New to Funko or Funko events? Here's some things to keep in mind when preparing to attend a convention!
Preparing for a convention can be daunting, whether it's your first convention or not. Some people are night-before packers, but this blog is geared more towards those wanting to be extra sure they haven't forgotten something.
We'll start with the convention day bag packing checklist and then move to the tips and reminders section to help you feel prepared to take on your first or millionth convention.
What to Pack in Your Convention Day Bag
Packing your convention “day bag” is completely different from packing your suitcase. Your day bag should have all the items you'll want quick access to while walking around the convention center, and will hopefully help you avoid any extra trips back to the hotel room. A well-stocked convention day bag should have:
- Snacks (protein bars and other energizing snacks)
- Cash (in case you can't use cards to make a purchase)
- First aid kit with ibuprofen
- Hand sanitizer
- Sewing and/or cosplay repair kit
- Water bottle
- Eyedrops (if you're wearing contacts)
- External battery and charging cables
- Reusable bag (for carrying purchased treasures)
- Extra pair of shoes and non-cosplay clothes
- Wallet and necessary documents to get into the convention center
- Stain remover pen
- Always bring cash. You don't want to miss out on your favorite vendors and merchandise if technology goes awry. Credit and debit card purchases are processed via the internet, so if the internet or machines go faulty, you'll be sorry if you don't have cash on hand. There's also the possibility of losing your cards and needing cash to taxi back to your hotel.
- Pack snacks and make sure you eat! There's always a lot going on during conventions, but you need to make sure you take time to eat before your energy levels crash and you become cranky. Set reminders on your phone throughout the day if you have to. Make sure you eat at least two solid meals to keep you going.
- Hydrate! Bring a water bottle. It's eco-friendly and cheaper than purchasing one while you're on the go, and you'll be able to fill it up at refill stations around the convention center. This goes hand-in-hand with making sure you have snacks/food. You need it to keep your energy and enjoy the convention experience. It may seem like a chore, but it's necessary.
- Leave space in your luggage for the trip home. You're going to buy souvenirs. No matter how much you tell yourself you're not going to, or that you "can't," it will happen. It's best to make sure you have space in your luggage for the return journey. Packing an empty piece of luggage like a duffle bag can help with this too!
- Print copies of your reservations, ticket purchases, and directions. It may seem unnecessary, since you have GPS map and email applications on your phone, but if your phone dies, you'll be grateful you had printed directions to help you get back to the hotel. Even having the hotel address can help you avoid getting dropped off at the wrong location of your hotel, since you can just show a taxi driver exactly where you need to go. You'll also be less stressed to confirm your pre-registration or ticketing for an event if something goes awry on their end, and they can't find your reservation or tickets.
- Follow the convention and convention hashtags on social media. It's a great way to get quick convention updates and learn about pop-up events on the fly. This will also help keep you in the loop if any guidelines or rules change closer to the event and will enable you to prepare accordingly.
- Plan your photo organization. If you're planning to take a lot of pictures, make sorting through them later as easy as possible. A simple way to do this is by scribbling the date and title of your meet-up on a piece of scratch paper and taking a picture of it at the beginning of the event. That way, you can easily distinguish which pictures you took at each meet up, signing, or panel. As long as it helps you keep things sorted later, it's worth it! Check the panel times throughout the day. It's unlikely, but there could be cancellations or last-minute time-shifts to events taking place during the convention. Checking throughout the day will give you peace of mind and enable you to plan accordingly.
- Wear or bring comfortable shoes and a change of comfortable clothes. Don't break in new shoes during the convention. You'll most likely be miserable and wish you'd worn comfortable shoes even if they don't match your cosplay or outfit perfectly. You're going to be on your feet and moving around for hours, so be kind to yourself. Maybe your cosplay is too hot to stay in all day as well. You don't have to push yourself beyond your own limits just to wear your gear all day. A comfy outfit to change into could save the day.
- Don't overbook your time. Make a loose plan for each day with only the absolute must-see items or must-attend events booked. Make sure to get to the top events on your list early. It's better than rushing to get places the whole time. On the side, list the days, times, and locations of "maybe" events so that you have the info ready if you have time to do lower priority things. You don't want to spend all of your time rushing back and forth only to feel like you didn't properly enjoy your time at the convention.
- Have fun! There's a lot to look at, browse, and a plethora of panels and activities to attend. Don't let it all fly without taking moments to sit, rest, and enjoy the ambiance and happenings. Remember, you're here to have fun and make friends along the way!
We hope this helps you prepare for your next convention visit! Be sure to say hello to the Funko team at your next convention! To learn more about what to expect from Funko at conventions, read “Funko 101 – Events and Conventions”.
If you have additional advice you'd like to share with us, please feel free to reach out to us via our social channels on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with @OriginalFunko.