For many of the families and individuals attending the upcoming Fort Collins Comic Con, it will be their very first time at an event like this. To help first-timers (and to remind veteran Con-goers), we asked the savvy event organizers for their best advice for having a great experience.
Here’s what they said.
Research ahead of time.
Visit the FoCo Comic Con website to view all the information about the event before you get there. The site has a great overview of how to order and where to pick up your badge; a list of special guests, vendors, and activities; an overview of the programming, cosplay rules, and much more. This includes information about what you can and cannot bring inside the venue.
Our Con experts suggest that you take a look at the map and venue layout and read up on the panels you want to attend. Panel and presentation titles alone don’t always give you enough information about what to expect. The more you know beforehand, the less frustration you’ll have trying to get to the activities and places you want to be on time.
(Sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances rooms or panels might change….You can look at the TV monitor in the venue’s lobby for the most up-to-date information.)
You’ll be doing a lot of walking so make sure to wear comfortable shoes! It’s also recommended that you dress in layers since it can be very hot in August. Consider bringing a small bag to carry the cool swag you’ll be collecting.
Parking is very limited so you may need to park a few blocks away. Even better, walk over from the Laporte Ave. or the new Firehouse Alley Parking structure or ride the MAX to the downtown station.
The Con is an interactive and fun experience, so don’t be shy about asking questions. When you arrive, stop by the info booth first to pick up an official program, look over maps, and get help finding what you’re interested in seeing, especially if you have never been in the venue before. There are also volunteers throughout the venue ready to help out…look for the Ask Me! signs.
FoCo Comic Con experts remind everyone, “If you engage and ask questions whether at a panel or from another attendee you always come away learning something new. Have fun doing things you enjoy around people who are as enthusiastic about what they love as you are.”
Enjoy the cosplay.
Comic cons are a great place for people watching, especially since the majority of attendees are dressed in elaborate cosplay outfits. But, you don’t have to dress up as a superhero to enjoy the event. Plan to attend the Cosplay Catwalk to get a view of all the great costumes, and don’t be shy about asking a cosplayer for a quick photo. They love to share their designs and talk about how they made them, but it’s polite to ask for a photo first.
If this is your first time doing cosplay, then bring along an emergency kit with tape, safety pins, sewing kit, and other useful items.
Stay hydrated and fueled.
Con organizers speak from experience: stay hydrated and don’t forget to eat. The Northside Aztlan Center has a refillable water bottle station, so bring your own water bottle. Food trucks will be available for you to purchase lunch and other snacks throughout the day. Not letting you or your kids get “hangry” will help keep the atmosphere fun and keep you energized.
Hunt down great art, comics, and other merch.
One of the most fun parts of a Con is exploring local and original artists and creator tables. You never know what gems you can find outside of the typical pop culture vendors! It’s recommended that you bring cash with you since not all of the vendors accept credit cards. Plus, there isn’t an ATM at the venue.
As you’re navigating the more than 150 artists and vendors, remember: don’t put your food or drink down on an artist’s table just in case it spills. Yikes!
Take time to wander.
Your badge gets you into both days of the Con, so there’s no rush to take it all in the first day.
Our Con organizers say, “You can’t do everything. Pick a few things that you’d like to do and have some backup plans. Cons are meant to be fun, but that requires a bit of flexibility and pre-planning. Rushing to panels moments before they start and getting frustrated that they’re already full is not good for anyone’s experience. Popular things at the Con might mean you have to wait in line or be patient, especially if there are little kids involved.”
Fort Collins Comic Con is an amazing and fun experience for fans of all ages and “geek-doms.” We can’t wait to see you there!
Fort Collins Comic Con is August 25-26 at Northside Aztlan Community Center (112 E. Willow St.). For additional information about the event, and to purchase badges for admission, visit the Con’s website: www.FoCoComicCon.com.
All badge sales benefit the Poudre River Public Library District!