10 tips for going to your first convention

If you're planning on attending a science fiction, fantasy or comic convention for the first time read our top tips for newbies.

So, you want to go to a science fiction, fantasy or comic convention for the first time. Why? Well you’ve heard about how awesome these conventions are, and can fully imagine yourself getting into a one-on-one with George R R Martin about Jon Snow’s parentage and whether Daenyrs will end up sitting on the Iron Throne. It could happen. 

Here at UK Tor we asked the great and the good to share their convention tips for newbies. Here is what they said:

  1.  @ristea “wash your hands often. Con crud is real, and it isn't pretty. Don't let it ruin your experience.”
  2. @PrinceJvstin “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate”
  3. @AlasdairStuart “Grab the twitter handles of people you want to see, follow them early if you don't already. Phone numbers too in case the wifi's spotty”
  4. @MisaBuckley “Buy a medium-sized bag, pack it with drinks and snacks for the lines. Wear comfortable shoes. Layer your clothing.”
  5. @SteveAryan “Take time to leave the convention hotel & get some fresh air. It will help clear your head”
  6. @LouMorgan “Read the programme. Not just the schedule, but the whole programme. Most things con staff get asked are actually answered in there!”
  7. @davidmbarnett “If you see David Barnett, buy him a drink.”
  8. @pornokitsch “Never underestimate the dealer room. Travel lightly and bring an extra bag. Also, wandering the dealer room is a great way to meet new people - just as chatty as the bar and plenty of conversational prompts!”
  9. @LouMorgan “If you're staying offsite, take a tote bag with you: you don't want to have to keep running back to your hotel with anything you buy.”
  10. @ClaireRousseau “If you don't know anyone going, look for related events near you (sci-fi soc?) where you might meet some attendees.”

Useful links (thanks @PornoKitsch)
Packing for conventions
Dressing for conventions
LonCon 3 FAQ