Con Journal: So you got all this stuff… Now what?

So you go to a convention, and the first thing that happens to you is that a bunch of stuff gets shoved in your hand. Then at the convention you buy even more stuff, or get a bunch of neat freebies. Some of it is cool, but what are you going to do with it once the con is over?

Most of that stuff is paper, news programs, funny hats, or just junk ads. Often times you’d chuck it post-con. This problem goes both ways too, sometimes you could get to a con with a ton of stuff and be short a means to transport it. This is sort of the first time I am forced to face down this problem, in the case of Emerald City Comicon.

I mean to transport The Walking Dead Omnibus Volumes 1, 2, 3, Invincible Omnibus 1, 2, 3, Absolute Batman: Hush and Long Halloween, and PvP Awesomology. Tack on there a poster plus a few dozen comics and you can imagine the strain my back will endure. Ouch.

That is probably well over twenty pounds. Right off the bat I will most likely have to concede that Walking Deads and Invincibles 2, 3 will have to sit on the bench at home for another con. Sad face. Cost per weight margins shipping those volumes would quite literally cost more than a commission at the con.

Which brings up a good point. If the cost of whatever you transport, or incur in the transport of given item, is greater than or equal to the cost of an event or desired goal at convention then it would be a good idea to reconsider taking that item.

At this stage in the game the UPS, FEDEX or even USPS is still your friend. Those dozen or so comics and the poster? Ship ’em a head of you to your hotel. You may want to phone ahead to your hotel of choice and ask about their policies on the matter, but in my case all they said was to put a special format on the recipient’s line.  Unless you have an Action Comics #1 you want to show off at the convention and get lynched over, it’s not worth carrying the light stuff if it will just get in your way at the airport.

Step 2 is being a great packer. Economizing the space in your carry on suitcase, plus a backpack, is a great thing. Using your clothes as packing materials is a good move since it helps double down on effectiveness and your luggage check-list. This of course doesn’t work if you are packing a business suit. First question I would ask is, “why are you taking one to a con?” I would, in that instance, suggest you wear it on you during the flight and worst case have it cleaned at your destination.

Buy your toiletries on site! Airports are notorious for being sticky about this stuff, so don’t even give them a reason, just pack your deodorant and toothbrush so that you can pick up toothpaste, shampoo and whatever else later. Half the time hotels provide this stuff for free anyway.

So we’ve shipped our stuff, we’ve fung-shui’ed our carry-on’s, and we’re all set for a great convention!

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Alex Añé

I am a geek, writer, web developer and avid comic book fan.

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