Bit apprehensive of going to a con...

Discussion in 'Transformers Conventions and Get Togethers' started by Lock Cade, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    I kinda want to try and attend a Transformers convention next year... most likely the one in Toronto, seeing I live just an hour or so away from Detroit, Michigan and it probably will be a day's worth of traveling on the road for me. However, I've got a problem... I've never been to one before, and I'm a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. To be honest, I don't get out much and in all 20 years of my life I have never ever gone on a vacation all by myself. I'm going to be 21 next year in April, which is when the convention in Toronto will take place. I would really like to try and go, but I'd appreciate it if all of you veteran convention-goers could give me advice on making reservations and all that... and, I hate to ask all of you this since we're all -- for the most part -- complete strangers, but is there anyone who lives within the Ann Arbor-Detroit area who is thinking about going to the con in Toronto and is willing to accompany me? I don't want to inconvenience anybody, but it would make me feel a little better if I had someone that will come with me, and it would probably make my mother feel better as well. I'd ask my big brother to attend with me, seeing he was a fan of the G1 series, but be my luck he won't go with me... I couldn't even talk him into going with me to Cedar Point as part of the student activities thing from my college. So, I'll appreciate it if anyone gave me some advice... and really, if anyone doesn't mind accompanying a complete stranger like me to the con, then by all means reply to this thread...
     
  2. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    I've been to several different cons in my life. I haven't been to a Transformers convention yet. However, I think the advice I offer is pretty cross-applicable.

    1. FIRST AND FOREMOST: BATHE. For some strange reason, a lot of convention-goers, particularly at anime, video game and Japan Culture-style conventions, just give up on the whole ordeal of personal hygene for the weekend they're at the convention. It's like they've decided that, since Mom & Dad aren't around to tell them not to bathe, it's okay! Well...it's NOT. It makes you smell, it makes you unapproachable AND it could easily hinder dealings in the convention room.

    2. SAVE. Conventions are an expensive deal, no matter how you slice it. Have at least $200-$500 ready as spare cash in the event that anything comes up during the course of the convention. I'm talking anything, too - flat tire, the best deal on a rare G1, one extra day of room & board at the hotel. Be ready to spend and be sure you've got the money to do it. If you're NOT a mad spender, you need to remind yourself to be parsimonious while you're there. You can drop a lot of money at a convention.

    3. Keep socializing on the boards. Get to know folks that are going to this convention, find out who's staying where, etc. Even if you don't get a travelling partner for the drive or a roommate, you'll be able to meet folks who you consider friendly enough from these boards if you maintain an internet presence. That's really useful at a convention, because honestly - what's the fun of going to a giant convention about cool stuff if you do it alone?

    4. Don't spend blindly. I'm going to come back to cash for a minute here and note that bringing a laptop or some sort of price guide/reference is a fantastic idea. Dealers will ask a RANGE of prices for the same item, depending on which table you hit and when you hit them. Some of the best anime convention shopping I've done has been on the very last day of the 'con, during the few hours before close-up, because some dealers become pretty desperate to make SOME sort deal before they close up shop. Keep a keen eye on whose asking what and where they're asking it. Some deals go quickly, others sit, out of the eye of the public, for the entire weekend. Also, be ready to DEAL with dealers. Don't just blindly offer them up like $120 for, say, a Masterpiece Magnus. Tell them you'll do $100 for the Magnus and buy $30 worth of RobotMasters or something. Fineagle. Get your money's worth.

    5. I'm pretty sure this goes without saying, but be quiet and polite if/when lecturers are talking about stuff or when screenings are being done. Nothing pisses me off more at anime conventions then the 3-4 terds sitting in the far corner screaming Pokemon battle cries at one another during the Anime Music Videos.
     
  3. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    man i would so got one but you guys are SO FAR away :( 

    and expensive.

    sigh.
     
  4. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    I'm poor, so I don't go to conventions as much as I used to. I still want to go to one of the Botcons, eventually.

    Just my luck that I'm getting married the same year Botcon comes to the East Coast. :rolleyes2 
     
  5. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch TFW2005 Supporter

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    ...so your honeymoon is in Providence ;) 
     
  6. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    OWAT's (I'm not typing those underscores, even if this is more characters) advice is spot on as far as practical advice goes, down to the penny. I'd also emphasize making a wants list and sticking to it, with maybe a little extra for impulse buys. If you don't bring it, you can't spend it, so leave next month's rent in the dresser.

    The bathing thing...I don't fucking get it at all. I just don't understand how someone could get to where they must be able to smell themself. And yet, every other board or dealer table, I would have to move to get away from someone's odor. As far as dress goes, it's a geekfest, but that doesn't mean you need to revel in it. If you're not going all out with a costume, I think it's a good idea to wear normal, clean clothing.

