Ah, conventions, we love ‘em right!
Why else would we shell out all that money to stand (or sleep) in impossibly long lines, and choose to attend these mega packed events. But, there’s another portion to the con that can be your dream or your (wallets) worse nightmare. Here are some quick tips I picked up to help me navigate that big Mart!
Or in a conventions case, booth shopping. This maybe an easy one but it is severely underrated! Here’s the thing, browsing the many booths/tables/and displays are the quickest task one can complete at a convention. You’re simply placing your eyes on merch you maybe interested in, and you get to wonder around aimlessly! It stops you from making hasty purchases, no commitments, and it helps avoid that awkward death stare your going to get from the sales person behind the booth (we’ve all been there). It’s an oldy but goody, and it may be cliche but browsing those booths ahead of time helps you save money, time, and most importantly help you combat that sensory overload.
This one helped me in a time pinch when I’m trying to get in the dealers room and get out. Over my convention years I’ve pretty much been able to stock up on some items in all my fandoms, GOT, Harry Potter, Disney etc. However, this year I really wanted to score some merch in Stranger Things, Sailor Moon, and Jim Henson puppets (don’t ask…). By having an idea of those categories it helped me target the booths I needed to visit, and weed out other booths I didn’t need to bother with this year.
Don’t get me wrong, just because you choose to shop by category doesn’t mean those are the only things you have to buy – on the contrary I walked away with some other fandom merch I wasn’t expecting. Again, the point is to solely help you snag those priority merch items first, and what you have left over go to town!
TAKE A BREAK AND DECOMPRESS
As I said earlier, a Dealer’s Room or an artist alley can be an introvert’s dream but all that stamina can certainly be our worst nightmare. When I’m in the Mart I feel happy and free as a dove, seeing all of the cool merch before me, and feeling giddy with joy! But, as soon as I step out of it, I feel drained ready to collapse with my favorite con snack and take in a deep breath away from the crowd.
That stamina, loud chatter, and trying to battle your way through an aisle (sometimes literally) can bring on huge convention fatigue. There’s nothing wrong with stepping away from the Mart, and coming back; or in some of my friend’s cases, they browse, and shop in one day and that’s about all they can take! Whatever floats your boat, take care of yourself because those dealer rooms and artist alleys aren’t going anywhere!
So there you have it, I hope this quick guide, has helped you gain a few tools in your arsenal on navigating yourself through super busy Fandom Mart! If you do all three of these, or just one of them, they should hopefully have you navigating that dealers room or artist alley like a pro.
The important thing to remember is whether you go in with a strategic game plan, or would like to browse until your heart’s content that Mart is a great space for creativity, friendship, and getting a piece of your favorite fandom.
As long as you’re enjoying yourself you’ll be just fine!
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Hi! Asia Minor here - I enjoy anything history, fantasy, and sci fi...its even better when its all combined. I am working on acquiring beautiful huskies for my pets, constantly watching movies (and plan on making them), and reading/writing. My musical choices limit to Disney, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Lamar - enough said.