HELP! Tips for first timers

Started by ewu, May 27, 2015, 03:04:29 PM

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Hello Forums Community,

We got some feedback on first timers needing more info and tips. Can you all comment so that I could compile something for them. Either on the website or in the program guide.

Thanks everybody!
Eric Wu
FanimeCon Chairman
FanimeCon Forums Moderator


Admiral Donuts

Put up signs to some basic landmarks, shuttle stop, hotels, south hall... Or do you mean tips to give first timers? In that case, something about finding your way around before the con, like online or on Day 0.

Gatherings can be tricky so check with the desk a half hour before so you can get to the right place on time.

Panels often have lines, so once again, get there early and ask staff which line to be in!

Restaurants are busy often, try to keep snacks close by (hotel, backpack, car)


Assuming this is about us long-time attendees passing down our various wisdoms to the newbies, here are some things I can think of off the top of my head.

For cosplayers:
Bring a small repair kit to make quick fixes to your cosplay. Nothing puts a damper on things like a prop falling apart or a piece ripping off. Make use of the cosplayer hangout for this purpose as well. It's a photography-free zone, so you don't have to worry about there being picture evidence of costume malfunctions.

Break-in shoes prior to the convention. Bring moleskin to cushion pressure points and save your feet from pain.

Don't forget wig caps and hair ties for longer hair when using a wig. It can make a world of difference in appearance when your natural hair is properly hidden from sight.

It's okay to say no to a photographer. You don't need to give a reason. If you don't feel like having your photo taken, just politely decline. If they press it further, contact staff. You don't owe it to anyone to pose for a photo, even if you're wearing a cosplay.

Remember to take breaks and hydrate. It can be especially easy to overheat in cosplay.

If you are physically male and plan to wear extremely form-fitting spandex, consider investing in a dance belt. For all our sakes. There were some in-depth demonstrations of male anatomy all over the place this past weekend.

Fashion tape is extremely handy and important for keeping cosplay in place on your body. Check your fabric store for some.

If you plan to use a body-coloring method, make an effort to seal the paint to your skin. Only color your skin with products approved for use on skin (theatre makeup is perfect for this). Remember that cleanup can be messy and plan accordingly to avoid damage to hotels.

For regular attendees:
Go to the Opening Ceremonies. This was surprisingly the first year I've attended them, and it was the only way I found out where things like autographs were. It's a great resource for finding out what certain events are and where they'll take place.

Show up about an hour (or more) early to events that you think will be very popular. Autograph signings and some panels have lines and those lines can get capped early if there are too many people showing up.

Plan your schedule as early as possible. Utilize things like Google Calendar to see where events overlap so you're not double-booking yourself. Google Calendar can also be used to set reminders to be pushed on your phone before events so you don't forget.

Do your research on prices for items you know you want before the convention. That way, you know you're getting a good deal and if not, you'll know when to pass.

Set a budget for yourself ahead of time. Allocate a reasonable amount of money for food, and try not to use that money in the dealer's hall/artist alley/swap meet. That figure isn't worth starving yourself for.

Bring some non-perishable snacks if you're staying in a hotel. This can cut down on food costs and save you from making so many trips for food.

Do not engage the protesters in any discussion or give them attention. If you give them attention, they've achieved their purpose.

Shower/bathe/use deodorant. No one likes con funk.

Subscribe to all of Fanime's social media outlets. These will keep you informed of important things like hotel and badge registration.

If you don't get the room you want during hotel registration, use the waitlist. You still have a chance to get the room once people drop their reservations.

Be safe: While Downtown San Jose and the convention center itself up the level of police and security presence during the convention, bad things can still happen if precautions are not taken.

Be courteous to other attendees and staff. Not everyone is extroverted, and some people like personal space. Always ask permission before touching someone.


i think the other two posters got it.
needed lil more info and maps to be lil more clear with detail info
-remember the restaurants/fast food places are pack so try to get info on other places, walking distance
for example i did not know where the masquerade ball was at nor clockwork academy. i noticed people going to the Fairmount hotel but did not not know why.
this was my first time going to Fanime i went on Sat. either way we still had a great time


Check the Weather - It's typical sunny in May in California but it has rained in the past.

