Conventions: a guide for attendees and convenors alike.Part One.

This particular guide is more directed to those in affiliation with the more “geek” convention, rather than academic or otherwise. It is, in no way, designed to be complete, but is just some simple guidelines I have put together in my years of attending such events.





Please be aware that sometimes your costume will cause people to stop and stare. If this is the case, smile. Pose for photos. Be gracious. You do not simply don an outfit for the sake of simply wearing something different. You wear it for the attention, the kudos or maybe just for someone to notice that you’ve put in a lot of work. To that end, don’t look sour if that wig is causing your head to feel like it’s in a vice. Don’t frown in the ten mile high shoes you’re having to wear in order to be in proportion with your team members are causing your feet to scream in ancient Armenian. Smile. Be nice to the people appreciating the work.

General Attendees:

We will all “bump” into people we know. It happens. The geek community in ven the largest of cities is still insular enough that the odd “stop and chat” opportunity will arise. HOWEVER, do not do this in the exact centre of the general thoroughfare. People are trying to get past. Be nice, move to the side, away from the stall trying to make a buck or two from your captive audiences of the convention.

If you are waiting for someone who happens to be standing in a line for an autograph, kindly do so away from the line. You are making the line manager’s job harder by making it impossible to gauge who is in and out of the line. Also, Don’t stand in between the line and the actual place of signature. It too is in the way.

Along these lines, if you happen to be wanting an autograph from a celebrity, kindly use those things in your head called eyes and see if there is a line for such things. If there is not then, and only then, may you simply stand where you like. If you fail to notice the line and someone wearing a lanyard, wearing an event tshirt or carrying a clipboard asks you to go and join the line, kindly don’t roll your eyes, sigh, moan and bitch and complain. Pick up your bags and go and join on the end of the line, regardless of how long you spent “just standing there”. It’s not our fault the line was difficult to see, or you could not use your eyes. Not our fault at all, we’re just trying to make it fair for all. No, you will not be given preferential treatment for being older. The kids paid just as much to get into the event as you did, sometimes more, having to pay off their parents for lifts and advances on allowance, so they have just as much right to be treated with fairness as you.

Please observe the general niceties of social conduct. Don’t yell. It’s annoying. Especially when you may think you’re playing the most high-pressure hand of “go fish” because the fate of the world depends upon it, while everyone around you is simply wishing you would shut the hell up.

I know it’s crowded. I know there’s lots of people. Please, for the love of all that is dear and sacred to you, do not feel that give you the right to stand within my personal space if I do not know you with little to no care for having done so. An apology can be as simple as an “I’m sorry” mumbled when you bump into me because the sour cosplayer in her incredibly itchy and hot wig has shuffled past. I’m not expecting a written apology resplendent with platitudes. Just acknowledge that you are in my personal space, and that you will do all you can to leave it when you have enough space.

Food vendors:

I get that you have a captive audience and that your rent is insane. This should not make you feel that it is okay to charge a bajillion dollars for a small cup of crap you want to nominate as “coffee”. Yes, I am something of a coffee aficionado, but I can accept that what you have to offer may not be as good as what I can get at home. It is like that with many things. What I do take offense to is the fact that what you serve to me has little to no taste, is scalding hot, seems to have all caffeine burned out of it and is full of sludge. To pay a small fortune for such a disappointing “drink” is just adding insult to injury.

Another one for the cosplayers:

Please please please learn to style your wigs. Simply buying a wig and plonking it on your head is not enough, especially if your character does not really style their hair the same way. Cosplay’s beauty is in the little details. Please, don’t bring disgrace to the art form.

For those dragged along:

We get it. You didn’t want to come along. You think it’s a waste of time. We understand. No, really, you may think we don’t but we do. We geeks think the same when we are dragged along to something we don’t particularly find interesting. We would ask, if you didn’t want to come why did you, but that is a rant for another time. Suffice to say, you are here, presumably to show support or try to understand why it is someone close to you is into all this … “stuff”… Get over yourself. You are not better than all these people. In fact, I am sure you have interest that makes your partner/friend/family member yawn. We all do. It’s called support so just deal with it or don’t come along.


That wraps up part one of this particular guide. Part two to follow soon.

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