To some, Labor Day is the last hurrah of the summer. To the geeks and nerds, it means Dragon Con, one of the largest pop-culture conventions in the world covering literature, television, movies, comics and gaming.
I get very excited every September because my current day to day activities afford few opportunities to don princess attire. Dragon Con lets me dress up like I did when I was a kid.
Dragon Con Hacks
Even if princess attire is not your thing, there is still plenty to see and do at Dragon Con 2017, taking place September 1– 4, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. So much in fact, that it gets overwhelming.
To help you out, I have put on my thinking tiara and come up with 7 hacks that will help noobs (gamer speak for 1st timers) and return attendees alike to navigate the Con.
#1 – Embrace Your Inner Super Hero or Princess
Shockingly my favorite part of Dragon Con is dressing up. I go ALL OUT with my costumes or cosplay, if you want the official term.
You may have seen my Fawkes cosplay on Buzzfeed a couple of year’s ago. (shameless plug)
People spend countless hours and (literally) thousands of dollars on their costumes. And they are a work of art.
Don’t feel intimidated if you lack the time, talent or resources. Anything goes! You can go super simple or get really creative.
There are plenty of people who choose not to dress up (though I am certain they have slightly less fun than those of us in tutus…).
Need a costume idea? Think of your favorite super hero, villain, comic book or princess. Go classic or put a twist on it like steampunk, hipster, retro (for example – Hipster Cinderella).
#2 – There’s An App for That
Navigating all the events and endless options seems impossible, especially once Dragon Con starts.
Luckily they have an app and it’s actually useful!
Bonus: it works even if you turn your data off to save your dying phone battery (see #4).
Some of the fun features:
- Find your friends
- Share your schedule with friends
- Offline mode
- Real time updates on changes
Download the official Dragon Con app here.
#3 – Smile
During Dragon Con, I always feel a bit like a celebrity because people I’ve never met stop me and want to take my picture. The better your costume, the more often people are going to stop and ask for a photo.
That means if you see a cool costume, feel free to ask the person wearing it if you can take their picture.
Most folks are more than happy to stop for a photo opp. I always love to try and find people that are dressed up as the same character as me, especially if they’ve put a fun spin on it.
Sidenote: always ask if you’re going to take someone’s picture. Don’t be the creepy person sneaking pictures.
#4 – Charged Up
This event seems to cast an evil spell over all the smartphones in the vicinity.
No matter what kind of phone you have or who your provider is, it will die mid-way through the day.
Solution: Buy a portable charger / external battery. If you’re really industrious buy several and sell them to folks who aren’t smart enough to read OVE.
Important Note: Most of these chargers must be CHARGED before you use them. A portable battery with no charge is useless.
#5 – Snack Attack
Because who wants to waste time in line when there is so much geeky fun to be had?
- Water – Do I need to explain this one?
- Snackage of choice – I recommend buying the fun sizes because they are portable
- Caffeine – The last thing you want to do is wait in the never ending Starbucks line. I have literally waited 45+ minutes at peak morning hours
- Adult beverages – Reminder: Atlanta isn’t as cool as Huntsville about folks walking around with open containers. In fact, Atlanta has no entertainment district.
#6 – Plan
One of the most overwhelming parts of Dragon Con is the sheer volume of activities. You can enjoy:
- And more
To get the most out of your experience, check out your options in advance. ALL your options. Identify the events that you absolutely must attend and build your schedule around those.
#7 – Line Time
While we’re talking about planning, there is one item that most folks overlook when planning their schedules: waiting in line time. This waiting time is ESSENTIAL!
To get a seat at most panels, especially popular ones, you are going to have to get in line before the panel actually starts. Rarely can you just walk up to a panel 5-10 minutes before it starts.
Typically, you are allowed to start lining up 1 hour before a panel starts. This timing can make it difficult to attend 2 panels that are back to back, which is why I suggest you plan your schedule around the events you really, really, want to attend.