VidCon 2013 primer

There are a few advice blogs out there that tell you what to bring and what to do for and during VidCon. Let me add mine to this.

In regard to what to bring, I think the most important thing is comfortable shoes. You will walk and walk and walk and dance and walk and stand and walk and walk, and did I mention walk? If you want to bring the shiny shoes, go ahead and bring them too, but don’t forget the comfortable ones. You will be in ever increasing agony if you don’t.

Also of importance are some warm clothes, like a sweater. The hotels and the convention center have AC going. And especially when you’re tired (and you will be tired) and your body is slowing down, you will freeze. A sweater and some long pants work wonders there.

I have found it is best not to lug too much stuff around, while walking the halls. You are more flexible that way and prevent hurting backs and hands.
The only four items I do have with me at all times are my badge, my room key, my wallet and my phone. Everything else is optional.

One of the most basic things you can do for yourself at large events like this, is taking care of yourself. Remember to eat and drink. They have water stations with cups in the conference center. Use them. You will be dehydrated in no time. Also eat at least some snacks during and between events. If you don’t give your body at least some nourishment, while you are sleep deprived and overwhelmed, it will shut down on you. And you will be sleep deprived and you will be overwhelmed.

To beat at least a little of the overwhelming factor of VidCon, just make peace with the fact that you will miss things. There is no way for any one person to take all of the Con in. You would need a clone army with a shared brain to do that. So, instead of rushing frantic and frazzled from one thing to another, pick a few things that you would like to see and really spend time with them and enjoy them. Also, there will be so much ad hoc unscheduled fun that you just can’t plan for. Your schedule might experience some changes.

If you realize that, yes you are on the brink of overstimulation and you need a break, go take one. It can be as simple as just sitting down on the floor and closing your eyes for a few minutes. Nobody will hold it against you. In fact, many people will be thankful.

Also, if you notice that you are not feeling well, let people know. Don’t try to sit it out by yourself. If you worry that you are a nuisance to your friends for bringing you a gatorade, imagine how much more trouble it is to call 911, because you passed out.

One last point, do respect personal space. You will be among thousands of people. Make sure to give as much space as needed.
Respect the personal space of the guests (or talent, or performers). Give them double the room if they are kids, or if they have kids with them.
Respect your friend’s personal space. Especially if you a rooming with them. Keep your stuff out of their stuff.
Respect the personal space of cosplayers. Just because you see a corset, or short shorts, you can’t just go and touch.
That being said, VidCon is one of the places where people hug it out a lot. It is just one of the great parts of the community experience. You can always go up and ask for a hug. Most of the time you’ll get one.
Listen to the people who tell you to keep away from doors, or those who tell you to form a line. VidCon is still a very new Con and is still trying out cool new things. You don’t want to be the one responsible for ending one of the cool new things, because of selfish reasons.

Have fun and make sure the people around you have fun as well. VidCon is a magical, crazy and deeply invigorating experience. Everyone who was ever in the main hall during ‘Double Rainbow’ will know what I mean.

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About scratchingcat

Writer, mother, friend.
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