For a lot of us in the UK it’s all a new experience for us. Conventions have been around since the late 1940’s and even then they weren’t so much of a thing in the UK. Part of our social side in cosplay and in conventions for cosplay or related topics to cosplay like film festivals, anime and manga, comic and gaming exhibitions have only just taken off within the last 20-30 odd years.
And so here we are, coming about with a new experience and you want to know: What do you do at a convention and what do you see? How do you do it? Hopefully in a couple of instalments i’ll be releasing tips on how to be a stress-free fun con goer with some tips of the trade to understand the convention-life in the UK and perhaps apply it to other countries as well!
Some of these are largely common sense but others are more from anecdotes in my life that I have encountered whilst going to conventions. And so from my own personal memories and experiences, you’ll get a first hand knowledge of what to expect!
What do you expect from a convention? Now there are many different places to go to within the UK and that conventions themselves are run by different people and different groups and not run by any specific organisation. Some will be made by the fans for the fans (Like Kitacon, Ayacon, Amecon etc) and then there will be those made for profit (Like London Film and Comic Con, MCM Expo etc)
The first thing to look at is a little research: What does the con have that will make you really want to go? Most Cosplayers will go simply to cosplay- but as a Cosplayer myself, I’m also paying to be in the convention center: Why not make better use of what the convention has to offer? See what stalls are about, check out the guests and who’s signing what where. Look at a convention map and base it on previous conventions its run. They usually have maps on them as is customary of any convention and obligation to do so.
Then from there, besides the guests and stalls- what about other events? Are there things within the convention that people have arranged? Not just organisers but other cosplayers whom have taken the time to form groups, create some chatter through facebook, twitter, tumblr, or a cosplay orientated site with a forum. And they mostly do this because they would love to do it. So have a look at these points before making your decision about really going.
Because again a convention shouldn’t be just for cosplay- But you will need a break from it all. So have a look. For UK cosplayers, here are the links for some really good places to know about in terms of research, what to expect and also- asking questions!
If you feel like you’d like more information- feel free to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and put the caption “Ask Manticore” in your reply. And I’ll answer some of these questions in my next blog. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get this going as a bi-weekly thing and get you guys really up and learning!
Next blog: Continuing your Convention planning!
Have fun folks!