Conspectives: Summer Convention Tips

2012 BayouCon – Lake Charles, Louisiana

Summer has finally arrived and with that the summer convention season is upon us. This is the time of year when many conventions take place throughout the United States and the rest of the world. After two years of not really having conventions, it’s important for us to be prepared for what is to come. I know that the notion of getting ready for a convention is an exciting process that always brings about a plethora of different emotions.  Everything from joy to sheer terror can happen in an instance as we determine the logistics of a convention from preparing and traveling to the show as well as what programming we will participate in. 

I have come up with a few things that may better prepare you for your next convention.  While this may not be a comprehensive guide, I hope that will help bring back the sense off fun of attending your favorite convention.


It’s often said the younger generations do not budget adequately and splurge on a lot of different things. Much of the same can be said whenever we attend a convention. Many times, I have overheard individuals saying that they needed to visit an ATM to get more money or that they were just going to put a purchase on a credit card when buying items in the dealer’s area. While that is perfectly normal, it can sometimes lead to us having some financial difficulties once we return home. For some of us we may find that we have overextended our bank accounts or that the simple purchases we made on the credit card added up to be more money than expected. 

I feel like a good solution for this and one that I have seen some friends adopt is the method of bringing just the amount of cash necessary for the planned expenses.  For example, an individual deducts $150 from their bank account and brings that cash in an envelope.  For the $150, $60 is set aside for autographs, $35 for dealer’s room purchases, leaving $55 remaining for food and miscellaneous items at the convention.  At no time does the individual take out a credit card or additional cash for the weekend. 

Now, should something happen where the autograph is more expensive or the actor isn’t available, then you have an opportunity to adjust your budget while still retaining the expected amount.  I completely understand that things can happen, which facilitate the need for spending more money. You have to set boundaries for yourself that you’re comfortable with in order to enjoy the convention. The last thing that you want to do is restrict yourself to a point that you’re not allowed to spend money and you’re basically just walking around the entire show.


2010 San Diego Comic-Con International

Do you remember the first time you attended a convention that had multiple layers of programming happening at one time? For me it was Dragon*Con. However, I was much more prepared for it than I originally thought. It wasn’t until I attended my first San Diego Comic Con in 2010 that I was overwhelmed with the amount of content available to me as an attendee. When looking at the schedule for events I noticed that there were literally dozens of rooms of content on top of all of the off-site events and the exhibit hall that was open for the duration of each convention day.  overwhelmed may not be the correct terminology to use but it was definitely mind boggling to see that I had to choose what I was going to do. I believe that attendees that go to a convention oftentimes want to see everything possible but miss out on content because they don’t prepare properly.

2008 Dragon*Con – Atlanta, Georgia

When I’m looking at a schedule of events, I try to take note of things that I’m really interested in seeing whether it be an actor or a fan topic. I set priority levels for these different topics and ensure that none of them overlap. If overlapping should occur, then I need to decide which event I will attend. If it’s a major track of programming, there may be a chance that when I arrive there will not be any seating available.  In that case I need to decide if I’m going to wait for a standby seat or move onto the secondary option for that time.

I will stress that it is not possible to see everything at a multi-genre convention with multiple layers a programming.  With proper planning and research, it is completely possible to enjoy a convention without having to witness every single piece of programming.


Let’s face it, as a people we are not always as hygienic as we could be. If there is anything that the global pandemic illustrated its that we need to work on this area in great detail. How many of you have gone to a convention only to return with an illness or feeling just a little under the weather? On the opposite side of that how many of you have attended a convention where you pass an individual that had not freshened up for the day? We joke around about these things calling it con funk or con crud for the illness aspect, but it’s implications are serious. 

It goes without saying that hygiene should be at the top of your list of things to prepare for whenever going to a convention. Taking a few minutes of your morning to take a shower or freshen up invites the entire day to be more pleasant for you and your fellow convention attendees. On the opposite side we all should take a few minutes throughout the day to wash our hands or sanitize since conventions are notorious for being germ spreaders. This is due in part to the amount things that we come in contact with. It is not the intent of this article to call anyone out but simply to make a request that you try to do things for the betterment of your health and for other also attending these conventions.

Going to a convention has been one of the most rewarding things that I have done. It gives me an opportunity to interact with other individuals who also enjoy the fandoms that I love. Like anything in life, it takes planning to make the process a lot better. Now I know that sometimes we go to a convention spontaneously and that’s OK but whenever we go to most shows we should take an opportunity to really plan out how we are going to make our time most effective. It’s just like going on a family vacation or any other big trip you have to take into account your budget, plan what you’re going to see and do while you’re on this trip, and make sure that you’re taking care of yourself as well.

I hope that these topics have helped you and I hope to see you at a convention soon.  While on the topic I’d like to mention that we will be attending Fan Expo in Dallas, Texas on June 17-19, 2022.  Please check out our YouTube channel for the post wrap plus other great topics on The Weekend Geeks.

Justin Toney
Managing Editor

Written By

Justin Toney
Justin Toney
Justin is the Managing Editor for and the Host of the YouTube Channel "The Weekend Geeks"
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