• Matt Ligeti

Pros and Cons: A Fan’s Etiquette Guide to Con Survival

This article was written by CJ Pendragon and was originally published at OfficialSirensOfSequentials.com. It has been reprinted here with CJ's expressed permission – thanks, CJ! (Ignore that it says the article was written by me up at the top – it's a WIX thing.)




With con season in full swing, I wanted to take the time to use my personal experience and shared experience from others to toss together a basic guideline of etiquette for conventions.


We have all been part of a con experience that has had a Moment that made us groan, internally or otherwise. Be it the fan with the massive amount of books they want signed or the one demanding free art from a creator, it’s nice to take the time to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure we are adding to the experience, for both ours and the enjoyment of others. As such, I’ve compiled a list of basic guidelines in reference to various parts of the con-going experience to help newcomers, and remind old hats, on how we’re meant to act in public.


Hygiene

  • DO take showers and brush teeth daily

  • DON’T wear over-powering colognes or perfumes

  • DO use deodorant

  • DO carry hand sanitizer with you

  • DO carry gum or mints


Human Interactions

  • DO reintroduce yourself to people if it’s been a while

  • DO be mindful of children and strollers.

  • DO chat with fellow fans about shared passions.

  • DO, whenever possible, use bags that can be carried or worn.

  • DO yield and step aside for people who use wheelchairs, canes, walkers, etc. Enough people will not that having a small handful be respectful will aid in their ability to maneuver the crowded floors.

  • DON’T invade personal space. Respect the bubble.

  • DON’T hug people without permission.

  • DON’T hit on people you just met.

  • DON’T pet the cute doggo in the cosplay without permission.

  • DO NOT under any circumstance place your hands or lean against someone’s mobility aid. People who need assistance will ask for assistance. Do not assume.


Vendor/Pro Interactions

  • DO feel free to wear a social media identifying label! Many creators will remember frequent social media interactors and are happy to see you.

  • DO respect limits on books to sign

  • DO ask about signing fees. This is becoming more common as creators struggle to support themselves.

  • DO express your love for their work.

  • DO tip creators after purchase or signing if they have a HERO INITIATIVE jar.

  • DO tell them your favorites / what has made a lasting impression.

  • DO ask them about available pre-orders they’re taking at their tables.

  • DON’T expect every day to be an On Day for a creator. Bad days happen.

  • DON’T ask artists for free art.

  • DON’T approach creators with insults on their work or to “suggest improvements.”

  • DON’T harass them for their political views.

  • DON’T PITCH CREATORS

  • DO NOT PLACE BAGS ON TOP OF TABLES. This damages merch and books, as well as feeling invasive.

  • DON’T stop creators on their way to the bathroom or panels. Respect the time hustle.


Cosplay

  • COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. DO NOT TOUCH OR HIT ON COSPLAYERS.

  • DO pay ALL the compliments.

  • COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. DO NOT TOUCH OR HIT ON COSPLAYERS.

  • DO take photos (WITH PERMISSION). Be sure you do not block the flow of traffic or impede access to vendor/creator tables.

  • COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. DO NOT TOUCH OR HIT ON COSPLAYERS.

  • DON’T insult costumes. Be it a $20 Walmart buy or a $2k DIY, people put money and effort and passion into their cosplay.

  • COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. DO NOT TOUCH OR HIT ON COSPLAYERS.

  • DON’T participate or encourage in Black Face.

  • COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. DO NOT TOUCH OR HIT ON COSPLAYERS.

  • DON’T touch cosplay components or props.

  • COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. DO NOT TOUCH OR HIT ON COSPLAYERS.


Basic Tips

  • Drink water. Hydration is key to a crowded, hot con.

  • Use bags with wide shoulder straps for comfort

  • Organize the merch you want signed by creator. You can refer to your map to work out an order for ease of access.

  • If you have music, turn it down near the sales areas. It can impede on sales and bother vendors.

  • Familiarize yourself with the floor layout. Take note of bathrooms, doors to hallways off the main floor for breaks, the food court, etc.

  • Charge your phone. Many cons sell WiFi access and have limited cell signal.

  • Some vendors accept credit/debit cards but bring cash to avoid ATM fees and missed opportunities.

  • Use pronoun announcing tags to avoid misgendering and encourage a safe and inclusive experience for everyone.


Have a tip you'd add to the list? Leave a comment!


#Articles #Advice #ComicCons

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©2018 by Matt Ligeti the Comic Book Yeti.