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Unread 06-28-2007, 12:10 PM   #1
fightstar
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Lightbulb How to surivive Dragon Con

"How to Survive Dragoncon Guide"

I had one of our Spartans ask this question and I though make a thread about this sounds like a good idea! I have read about other cons and the con going experience as well as going to Dragon since 2K5! Here are a few things I would suggest.

7 to 5 days before the con do the following:

1) Vitamins and/or Airborne. Since you will be exposed to people and an environment that you are not accostum to. So as not to get sick you want to load your body with healthy fighting elements for this. Especially since sleep will be little to none. Trust me!

2) Drinking water. Got to Wally-world, Sam's, Coscos, whatever and get a case of bottle water. A case is cheap 4 to 5 dollars and you can refill the bottles as needed. If you are flying bring a refillable water bottle. Best to have one with you at con and not need it then to not have one and really need it. Cheaper than trying to buy a water while you are there.

3) Breakfast bars. I like this one myself because breakfast is an important meal of any con. Gets you going before you are force to hunt for food in the "food court of costume glory". Whatever your heart desires for Breakfast bars or protein bars is fine.

One receipt for me was to get a one bar, an empty water bottle filled with water/energy drink/tea of choice and drop an Umph tablet caffee in the bottle. Go down stairs and find a quite place to have breakfast. Since having a coffee machine is a little hard for those who are flying this is a good solution for those who need their early morning caffine kick.

3) Pepcid Complete, Pepto-bismol, and imodium AD. There are times that the "food court of costume glory" has some dumb-A$$ cook the chicken wrong which gets loads of people sick. This can ruin your con experience something fearce. So like the Boy Scouts 'Be Prepared'. Even if you get generics from the local pharmasy and it is only a 5 day or short supply it's better than nothing. Lets hope you will not need this, but everyone has hit this bump one time or another.

4)Minor sewing kit. A little needle, thread, and some extra buttons just in case your costume didn't make the travel as well as you.

5)Febreze. Do I really need to say any more than this?

6)Plastic bags. Old shopping bags are good, but you can bring trash bags and some bigger zipp locks if you like. This is for whatever. Stinky clothing, trash, con swag, etc. Helps keep things organized on the trip back.

7) Power Strip and batteries. We all have electronics and needs to power them. Basically put batteries for digital cameras and the power strip (hopefully one that is surge protected) to recharge cellphones, laptops, batteries, etc.

8) Alarm clock. Seems silly, but when you want to take a power nap and you don't want to miss that next panel or the parade!

9)Pens, pencils, and High Lighter. Office supplies to help you with the con guide and mark where you want to go next in your day.


That is all I could think of for Pre-Con Preparation. If you want to add anything please feel free. This is for all to learn, enjoy and experince the best of the best that is Dragon Con.
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Unread 06-28-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
Darth Takeo
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In the spirit of item #5, I'd also say Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Aspirin, or whichever your headache/pain reliever of choice happens to be.

Great man once said, on the subject of staying up all night/skipping sleep; "You either sleep, or you eat." So to reinforce #3, make sure you're eating cuz at the con, it gets very easy to go 3,4 or 5 hours forgetting to grab food, then it catches up with you and can take you out. Just as should be done in everyday life, stick to smaller, but more frequent meals. Then if you're gonna pull the all nighter, when feeling tired, instead of sleeping, go eat!

Something else that helped me; hitting the exercise/weight room. I was contemplating last year taking off from my routine for the con, but then decided since the Marriott has such a nice room, I'd take advantage. Was I ever glad I did, not only for helping keep me energized, but I got to work out next to Ray Park himself! What timing! That doesn't happen every day!
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Unread 06-28-2007, 02:50 PM   #3
The Kraken
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Working out next to Ray Park? That's awesome! I'd like to double up on everything you guys said, especially with the advice of stomach/head medicine. If you're a drinker, I suggest one water for every drink. You don't want to be throwing up and crap. I also recommend taking some headache stuff while you're drinking as it will cut down on the possibility of getting a hangover. Since most hangovers are caused by dehydration, the one-two punch of Excedrin and an adequate amount of water should be able to keep one at bay. Also, EAT. For God's sake eat. Finally, you mentioned coffee, Fightstar. Most rooms have a little coffee pot tucked away in a nook somewhere or in the bathroom. It's typically only a two or three cup machine, but should do the trick. OH! One more drinking tip (I'm not an alcoholic! I swear!): the con suite is a great place for free mixers. Juice, soda, whatever is usually there. So save some room in your cooler by not bringing that stuff.
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Unread 06-28-2007, 04:45 PM   #4
Ragresen
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Been eternal at DC since 1991. I have gone days with out food execpt for injesting alchol. Breakfest what is that? I am normally not up till about 10 in the morning and well by them I am ready for lunch if I bother to eat. Oh yes there is a neat thing called the Con Suite. You get free food and drink there. The sew kit is a nice idea if you costume. Over all the best way to survive DC is to have fun and stay smart. if you feel hungry go eat. If not go Party.
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Unread 06-28-2007, 05:00 PM   #5
halafax
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Remember the 5,2,2 rule

5 hrs of sleep

atleast two showers
and two meals.
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Unread 06-28-2007, 06:37 PM   #6
london2191
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lol...I didn't use any of these and I survived. Then again, I went one day. Don't forget safety pins!

