So far at cons, I’ve been an attendee, worked at tables in Artist Alley, been part of a few panels and even played in a concert. After volunteering to help run the game room at Ikkicon V this past weekend as part of the Alamo Gaming / Original-Gamer.com group, I’m wondering what there is left to do at a con short of being a big guest or actually running one.
In any event, I learned quite a few things over Ikkicon’s three days, some of which I’m not sure I wanted to, but that’s life. So without further ado:
- If a member of your group has B.O. issues, your time in the hotel room will SUCK. We had a guy that stunk up the hotel room on the first night and it remained funky for the duration, which made going back a VERY unpleasant affair. I think my nose said “no mas” sometime Saturday night and went on strike.
- Unless you are in charge of something or a guest, don’t expect to get a badge with your name on it, I was given someone ELSE’S badge, so I tore off part of a sticky note and put my name over it. Bleh.
- Always pre-register and get your badge on Thursday night if you can, because if things go wrong during registration they go HORRIBLY WRONG. Luckily I didn’t have to wait in it, but the reg line was INSANE.
- Plan all you want, but something will always throw you a curve ball. I packed some microwaveable food to chow on so as to avoid overpriced hotel food and unnecessary excursions, and you guessed it, there was no microwave in the room.
- If there is a food that you enjoy to the point where you think could live off of it, then pack plenty of it along. You will discover whether you really CAN live off of it. Lucky for me, I still find Kashi granola bars and peanut butter crackers to be tasty.
- I am a Coke fiend. I was dying for a soda on Saturday, so I said ‘heck with it’ and dropped $2.50 for a 20 oz bottle of sweet, sweet caffeine at the coffee shop in the lobby. I wouldn’t have minded the price too much, but it wasn’t even that cold, if I’m gonna pay twice as much for a soda there should be some frost on the bottle…just sayin’
- The optimist in me says that we ran out of hand sanitizer Saturday night, the pessimist in me says that people will steal ANYTHING no matter how trivial.
- If you plan on running something at a con, expect that it is all you are going to do at the con. I spent most of the weekend making sure no one hogged the Rock Band 3 station. I took a few trips away to say hi to friends and grab some food on Saturday morning but as far as panels and events…nada.
- If you plan on running something at a con and doing it fairly, expect that jerks are going to think you are a jerk for doing so. I repeatedly told people that I did not want them camping at the Rock Band 3 just waiting to play again. I got a lot of ugly looks in return, but I also got compliments from people who appreciated that I was doing my best to be fair.
- Geeks love “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Still Alive” and will sing along if they are played loud enough.
- They also really like “Du Hast.” For the life of me, I don’t get it, and frankly, I think it’s the German thing. Heck, I still like “99 Luftbaloons” from back in the day but unlike “Du Hast” it actually has lyrics.
- “Freebird” is just too cotton-pickin’ long. My Xbox 360 locked up during it, and at another event, a guitar controller’s batteries gave out while it was playing.
- Having a 24-hour videogame room is a BAD IDEA. The problem with a 24-hour videogame room is that you need to have people in there all the time to keep stuff from walking out the door and to assist with the occasional system lock-up and dead controller batteries.
- If you are in charge of something, GET ALL THE DETAILS IN WRITING and have it signed by whomever is in charge. We had some behind-the-scenes drama go down that could have been avoided if everyone had been on the same page from the start. None of this ‘he said, she said’ business, just a signed piece of paper that says what has been decided on so there are no questions.
- Sometimes you must go down to go up. If you find yourself waiting forever and a day to get on an ‘up’ elevator to get back to your room, go into one that is going down…it’ll come back up soon enough.
- If you don’t want to be harassed by the valets for your keys, park about 2 carlengths away from the hotel entrance.
- Owning your own dolly or hand truck rocks, if you are going to be working cons frequently, GET ONE. Heck, even if you aren’t, get one anyway.
- When its all over and you go home, you will feel like crap, collapse onto your bed Sunday night, sleep like a rock, and will probably will not be back to normal until Tuesday.
- Despite all of the above, you will get to hang out with lots of cool people, have lots of fun and it will be totally worth it.
Ikkicon was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. If the group I was involved in gets invited back, then I would be happy to come back next year…packing a microwave.