies of your travel documents and ID on you (especially important if going to a con in another country) just in case you loose them.

* Never buy more than you take home or afford to ship home

The Con Itself-
Always download a copy of the convention schedule if it is availabe. Also, get a copy of the schedule at the convention itself. Schedules are always subject to change. Spend some time deciding where you want to go, and develop a loose schedule for yourself.

Never carry all your money on you at once. Always have emergency money.

The Dealer's Rooms
* Dragon-Con have several areas where you can purchase merchandise: the Dealer's Room (smaller retailers), the Exhibition Room (major companies and publishers), Artist's Alley (comic creators and artists), the Art Exhibition (home of entries to the art competition, many works are available for sale as well).

* Shop smart. Make a lap of dealer's room. Often you can find the same item for sale for cheaper. Mentioning the cheaper product at another booth to the seller may get you a matching price or better.

* Haggle when appropriate. If your buying a lot of merchandise, you might be able to get a discount. But don't go to the Wizard's of the Coast booth expecting to get 25% off a single card just cause. One thing I do is observe to see if the dealer haggles with other customers.

* Don't steal. You might be tempted considering the often chaotic atmosphere, but the dealers are more savvy and experience than you think.
Apologies for this stating of the obvious to all law abiding readers.

Discussion Panels
* Show up early (depends on the popularity) to guarantee yourself a seat.

* Only ask questions when recognized by the moderators or the panelists.

* When asking a question, NO SPOILERS. You might meet some very very pissed off fans when you step out of that room.

Costumers/Cosplayers & Photography
* Costumers LIKE to be photographer and complimented on their costume;
don't be shy.

* It is polite to ask if you can take the person's picture first before doing so. Thanking them is also a common courtesy when done as well.

* Don't be offended if they say no. They may just be wanting to get to the bathroom ASAP.

* Never touch a costume or the person wearing it without permission. Costumes may be fragile, and its just rude. This includes if you are taking a picture with them. Just cause they may touch you does not mean you can touch them back (i.e. hugging poses). Yes this includes men/women in skimpy outfits. And just because they may give your permission, doesn't mean their in love with you.

* Costumers range from the skill level of poor amateurs to people with professional costuming experience in the movies, don't be an ass and ridicule a "bad" costume especially if its just a kid.

* Be mindful of other photographers.

* Take your picture or pictures (if you have a motor driven camera or 1
messeed up) and step aside.

If you are costuming
* Stay hydrated if you have a bulky and hot costume.

* You do have a right to say NO to photographers and people with roaming

* Have handlers if you have a massive or awkward costume that limits your visibility or makes walking difficult.

* For the love of god, wear costumes only for a maximum of one day. Just cause you look great in your costume doesn't mean it can't accumulate an
odor. Or at the very least change the costumes shirt, let it air out, and use Febreeze or any other air freshener on it.

* NO GLOMPING (an anime fandom term of a tackling-hug combo) anyone who does not give you permission or to anyone you don't know. It does not matter if the character you are representing glomps the character they are representing, it is dangerous to come out of nowhere and tackle/hug
someone (and bystanders) who aren't expecting it.

Health and Hygiene
* Shower and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Hats off to you if you use mouthwash and floss.

* Breath mints are great to to carry around.

* DEODORANT IS YOUR FRIEND. If its a hot day or you've been particularly active, there's no shame in refreshing your application.

* If unable to access a shower, baby powder, talcum powder, baby wipes, or wet naps are a substitute. Its better than nothing.

* Changing socks prevents blisters. Having extra pairs of shoes to wear prevents blisters.

* Eat and drink. You may not feel hungry, but the human body does not suspend its dietary needs just cause you've got the con adrenaline rush for the whole weekend. Take advantage of the many water fountains and complimentary pitchers of water. There is always some sort of food in the convention suite.

Some handy foodstuff to have on your person are-
Cereal, Granola, Protein/Energy Bars
Trail mix
Dried Fruit (Raisins, cranberries, bannas, apple chips)
Bottled water, sports drinks or juices

* The human body is not meant to run on just junk food and soda. Try to get some real proteins, vitamins, fruits/veggies, etc etc into your body.

* If on medication, always have it on you or accessible. Continue to take the medication as instructed.

* In event of emergency, call 911 as well as contact on premise staff

* Do not assume some called or went for the appropriate staff. ask the crowd/those around if not sure. If nobody is sure, call 911 and contact the staff.

