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Fan conventions are great ways to meet people who share your interests and want to celebrate them. Conventions can also be crowded and hectic—but don’t let that ruin your experience. Whether you’re attending Star Wars Celebration or the San Diego Comic-Con, you’ll need this survival guide on what to bring to your first fan convention.
Make sure you bring a comfortable backpack so that you have a place to stash all of your convention swag! You’ll probably want to take home a couple souvenirs, and you’ll need a safe place to store them.
Conventions require a lot of walking around, which means you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes to avoid blisters. Sport gym shoes or flats, because the only time you’ll be able to sit down will be at panels.
A Water Bottle
Staying hydrated throughout the long day is incredibly important. Bring a water bottle to refill so that you don’t become dehydrated.
You’ll also get hungry at some point, and long lines for food can be scary. Pack high-protein snacks to keep yourself full until you’re able to eat a proper meal.
A Portable Charger
You’ll probably spend most of your day on the convention floor, and there will be so many cool things to see along the way. Make sure your devices are fully charged so that you can take pictures and contact other members of your group. Bring a portable charger with you to ensure battery longevity.
Having cash on hand at a convention is always a good idea. You never know which booths won’t accept credit cards, and paying an ATM fee is never fun.
Conventions are known to get ripe due to the sheer amount of people. Make sure that person is not you and pack deodorant. Also bring some gum to make sure your hygiene is on point.
A Poster Tube
Conventions usually feature talented artists and their work. There are also likely to be free giveaways throughout the day—bring a poster tube to keep your exclusive artwork safe.
A Schedule and a Map
Planning out ahead of time which panels and booths you want to hit up is crucial. Bring a schedule of all the panels as well as a map of the convention floor so that you know how to get where you need to be.
Conventions are full of celebrities, authors, directors, and more—the chances that you’ll run into some of them are high. Pack a Sharpie in case you get the opportunity to ask for autographs.
An Extra Lanyard
You’ll most likely have a badge to get you in and out of the convention center, and having an extra lanyard is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t lose it in case the first one breaks.
While conventions are a great experience, the crowds are also known to get people sick. Have some hand sanitizer handy so that sudden illness doesn’t ruin your experience.
Conventions can be pretty stressful, but knowing what to bring to your first convention will ensure you’re prepared for a positive, unforgettable experience.