Whether you’re a con veteran or new to the scene, finding a con that’s right for you can make your experience 10 times better. Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for your next convention.
Where Do I Find Out About Cons Anyway?
Everyone knows about conventions like San Diego Comic Con because of how many guests and attendees it attracts. However, there are lesser known cons that can be just as fun in your area. Before I did my own research, I didn’t know that my state had tons of free cons in places like libraries and schools. A simple google search for cons in your state or city can yield a lot of results.
If you just want to see a pretty good list of conventions, AC Paradise has an option to search by location and more. It also has events that aren’t conventions like festivals or cosplay gatherings. Meetups is another good platform for finding events near you.
Last but not least is Facebook. Almost every convention or event will have a group page with all the details you need. It’s also a good place to find specific meetups at conventions. For example, if you’re going to Katsucon and cosplaying from Naruto, searching “Katsucon Meetups” will let you know if anything has been organized for it.
What Type Of Con Should I Be Looking For?
While comic cons and anime cons sometimes intersect, there are definitely some conventions that are firmly in one camp. I’ve been to a comic con while cosplaying from an anime and definitely stuck out a little. So try and find a con that aligns more with what you’re interested in. Take a look at con guests or panels since that’s the easiest way to see what kind of content you can expect.
You can also search for cons with specific mission statements. Want a con more focused on intersectionality in fandom? A quick search will bring up Quirkcon or BlerdCon. Want a con that’s LGBTQ friendly? Try Flamecon.
There are even fandom specific cons out there for things like Harry Potter, Teen Wolf, Steven Universe and more. If people like something, there’s guaranteed to be an event.
So you’ve found a con you’re interested in. This might be obvious but seriously consider if you can actually get to the con you’re considering in a way that’s not totally painful.
I’ve heard stories of people traveling for more than 24 hours to get to a convention and regretting it. Think about the cost of travel, where you’re staying and other living expenses. Traveling for cons can easily rack up a lot of dollars. If this your first con, think about staying closer to your area.
Conventions, while fun, can bring a lot of responsibility with them. Definitely keep this in mind!
If you’re all set to travel, also make sure to consider the area around the convention:
- Are supermarkets or restaurants easily accessible?
- Do you have to drive everywhere?
- Is the con a walk-able distance from where you’re staying?
I’ve definitely been to cons where they’re in the middle of nowhere and struggled to find a place to eat.
Depending on how far the con is from where you’re staying, you might also have to change your con plans. You don’t want to keep driving back and forth because you have six cosplays in a day. Be realistic with what you can do!
Just Do Your Research
Overall, the easiest way to find the right convention for you is research. Use all the tips above to see if anything gets your interest. Take it a step further and go on YouTube to search up vlogs for that con to get an attendee’s perspective on the event. Ask around on social media to see how if people like the convention or not.
Featured image via QuirkCon