    You should know you're not a freak for being a little uncomfortable about it. My first BotCon (and first convention period) was this last one, and I don't know why, but it actually had me a little apprehensive. I've done two tours, and I've never had a problem being sociable, but it just felt weird.

    And in the end, I had nothing to worry about. My wife didn't join me until the last day thanks to travel issues, but I had no problem chatting with folks in line and between lecturers. You're going to a place where every single person shares a deep-seated interest with you. I'm sure not everyone is nice and outgoing (I've heard rumors of vicious geeks that hiss at people), but the majority will be.

    Also, since you made a point to say you've never been on a vacation by yourself, I think this would be especially worthwhile for you. It's maybe 8 hours away--practically down the street from you, and besides being a chance to enjoy TFs, you could flex a little independence, see what it feels like. I would definitely encourage you to go by yourself just to give it a try.

    I wish I was going, as I'd be happy to meet up, but one Con a year for me is plenty. Still, if you decide to join the fandom in Providence next summer, drop me a PM and I'll buy you a beer.
     
  7. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    OWAT speaks the truth in his post. (sorry, 'OWAT' just looks cool and rolls off the tongue, I had to try it :(  )

    A few points, possibly re-stating some mentioned prior:

    -WASH YOURSELF IN THE MORNING. Everyone says this, many as an opening point, for very good reasons. I've been in a dealer room where someone quite literally left a trail of poopstench- a TRAIL of POOPSTENCH- in his wake, and he did at least a full loop of the area.

    -If you NEED it and you KNOW it'll vanish fast, buy it right away. Otherwise, wait until Sunday. Deals abound, slashed prices, and saved bucks.

    -When you ask the voice actors how to break into the business, they will answer with something along of the lines of either "seek professional training", "I got started in radio/voiceover", or "get extremely lucky". 7 years of Botcon experience has taught me that this question will invariably be asked 1-3 times during a single panel, and the answer will always be along one of those lines.

    -If you opinionate a question to the Hasbro guys (ie: "Why did this toy suck...", "When you made the more lackluster toy known as Primus...", etc), someone in the crowd will shout their opposing opinion. Don't be EITHER of these people. You can still ask about a design decision in a toy without adding your own dislike of it, and for god's sake don't shout like arguing Usenet people in front of Hasbro Designers during Q&A periods.

    -Find people you've talked to online. They'll likely introduce you to people they're hanging out with. Connections will be made, and most of us are cool about talking Transformers in person. :D  Conventions can -suck- when you don't actually interact with the people around you. I spent Botcon 2000 + 2001 speaking to maybe 4 people total, and they were NOT as fun overall as the rest.

    -Don't offer lapdances for toys, because that makes you friggin' weird. (yes it happened once)

    There's more, but that's all I can think of for now. :D 
    ---

    *EDIT*

    Just remembered, as an example in regards to asking about crappy toy design stuff:

    This is a Q&A exchange that I recall from a Botcon past. Paraphrased hardcore, of course. Anyone with a transcript or the like, please correct any big mistakes I make.

    FAN: So...Armada Thrust's spinning wing gimmick. Did that pan out as you had planned, or...?

    AARON: Sometimes, we attempt certain goals in design. Sometimes those goals are met. Sometimes they're missed completely, and it's a learning experience. Thrust's thing just didn't work, and he was too far into production when we decided this.
     
  8. soundwaveCA

    soundwaveCA Veteran

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    Not to mention TransformersCon is the best TF con ever! :D 
     
  9. Dreweido

    Dreweido Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah man... it's tough to try to 'do it all' at your first con. It took me two BotCon's before I met anyone from the boards and then the last time was the first time I hung out with people from the boards.

    The best advice I can give you is to introduce yourself during the day in passing. Say 'Oh hey man, my name's *real name*, i'm *screen name* from *board* you're *either screen name or real name*' Such is why I love my screen name it's so much less dopier to say in public than Hotrod1985. :)  But yeah then be like yadda yadda yadda and then say something to the extent of I'll see yah throughout the weekend or something. I think that's the best way to go about it until you meet some people you'll hang with more... it's very unscientific.

    Best of luck and oh yeah bathe. Good call OWAT (I feel like it needs another part like OWAT the Enforcer!)
     
  10. Deefuzz

    Deefuzz Beard On! Beardmaster! Veteran

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    You need to save up for some plane tickets man! You have until June...now go save money. Ready? I'm timing you, go!
     
