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Tips For Cosplayers Attending Their First Anime Comic Convention

Anime and comic conventions are expanding across the world and it our eyes, it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. These conventions are packed with different activities and events allowing everyone to enjoy their own experience. You can meet your favorite celebrities, join celebrity speaking panels, learn about the latest show and movie projects, splurge on merchandise and of course, live a day or two cosplaying as your favorite character.

If you’re new to cosplay, cosplaying at conventions can be a thrilling experience but can possibly be a terrible experience if you’re not completely prepared. Here are our top tips and questions to ask oneself for first time cosplayers who are preparing to attend their first convention.

1. Complete your logistics research on the convention you’re attending.

  • Where is it located?

  • What are the convention hours?

  • How early should you arrive? Sometimes you can walk straight into conventions but other times it can take hours.

  • Where do you park? Most conventions have recommended parking spots.

  • How much is parking? Majority of the time parking can range from $10-$50 per day.

  • Does the parking lot allow in-and-out privileges? You might want to leave to grab food somewhere else outside of the convention. Majority lots do not allow this privilege.

  • Will the convention have food vendors? If not, what restaurants are nearby? Let’s admit it, conventions do not have the best food options.

  • If you’re traveling from afar, which hotel are you going to stay at? If so, is that hotel in a safe place? From experience, convention locations are often in a safe area, however, only a few hundred feet away from the actual convention might be unsafe.

2. Complete your convention schedule ahead of time.

Depending on the convention you attend, there can be hundreds to thousands of folks attending, so you can only imagine how long lines can get, how many hours you may have to wait to meet a celebrity or attend a panel and how tired you’ll be throughout the day. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which celebrities do you want to meet?

  • Which panels do you want to attend?

  • If you plan to meet a celebrity or attend a panel, how long are you willing to wait?

  • Which vendors do you want to visit first?

  • When are you going to each lunch?

  • If you plan to be at the convention all day, where and when will you take a rest break?

  • If you plan to cosplay as two different characters in the same day, what part of they day will you change into your new costume?

  • If you are going to change, where will you change costumes? Do you need a private room, or can this be completed in front of the public’s eye?

3. Pack emergency kit for your cosplay.

No matter how much time one puts into their cosplay creation, there is no saying what could happen to your cosplay at an event. Seams may begin to come loose; your prop may begin to break apart or your make-up might begin to smear. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when packing your cosplay emergency kit.

  • Superglue

  • Fabric tape

  • Electrical tape

  • Safety pins

  • Extra make-up

4. Give yourself enough time to create your cosplay.

Cosplays can and will take time to create; not to mention, choosing who you want to cosplay as and how much money you’ll need to put into it. Consider the following questions:

What’s going to be on your task list?

  • Will you need to create a blueprint? Will you be cutting, sewing, painting, drying, sanding etc.?

  • Where will you purchase your cosplay material? Some popular spots can include Amazon, Joannes, Michaels and my favorite, thrift stores.

  • What is the budget for your cosplay? Cosplays can range from $50 to $1000+. Amazon might be the fastest and easiest option to purchase unique items that a storefront may not have but Amazon isn’t always the cheapest. If you do have access to Joannes or Michaels, be sure to subscribe to their email for coupons! Lastly, if you don’t already have it, Target Red credit card holders receive 5% off not only on products in store but also gift cards purchased at Target! Some Targets do have Joannes and Michaels gift cards so if you choose to purchase a $100 Joannes gift card, you can purchase it for $95.

5. Give yourself enough time to prepare your mental and physical self.

Believe it or not, fitness and cosplay can really go hand-in-hand. To start, cosplaying at a convention can be one heck of a workout depending on your cosplay. Your cosplay may require a helmet or a prop and if worn or carried all day, can possibly strain your neck, shoulders, arms and possibly your entire body. Also keep in mind, it’s one thing to dress up as your favorite character, but it’s another thing to actually build your body to the same physique as your favorite character! For example, building a body like Goku or Kefla from Dragon Ball. Depending on your current fitness levels, building a body like this can take months or years. As you continue your plans, think about the questions below.

  • Does your cosplay consist of heavy headpieces?

  • Are you going to be carrying heavy props throughout the entire day?

  • Do you have the strength and endurance to carry heavy props or wear heavy pieces throughout the convention?

  • Are you looking to define your muscular physique to better portray your favorite character?

  • If you are looking to define your muscular physique, what’s your plan?

Make your first anime comic convention the best experience ever by preparing ahead of time and preparing for the worst. Happy cosplaying!

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