January 12th, 2009


Seanan's Handy-Dandy Guide to Convention Survival.

It has recently come to my attention that a great many people aren't really sure what this whole 'convention scene' is all about. Because I am a helpful blonde, I thought it might be a good idea to offer a few tips on the nature of the beast, including methods of keeping it from eating you. I may be relatively new to the world of being a professional author, but I'm like the Steve Irwin of science fiction fandom. Only female and not actually dead.

Please note that this guide is limited by my own experiences, and may not apply in all circumstances. Please also note that I'm talking specifically about conventions, and not conferences, which have different standards, traditions, and expectations. (Also, I've never been to a literary conference, and somehow I doubt that my experiences with herpitological conferences will translate over one-to-one. As an example, I have never heard of a romance writer's conference being forced to evacuate a meeting hall because somebody's taipan managed to get out of its enclosure.) This guide is geared towards attending conventions as a professional and/or participant, although large swaths of it will apply to everybody. This guide will include information on:

* What a convention is, exactly.
* Finding the convention that's right for you.
* Reaching the convention alive.
* Getting a hotel room.
* Enjoying/surviving the con.
* Packing.
* Not looking like a total tool.
* Panels.
* Things to do.
* Eating food.
* Staying healthy and sane.

It will also be heavily biased towards my own opinions on all these things, because hello, so totally me. But I'm honest about my biases, and I'll be factual whenever it's fact, rather than opinion. (In short, don't expect me to falsify hotel room rates to suit my own ideas of 'fair,' but don't expect me to suggest a good anime con, either.) Ready? Let's rock.

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