Anime Boston is coming up in a little over a month, and I thought I would do a general post about things you should think of when going to any anime convention. I've only really been going for a little over a year now, but I've already learned a few things along the way. For instance:
Know the location -- I don't mean just knowing how to get there, but knowing the intricacies of the particular place where you're going to. Is there WiFi there if you need it? Can you get easy cell service in the building? Where are the restaurants in the area? Can you bring food inside? What's the layout of the location? All the little things that you don't think of when you go to a convention for the first time you'll start to think of when you go to subsequent conventions afterwards.
Know what kind of cell service you'll get in the building -- When I went to AAC for the first time in 2010, having a cell phone on me and the kids wasn't that big of a deal. It's on the first floor, so I could find them easily. Going to Anime Boston, it's a priority because the event takes up the entire convention center, so knowing where others in your party are is important. What we didn't know going down there, however, was that the cell phone coverage would be so spotty, and when there was coverage the kids couldn't hear the phone ring because it was so noisy in the convention center with that many people attending.
Food -- Make a plan ahead of time on where and when you are going to eat. For this year, me and my party are going to be bringing bento boxes with us for lunch, then eating dinner at a restaurant afterwards. This came from last year's experience of going to the food court in the Prudential Mall during Anime Boston, and finding it was packed with no place to sit. It seems like such a small thing, but the ability to be able to sit down and eat can be considered a luxury sometimes.
Panels/Workshops -- Don't stress too much on this one. The schedule can look a bit overwhelming, but just look it over and decide which panels are the most important to you. I know for me, industry panels are a good safe bet for stories, and anything else is incidental after that. And the Masquerade is always a must to attend just because it is the big event of the weekend. At some point, you might change your mind and decide that workshop on how to create your own Pokemon isn't so important.
Can you think of anything else that you think of before going to a convention?