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Unread 01-28-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
NatureMade
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It's dangerous to go alone, take this...Katsucon 1st-timers Guide!

Hello one and all! Welcome to the 1st timer's Guide for Katsucon! I decided to make this thread for anybody who's new to Conventions, or just going to Katsucon for the first time. Think of this thread as a place to get all your pre-con information down so you're ready to have a great time the second you step in those great big doors at the Gaylord Convention Center!

I'm just gonna run through the basics of any Convention, then get into the Katsu-specific stuff. If you have any questions I haven't answered, feel free to ask and I'll answer to the best of my ability. I'll also be sure to post a link to the schedule when it is released.

BASIC CON INFO

#1 - Always have fun.

I know this is always saved for last on a list, but I cannot stress this enough. We're all here to have fun. Don't ever let anything damper your spirits, and always make the best out of every situation.

#2 - Always keep a list of ECI [Emergency Contact Information].
It's the year 2011, and I'm sure most if not all of you have Cellphones. But what about Emergency's where your phone dies? Do you have important numbers memorized? It's always a good idea to keep a physical copy of important numbers on you, as a backup.

#3 - Remember to eat regularly
It's almost common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people I know have skipped meals while at conventions. I would highly suggest NOT doing this. It's not fun when you become so hungry that you can't even make the 5 minute walk back up to your room, so make sure you eat at least 3 meals a day, or keep snacks on you if you plan on waiting in lines for long periods of time.

#4 - Make sure you shower regularly, too!

Another thing people often skimp on while at cons is their personal hygiene. And this is just another one about Common sense. Make sure you're showering once a day and brushing your teeth as well. Your costume may look fantastic, but no one is gonna want your picture if you reek to the highest of heavens!

#5 - Always have a backup plan!
Say you have plans to meet someone, or to be somewhere at a certain time. More often than not, you'll stick to the plan or fall off track by a few minutes at most. But what about if where your meeting spot is, is blocked off? or an Event has moved/been rescheduled? It's not too big of an issue, but it's always a good idea to have a backup plan in mind. This same rule applies for funds. Always make sure you've got a little bit of backup cash on hand.

#6 - Bring the necessities, but also limit yourself!
It's always important to bring what you need for the 2-3 days away from home you'll be spending at the convention center/hotel. For example, as michael16291 has reminded us, Cell phone chargers are essential to the "equip list" of items to bring. However It's also important you don't drag stuff along that you won't need, as you can easily lose track of stuff in the hotel room or even at the convention center. Make a check list [or use the one provided below] of stuff you're bringing so you don't forget it before going home.
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And now, onto more Katsucon specific things.

MAPS!

First of all, I've taken the liberty of making a duplicate of the Gaylord's Hotel map, wiping out all the resturants/other keypoints, and highlighting the Major photoshoot area's. Another advantage to this map is the locations of the Restrooms/ATMs/Elevators.

Map of Gaylord Hotel ONLY -
http://i51.tinypic.com/2lxhwg0.jpg

And here is the original map, with all the resturants/side shops noted, as well as a layout of the Convention center [where a majority of the Con Events will take place]

Map of the ENTIRE Gaylord Resort/CC - http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord...=gn-cnav-trans

PREPARATIONS!

By now, you've probably thought there can be pre-cautions that could POSSIBLY be applied to the conventions, right? WRONG! While most of you know by now how to survive and prepare for Katsucon, there are still a few who haven't been before, or haven't witnessed the greatness that IS the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center! So allow me to point out a few small tidbits that could help you out for the fun weekend ahead.

-Try to get to an ATM prior to Katsucon. I'm only saying this due to last year, a lot of the ATM's in the hotel were actually out of money by about 2-3pm Friday afternoon.
-Keep a small bottle of water/some form of hydration nearby. This goes double during the raves. The Con does provide water jugs and cups, so it's not a big deal, but sometimes they run dry, so it's good to have your own just in case.
-Keeping a small back-pack on you can help store all your stuff when your cosplay has no pockets, and they're usually obtainable from dollar stores. Just something small to carry aforementioned water bottles/snacks/wallets. Just be sure to never let it out of your site
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FOOD!