  11. Josh

    Josh Comic Color-guy

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    lawl

    so true :p 




    ive been to two cons and i agree with all thats been said

    its a blast so dont put it off, especially if you have a good chance of going. Its a great experience. Last SDCC i flew down, bunked with a friend of mine that i made online [was our first time meeting in person actually], we hit the sights the day before, spent all our time at the con when it was open, then hit the city at night. definately a blast [definately moreso when you know people :p ]
    but all in all, GO
     
  12. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks everybody for the info... I appreciate it. Don't worry, if I do manage to get to a con next year, I will -- honestly -- bathe. I know I said that I would most likely go to the one in Toronto (like I said, it's the most closest one to me), but hey... I can at least try and save up money to go to the one in Providence. It just depends... I'll let everybody know of my plans as soon as I can.
     
  13. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Best of luck with it, and if you do decide to come to BotCon (which I honestly believe that between being next the Hasbro, operated by MC, and on the weekend before the movie will be the greatest BotCon yet), I'll repeat my promise of a beer. And I'll even break my ban on purchasing NA beer if that's your preference.
     
  14. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    Great advice. I suggest making sure your board name is on your badge at Botcon too. Mine wasn't and I just wrote it on with a Sharpie and I had several people I didn't know in person come up and say hi because they recognized my board name.
     
  15. Nerd Bomber

    Nerd Bomber Consulting your needs

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    I've only been to one sci fi convention and that was only to go see Billy D. My signed lando sits proudly on the shelf, and my hand still remains unwashed.
     
  16. Deefuzz

    Deefuzz Beard On! Beardmaster! Veteran

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    That's how I met Drew...It was casino night and I was cheering on Aksmth and Vangelus, then Drew let me sit in for a bit, saw his badge and introduced myself. For some reason FP put my board name from over there on my badge, good thing I pretty much use the same name everywhere :) 
     
  17. Dreweido

    Dreweido Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    oh casino night! how i enjoyed thee
     
  18. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    You know, there's just one thing that still troubles me about going. No, it's not the money... I'm going to start saving. No, it's not about traveling all the way to Providence... although I'm debating whether I ought to fly or drive. It's just, the parents issue. I still live with my parents, even though I'm going to be 21 next spring, and they will surely go berserk when I bring up my wanting to go to a con all by myself. For the most part, I've been sheltered by them and I don't get out as much as I would like, but since I'm an adult now whether they like it or not, I just want to let them know they can't tell me that I cannot go... but when it comes to telling them these things, I tend to get too nervous that I never get to tell them exactly what I want and how I feel. I will try and talk it out with them this holiday season, but still... maybe if I actually had a fellow Transformers fan in my area come with me, that would not only make me feel better about letting my parents know about my wanting to go to BotCon, it would reassure my mom that I'm not going to get into trouble when I go.
     
  19. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Have you thought about going to Toronto first (it's only a day, and depending on the distance you might only need a hotel room for one night)? It's not that expensive and it'd be a good chance to strike out on your own before making a big trip.

    Even if that's not an option, you're going to just have to overcome this issue. I know it's easy for someone else to say that, and that you can plan out the conversation all you want ahead of time and still have trouble with it. The only suggestion I can give you is to start working on it now--both your confidence in approaching the situation and your parent's attitude about it. Don't announce plans yet--hell, the Club hasn't even annouced plans. Just mention sometime, maybe in conjunction with the movie (ooh, go to a movie with the family this Crimmus that'll have the trailer), that there's a convention the weekend before it opens, and that you're kinda thinking it'd be a neat place to go. That's it--don't have a conversation about it, just mention it. Then try to bring it up again some other time, casually, and include a comment that you're really pumped about the movie. Maybe mention that it'd also be a good opportunity for you to try something new by traveling on your own. Keep it up, slowly but surely, and eventually, just announce plans to go. And if I were you, I'd buy tickets and make reservations first, so it's an after the fact announcement. Pete don't give no refunds, so you'll be locked in. And if they give you grief, well, like you said. You're an adult. Hell, you're past being an adult. And you'll be able to remind them of all the times you'd mentioned it. That's just one plan.

    But as far as your mom worrying about you getting into trouble, I'm willing to bet you've NEVER been in real trouble (like, school, law, pregnant girl, etc.), and that any 'trouble' you've been in with your parents has been comparatively minor. And even so, BotCon isn't exactly the kind of event that ends in tear gas or gang rape (don't use that comparison with your parents). If you REALLY want to carpool (but I think you oughta do it on your own still), post a thread in this forum titled "Michigan residents interested in carpooling to BotCon" in a month or so.
     
  20. Dreweido

    Dreweido Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah it might be tough to convince the parents... I've never really had that trouble (I was 18 and I just told my parents "I'm going to drive 12 hours to North Carolina with some friends" and they said 'Have fun') If you need to convince them I'd say take a plane. That will a) give them more confidence you won't get lost and b) they'll be able to be 'involved' in the planning process by helping you get the tickets (just let them help haha).

    With that said, if you fly you'd better stay at the 'con hotel or close to it or else you're spending taxi money like hell.
     

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