I'll definitely keep this in mind, thanks. =D
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Unread 06-28-2007, 10:33 PM   #7
Monicator
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LOL Last year for D*C I didnt do any of those, except for shower. Its was so difficult to get out of/into my Cyrax costume that I avoided eating so I wouldnt have to use the bathroom. It worked too and I managed to run around the convention and stay in costume for pretty much 10+ hours. I was never hungry or tired...being "in character" took care of that, but I did have a few sips of water now and then. I also carried around a roll of duct tape in case anything bad happened to my armor XD
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Unread 06-28-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
The Kraken
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That costume is awesome! Certainly the best one I've seen.
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Unread 06-29-2007, 01:57 AM   #9
TheWickedOne
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a couple of extra tips for those who induldge in partying:

1. bring enough cigarettes if you're a smoker. it's hard to find them in downtown ATL, and if you do, they're expensive as all get out.

2. if you bring your own alcohol, then bring plasic cups. sometimes staff gets wierd when you carry a beer bottle around the con. they definitely get weird with cans, considering no canned beer is sold at the convention.

3. utility belts are more than just for show. OVERSTOCK them with anything you may need for the duration of stay outside your room. again, OVERSTOCK!

4. know your limits! alot of people from all over are there to have a good time. they've spent a lot of time and money on costumes and a lot of money on cameras and photography equipment. it'd be a shame to lose control and have to pay a lot of money to replace any of that.

5. cellphones or mini walkie-talkies. if you go out as a group, but split up, then these are incredibly handy. you never know when someone famous will walk by, get recognized and stopped. call your friends and let them know. as an example: i almost knocked over alan tudyk and summer glau from "firefly" last year and my girlfriend could not be reached, but i got to meet them.

hope these little tidbits will help out anyone to whom they may apply.
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Unread 06-29-2007, 07:58 AM   #10
Amechan
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Hot glue gun! I never go to a con without it!

Oh, and bring extra batteries. I made the mistake of not charging my battery for my camera last year, and couldn't use it... which made me pretty sad.

Turn your cell phone on vibrate. You're not going to hear it unless it's 2 a.m. - 7 a.m. It always drives me nuts when my friends don't answer their phones at D*C simply because they don't hear them ring. You're more likely going to know someone is calling if the thing is on vibrate in your back pocket!

oh! oh! Another thing, bring snacks or something to carry around! I generally carry a couple of granola bars around for when I get hungry in the afternoon. It's amazing how much one granola bar will make you feel better. (if you don't like granola bars, then bring something like chex mix)
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Unread 06-29-2007, 09:23 AM   #11
vampirate
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About food suggestions: Things that are tastey without refrigeration or cooking are good, like poptarts and granola bars. I like bringing some SlimFast bars because some of the flavors are actually good, they are quick to eat, and they have vitamins and such in them. And you can use your tiny coffee pot in the room to make things like cup ramen and cup oatmeal. I also like to bring Gatorade.

About TheWickedOne's alcohol suggestion: I'm bringing a sippy cup this year, you know like for toddlers. Now I won't have to worry about spilling it, carrying around a bottle, plus I get to carry around a cute Disney princess cup.

Don't forget all your bathroom stuff. After you've packed go back and look through your bathroom again. Yes you could buy new deodorant if you forget it, but just remember everything and that's one less thing to do later.

Check your phone for messages. The reception isn't great everywhere so you may have missed calls.

And yes, I always have things like Tums with me. You never know when something isn't going to agree with you.
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Unread 06-29-2007, 09:32 AM   #12
makio
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As a would-be first time D*con visitor... I've got a couple of questions.

1) I stupidly have procrastinated on getting admission... so now I'm stuck with either paying $70 before 7/13/07 or the full $85 if I continue the neglect. Either way, I'm wondering if it's possible to pick up my con-badge on Thursday, August 30th(the day before the convention)or some way earlier?

2) Obviously this is a huge convention, lot of attendees, guests, hotel patrons, etc... but are there any large open, air-conditioned hallways or areas/cafe zones to stop and take a break? It's still summer afterall when D*con occurs, and the less humidity I have to deal with, the better!

3) How's the masquerade/costume contest? Worth entering, watching or just skipping altogether(and thus adding to more party time)?

4) In addition to the above... after reading the D*con page about it, there's:
(a) A lot of people that also attend the masquerade... so it's something I'd have to line up early to watch/participate in?
(b) It's an integrated costume & cosplay skit contest?

5) Any D*con hosted panels to personally recommend?
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Unread 06-29-2007, 04:07 PM   #13
fightstar
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Seems like I have started some thinking around here. Still need to write about what to do during and after the con, but more on that later. I'm glad everyone is dropping there thoughts on this one. 60+ days to go so stay fit!
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Unread 06-29-2007, 05:44 PM   #14
The Kraken
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Makio, some answers for ya...

1. You can pick up your badge starting at 4 PM on Thursday.

2. There are places to sit down and relax. If you're in the Hyatt, head underground. If you're in the Marriott... go anywhere but the main lobby. Not a whole lot goes on in there after dark.

3. I personally can't stand the masquerade. It's incredibly lame and annoying and takes WAYYYY too long. If I want to see great costumes, I can see them out and about. I don't recommend going to it.

4. If you DO decide to go, then line up EARLY. This is part of why it's so annoying, too. It takes away from the other good times you could be having. Like, several hours of it. It IS an integrated skit/costume contest. The skits are usually really lame.

5. I don't go to panels often, if ever, so I wouldn't be the one to ask about that.
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Unread 06-29-2007, 07:49 PM   #15
Monicator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Kraken View Post
3. I personally can't stand the masquerade. It's incredibly lame and annoying and takes WAYYYY too long. If I want to see great costumes, I can see them out and about. I don't recommend going to it.

4. If you DO decide to go, then line up EARLY. This is part of why it's so annoying, too. It takes away from the other good times you could be having. Like, several hours of it. It IS an integrated skit/costume contest. The skits are usually really lame.

Yeah, I dont go to masquerades eaither and plus I think you can catch a video of it so you can always have a chance to see it. I do the hallways costume contests. Last year I won ^^
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