Food is an important part of any con. By my estimates, you should go no more than 5-6 hours without eating something to keep yourself sustained. And as I mentioned earlier, it's important not to skimp out on meals, less you want to feel faint and weary during the con.
so here's some info/tips to help keep you ahead of the game!

-Bringing food with you to leave in your room is usually a good idea. Especially considering the lack of fast food in the National Harbor area. The cheapest restaurants around are still in the double digits for a meal [save for maybe one or two].
If your room has no refrigerator to store food in, but it has a Coffee maker, You can always bring the Styrofoam cup ramen as an alternative.
A last minute note for food is the Java Coast, located in the Lower Atrium floor, right next to the Sports bar/across from the fountain. A bit pricey, but definitely an option versus venturing outside for something.

Here's a few useful links to get a better idea of whats in the area
-List of Restaurants/Dining in the area
-National Harbor Restaurant Week [Feb 15th-27th] info [Thank you Kuramasan for pointing this event out]
-Yelp.com Restaurant Reviews
-Potbellies Menu/pricing
-Java Coast Website/Hours of Operation

Another useful tidbit of info courtesy of Kuramasan~
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuramasan
Last year they set up food stands in the jungle area of the ground floor of the Gaylord's atrium in addition to selling the sandwiches and also there's the Potbelly Sandwich Works if someone wants cheaper food. (not in the gaylord but not that far)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

and Here's some advice from our Katsu Veterans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlette View Post
I think another important thing to remember about Katsucon, which is specific to this con, is the weather. The D.C. Metro Area in February is usually a shitload of ass. Last year there was a very heavy snowstorm like 3 days before the con, and many local neighborhoods and roadways were still not completely passable. I shouldn't even have to mention KatSNOWcon 2003 when a bunch of us got completely snowed in and trapped at the hotel. Some people couldn't get home for DAYS! So please have an inclement weather back-up plan. Credit cards with plenty of funds for another night at the hotel, or someone you can call who you know can wire emergency funds to you. Extra food like cups of noodles/Ramen is a MUST because when in doubt it'll keep you warm and can be fixed in the coffee maker.

Even on the years we haven't gotten snow around con time, it is still BALLS COLD OUTSIDE. Please dress appropriately or bring a coat with you if you know you will be in a skimpy costume. Trust me, you won't look awesome in your costume if you're shivering and covered in goosebumps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilayi
I'm far from new to cons, I just wanted to add a couple general con tips that I learned through experience

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/1...ckthislist.jpg
I find that it's easier for me if I have a checklist on what I bring to a con, so I know I bring it all back with me, and so I won't forget to take it there in the first place. I found this, and it seems like a good list to start with.

More tips are to have a little notebook or something similar and a pen so you can write down the screen names of people you meet that you want to stay in touch with. You could even give out business card type things that you can make yourself with your info.
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CONCLUSION

So, hope this thread has been helpful in someway, and if there's anything I need to add to it, or if there are additional questions you have about Katsucon, or coning in general, feel free to ask!
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Last edited by NatureMade : 02-11-2011 at 08:03 PM.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
Lucida
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Thank you dude! I really need that since its my first time going to the con!
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:37 PM   #3
Arlette
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I think another important thing to remember about Katsucon, which is specific to this con, is the weather. The D.C. Metro Area in February is usually a shitload of ass. Last year there was a very heavy snowstorm like 3 days before the con, and many local neighborhoods and roadways were still not completely passable. I shouldn't even have to mention KatSNOWcon 2003 when a bunch of us got completely snowed in and trapped at the hotel. Some people couldn't get home for DAYS! So please have an inclement weather back-up plan. Credit cards with plenty of funds for another night at the hotel, or someone you can call who you know can wire emergency funds to you. Extra food like cups of noodles/Ramen is a MUST because when in doubt it'll keep you warm and can be fixed in the coffee maker.

