It’s 2 days before Anime North, what can new congoers be doing to get ready for the convention? Hopefully this guide will help you out!
Read the Policies
Get to know what is and isn’t allowed at the convention by checking the policies page. The policy page will list what is likely to get you booted from the convention, most of it it common sense though. The policies page can also have other useful tidbits of information. In some cases it will mention some local laws laws, which can be useful if you are coming from out of the country. For example, the drinking age in Ontario is 19 and is noted on Anime North’s policy page.
You can check out the Anime North policies here:
Policies may also be included in the schedule/program book provided by larger conventions.
Find a Map
Google maps makes this really easy, and most cons will have a map provided on their website or in their program book.
This is a map of the Anime North area
The TCC is where the dealers room, and some events, are taking place. The Doubletree has a variety of events and panels in it, the Sheridan is for Yaoi North and Gaming as well as some other panels and Crowne Plaza has Doll North. There are also events at the Mariott and the Radisson, so when you check the schedule make sure to check the event’s location!
Some conventions, especially large ones, have events in a variety of places. Usually this is listed in the schedule, or on the convention’s website. There may also be events in the area that are related to the convention (such as meetups, parties, and special presentations) which will be at separate locations.
When you get to the convention, have a walk around and get to know where things are. Especially water stations, washrooms and con staff, autograph areas as well as locations of panels and other events.
Check the Schedule / Program Book
Most conventions post their schedule before the convention. If you can get a hold of it early you can look for panels and events that you would like to attend and find their time and location. Some events may overlap, so it’s good to read it over to make sure you don’t miss something you really want to attend!
You can check out the Anime North 2013 schedule here:
The program book at the convention will usually have descriptions of the panels, and information on the special guests.
Check for Photoshoots
You have a great costume, you want to show it off right? Get some cool pictures? Maybe make some friends in the process? Well group photoshoots are for you! These are meetups for people in specific costumes, and photographers, so that you can meet people who are in the same fandom and get some neat pictures of your costumes with other characters from the same series!
Photoshoots are sometimes listed in the program book, other photoshoots are planned in forums for the convention and (often on Cosplay.com) and information will be available there!
The Anime North photoshoot list is here:
Anime North has specified photoshoot locations, map below. At some conventions, photoshoots can be all over the place so it’s important to check where the location is, before the convention, if you plan to attend the shoot.
Check Food / Other Locations
Some conventions have (high priced) food in the convention, and all cons have food places in the area. So ask around, use google maps, or check the convention centre/hotel’s website to see what is around the convention area.
Anything cheap and close will be packed at the con, so don’t be afraid to look for things a little out of the way. Especially if you have a car!
Some of the food places in the area of Anime North are: Harvey’s, Subway, Tim Hortons, Swiss Chalet, Kelseys, Sushi Dragon, Tucker’s Marketplace, Jack Astor’s, Pita Nutso, Sushi-Ya Japan, Canyon, Boston Pizza, Montana’s.
Those are just the ones within easy walking distance (between the Sheraton and just past the Doubletree), there are others if you go a bit further. As mentioned, the further you go (and more expensive) the less people will be there. Of the fancier restaurants, Kelsey’s is always the most packed because it’s right beside the convention centre.
Double Check your Hotel Room
Some hotels will call you or e-mail you confirmation, but just in case you should call the hotel before the con to make sure that everything is okay with your reservation.
This year there was an issue with the Doubletree hotel overbooking, and they are contacting those who are affected and giving them an upgraded room at a different hotel. If you are booked at the Doubletree and haven’t double checked already, I suggest contacting them to make sure that your room is okay!
You may also want to double check what the deposit for the room is, any additional fees, if certain things are available with your room (rollaway beds, extra blankets/pillows, wi-fi) and and other questions you may have. You should also ask about check in time, and remember that everyone is going to be checking in around the same time so come early!
In between packing, stressing, rushing the last details of your costume, and getting things organized, take a minute to enjoy the hype of the con coming up and connect with other congoers.
Check the convention’s forums, or the Cosplay.com forum for your country and see what other people are working on. Check the convention’s tag on tumblr, see some people’s progress and postings about the convention. Find the facebook group for the convention and see what people are hyped about. Don’t forget to make your own posts too!
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