Bring Water - Lines for food and refreshments can be long and it's no fun to hunt down a water fountain when you're feeling dehydrated.

Wear Sunscreen - While most of the convention is indoors there are some events where you will have to line up outside, possibly for several hours.

Schedule Breaks - especially if you'll be there all 4 days you need to take time to get off your feet. In the past there has been a manga reading room and the cosplayer hangout. These are great places to get away from the crowd and take a few minutes to rest and recoup.

Monday Price Drops - if you are budget conscious be aware that on Monday sellers at the dealers hall and artist alley will sometimes offer discounts to move merchandise. You risk missing out on items if they sell out before Monday but if that is not a concern you might be able to get a deal.

If there is trouble contact fanime rovers - the number to contact Fanime rovers is printed on the back of your con badge. If you are being harassed at the convention or feel a situation is not safe contact the rovers.
I sell cute and geeky polymer clay jewelry!

"Failure is always an option"
"Try again, fail again, fail better"
"Art is never finished, only abandoned"


1. Make sure you have something to carry your things.  This might seem obvious, but I've seen a lot of people on other forums ask "My cosplay doesn't have pockets! How do I carry my phone,wallet, etc?" 
2. If you're wearing heels or shoes that are uncomfortable after a long period of time, bring a pair of flats or such to carry with you. This is especially helpful if you're at a hotel that isn't connected to the con center.  Not cosplay accurate? Don't worry about that.  Being able to walk is much more important.

3. BRING A FIRST AID KIT.   Yes a first aid kit.  I always see sewing kits and cosplay repair kits mentioned, but not first aid kits
I have a little Hello Kitty one that I bought at a wal-mart for $10.00 and it's now my "con first aid kit" ( I just periodically restock it) This way you'll be able to deal with blisters from walking, hot glue burns from your emergency cosplay repair etc.   Also make sure to have things like pain medication and antacids/stomach medicine.

4. On that note, if you're on prescribed medication.  TAKE IT.  Set alarms to remind yourself, ask your roommates to remind you if necessary.  During busy events like conventions, it can be easy to forget .  Don't. make sure to take care of yourself.

5. Be nice.  No really, See a person sitting by themselves? Say hi.  Person is looking down? Compliment their costume.  Talk to the person next to you in line, say please and thank you.  Be the person that when the con is over, someone is going to post about how you made their day better.


1. Stay hydrated!
2. Bring comfortable shoes! If a cosplay requires some that aren't comfortable, have at least one comfy pair you can change into!
3. Don't be afraid to ask for help! That's what the staff is there for!
4. Keep your program schedule with you! That way you won't forget to go to a panel or event. (Also circle or highlight the events that you don't wanna miss!!)
5. If you pre-registered, try to go on Day 0!! That way you beat the Friday crowds and won't have to wait in line on Friday to get your badge! Cause you might miss stuff if you have to get your badge on Friday! (I know the badge lines have become shorter and go by a lot quicker now, but you can't be too careful!! XD )
6. Don't forget to eat! Meals are important and I'm sure you can make time for them!
7. If you don't have any pockets, have a bag or backpack to carry your stuff!! This is especially helpful for when you buy stuff at the Dealers Hall but don't plan on going back to your hotel room until later! (Though sometimes sellers will have plastic bags they can give you, so if you don't have a bag, and they ask if you'd like one, don't be afraid to accept!)
8. Make sure you have enough funds!! At least enough for food!
9. Remember to have tons of fun!! XD
(ノ•ω•)ノ Cosplay List:
Rook Hunt
Ukyo (Ranma 1/2)
Satsuki (Totoro)
Freminet (Genshin)
Giyu (KnY)
Rengoku (KnY)
Mikoto Misaka


Oh gosh I wish I had looked at the forums when I first started going to cons. Threads like these would have saved my life!

1. Look at the forums. Obviously you are if you're here already, so that's a great start! The website often misses out on key details you want to look for and information that is crucial to what you want to do at fanime! So always check the forums before the con, during, and even after in case you lost something, participated in an event that you need contact info for, or just to see what's new! Many things are subject to change, like cosplay gatherings, so the forums are a great place to start when you're not sure where to go!

