These days we’re a seasoned bunch of con-goers here at Nerdophiles, but we were once rookies who made a lot of mistakes. From the convention (San Diego Comic Con) to our local area cons, we’ve got some mistakes and some regrets that we still lament. Learn from our experiences and don’t be afraid to sound off with your own embarrassing stories in the comments!
San Diego Comic Con & Awesome Con
Convention: San Diego Comic Con 2013
My biggest regret from San Diego Comic Con 2013 is walking literally right past Bryan Cranston in his creepy Heisenberg mask. Like, I was right next to him, almost shoulder to shoulder, watching a girl pet his mask. There was a pretty good crowd starting to form around him and I just decided to keep walking in the Exhibit Hall. It was only later, at the Breaking Bad fan event, that I recognized the green shirt and slacks and told Therese that I swear I’d walked right past him on the floor earlier. Neither of us had gone to the panel, so we couldn’t be sure until later, but I guess the moral of the story is to stop for the weird stuff on the floor – you never know which celebrities are lurking in a mask of their own likeness. Follow the crowd and check out what everyone else is staring at.
Convention: Awesome Con 2014
This was my first convention as a member of the press and it went… alright. It was also my first solo con and I was more or less wandering the floor back and forth aimlessly a lot of the time because I just didn’t know what to do with myself. It took me a while to figure out what exactly my press badge was good for (jumping the line for panels and sitting in the front rows for pictures was about it). I wish I’d figured that out earlier and I wish I’d gone to a few more panels. It was a great con and I had a lot of fun, but I regret going solo for two of the three days (on the last day I brought my sister and her boyfriend) – conventions should really always be enjoyed with friends!
San Diego Comic Con & Phoenix Comic Con
Convention: San Diego Comic Con 2013
So this might sound silly especially considering what everyone else has said but honestly, the biggest regret I have about SDCC is not taking a goddamn power strip. I mean, it would have made my life so much easier. For one, we wouldn’t have been limited to the few outlets we had in our hotel room. You’ve got maybe, what, six outlets in a regular hotel room? Maybe eight. Lights, the TV, and other things take up those outlets and some are unreachable. So you’re working with four to six outlets on average.
If you’ve got four people in the room you’re looking at needing to charge everyone’s phones, cameras, and laptops at the very least. In a lot of cases you also need to charge 3DSs and iPads as well as any other electronic device people decided to bring along. If one person brings a six outlet power strip? BAM. Everyone is happy. Everyone is charging shit. It’s great. Our experience was not great. Additionally, if you carry that power strip around and need to charge while at the convention holy shit you’re like everyone’s new best friend. Because suddenly two outlets outside the exhibition hall become seven to nine outlets.
This year I will be prepared.
Convention: Phoenix Comic Con 2013
Okay, so, this is probably my biggest convention regret. My friends last year found this booth for a card game called Iconica which we’ve covered a few times here on Nerdophiles. It’s basically the best thing ever. It’s indie produced and some of the cards have limited runs. They were talking about this game during the convention and I was like, “Yeah, you know, that’s cool…” But it wasn’t until I actually played the game a few months later that I realized, “Holy shit this is awesome.”
Unfortunately, by that time, it was too late and I missed the first miniseries card set which, you know, just happens to be my favorite one. Yeah. The one I can never get again is basically my favorite card set ever. It’s the saddest thing in the world and I regret it so much…
San Diego Comic Con
Convention: San Diego Comic Con 2009
Honestly, I’ve had great luck with conventions. Big ones, small ones, I’ve never really had issues or anything I outright regretted. However, San Diego Comic Con 2009 was the first convention I had ever attended, so I made a lot of mistakes. It didn’t help that it was a vacation that included me, a recently graduated 18 year old, my sister, and my brother-in-law. We were down in San Diego for nearly two weeks, doing a lot of vacation stuff leading up to the convention and then they would leave me at the con and go do other stuff while it was happening. This convention taught me a LOT about what to do and what not to do.
First regret: STAYING IN A HOTEL FAR AWAY FROM THE CON. I also wasn’t near any trolley stops. So while we got an amazing deal on the hotel and it was a great hotel (Homewood Suites), it was a pain in the rump because my brother-in-law had to fight through traffic to drop me off somewhere near the convention. When I went in 2013 I stayed in a hotel right near a trolley stop and it was much easier to go back and forth to drop off crap, or go shower if I was feeling disgusting.
Second regret: GOING ALONE. Being alone at a convention sucks. I really enjoyed having a team when I went last year. They could hold spots in line, we could divide and conquer swag, and you just felt like you had someone to walk along with you. I did, thankfully, make a lot of friends while standing in line but I really wish I could have had someone attending the convention with me.
Third regret: NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF AND GETTING SICK. This convention was the worst and because I played hard all of the days leading up to it, I didn’t take time to rest and ended up coming down with a sinus and double ear infection. It hit me Thursday, after I’d been up late for preview night, and I was miserable. I spent most of the convention hopped up on Dayquil and ibuprofen. I had a huge stash of tissues and water and ended up calling it a day around 4pm every day because I was feeling so miserable. My advice to you? If you’re feeling sick during the convention, figure out a chunk of time where you can give up doing a few things and go sleep. Rest. Take care of your body because otherwise you’re going to run yourself ragged and end up with a bunch of half days.
Convention: Dragon Con 2008
I have a lot of con experience and lots of awkward moments at cons, but I don’t think there’s a moment I kick myself more than the time I completely bypassed Gerard Way at Dragon Con one year. I was waiting on my friend who was trying to give blood in the back Mariott hallway when I saw Georges Jeanty and Scott Allie talking to a guy with really bad pink hair. I thought he kind of looked like Gerard, but I blew it off because he wasn’t listed as an official guest of the con and his hair just didn’t match.
The next evening after I got back to my dorm from the con (I lived right around the corner), I checked the Dragon Con Livejournal community and saw that someone was asking for pictures of Gerard at the con. Still, I completely denied it because there was no way Gerard was at the con and I managed to completely let him stand in front of me without realizing it.
Then Mindless Self Indulgence played on Sunday night.
Yeah, if you know anything about Gerard Way, I think you can see where this is going. Long story short, I was on a down escalator while MSI was on the up side and pink haired guy who looked like Gerard had his arm around Lyn-Z. I tried to catch the up to the elevators so I could get a picture with Way, but I lost him. To this day, I kick myself for not trusting my gut and saying hi when I had the chance. 18-year-old me didn’t have a good grasp of immediacy. I’ve learned since then that if there’s a situation like that, you can usually just say hi like a normal person and you’ll be good to go.