There are many of you out there who have been to a convention and there are many of you that have not. After reading this you’ll be ready to return to the convention seen or go to your very first one like a veteran. There are many things to do at the convention and honestly you won’t be able to get to it all, that’s why you need to plan to revisit the convention numerous times. Whether it be going to PAX to learn from your favorite developers, TwitchCon to meet your favorite streamer, or VidCon to meet your favorite YouTuber. We all have our own reasons on attending these conventions but what we do with our time is nearly all the same.
Honestly your first step in attending conventions is mostly for those going to their first convention. Get a good look at the schedule a few days before you go and pin point what you really want to see and what you can skip. This is going to be the most fun you’ve had in one day or one weekend whichever your budget allows. Relax, make friends, and have fun that’s what these conventions are all about.
Now the second step reiterates the first. Plan your trip, now with that being said do not go overboard and focus solely on attending every single panel. Choose a handful you want to see every day and do this a few days before the convention. Most conventions such PAX South, which happens in January in San Antonio, TX, does not put their panel schedules up until a few weeks before the convention happens. So read over the panels and pick the ones that look good. Most of your time outside the panels will be in the Exhibition Hall also known as the Expo Hall. The Expo Hall is the biggest reason you want your schedule to be flexible, because some events may happen at the same time as one of the panels you want to attend so you’ll have to choose between the two.
The third step is for those of you who are twenty-one and up. The after parties are there for making friends, gaining more contacts, and having fun after the convention has ended for the night. The convention doesn’t stop when the convention doors close for the day. Every night there is some form of after party thrown by a different company and their isn’t just one going on. There are a few parties mentioned on the Internet, but the bigger parties thrown by Twitch, LootCrate, and other companies such as these are usually word of mouth invite. This is why you should meet as many new people as possible at these conventions. There will be one person that knows where and how to get into these parties and if you made friends with them they may share the information they have with you. Now I want to spend a few seconds on the parties. If you think you are going to hob nob with the big streamers and YouTubers your chances are slim. Most of them will remain in the VIP section and you really need to know the right people or be the right people to get into VIP. But you’ll meet a lot of people at these parties from all throughout the ranks of the convention. From Veterans to panelists you never know whom you may meet. You may even end up dancing with those streamers and YouTubers I mentioned before.
With that being said the convention season is well underway. From mid September to mid March the first round of conventions begins, the biggest ones consist of TwitchCon, MineCon, PAX South, and Comic-Con NYC. Followed by Comic-Con San Diego and E3 (not open to the public) in the summer. But these are the big name conventions. There are many smaller conventions spread out throughout the year. These are held anywhere from big cities to small towns and some could be just up the road from you. So remember, relax and have fun. Plan ahead but leave room for the Expo Hall and if able go to the after parties. If you follow these steps then I guarantee you that you will have the time of your life and will be returning to that convention same time next year and soon branching out the rest.