2. Plan out your transportation beforehand! If you're not staying in a hotel or are staying in a hotel somewhat far from the convention center, make sure you make a schedule of when you need to be there and when to leave, especially if you're being dropped off/picked up. Look up where the drop off zones are and where you can safely get in and out of a car so that you're not freaking out about it and driving in circles around the convention center losing time.

3. If you are staying in a hotel, with or without roommates, make sure you bring: a bag to put dirty clothes in/separate from your clean clothes, a garbage bag (or two) because the hotel trashcans are tiny, a safe place to put your room key so it won't touch your phone or other electronic device (this can cause them to demagnetize and you'll be locked out of your room! way too many personal experiences with this one), and and a credit card if you have one. If you put the room bill on a debit card, it will freeze your initial total amount plus a down payment of about $200, all of which you wont be able to use during the convention! Credit cards are the way to go if you have one!

4. Food - Whether staying in a hotel, coming and going each day, or only going for a single day, food is very important! There are many horror stories about congoers passing out from hunger or just being simply miserable because they didn't bring/couldn't afford the food in the convention center. Yes, there will be a stand that usually sells nachos, hot dogs, salads, etc, but can be very pricey. Starting a couple years ago, Fanime also had a room dedicated to food but only had three booths selling ramune, pocky, and some other obscure thing respectively. Unless you're willing to spend the money, make sure you have some type of food plan before going to the con!

Hotel - If you're staying in a hotel, that makes it a little easier. I recommend bringing a cooler and some sandwich materials, breakfast bars, and PLENTY of water bottles. (There is a 7-11 nearby, but quite a walk. Consider bringing bottled water with you instead of buying it there). The hotel refrigerators are TINY (literally could only fit a package of cheese and a water bottle in there one year) so don't count on them to keep food fresh and cool. Just remember not to bring anything like microwaves, plug-in stoves, etc because the hotel won't let you and they can be very dangerous for you and the hotel if something goes wrong, so don't try to sneak one in. Things you can take with you while walking around the con are great, like cliff bars or granola or even a lunch in a tupperware container so it doesn't leak all over your stuff. Just remember to take your hotel room to your advantage when it comes to storing food. You, and your roommates, will thank you for it.

If you're not staying in a hotel, consider similar options of food in packages but still healthy. You need carbs, protein and fats so don't skimp just because you're at a con. Yes there's lots to do and see but you have plenty of time to take a break, sit down, and eat a quaker oats bar. It'll keep you and your tummy happy, and then you won't be slugging around starving and not enjoying your time.

Restaurants - There are a number of restaurants from fast food to fine dining in the general vicinity of the con (you can look up the exact distances on google maps), however a popular stop for congoers has recently been closed: McDonald's. So don't count on that being there this year for your quick food fixes. While many restaurants might be out of your budget, some that aren't too bad include Jonny Rocket's, a classic burger joint with sandwiches and milkshakes too, Jack-in-the-box, a fast food place with breakfast all day, boba shops, several asian cuisine places, Psycho Donuts (great for breakfast), Pizza my Heart, Yogurtland (or one of those yogurt places fff) an indian fast food restaurant, and a nice japanese restaurant a few blocks away, but an easy walk. Take advantage of google maps and plan out how to get to the places you want to eat, and just remember everyone else at the con has the same idea, so many places will be packed at traditional eating hours. Also don't forget many asian restaurants close around 2-5pm each day (I forgot one year and was so excited to take my friends to the japanese restaurant, only to walk all the way there and find it closed TwT). Research, research, research! If you have the money, consider options like Original Joes, an italian restaurant a block away from the hotel, mccormick and schmit's, a seafood restaurant next to the fairmont, and an asian-fusion restaurant I noticed last year, but did not try. Perhaps this year~

FOOD IS IMPORTANT Yes more important than that panel you want to see. You won't enjoy it if you're starving. Remember to eat.

5. If you are cosplaying and have a prop, 1. Read the prop rules and 2. get it peacebonded the moment you get to the con! Don't dilly dally, because a rover might see you in the middle of something real fun and make you go get it peace bonded, possibly making you lose opportunities to hang out with new friends. It's easy and quick, just make sure you find out where the station is. It seems to move every year.

