There are less than two weeks to go, and yes, you’re just a little bit excited. You have your ticket, (you do, right?) you’ve got your name down for those extra special limited attendance workshops. You’ve memorised the programme by heart, consumed the convention’s anti-harrassment policy, become addicted to the Twitter feed but…now what?
The event itself can be overwhelming if you “don’t do crowds” or you like to know your environment. I wasn’t kidding though, the Nine Worlds organisers think of everything, and what little they miss the panellists and volunteers catch. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time or you this is your third expedition to the vast wonderfulness that is Nine Worlds, there is always something you miss, a costume part you forget, meals, the last train home.
However if you missed part one, don’t panic, it’s here.
At the Convention…
- Have a very good breakfast. – Take snacks – Food queues are HUGE or there is a long wait at all the places in and around the hotel. (There’s a Maccy D’s 5 minutes away & a pub too.) Once you start weaving from room to room for panels, workshops and fun, food is a forgotten thing anyhow until you hear an odd growling noise and no, it’s not coming from the passing Ewok.
- Bring a bottle of water. – There’s plenty of water available – refill at the tables. Coffee queues are HUGE, water queues are not.
- Q. I don’t know what to wear! A.Comfortable Stuff.
- Shoes. There will be much walking, and possibly some standing if you’ve decided to go to all the popular panels.
- Clothes. Not all cosplay is comfy, and we all make sacrifices to our idols, but the right T-shirt is also an enviable thing.*
- Backpack. For the freebies, hand outs, All The Shiny Things from the vendors area, oh and carrying that bottle of water. (Guys, remember, books are heavy.)
- Arrive early to register. Did I mention the scale of this convention…?
No, I don’t keep repeating it to terrify you. It’s a big hotel and you don’t realise just how many people are all in one place. Loads of stuff happens over lots of floors, in lots of places. Random portals pop up all over the place.** Explore the hotel if you don’t like the idea of “I don’t know what I am doing.” Double bonus if you don’t like queues, or being lost in corridors straight out of that odd dream you had after eating the wizened pizza you found at the back of the fridge.
- Don’t be afraid of the stairs. Lifts are busy, (slower) and best left for those that need them. Burn those alcohol/cake/Big Mac calories off. Save on gym fees!
- Coffee addict? I mentioned the queues, right? I take a flask of tea. But I’m weird and I don’t work without tea. I*need* my tea.
A lot of the panels don’t run for the full allotted time. Plan a sneak attack on the coffee while it’s quieter, or if you booked the hotel, refill in your room.(But don’t forget to pack the instant coffee!) Perhaps some mobile N’grath or Deekin Scalesinger will spring up this year to solve all our caffeine related problems and sell much needed beverages to the queues for refreshment.
Just don’t buy from the guy cosplaying as the Bartertown water merchant. Or. Anyone offering you a tatty looking lamp.
- HEED THE COMMUNICATION CODE, COWBOY. Last year it was badges and lanyards. (Don’t point that camera at me!) These things are here to help and protect you as well as others. With so many people, from so many different walks of life, it’s obvious that not everyone wants the same thing. The Nine Worlds tokens are the currency of “I love your costume”. You don’t need to say a word and say loads at the same time! Nor do you need to fear being mobbed, unless that’s your thing.
- Respect other hotel guests. Yep, whooping from the second floor balcony because the most awesome cosplay has just stole the show is great. But not so much for that chap in room 213 who has a flight at 2am.
- Don’t Mob Your Hero. (Especially uncool in the toilets.) Sqqquuueee! Look! Mwhahaha! That person whom I have stalked across the internet foreverz. Cosplayer, agent, comic book creator, game designer, podcaster or author, give them space. There are things organised just so you can meet them. There’s also several bars.
- TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. Please please please please… Some panels are about listening, some are about playing a board game, others learning how a thing is done. Don’t be the one to die of shame when your phone rings. More importantly don’t pretend it’s not yours when it does ring. WE KNOW! The shifty-eye thing gives it away. (That and the noise.) If you use the glowy tech to make notes, turn the sound off. Ta-dah!
- HAVE LOTS OF FUN. It’s not hard to do, cosplay competitions, quizzes, Twitter stories, parties, gaming, and the sharing with those that didn’t make it.(Use this, it works! -> #NineWorlds ) You’ll make friends that you might not see ’til next year. That’s what the internet’s for, right?
- BOOK TICKETS FOR NEXT YEAR!
If you take nothing from this other than “How will I survive without coffee?” then you know just how well organised this event is. The only complaint this tea drinker can find is the queue for coffee.
You are in safe hands. See you at Nine Worlds!
*Also a conversation starter.
**Rumoured to be used by gophers and volunteers with expert precision.