* Only preform first aid and/or CPR if you are comfortable doing it. In certain cases one can do more harm than good. Do not worry about the law when helping most states have "Good Samaritan Laws"

* If you have no first aid or CPR knowledge or are not a friend/relative of the victim, you have no reason to hang around (unless witness to some sort of illegal activity). Give the victim and whose assisting room to work.

* If you have a cell phone, it is a smart idea to have a listing in their labeled I.C.E (in case of emergency) or EMERGENCY. The number should be to
someone who can assist emergency personnel or needs to be contacted if you are in an emergency.A paramedic or police officer or bystander can easily find that number and call it if you are incapacitated.

Partying, Booze, and the Con "Hook-up"
* The legal drinking age is 21. Do not be surprised if your under 21 and get caught for public drunkenness by a cop or security.

* Certain drugs in the world are illegal. We all know the ramifications of doing them (legal and health); those don't go away just cause your at a con.

* Getting drunk around strangers can be dangerous for women and men too.

* Party with friends and always make sure people know where you are.

* Respect hotel employees, security, and cops if they inform you your party is too loud. It is not fun bailing out friends at 4am in the morning for irritating a cop at one such party. Hotel staff does have the legal right to kick you off the premises as well.

* Hooking up at a con is not as rare as "normal" folks think. That doesn't mean you should forget about things like CONTRACEPTIVES & STD's.

* NO MEANS NO. No exceptions.

* Their is such thing as an age of consent and statutory rape laws. Those do not get suspended just cause your at a con.

And most important of all, have fun.

#19 teranmx on 13 years ago

to makio:
aAs a would-be first time D*con visitor... I've got a couple of questions.

1) I stupidly have procrastinated on getting admission...

--Your suppose to be able to start getting badges on thur at 4pm.

2) Obviously this is a huge convention, lot of attendees, guests, hotel patrons, etc... but are there any large open, air-conditioned hallways...

-- The other person who replied is right.. the hyatt, best places are down stairs toward the parking garage areas. but there are also some good spots in the same area where the food court is... but not in the food court area.
also the Marriot has alot more open spaces. Main lobby bad.. but and down stairs con area is bad during the day.. but at night both places are empty... now the first floor up from the main lobby.. has a cafe and 4 restraunts and slot of open spaces just to sit and use the restroom and observe others from the ledge so can cosplay watch. that is also where the breezeway that connects the marriot to the food court area. They had spot there at one time for women and kids anyone wanting peace and quiet but last year that area was under construction. Dont know what it is like now. Also in the Marriot its either the 14th or 30th another floor i cant remember right now,, but there is a floor midway up the hotel that has a spot with 2 basic back drops for people to do photography.. that floor is nothgin but a resting zone. there are windows all the way around so you can view Atlanta and there are doors to walk out on the balcony area to get a better look. there are some cool spiral stair cases there too. But it is pretty much a resting area. Its another area that is dead at night. Havent been in the Hilton so can't suggest anything.

3) How's the masquerade/costume contest? Worth entering, watching or just skipping altogether(and thus adding to more party time)?
i dont go. just to long.. to many entrants... some things are good, some are funny some are stupid but that is the fun. The fun is being yourself and showing off if youve got talent and if you dont.. just being a kid. I watch it from the room to keep from long lines and hanging with friends. Dragoncon tv is suppose to be in all three main hotels this year.

5) Any D*con hosted panels to personally recommend?
__________________cant think of any. But the costuming one if your new has good tips. I go to the film festival to see what people have worked on, because im a film student. Ghost hunters group last year was funny, the wrestling was worth it just to see people get Bashed over the head with boxes of cereal, The anime cosplay one was cut to see some costumes and they have their on contest there for anime cosplay, if you want to know about web publishing.. that was a good group response and informative, ...just have to pick and choose.

#20 SWFreak on 13 years ago

If you plan on drinking on a budget, here's a few tips:

If you intend to buy your alcohol, there is a liquor store on the NE corner of Peachtree and Baker streets. Basically walk out of the Hyatt lobby and make a right. Go to the corner (Baker St.), turn left and cross the street then turn right and you're there.

Be sure to bring a suitcase or a bag of some sort. If the hotels see you bringing in outside liquor they might try and charge you a corkage fee.