6. If you are staying in a hotel with friends, make sure everyone can contact the person who's name is on the reservation in case anything happens like you lose/demagnetize your key, accidentally put something on the room bill, etc. Even if they don't have a cell phone, make sure they can be reached so no one is left out to dry in a stressful situation. (From being locked out to friends being locked out I have plenty of experience in that)

7. If you are cosplaying something very open/covered, check the weather and make sure to bring something appropriate you can change into/put on if need be. Usually, it's hot as shiiiiit during the convention, but last year it was a bit overcast, even a little chilly! Your comfort comes before your cosplay. Put on a jacket or take part of your costume off if you need to. Don't make yourself suffer just to look cool, it's not worth it. Heatstroke is very serious business and I always pray those people in the gundam suits etc aren't dying of it in there. Take water if you're wearing a costume that will get very hot, but take water regardless!

8. Pay attention to the walk paths on the main concourse! There are usually arrows made with duct tape showing which direction to move to keep the slough of people moving. Don't stop to ask for/take pictures on the walkways. Move to the side where people aren't walking. (I've personally been yelled at for doing this TwT) Be courteous, don't be in the way. Stage Zero is right next to the walkway, so if you want to stop and watch whatever's going on, move off the walkway and onto the side so you don't block other people. Also! If you have a big cosplay or one with big parts like wings or horns or a train of a dress, make sure these articles don't hit/trip/bump/smack people in the face while you're moving. The walkway on the main concourse is VERY crowded, and the last thing you want to do is either hurt someone with your cosplay or have it be damaged by someone because it was sticking out. Remember not everyone is so courteous. Just be aware of your cosplay!

9. It's very useful, if you are cosplaying, to have a friend walking with you. Not only to hold your stuff (I've been abusing a friend for this for 5 years now LOL bless her) but also to tell you if any part of your cosplay is falling off, tearing, slipping, or revealing parts you don't want to be seen. It's better to have a friend tell you so you can go fix it or change than for a Rover or a stranger telling you. Ladies especially, please be careful with revealing cosplays! Not so much for keeping them in place, but be careful of other congoers. I've had personal experience when cosplaying as Dark Magician Girl with a hella short skirt and had people cat calling me from their cars, even another cosplayer trying to follow me into my hotel room and touching me without my permission. The scary part was I was alone nearly the whole time. Travel with a friend/someone you know. It makes it much less scary. There is safety in numbers. Cosplay is not consent, you do not have to let anyone take a picture of you if you do not want to, no matter what cosplay you're wearing. Just remember: your safety and your comfort is most important. If anyone tries anything that makes you uncomfortable, report them to a rover or other person of authority.

And in the other direction, cosplay is not consent! Do not be a creeper, do not make people uncomfortable. It's fine to ask for pictures, but if someone declines, please respect that. Do not try and force a picture out of them or try and get a candid photo without their consent. Do not touch cosplayers unless they specifically say you can. Do not assume you can put your arm around their shoulders or waist for pictures. Always. Ask. Do not cat call. There are so many better ways of giving compliments. Just walk up and say "Hey I like your cosplay!" or "I just wanted to say you look beautiful" that's it. It's that easy. Just be respectful and kind. Remember these cosplayers are not here for your enjoyment.

10.And finally, don't impulse buy! Especially in the dealer's hall, usually whatever you can find, another shop has possibly for even cheaper. Make sure you go around to all the shops, even ask the staff for specific things, and make sure you're getting the best deal. The worst feeling is buying something you love and immediately seeing it at the next shop for cheaper. Your heart just sinks. Trust me I've been there. Unless it's some super rare thing, check your wallet before you wreck your wallet. You have the whole weekend to buy things, and often shops will give discounts on Monday! If you can wait that long, it'll save you some money.

Artist alley is another story. If it's something you really want, go for it. But you should still check around the whole room first. If you're worried something might sell out, ask the artist how many they have to sell and if you could possibly reserve one with a small down payment. I've never done this before, so I'm not sure if artists do this. Rule of thumb, ask questions! Talk to the staff and artists in the halls. They'll appreciate your interest in their product and you'll get some information about what you want to spend money on. Whatever you do, don't spend all your money the first day! Remember some artists are only there for a few days, some do not come until Saturday or Sunday to sell.

