My one year anniversary for going to conventions is coming up, so I wanted to give you guys a rundown of things that go on. That way you can avoid making similar mistakes and get the most out of the cash you spend on going!

Forbidden planet

First, I want to start off by saying there will be a huge difference between a small convention and a big convention. I know it seems apparent, but going to a small one-day con is a great way for you to "test drive" your new costumes. If something goes horribly wrong there aren't as many people that will witness it. Then you also have the luxury of having close parking and the ability to keep a repair arsenal in your car, ready to patch-up anything that may brake or fall off. This is why I love small cons. Some of my more detailed cosplays have made their debut at small cons. As for the big cons, these are a force to be reckoned with.

David Tennant and Jenna Say What
At a big con the first thing you will experience is the queuing (aka lines that will make Disney World lines look like child's play). Trust me, if you didn't get your tickets beforehand, you will really experience this along with paying possibly double than if you would have gotten them the first month they went on sale. Please do yourself a favor and pay the money months prior! If you want to meet a celebrity you will be in a line for what seems like forever. Bring a snack and chit chat with people, it will make the time go faster. This helped me in the three hour line to meet David Tennant (and yes, it was worth it)!

There will be thousands of people packed into the building like sardines. The problem with that, is that you will also run into less than hygienic people. Please, when going to a multi-day con, remember, if you are going to be wearing the same costume, bring some sort of fabric freshener and remember to shower. If you start feeling overheated move to a cooler area and relax a bit. Being in a closed room with a ton of people will make anyone sweat, so please, keep that in mind. With sweating comes dehydration!

Batman & Darth Vader Drinking
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Buying water will get expensive so I always keep a water-bottle on my person at all times. Please make sure your cosplay is bathroom ready, meaning: make sure you have easy access to get stuff off for a bathroom run (or have a bathroom buddy). Don't stop drinking water for the sake of a cosplay, passing out is awful and you don't want to be that person. Don't think you are okay for alcohol early on either: head to toe cosplay plus running around all day equals disaster. Please don't risk your health for a buzz, wait till the hotel parties and after some food!

Speaking of health, you will learn of the dreaded "Con Crud"! Think upon this... you bought your $80+ ticket, your hotel room, your time and money for your cosplay and now you're sick. You're still going, as you sunk way too much time and money into this. Yet this is how the dreaded con crud happens.

But wait, you're not sick going to a con! But that person in the Jedi robe is. Keep a bottle of Zinc and Vitamin C in your hotel room to take daily (consult with your physician first before taking anything) and bring a pocket size hand sanitizer. DON'T put your hands in your mouth, don't snack on anything without using that hand sanitizer! And make sure you're not pulling 24 hours strait, go on, get some rest! And furthermore, please make sure you brought your medications with you! Nothing spells disaster like a missing inhaler, epi-pen, or lack of insulin!

Also get an idea of what you want to do. The internet is a beautiful thing, go on the con's site and check out their vendors list and the panel list. Pick out what you'd want to see and buy. Your time is precious and so is your money! Budget both! I will tell you impulse shopping is my thing, but it is also the bane of my existence. Don't be me! Be smarter than me!

Aretha Franklin
As Aretha Franklin said best, RESPECT. Please don't feel like it's OK to just touch someone. That person may not like to be touched. Ask! Same goes for photos. Ask! I've had people take pictures of me eating, and that's not cool! Respect at a convention goes a long way. I love wearing costumes that are half naked, yet that doesn't give anyone permission to touch my bum or say something inappropriate. So guys and gals, please, be respectful.

Please be aware of your surroundings as well! You may not have bad intentions, but you don't know about that person asking to help you with your merchandise or bags. There are thieves. I love having a positive outlook and seeing the best in humans, but hey, lets face it, not everyone is nice. Watch your drinks! Don't EVER leave a drink unattended, especially at after parties! I can speak from my own experience by saying you don't want to be a victim of being drugged: watch your back and have a buddy system with your close friends. Don't leave the party alone or with a "random". Keep your bag / purse on you at all times at a convention.

Remember you will need a bag / purse / backpack to carry around your stuff in. Be crafty with it! My Aquaman cosplay has a shark backpack purse, and my Dark Pheonix cosplay has a gold bag, so if you can get something that matches, go for it! Remember to pack snacks, a water bottle, a mini fix it kit, money, ID, and any meds you may need. My video goes into more detail about this.

Remember to have fun, make memories, and learn!

This article was brought to you care of the one, the only, cosplaying queen herself, Jenna Say What!?!? Please stay tuned for what she has in store for us next month, right here, on Jenna Say Blog.

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