A few times this year, I’ve gone to local comic and pop culture conventions. It’s been a lot of fun, but is a very draining environment as its filled with tons of people and stimulation wherever you look. Here are a few things that help me to enjoy my convention experiences. I hope it helps.
1. Try to recharge the day before you go. If possible, spend a quiet day by yourself, or try to work in a few solid hours the night before that you can spend reading, or whatever you do to recharge.
2. Eat a good breakfast/lunch before you go. I know that I feel so much better when I’m not running on empty. I also suggest bringing a water bottle and some snacks. Convention food is usually more expensive and can be unhealthy. I like to bring granola or protein bars, and something fresh like an apple or some veggies.
3. Be sure to take snack/drink breaks. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, find a quieter place to sit and have a quick bite to eat. I like to go for a short walk outside (if the weather is nice) and find a spot of grass to relax on while I refuel.
4. Take bathroom breaks if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I do this all the time. If the crowds are starting to get to me, I’ll slip into the bathroom for a few moments of peace.
5. Plan out what you really want to do, then forget the rest. Most conventions have a timetable or schedule of events and panels. Decide which ones you really want to see and which ones you might want to see and plan your day around them. There’s nothing wrong with checking out a few things in the morning and then coming back in the evening for another interesting panel. You are not obligated to stay at the convention for 14 straight hours. You can leave and come back.
6. Take a friend with you that’s excited to be there. It’s so much fun to go to a convention with your friends. Surrounding yourself with people who are enjoying themselves makes it even more enjoyable for you. Having another introvert with you will make it easier to take breaks, but an extroverted friend is fun too! Just make sure you take breaks if you need.
7. Only go to the dealers hall (or really crowded areas) when you are full of energy. Personally, I try to go earlier in the day before the throngs of people show up. And dragging yourself around while feeling overwhelmed is not fun at all.
8. Walk around the edges of the room or hall, rather than through the middle. This is especially true when there is a packed hallway or hall. I always walk along the wall, rather than being squished by a bunch of people I don’t know.
Attending conventions is a ton of fun. Try to monitor how much energy you have and take breaks when needed.
What are some of your tips to survive conventions or group activities?