Always have emergency money, not only for those situations, but in case the worst happens. Always have a way to get home, a way to feed yourself, a way to get water, and a way to stay warm.

Overall first timers, be smart, be safe, be kind, and have fun!
Attendee since 2009

One day I'll cosplay again


 Here's a tip for people coming from out of State by plane.

Bring a box (flattened) and some packing tape and a marker.   You may buy more than what can fit into your luggage, or your items may put you over the weight limit airlines impose.  Having a box and tape means you can mail your stuff back. ( I think there's a fed-ex office in the Fairmont )

TC X0 Lt 0X

Tip for Dealers Hall / Swap Meet

Dont be afraid to try to haggle.
I think it is pretty obvious you can haggle at the swap meet, but even the dealers hall is willing to haggle with you, especially on Monday and if you buy a large number of items, and if the product is in high stock and relatively older.
And if you see an item, look around and see if you can find it from other sellers. If you do, haggle with each seller. Tell them the other guy is has the item as well and you are willing to buy from them if they are willing to undercut the other seller.

At the end of the day, sellers just want to move there product and make a profit of some kind in return. The more items they move, the less they have to pack up and the more profit they have earned.
Unless an item is in high demand and guaranteed to be sold at a premium price, many sellers don't really value holding on to a product for too long as it costs money to store and transport and takes up the space that newer products can be placed in.

"Never beg. You earn. By Winning.
Or else you won't get anything..."

Pro-Pocky Movement



Hi Guys!

This is my first time attending any sort of anime convention. I do plan on Cosplaying, but I don't want to go dressed up, as it is a bit hot. Are there rooms where we could change? If so where could I find them? I'd like to verify something else as well. For registration I go to marriott first to pick up my badge and THEN walk to the convention center right? In regards to peace bonding, where would I go to get it branded? Lastly. Would I expedite the process by registering online as opposed to  a "walk in" to pay for my day pass since I have to go to the marriot anyways to pick up the badge?

Thanks in advanced! ;D


Quote from: Braska on May 28, 2016, 11:40:34 PM
Hi Guys!

This is my first time attending any sort of anime convention. I do plan on Cosplaying, but I don't want to go dressed up, as it is a bit hot. Are there rooms where we could change? If so where could I find them? I'd like to verify something else as well. For registration I go to marriott first to pick up my badge and THEN walk to the convention center right? In regards to peace bonding, where would I go to get it branded? Lastly. Would I expedite the process by registering online as opposed to  a "walk in" to pay for my day pass since I have to go to the marriot anyways to pick up the badge?

Thanks in advanced! ;D

Hopefully you'll get this in time,
As for cosplaying, you don't have to cosplay to have fun, just go as you are. But if you want to there are no changing rooms. Just the restrooms. If you are ok with changing in there, then do that. If not just come with your cosplay on.

For registration it's best to do it on line and pick it up at the Marriott. Don't worry the Marriott is connected to the convention center so you really don't have to walk a whole lot. Just ask people or staff where the reg line is at. 

Once you get your badge you'll get a goodie bag with all the info you need. Just find the map to where peace bonding is.

Have fun.

Not your typical anime junkie.
MAL:Echoshadow's Anime List


Stay hydrated! It has been warmer each year during Fanime weekend and especially for cosplayers who wears multiple layers. Water + lemon makes the best hydration drink along with sport drinks. 

Small snacks. I always carried a small snack in case I get slightly hungry and do not want to miss out panels and such. Saves money until dinner time hits. XD

Stay in a group at night. No matter what, be careful at night. Do not go alone at night.

Devi 1313

Cosplayers and non-cosplayers alike - you are going to do a lot of walking! Put insoles in your shoes whenever possible and keep some bandaids and moleskin around in case you get any blisters.

Like others said, if you have a hotel room make good use of it! If you can find a cheap cooler and replace the ice daily you can bring sandwich supplies or other snacks to save money.
Fanime 2023:
Eda Clawthorne Season 1 & 2
Reagan Ridley


Hey everyone, I am new here and curious to know what should you suggest for first time viewer?