Definitions • a. Badges - these let you get into things like the dealer's room, the concert, panels, autographs, etc. They need to be prominently displayed in order to provide you access into these places. It is possible to get around the convention without buying a badge, but you miss a lot of the cooler stuff. b. Pre-reg - Pre-registration. This is generally a good idea, because it's cheaper. Unless you only go for one day, in which case it's better to buy a one-day pass.c. Dealer's room - Big ol' giant store. Bring money. And lots of it. The dealer's room sells just about anything you can think of, from anime DVDs you can find at Walmart to strange imported things from Japan.d. Cosplay - Direct translation - costume play. Taken to mean the dressing up as characters and parading around at conventions. (whereas Crossplay would be man dressing as woman, woman dressing as man). • e. Cosplay contest - This is when you actually get up on stage and perform a skit, or just show off your outfit in order to win an award.f. AMV - Anime Music Video. Fan made music videos typically using anime video with American audio.g. LARP - Live Action Role Play. If you've ever played a role playing game, this is the live version, where you pretend to be your character and get to dress up in costume and everything. • h.Glomp – a big hug. Something fangirls and fanboys do upon seeing their favorite characters and voice actors.
Registration • a. Pre-reg.......i. Conventions let you order tickets before the actual date, and most will have a separate, earlier pick-up time. If not, they at least have a separate booth where you pick-up your badge.b. At the door.......i. The at-the-door price is more expensive for the 3-day passes, but cheaper if you can only go for one day. There's a little form that you fill out, but as far as I know, photo id is not required.c. Pick-up.......i. You need a picture id to pick up pre-reg badges, and you usually receive a goodie bag when you register. This contains important things like the con booklet. Inside here you will find info about the con, schedules, and maps. These are very handy! They tell you what's going on and when so you don't miss anything! There are also often other little freebies, and advertisements for some of the dealer's. .......ii. You CANNOT pick up someone else's pre-reg badge. As previously stated, a picture ID is REQUIRED, so you can't grab your friend's badge while you're in line yourself.
Hotel Rooms • a. Conventions that last for longer than one day will often make arrangements with local area hotels to negotiate a cheaper rate for people staying specifically for the con. You MUST deal directly with the hotel in that city and mention the con to get the cheaper rate.b. For more fun, it might be a good idea to get your hotel room the night before the con starts, then you can get a wake-up call the morning the con starts and be fresh and ready for the day!c. Sharing the room with people can help lower the cost but make sure to check the maximum capacity of people that the room will comfortably house.d. I DO NOT RECOMMEND STAYING UP ALL NIGHT. You will smell bad, and feel icky, and there's no great place to sleep, and it's EXTREMELY poor planning. Especially if the convention does not run all night.
Food • a. Bring separate money specifically for food. Otherwise, you'll spend it all in the dealer's room and not have anything to eat the whole weekend! Man cannot survive on pocky alone! DON'T FORGET TO EAT!!! b. Convention Food - There is generally a little area set up that sells food, either staffed by the hotel or the convention center. This stuff is rather expensive, and not always the best.C. Bring your own food if possible! Things like Nutrigrain Bars, Carrots/carrot sticks, Fruit, Chips, or if you have a hotel room, check for a coffee maker so you can RAMEN NOODLES!
Parts of a Con • a. Opening Ceremony – Introduces you to the con, the rules, and the guests! • b. Dealer's Room - The dealer's room is a giant store. Bring money, and lots of it. It's probably a good idea to have a combination of cash and credit (if you have credit). Most places will take credit/debit cards, but there are still a few stores who don't, and they'll only deal in cash. It can have nearly ANYTHING you can imagine that is anime-related. • c. Artist's Alley – Buy fanart drawn from local artists or have an artist draw you or your own character! • d. Video Games – A room FILLED with video games with free play. Tournaments are held here aswell. • e. Video Rooms – Generally there are 2-3 24-hour video rooms dedicated to anime for two-and-a-half days. The schedule will be posted in the map and outside the doors. • f. Concert – Generally sometime Friday or Saturday night the con will have one (or several) live Japanese band(s) performing. • g. Dance – Friday or Saturday (or both) nights there will be a rave where you can dance with your friends and bring glow sticks!
