Day…..June 1, 2023
Wait…what? It’s June 1st already? How did that happen? Wasn’t January 1st just yesterday? It sure feels that way but because it isn’t January 1st but instead it’s June 1st, that means one we are now just 15 days away from Heroes Con 2023.
If you are in the Charlotte, NC area or plan on heading here, I hope you’re ready for the con, I know I’m not, but I’m working on it. In fact, that’s what this article is for, getting ready for the con. Here are things you need to know about Heroes Con before you go to it.
1. Over prep everything. I’ve been going to conventions of all sorts, from comic book ones to hair styling ones, and the one thing that I’ve learned is that you will always forget something you need or realize too late that you shouldn’t have this or that with you. Whatever con you are attending, take that list of all the things you are doing, might do, back up things, and want to do, and then break them all down to by the minute/hour/day. If on Saturday you plan on going to panels all day, then try to map out the distance between the panels so you can get a general idea of how long it will take you to get from one to the other. If the panel is one that will be very popular with lots of attendees, then you will have to plan on getting there early to be in line.
What time of the day are you getting in line? If it’s a first panel of the day then you will have to plan on getting to the con entry line early to get a good spot so that you can then go get in line for the panel, so how early in the morning will you have to wake up to get all your stuff together and eat and still be able to get in line early? Will you eat at home, hotel, or stop somewhere before the con? Will you be able to eat before the con and if not then now you have to plan on what kind of food you can take with you that you can eat at the con. How much space will it take up and how heavy is it? Will the con allow outside food onto the con floor? What about something to drink?
Now that you have figured out the food situation, what about clothing? Will you go in cosplay or civilian clothes? What will the weather be like outside and inside? Will you need warm clothes for outside but cool ones for inside? What about your shoes? You need comfort while standing and walking. If you are in a cosplay costume then can you sit down? Will you need someone to help you out? How will it impact your travel time? Will it be so large that you can’t sit in the front row? Don’t be that person that wears a giant costume that is the size of 2 people wide and 7 feet tall and then sit in the front row. You will be blocking a lot of peoples view and don’t say, I got in line first so I deserve the seat, because yes you deserve getting to pick a seat cause you did get there early but you don’t deserve being a rude, inconsiderate ass by now making others miss out. Yes, there is a chance that there will be other seats that people can sit in that are not behind or beside you but now you forced them to sit somewhere they might not want to and if the panel fills up then there will be people forced to sit behind you not able to see anything. So, either take it off or sit in the back.
Ok, now you are in the first panel, you’ve ate, you have your friend to help with the costume, and you are ready to enjoy the speakers. Are you going to ask a question? Do you want to take photos or video of it? If you had to take off the cosplay, will you have time to get it back on to get to the next panel? Where is the next panel? Do you have a wait time between the two? Can you go on the con floor to look around? If so are you able to carry anything if you buy anything? If you are in a costume will you get stopped a lot for photos where now it’s slowed you down and you weren’t able to look around and now you have to get back to the next panel but now there are more people between where your at and the panel who want to take photos, slowing you down, and now you have to chose, be nice or rude about the photos or miss the panel?
All of this is just a fraction of what you have to think about and it all is different for the different things you want to do. If you are getting things signed, how will you carry them to protect them, how much will they cost, will you be able to eat, are there conflicting times, can you take a photo with them, and so on. So, just remember, when you plan, over do it, try to think of every situation you could possibly run into because there’s a chance that when you were going to get the photo taken with that movie star you might catch them at a very happy moment and they want to talk and have fun with everyone getting their photos taken and now the line is moving slow and what should have been a half hour has turned into an hour and now you can’t make it to the next thing on time. Just prep and plan and then break those down and improve on them again and again until the con is over.
2. Eat and drink a lot. Make sure you eat and drink to keep your energy and water levels up. Because it is Summer it most likely will be hot that weekend and the heat will drain your energy and dehydrate you quickly. The Charlotte Convention Center that Heroes Con is at is pretty good about allowing in certain foods and drinks. You can’t walk in carrying a bucket of chicken while chugging down a 2 liter but there are things you can take. Things like water bottles or a sports drink and foods that are wrapped up in something. Stuff that will keep you fed and hydrated through the day.
3.Do research on the guests. No, I’m not talking about becoming a stalker but just a bit of research to get an idea of what to expect at Heroes Con. There are going to be a whole lot of artists at the con and they will range from local starting out to the professionals and the ones that are the major talent and they will all have different rules you will need to know. Things like, how long do you expect their line to be, will they be there 1 day and if so which day or all 3 days? Will they do a commission and how will they do them? What will their autograph policy be? Maybe they will have an exclusive with them but there are only 20 of them. Most of these kinds of things can be found out by looking at the artists social media pages, going to the website of the artist, or just reaching out to the artist to ask a question. If those don’t work, go to forums to ask questions to other fanboys/fangirls who have knowledge from a past con.
4.Parking. Yep, this is on the list because a lot of locals will be at the con and if this is your fist then you need to be ready for parking and fees. Downtown Charlotte has been changing dramatically over the last few years and where there was once parking there is not now. You might not find that spot of the road that you used to and you most likely will discover that fees are not the same anymore also. Just plan on the possibility that you might get slowed down cause there was a line of cars going in or you had to park further down then you wanted.
5. Cash money is always important. Don’t give me that duh, I know there are ATM’s in the convention center and that most of the artists take credit cards but not all do and those ATM’s charge a high fee. There are some artists that only take cash and when you are spending in the hundreds for something do you want to add another fee on top of that just because you didn’t want to go to your bank before the con? Also, the con floor is on the bottom floors of the center, with lots of concrete walls with no windows, meaning the signals might not be as strong as they are elsewhere or other spots on the floor. Having cash can speed things up and also might get you better deals. I’ve seen dealers give better deals when you are able to give them cash over a card.
6.Ask first don’t just assume and do. This goes for a lot of things, but mainly goes for cosplayers and guests. Don’t just assume that because they are in costume that they want you to take a photo of them. Ask first, make sure they are ok with you getting a photo and make sure they aren’t on their way somewhere. For the guests, maybe they don’t want selfies taken or a photo taken of them while sitting at the table or maybe they don’t want you touching a certain piece of work on the table (some work was brought as a display for the eyes not the hands).
7. Get there early. This is always a huge con and there are always a lot of people there and that means lines. The line to get in does move at a steady pace but I’ve run into times that if you are not the first 5 people at a table then you can miss out on getting on a list or buying something. So, unless you aren’t planning anything other than walking around, then get to the con early to get in line, especially Saturday cause it will be so long that it will wrap around and go outside.
8. Say thank you. This should just be a given but I want to put it on here so I can let you know to include more than just the artists. When you see a worker, tell them thank you or you’re doing a good job. A lot of them are volunteers and some are ones that have been working on the con for the whole year and now that it’s here they’ve had to really do a lot of work. Let them know that you appreciate their work and effort put into making this happen because believe me, it takes a lot of hours, work, and people to make this convention happen.