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14 May 2011 @ 06:55 am
PSA: Dragon*Con 2011  
I am going to be attending Dragon*Con this year. Tickets have been bought, so it's officially official.

This will be my first official big convention. I know this is completely and totally different from the conventions I've gone to from Creation Entertainment, so it's an entirely new beast altogether.

So I pose a question: For all who have attended Dragon*Con before, can you give me your own experiences and stories? Advice, your own personal anecdotes, anything for a newbie who hasn't yet appeared at something like a big event like this before. I've looked things up beforehand about what to expect, pros and cons, experiences at panels and other people there, especially those who cosplay, however it's different for everyone and opinions vary. So, anything that would allow me to get a better picture of what I should be looking forward to would be greatly appreciated.

Also, is anyone else going to D*C this year as well?
 
 
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she who hangs out in libraries: billie//geekvelvet_midnight on May 14th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
JEALOUS! I've been three times and I miss it. Silly college education getting in the way of my fun. :P It's a wonderful, crazy-ass and completely ridic place. I spent most of my time in the Stargate section, which was a room at the end of a hallway in the middle of nowhere, our own little place, far away from most of the insanity. But one of my favorite things to do was stand at the top of the stairs/escalator at the Regency (I think?) and just people watch for hours. There's a cafe there, so we'd get food and eat and watch all the people in their costumes. So much fun.

My friend A has an entirely different experience because she's part of the music scene (she lives near Atlanta) and she's actually part of The Extraordinary Contraptions' crew (Merch Girl, I want to say), so she does behind-the-scenes stuff. She's also done the Dawn contest a couple years in a row and says that's loads of fun.

You'll have so much fun! ♥
Renée: Kahlan. Smile.rogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)
But one of my favorite things to do was stand at the top of the stairs/escalator at the Regency (I think?) and just people watch for hours. There's a cafe there, so we'd get food and eat and watch all the people in their costumes. So much fun.

Someone else mentioned this too, just sitting down and watching the people walking and seeing all the different costumes about. It sounds like it's such a cool experience, just from the sounds of it.

I'm honestly in a heap of excitement and nervousness because of big cons, I'm not familiar with the arrangement, and I just want everything to go swimmingly. :D
Tori Sakanaepicycles on May 14th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping to go! :D Haven't made solid plans yet due to timing issues but I'm really hoping it'll work out.

I've never been to a big con so I have no idea what to expect, but it looks fuuuun! :D
Renée: Kaylee. Giddy.rogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
I hope you do! I want to get a chance to meet some lj/flisty people as possible while there. :D

Hehe, me neither so this is why I'm asking for those who have attended. I've heard a variety of stories and based on how big the event is, how crowded it's gonna be, it's going to be overwhelming but if it all goes well then totally worth it. :)
philstar22: Supernatural: Dean/Cas worth dying forphilstar22 on May 14th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
I'm so jealous. I want to go. I can't go this year, though. I'm hoping to go to the Boston convention. But Dcon is awesome, and Misha being there just makes it even better.

Dcon is crazy. It is crowded. Bring money, because the stuff they have in the dealer rooms is pretty awesome. For the bigger events, show up a little early, even if you have to skip the session before. The lines get crazy long, and sometimes the room becomes full and you can't make it.
Renée: Misha. !!!!!rogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
Hee, Misha definitely makes things better. Also Tricia Helfer, and Tom Felton....seriously, so many great people are attending that I want to see at least once when going to my first (and probably last) D*C event. :)

How early should one show up for the bigger events?
philstar22philstar22 on May 15th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
Well, for the really big sessions (the Battlestar guests for example), I usually skip the session before, maybe grab a quick bite to eat, and line up at least 45 minutes before. That way you are assured a seat that isn't in the very back.
Aelora: Darren tongueaelora on May 14th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
WE MUST MEET UP!!!

I've been attending D*C off and on since the late '90's. It's actually gotten a bit too crazy in the last few years in my opinion - you used to be able to just hang out with the actors and get candid photos with them and not have to pay each of them $20 to do so. The con was still huge and crazy but it also used to allow you to just hang with the actors and have fun. Now it's even more about the money. But still fun!

Last year, the panels for Star Trek were INSANE. If you weren't in line at least four hours ahead of time, you didn't get in. It's not as bad as Comic Con, and there's ALWAYS something to do, 24 hours out of the day. Always. In fact, the problem is narrowing it down from the four choices all going on at the same time.

Comfortable shoes are your friend!!! The hotels are spread out and you will be walking between them. Constantly. Also, don't get stuck in the middle of the Marriott in the middle of the night if you are claustrophobic. I made that mistake last year and luckily had a friend rescue me because I panicked a little. You honestly cannot move because of the thousands of costumed people.