Check your stock Saturday and make sure you have enough for Sunday night as well. Liquor stores are CLOSED on Sundays in Atlanta. You'll be stuck buying your beer from the hotel at $5.00 a bottle.

You'll need a cooler in your room right? There's a small convince store at the north end of Peachtree Center Mall (the mall that connects the hotels and is also the food court) in the lower level. They have foam coolers at a decent price. They also sell water at a good price as well. This is a good time to stock up for the weekend.

Lets talk food:

Try and eat meals that would make your Mother proud. Eat your veggies, have some fruit for a snack, cut the junk food and the fat. You're in for some long days at this con. You're going to need proper nutrition in order to survive.

Keep some food in your room. Beef Jerky and granola bars are really good. some instant soup and oatmeal are also real winners. You can use the coffee pot to heat the water. You can even have cold cereal. If you have a cooler there's no reason why you can't keep milk in there?

That's all the wisdom I have for now. If I think of anything else I'll be sure to add it.

#21 Hellion on 13 years ago

My only tip is to visit the film festival room. Not for the panels themselves, but for the comfy office chairs in the classroom/auditorium.

There's usually a chair available in the afternoon when we need our second wind. If films are playing and the lights are out, it's nap time. :snoring:

#22 The Kraken on 13 years ago

A lot of the films are good, though. I've always enjoyed the film festival, even though last year they took my money, said they would play our movie, then didn't play our movie or refund our money. Dicks. DCTV played the trailer for it all weekend though...

#23 The Kraken on 13 years ago

Have fun finding each other in the Hyatt bar. After about 3 PM on Thursday, it's a madhouse for the rest of the weekend.

#24 TheWickedOne on 13 years ago

to makio:

i don't know if anyone else posting here has ever entered the masq ball, but i have. heed this warning.


you'll have to take some time to register for the ball, that's a half hour to an hour to fill out the paper work and write up a good costume description for yourself.
when the time comes, you'll have to show up early and wait to be assigned a 'den mother' with 9 other costume groups. then you'll be led to the backstage area of the ball.
backstage, you'll have to wait even longer, because the kids always go on first. then, the emcee will gear the crowd up for the older cosplayers. at this point the 'den mothers' will start corralling their cos groups towards the stage entrance.
so depending on how soon you showed up, you'll have to wait longer, especially if other have written long intros for themselves. at this point, the kids have been off stage and are getting antsy. they'll start running and horseplaying.
at some point you'll reach the best part of the ball, you'll have your picture taken by a professional photographer.
finally, you'll get the chance to get on stage. if you are remotely nervous, and it shows, and the crowd sees it or the crowd doesn't like your skit, or understand it... then they'll boo.
when the crowd boos, the worst thing on earth will happen. the start troopers will come out and usher you off stage, whether you're done or not, this happened to a good cosplay friend of ours, and she and her friends had worked up a great kill bill skit. that was in 2005, then the next year when they showed the attendance rules short film for the masq ball, they showed that same group being bullied offstage by the stormtroopers, my heart goes out to them.
after that, you'll have to wait for the ball to end. then wait even longer through the awards. but it's not over yet, flash photography is discouraged during this event. so everyone will wait for the 'photo gauntlet' where you'll wait in a long line to be brought out and your photo taken by all the ball attendees.

after all is said and done, you'll have spent all night there and probably missed some seriously cool stuff. please learn from my one time mistake.

#25 Photorusse on 13 years ago

All have posted wise and sage advice. I would agree that the costume contests and such are getting too crowded and it is much easier to watch them from your room. It gives you a chance to put your feet up and eat something.

Alcohol: Last year, we brought lots of alcohol and the Hilton staff gave us gold medal service. The year before, we were in the Hyatt. Those bastards tried to tell us that we had to pay a dollar a bottle corkage fee. We just left the stuff in the truck and went back later with duffle bags to retrieve it. They follow you to your car, but they don't dare hover over you. just hunch together side by side at the trunk and stuff away. We're back at the Marriott this year, so we'll see what they change into this year. Might have to call them this week.....

Food: EAT! Actually, know your body. If you are the type of person who gets raging headaches when their blood sugar drops, then EAT SOMETHING. Don't try to be cool and tough it out to impress somebody. Noone will ever fault you for taking the time to eat. Hydrate!!! Drink water....yes, water. Coke all weekend will make you sick.

