The new year is upon us, and with it, the new round of conventions is fast approaching. This is the time where we get the evergreen columns/articles about convention etiquette. All of those can be easily converted to a few succinct bullet points. Everything else is going to be fluff to pump up the word count.
Bathe. Pretty simple, I know, but really, wash your butts. You’re going to be cooped up inside with hundreds if not thousands of other folk for hours at a time. Wash your butt. No one wants to smell you. (This doesn’t mean put on cologne in order to hide the funk. That will just make it worse. And don’t forget the deodorant!)
Clean clothes. This should go along with bathing, but really, some of you don’t know the difference. I don’t say this to be mean. I say it because it’s true. Clean clothes. Because this is the stereotype of convention-goers: unkempt, creepy-looking mouth-breathers who haven’t bathed or changed their clothes in a while. Don’t be that person.
Con-Crud. It’s a real thing. More than likely, you’re going to get sick while you’re at the convention. You’re going to go to bed feeling fine, and then wake up with an upset stomach. And that’s mild, if you’re lucky. There isn’t much you can do to combat it except don’t go, but that’s not really an option, is it?
It’s expensive. Everything is expensive. You can expect to pay $5 for a 16oz bottle of water at some conventions. Outrageous, I know, but there it is. So, come prepared with your own beverages and food. It can be a small hassle to carry around, but that small hassle will far outweigh the expense you’ll incur by buying your food there. Consider convention food as a food of last resort.
Be cordial. This means “don’t be a dick.” Remember when Rob Liefeld was publicly shamed by Yellow Hat Guy? Liefeld is the most polarizing figure in comics. You either love him or loathe him, without much in-between. I don’t like Liefeld myself. I think he’s hurting comics by not growing as an artist. However, for almost the entire comics community to rally and give sympathy to Rob Liefeld because of the actions of some asshat is saying something. This means you’ve been an asshat of legendary proportions. Don’t do it. Be cordial. Almost everyone deserves to be treated cordially. Yes, including Liefeld.
Be prepared. This means, if you’re looking to break in and have stuff you want to show, have it ready and waiting. The same goes for things you want signed. If you’re just walking around, try to wear something that goes over the shoulder. Large bags and bulky things are a challenge to maneuver on the convention floor. Also, remember that books are heavy. You’re going to get tired walking around with all that stuff. Take it back to the room if possible. The one thing that’s at a premium at the larger conventions is space.
If everyone followed these simple tips, everyone would have a great convention experience, every time.