Happy Friday! My summer con season kicks off in short two weeks, so today I thought I’d talk about my top 13 con essentials.
So without further ado, here’s my list of con essentials:
1. Fully charged cell phone (and your charger!): My phone is basically my lifeline at cons. I use it to take photos of celebs and cool cosplays, contact friends and photographers for meet-ups, and keep up with my social media. At Fan Days, I made the mistake of bringing in a half-charged phone and leaving my charger at my house. I wasn’t able to contact ANYONE throughout the day and wound up coming home to hundreds of messages and notifications. Lesson learned!
Pro-tip: cosplaying with gloves? Sew in a bit of conductive thread into the thumb so that you don’t have to take your gloves off and on all day.
2. Cash and ID: While vendors now offer credit card or even PayPal sales, some still don’t. Or worse, the wireless signal is stupid weak and you have to wander around trying to get a signal. No, thank you. Got other places to check out! Cash is also useful if you have to pay for parking. Many places will require an ID to pick-up your badge, so don’t leave it at home!
3. A small first-aid kit: I like to prepare for worst-case scenarios, whether that’s a wig-induced headache, blistered heels, or cuts from random pokey props. Antiseptic wipes, band-aids, and ibuprofen are always in my go bag.
4. Touch-up make-up: I normally bring a large amount of make-up that I leave in my big bag, but I always hit the floor with my powder, lipstick, and lash glue if I’m wearing falsies. Hair spray is also handy for wig touch-ups!
5. A fantastic pose (or 3): It’s always handy to practice a couple of go-to poses for when you’re stopped for pictures. Having more than one pose ready keeps you from getting bored and only having the same look in all your pictures.
6. A water bottle: Stay hydrated! There’s nothing worse than being in a costume in the middle of the summer and getting sick from dehydration. I normally keep a water bottle on me at all times.
7. Snackage: Most cons don’t have the greatest food options, and if they do, wait times are atrocious. Plus, why spend your con money on food when you could spend it on dealer’s room goodies? I like to pack a couple of granola bars, fruit snacks, almonds, and raisins to get me through the day.
8. A con repair kit: No matter how well you prepare, sometimes shit just happens. I like to have a small sewing kit, a stain remover pen, and a small bottle of craft glue on me in case something happens. You may also want to include small bottles of paint in the colors of your costume and/or a hot glue gun. Many cons now have costume repair rooms, which is great if you need to do a bigger repair!
9. Contact cards: These are great for getting in touch with people after cons! I never remember everyone’s cosplay names, so it’s useful to go back and look people up using their cards. Contact cards are also super useful when you’re working with photographers.
10. Tic-tacs and deodorant: Let’s face it, we all get a little stinky at cons between sweating and all the crowding. Take a shower before you hit the floor and make sure you stay fresh throughout the day!
11. Make-up/baby wipes/hand sanitizer: Hygiene! No one wants to catch con crud, so make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if necessary. I also like to have make-up wipes on hand so that at the end of the day, I can wipe all my makeup off on the ride home.
12. A change of clothes: Very useful for uncomfortable costumes! Or if you plan to go out to eat afterwards and want to protect your costume. At the very least, bring a hoodie so you don’t spill anything on your costume!
13. A great attitude: Smile! Have fun being a big ol’ geek with the rest of your geeky buddies for the weekend.
What are some of your con essentials?