Attending a convention as a normal congoer and as a cosplayer are two different things. Going as the latter requires the preparation of the former but with a heavier intensity! Cosplaying often comes with bulky costumes and heavy makeup which makes it difficult for one to move around comfortably. It also needs a completely separate time allotment for getting ready.
With more struggles that come with bringing your favorite character to a convention, you’d want to know these tips from someone who does it herself!
Here are 5 helpful tips for cosplayers going to a convention
1. Prepare early and know where to get ready
Conventions usually start at around 10 a.m. That means that you should start to get ready about a few hours earlier if you want the whole day to enjoy the event! Might as well make the most of the money you spent on the ticket, right? Now, you might ask, how do I get ready? Well, you have many options.
The first one is to prepare at home and drive going to the venue—this is the most efficient way to do it. An alternative is taking a cab if you can’t drive or don’t have a personal vehicle. It can be expensive especially if you stay in a location far from the venue, so it’s up to you!
The second option is to book a hotel and take your sweet time getting ready. If you’re only going to stay for a few hours, it shouldn’t be that expensive. Besides, you have all the freedom to choose one that fits your budget. In addition, you’ll have a whole room all for yourself! Taking lots of pictures and cute cosplay videos to warm up for the event is easy as pie.
The last and definitely the least option is getting ready at the venue. I don’t recommend this at all. There are many other cosplayers getting changed there already; it’s cramped and hot. You can change at mall restrooms too but only if you don’t mind the eyes of “normies” piercing right through you. The pink hair will confuse them!
2. Plan out your day
If you already know how you’ll prepare for the event, then you’re all set for the first step! Since you’re a cosplayer, chances are you’ll constantly be approached by people for a photo. Because of that, you need to think of other things such as where to eat and a good time to do so. You’d want to pick a less crowded place for this so you could take a breather from the crowds in the event venue. It will also waste less of your time queuing.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the event segments and meet-and-greets. List those that you’ll go to, so you know how much free time you have. After that, map out your route going around. This is so you do not miss any booths and see everything available!
Once you’re done with the convention part, ask yourself where you’ll get unready and how you will go home. Will I change at the venue or the mall restroom? Will I commute home? Considering my costume, is it easier to go home first and just change there?
3. Bring a con bag
Many cosplayers don’t like to bring a con bag for obvious reasons. A bag messes with your whole cosplay and it’s actually really a hassle, in all honesty. But let me give you a list of things you’ll need in the middle of a convention.
First, you’ll need to retouch your makeup with products such as oil control sheets, powder, eyelash glue, and lipstick. You’ll also need a costume emergency kit such as fabric glue, a needle and thread, contact lens solution, and eye drops. Lastly, a first aid kit in case of an accident. Add to these the personal belongings you always bring with you. A lot, right? You can’t just keep going to the baggage counter, most conventions only allow that up to two times.
In equal honesty, no one minds enough if your bomb cosplay comes with a bag. We all go there for fun, and everyone knows you are not really the character you portray. Bringing a bag won’t hurt! Besides, you can always match your bag with your character. If you’re cosplaying as a Japanese schoolgirl, then pair it with a Japanese-style bag. If it helps, just style and color-matching are enough to not make the bag look too out-of-place with the costume. Just be creative!
4. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is one, if not the most important thing to remember at a convention. Not only is the event swarmed with attendees, but you also have a whole venue to walk around, and you would constantly be interacting with people. On top of that, you have a wig on your head and a costume wrapped around your body. Heat would be difficult to leave your pores and you would be sweating the whole day.
Oftentimes, convention venues are too cramped that even the coldest degree of air conditioners isn’t enough. The best way a cosplayer can combat this is to have some fresh air and stay hydrated. Too much heat could cause heat stroke and might leave you collapsed on the floor. You wouldn’t want that. Make sure to bring water!
5. Be alert
Ever heard of the golden rule of cosplay? Cosplay is not consent. Regardless of the kind of costume a cosplayer wears, it is not a pass to be touched or verbally provoked. Unfortunately, some people fail to understand this. In addition to that, the rowdiness of the place makes it prone for your items to be stolen.
Make sure to be alert to your surroundings and attend well to your belongings. If anyone tries to do something funny, don’t be afraid to speak up. Conventions have always been open regarding this matter and their staff is always on standby for reports. Keep a keen eye to help others out.
Well, that’s about it. Attending a convention in cosplay isn’t easy, but it makes it more fun! What will make it a bummer is forgetting important things to take note of. What a good day to waste, right? That’s why this list exists!
Angela writes as a form of expression and comfort. Creative nonfiction is a favorite as she loves putting inexpressible human feelings and experiences into words. Although dreaming to be a novelist, she is on a journey of exploring other writing careers. Leisure for Angela means a good few minutes of pondering and staring at the ceiling with earphones in.