Even on the years we haven't gotten snow around con time, it is still BALLS COLD OUTSIDE. Please dress appropriately or bring a coat with you if you know you will be in a skimpy costume. Trust me, you won't look awesome in your costume if you're shivering and covered in goosebumps.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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I'm far from new to cons, I just wanted to add a couple general con tips that I learned through experience

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/1...ckthislist.jpg
I find that it's easier for me if I have a checklist on what I bring to a con, so I know I bring it all back with me, and so I won't forget to take it there in the first place. I found this, and it seems like a good list to start with.

More tips are to have a little notebook or something similar and a pen so you can write down the screen names of people you meet that you want to stay in touch with. You could even give out business card type things that you can make yourself with your info.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 01:05 AM   #5
NatureMade
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Arlette, Kiyali, thanks so much for those additions. I completely blanked on the Weather conditions until it was brought it [I very clearly remember freezing my feet off in my Socks and Straw Sandals xD.]
and Lists are definitely always a good way to keep track of stuff. I know I usually can keep track of it all in my mind, but I know I also tend to forget 1 or 2 small things, so I might be taking that checklist with me myself this year ^^
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Unread 01-29-2011, 01:52 AM   #6
Yamia Ishtar
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I started carrying a list of stuff with me at Otakon last year. Its really helpful. :3

I would like to add, that its a good idea to write your name and # on the back of your badge. You don't want to end up losing it and having to pay for another one! DX
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Unread 01-29-2011, 02:14 AM   #7
NatureMade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamia Ishtar View Post
I started carrying a list of stuff with me at Otakon last year. Its really helpful. :3

I would like to add, that its a good idea to write your name and # on the back of your badge. You don't want to end up losing it and having to pay for another one! DX
That's another good bit of advice, though they will usually tell you to do that at the registration table when they hand you your badge [They're even nice enough to have a stack of sharpies on hand]
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Unread 01-29-2011, 02:56 AM   #8
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Eh, you should post up the National Harbor website because it has all the restaurant information on it.
It's also restaurant week during Katsu so if anyone wants a 5 start dining experience at $35 a person for a 3 course meal, that also might be noted.
And there are cheaper options. Last year they set up food stands in the jungle area of the ground floor of the Gaylord's atrium in addition to selling the sandwiches and also there's the Potbelly Sandwich Works if someone wants cheaper food. (not in the gaylord but not that far)
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Unread 01-29-2011, 08:46 AM   #9
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My cosplay groups con guide. Not Katsucon specific but it's pretty detailed. XD

http://chickenricecosplay.webs.com/a...survival-guide
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Unread 01-29-2011, 09:11 AM   #10
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This is extra helpful! I printed out the pack list and taped it into my con journal.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 09:22 AM   #11
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This is really helpful! THANKS!

Also, holy crap, Restaurant Week. *__*
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Unread 01-29-2011, 11:30 AM   #12
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Thanks so much for this! Much appreciated and very helpful.

I'm venturing far out of my territory to attend and lemme tell ya, been feeling nervous about it!
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Unread 01-29-2011, 05:14 PM   #13
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Last year, the inside of the Gaylord was surprisingly toasty. If the temperatures are the same this year, it's probably a bad idea to wear a really warm costume indoors for long periods of time.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 11:22 PM   #14
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FOOD after 10PM

Ok Last year there was a snow storm. A lot of the places on the outside were closed. But the hotel in particular. There's NOTHING to eat after 10PM unless you want room service. The sportsbar basically had Chicken Fingers and Pork Sliders. Basically Microwaved.

I ended up being delayed getting into Katsucon on Friday at 11PM. I had to go across the street to a freaking night club to get anything resembling food.

So keep that in mind in case you come from a place like NYC where you are used to being able to walk out anytime and get stuff.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 03:23 PM   #15
liivingdeadgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgetalife View Post
FOOD after 10PM

Ok Last year there was a snow storm. A lot of the places on the outside were closed. But the hotel in particular. There's NOTHING to eat after 10PM unless you want room service. The sportsbar basically had Chicken Fingers and Pork Sliders. Basically Microwaved.

I ended up being delayed getting into Katsucon on Friday at 11PM. I had to go across the street to a freaking night club to get anything resembling food.

So keep that in mind in case you come from a place like NYC where you are used to being able to walk out anytime and get stuff.
There was that little cafe thingy that had amazing hot dogs at 4am. XD
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