In August, I will be attending my first convention,and, I am a bit nervous about going; so I have to ask what should I expect, when going, and what advice would you offer in order to survive a convention?
Well, the very first thing to expect is a huge crowd of people lining up to buy tickets for entry. So be sure to have lots of patience and try to arrive at least an hour before the advertised designated time of the con's opening.
Secondly, you can expect that when being on patrol of cosplays of your favourite characters then you might not be able to encounter every single character who you're hoping to encounter...
For example, last year I wanted to encounter at least 1 Neru Akita at my local con, but instead of her I kept encountering Miku Hatsunes and 1 Luka Megurine, despite having spent 8 hours roaming around the entire venue.
So yeah, be prepared for that too.
Thirdly, don't be surprised if a certain celebrity's autograph costs more than you were originally expecting it to cost. In other words, carry slightly more cash in your wallet than you might have originally thought that you would need, even if in the end you don't even spend that extra amount. Since you never know then it's better to be safe rather than sorry.
Last but not least, don't be surprised if an item that you wanted to buy is not in stock at any of the booths or has already been sold out prior to your arrival. This is actually a common occurrence and it's the reason of why we have online shopping to help us in the end.
Those are pretty much the main 4 things to expect. Good luck, prepare yourself, and have fun!
Depending on where you live it still may be warm (Or hot!) in your area and you may be waiting outside for long periods of time. Be sure to stay well hydrated. Also I normally take vitamin C tablets with me and take them daily to avoid con flu, I mainly use airborne over others cause for some reason they make me feel like a greek god capable of lifting a truck :P.
Other than that just make sure to stay organized and informed of panel and autograph times if you plan to attend them. Also a follow up note to Blissfullforce's comment about cosplay. Some fans actually organize group cosplay meetings in certain areas so that may also help you search out potential cosplay characters you are interested in.
Thank you both for offering such wonderful, and indeth solutions to my problem.
In a word? hell.
Cons are fun depending on who you go with and who you end up meeting.
If you're in cosplay, expect to be very hot, if not either way bring plenty of water. The food and beverages cons will sell will be expensive. Bring some way to entertain yourself if you end up in an hour long line. And expect a lot of smell. Because it gets pretty hot.