What a weekend! I attended my very first con ever. It’s been on my geek bucket list for ages, and I got around to it; I had someone to go with (my husband) and I wasn’t pregnant (thanks to my husband and I mean that in the best way). It was awesome! It was exhausting! It was beautiful! It was tiring! It was some kind of euphoria despite the hellish long lines and crowds.
And all in all, I loved it and would do it again.
It was one of those rare moments in my life where I felt like I actually fit in. Geeks, nerds, and dorks of every kind were in attendance, all factions accounted for from the closet geeks, the comic freaks, the super nerds, the gamers, the bookworms, and any other group you can think of. I could wear a costume or a shirt and not have adults look at me like an immature woman-child.
There’s a couple of things I expected and a few I didn’t, some things the planners of FanX did very well and some things they didn’t. So if you’ve ever thought about going and haven’t, or need some refreshers, here’s my tips and recap.
- Cosplay at least one day: We only cosplayed one day out of the three. That was enough for us because then we didn’t have to worry about it the next couple days, and then we could just wear our cool geeky apparel. Everyone should cosplay at least one day. If you have reservations about it, don’t. You won’t stick out, and the caliber of costumes widely varied from minimal effort to full-blown. We decided to do a theme as a family, and Oliver was clearly the star of the show. Taylor and I look good too, but who can compete with Baby Yoda? The family that cosplays together stays together.
- There’s panels for everyone: The amount of panels was impressive. A couple were boring, a few were alright, but most of them were entertaining and fun. You have general nerd and geek panels, but there were also panels for writers, for historians, for artists, for retailers, for bloggers, scientists. Anyone could find at least a couple of panels perfect for them. The biggest problem for us was picking one panel over another when they were scheduled at the same time.
And on that note, schedule breaks: Originally we just decided what we wanted to attend and would take breaks as needed. We found out pretty quickly though that after three hours of panels, you’re pretty worn out and your butt hurts. So we would take an hour break to walk around the vendor floor, do some retail therapy, and eat.
- Wear comfy shoes: Though most of the activities require sitting, you’re going to be walking a lot. We walked over three miles a day and at least 7 flights of stairs in total just going to panels and taking breaks.
- Don’t expect great signage: My biggest issue with the event was that entrances and different areas weren’t clearly marked. We constantly had volunteers and workers redirecting us, and that got pretty frustrating.
- Go to the Vendor Floor on the day you leave the kids at home: Salt Lake ComicCon has holds two of the best and biggest cons in America each year, and unfortunately, their venue is starting to get too small. But I have no idea where else they would host it! We went on the Vendor Floor the day we took Oliver, and it was just crazy! Pushing the stroller through that crowd was a nightmare. The next day however, we were able to leave Ollie home with Grandma and Grandpa, and we were able to actually get some shopping done. Plus a day without the kiddies is a plus since they don’t exactly adhere to the schedule of the Con.
- Don’t expect to interact much with celebrities at Photo-Ops: We weren’t interested in meeting many of the celebrities in this particular Con’s line-up, but I was out of my mind excited to see that Jason Isaacs was going to be there. With a limited budget, I knew I had to pick between paying for an autograph or a Photo-Op, and I chose photo-op. I thought I’d get a second to say hello and pay my respects. Mr. Isaacs was very nice, but it was basically pose, snap, and next. I think I might’ve muttered something like, “Hey, nice job in Peter Pan” on my way out of the photo booth. It was a bit disappointing because I thought I’d get at least 15 seconds outside of the picture taking, just to like get a hug and a handshake, and a proper greeting.
I wonder if it’s better then to get an autograph if you actually want to interact with the celebrity beyond rubbing shoulders.
^^Still, I will cherish this picture for the rest of my life, and it was enough to get my heart pounding rapidly.