So, money, comfortable shoes, and patience. Also, last year the pre-purchased ticket holders had the longest line - standing out in the heat for four hours. Insanity. I hope they made it better this year. The buy at the door line? Took me 20 minutes.
Renée: Kaylee. Strawberry.rogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2011 01:13 am (UTC)
OMIGOD SERIOUSLY? YOU'LL BE THERE? AWESOMENESS. AND YESYESYES WE MUST FIND A WAY TO MEET UP AT SOME POINT DURING THE EVENT. :D

Seriously, you've been attending since that long? That's impressive. And yeah, the differences between then and nowadays is definitely the money, cashing in on people wanting to just have fun. Unfortunately that's the downside I see to this because I do want to get autographs and pictures but I'm afraid that certain actors will charge you extra for that when I'm like, ummm, I'm broke. I get that's the benefit for them being there, however I just feel like it's taking advantage of people in some way. It makes no sense. O_o

(so says the girl who goes to Creation cons where they charge you an arm and a leg for photo ops and autographs, also $300+ dollars for an hour meet and greet as well, lol)

Okay, so here's what I want to know: the event is spread out in different hotels, right? Not just one? I keep hearing people refer to this so I want to clarify that's what it is. Different hotels in one area where all the panels and events are going to be held.

Also, last year the pre-purchased ticket holders had the longest line - standing out in the heat for four hours. Insanity. I hope they made it better this year. The buy at the door line? Took me 20 minutes.

I heard about that. I also hope things are better because I don't want to be standing around waiting forever to get my ticket/badge :/

Anyway, thanks for the advice bb! If there's anything else I'm concerned about I'll come back to ask you. :)
Aelora: Glee - Blaine breadstix gifaelora on May 15th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
We'll definitely make plans to meet up! I usually love having a get-together dinner with LJers at some point!

Yes, the main parts of the events (panels, dealers rooms, autographs, photos, gaming, etc) take place in the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Sheraton with some additional things that take place at the Westin (like the Firefly ball was there last year, things like that). The Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott are basically on top of each other. The Sheraton and Westin are a couple blocks away in opposite directions. It's fun to have to hurry from the Sheraton to the Westin in 90 weather, lemme tell ya!

And yeah, the autographs/photos are ridic now. Like I said, you used to just get candids, but ever since they started bringing in professional photographers, now the stars who don't do that charge you at their tables. And autographs run from $25-$50 average... Brandon Routh was charging $125 last year. I laughed at him.
himhilien: FMA >>> ASDFAFGGHFGHhimhilien on May 14th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
I don't know it D*Con allows you to do this, but I've heard smaller cons do allow it: bring snacks and some water or other drink like Gatorade with you when you're wandering around. Also, get like six hours of sleep a night. I have a feeling that will be almost impossible to do, but I've heard some horror stories from people who've gone to big cons like D*Con who regretted not sleeping, e.g. they got really sick, which is another thing you have to be aware of since there will be 11351345234 people there and some may spread something around. And take showers every night and wear lots of deodorant.
Renée: Caprica. Zoe Graystone.rogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
From what I've read from D*C reports, I've seen many people give that advice about bringing your own food and water because everything else at the hotels are expensive as hell. Believe me, after spending a weekend of eating nothing but fast food during a recent con I think bringing a variety of snacks is definitely on my mind when attending this one.

Oh, I'll definitely be sleeping considering everything, and bringing hand sanitizer. And of course showering and deodorant is mandatory. ^_^
Nicole Anell: kara's rock bandnicole_anell on May 14th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Me, I'll be there, me!

Sadly it is one of those cons where you have to wait hours in line for the bigger actor panels (unless of course it's a 10:00 AM panel on Sunday morning, which are deserted *g*). I've found this is ESPECIALLY true for anything Whedon-y. However if you don't mind sitting toward the back and watching it on a screen it doesn't really matter. They clear the room between panels.

I don't cosplay so can't really speak to that, but always love the costumed people walking around.
Renée: BSG. Six. Made of awesome.rogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
\O/\O/\O/

Yeah, I figured the bigger people will get the most crowds. I was watching some videos from Whedon panels and they kept saying how crowded it is, and even Jewel Staite tweeted a picture (which she sent to Nathan because they were flipping him off, lol) and it's totally packed in the room. O_O But I figured once I see who is appearing on which days I'll see where this goes.

The seating is first come, first serve yes? The earlier you get there the likely you'll pick something closer?

Hehe, I may be wearing something on one of the days.... ;)