HAVE FUN!! Pick your battles. Don't try to see everything or you'll find yourself running around in a hurry to get here and there and you'll quickly find that you've spent all your time running around and actually never saw anything. I always pick my guests to get an autograph from and if the line is insane, then I have to decide if it's worth it to wait 2 hours to pay 25 dollars (or more).....

MEET PEOPLE!! Talk to people. There are so many fascinating people running all over the place that you're bound to find many like minded individuals.

ok. I'm outta time but I hope it helps....

#26 ItsNotEasy on 13 years ago

whats the website for dragon*con, i was thinking me and a friend might go there this year in our first costumes(transformers)

#27 The Kraken on 13 years ago


#28 vampirate on 13 years ago

Has anyone said crazy things like band-aids yet? Not all of us always do smart things and break in costume shoes before the con, and blisters can suck. Biut in general try and not be too harsh on your feet. You'll be doing a lot of walking.

For any girls in costumes showing leg, invest in some pantyhose. I think it's No Nonsense that makes the cheap sheer ones. It'll help make you feel a bit more covered and you'll be happy you did it when you see your pictures.

And watch out for your fellow con attendee. Such as, if you find someone passed out in a bathroom(which I have found at D*Con before) check to see that they're okay and not like drowning in their own vomit or something nasty.

#29 Dany on 13 years ago

A suggestion to anyone staying in the big hotels, especially the Hyatt:


The hotel lobbies churn a continuous amount of noise that echoes up into the internal atriums at ALL hours of the day. You can hear this noise even through a closed door. If you are a light sleeper, earplugs will drown down that noise significantly so you can get your rest.

It can also help if you have people in the room that are going to be moving around when you're trying to sleep.

#30 sakura-chan87 on 13 years ago

Uchiha Sakura's Ultimate Guide for Surviving Dragon*Con:

1. Pre-register. It's a bit late past the early registration date, which sucks but get there early on THURSDAY and you might be able to get a good spot in line to buy your weekend badge at the door for $85 bucks.

2. Bring your buddies, split the hotel costs. Dragon*Con is a MASSIVE convention. We're talking about TWICE the size of Otakon and about HALF the size of Comic-con. Not small. Nope. ^_~ More people crammed into a room means less space, yeah, but cheaper hotel rates for you all for the entire weekend. Which is GOOD. XD

3. BRING FOOD FROM HOME!!! LOTS of it. Food doesn't come cheap downtown and of course since about 40-50,000 people attend this convention every year, you're going to have lines to think about. Lots of them. Be prepared and pack along stuff that can be tossed into a mini-fridge for later munching. ^_~

4. PERSONAL HYGIENE. It's a [U]HUMAN necessity.[/U] (Don't get smart with me by saying you're costuming as an alien or some other non-human form. I'll slice your costume off with my lightsaber to prove my point.) XD Take care of yourself so you don't bother other people. You need to be considerate of others, because we're all packed into two hotels. Please, be nice. ^_^;

5. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Again, lots of people means lots of body heat. Dehydration plus a heavy costume and prop equals BAAAAAAAAADDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may be a medical ninja but I CAN'T administer to EVERY LIVING PERSON at the convention! Grab water bottles from home, or get yourself a handy one from a sporting good store. They're cheap and easy to refill. Stay hydrated so you can have more fun. ^_~

6. STEER CLEAR OF THE KLING-ONS. XDDD They're ugly, scary and DOWNRIGHT MEAN. Just, keep you and your friends safe and don't add gasoline to an already raging fire. :D

7. DO NOT MESS WITH JEDI and their spiffy lightsabers. If you're not a Force-trained warrior, don't try to show off with puny lightsaber tricks. You look like an idiot, just so you know. ^_~
(*falls off her chair laughing*)
We take our jobs seriously people. Protecting the universe ain't easy when we've got half of society waving blades around, smacking others around us in the face trying to look cool. yourself. (I've got the death sentence on TWELVE SYSTEMS!) XDD (Okay, not really. Just the entire Sith population wanting my biggie, right? LOL!)

8. If this is your FIRST Dragon*Con, come and find me. I will be happy to errm...give you a warm welcome to the nerdiest but AWESOMEST Sci-fi convention on the East Coast! XD

9. COME CHECK OUT THE MASQUERADE this year to see the Ultimate showdown between Good VS Evil. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. ^_~


(*haha okay, major nerdtastic moment there. But still. lol!*)