Parts of a Con (continued) • k. Panels and workshops – There will be several “panels” and “workshops” scheduled throughout the day wherein a person (famous or not) will talk about a certain area of interest. This will generally be a how to cosplay/voice act or the like and improvs. Be sure to check them out! • l. Cosplay - The Cosplay Contest is held Saturday nights, and there is generally a long line to get in. If you're participating in it, you need to sign up before hand, and go to the rehearsal. If you're watching it, they can be lots of fun. There are some really funny people out there who like to get dressed up in funny costumes and make fools of themselves for your amusement. • m. AMV Contest - AMV means anime music video. Fans make these from music they like, and footage they think matches. There is usually a contest for these at some point during the con. All videos are submitted well in advance, are screened before being slotted in the contest. At some point the convention will air all submissions and if you manage to make it, you get to vote on which ones you think are the best. • n. Closing Ceremony - Much like the opening ceremony, this is a thank you for coming to the con, thanks to all the guests, it's been swell, we hope to see you next year. That kind of thing. Some questions and answers and suggestions to make the con better next year.
Guests • A con will have many guests from your favorite shows and manga and bands that you can meet and get autographs from. • American voice actors • American producers/artists/etc. • Japanese voice actors/artists/producers/etc • Japanese Musicians
Cosplay • a. Cosplay, as stated earlier, is the dressing up in costume, usually as an anime character for an anime convention. However, I have seen Comic book characters, book characters, Star Trek characters, the Matrix, the Ghostbusters, and lots of other weird things at anime cons. If you want to cosplay, GO FOR IT. • b. You can make your own costume, or you can buy one. WARNING - You CANNOT enter a cosplay contest with a bought costume. YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. • d. All cons have a weapons policy now, and in the past few years it's become VERY strict. It would be a VERY good idea to check the con website on their weapons policy before you try to bring one. • If you show up in costume, BE PREPARED TO HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN. • BUT – show common courtesy and ask to take a person’s picture before doing so. That way they can pose!
Rules • 1. SAFETY FIRST – even though there IS security and you’re at a con to have fun, be ALERT. Use the BUDDY SYSTEM. If somebody is touching you inappropriately or creeps you out, alert security. • 2. SHOWER – Somehow, some way, clean yourself. There will be AT LEAST a thousand people. It WILL be hot and crowded, so show some decency and bathe. If you don’t have a room – talk to the con staff and arrange something with them. They will be GLAD to help. • 3. Weapons – as mentioned earlier, check with security first. • 4. No means no – Please don’t harass anyone for ANYTHING. If somebody is not interested in what you have to offer, back off. • 6. Follow the 6-2-1 each day minimum rule: 6 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and (you guessed it) SHOWER. • 7. Compliment cosplayers and thank the con staff. They will greatly appreciate it. • 8. If in doubt, ask the con staff. Go to them with any reasonable questions or concerns. They are there to make sure YOU have a safe and joyful time at the con (and don’t mind them if they seem frustrated, they have A LOT on their plate).
ANIME CONVENTIONS • IKKICON – February 6-8th in Austin, Texas (for more information, visit www.ikkicon.com) • Mizuumi-Con – March 21st, 2009 at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas (for more information, visit http://mizuumi-con.san-japan.org) • Anime Matsuri – April 10-12th, 2009 in The Woodlands, Texas (for more information, visit http://animematsuri.com) • A-kon – May 29-31st, 2009 in Dallas, Texas (for more information, visit www.a-kon.com) • Anime Overload – July 3-5th, 2009 in Austin, Texas (for more information, visit www.animeoverload.net) • San-Japan – August 14-16th, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas (for more information, visit www.san-japan.org)