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Singleton93

Tips and Hints

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I thought this might be a good spot to gather tips and hints for those who maybe be coming to the con for the first time or maybe to grab a tip for those veteran otaku about something that you didn't notice before.

So if you have a tip or hint on a resturant, hotel, or just a great place to hang out and meet-up... drop it off here to share. 8)

(I looked around the forums and didn't see anything similiar, so if this topic was started somewhere else, sorry.)

^_^ My tip: If you are staying at the Wyndham, don't forget to register at www.wyndhambyrequest.com so they will have your room stocked with snacks, drinks, and extras like towels and pillows when you arrive. :) All free!

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Tips:

1.) Bring A LOT of money!!!!

2.) Come early

3.) Become ready to walk a lot and to get lost

4.) Plan out a scheldue for what you wanna see and do so you do miss it!

5.) Take a lot of pictures!!!

6.) Dont forget your money at home!!! (Thats what I did... so I had to beg and pled to my dad... -__-)

7.) Come prepared for LONG registration lines!!!!!!!!

Thats all of the tips I can think of right now! :)

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1) call the hotel before you leave, just to make sure all your reservations are as they should be.

2) My restaurant reccomendation for the inner harbor would have to be the cheesecake factory, but lines are always long there.

3) if your cosplaying, do make sure you have all your accesories, and that you can get into it.

4) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES

5) be prepared for any type of weather

6) if your going with a bunch of people, be sure to have a way of contacting each other if you get split up, (and it was my experience that cell phones did not function on the bottom floor, where the dealer's room had been)

that's all i can think of, unless your planning on taking the train, and then i would say, be sure to have a schedule.

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For the cosplayers point of view, be aware that people( mainly the baltimore public, not the con goers, respectively) will stare and ask questions. Be prepared with that just in case it does happen and if you arent ready for that to happen. Oh yeah, that and have fun. Thats a must.

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4) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES

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4) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES

I was disappointed that I couldn't wear my kimono longer, but I had no other shoes to go with it...and I think sneakers really would have looked silly with it. ^^0

Well, they worked for TMR's outfit, I thought. He said they were comfortable.

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There have been some very good tips here already. Here's what I can think of to add:

- Most everyone reads through their program book as soon as they can. However, not everyone reads the Errata sheet. Because of the way our program book is printed there is a fair amount of lead time. Sadly, even a convention such as ours suffers from last-minute schedule changes and guest cancellations that won't make the program book. A quick scan of the Errata sheet will help you avoid some problems.

- Have backup plans ready if the event you want to see is full. Our largest event room (the 4th Floor Ballroom used for Main Events) holds about 4,000 people. We had over 17,000 people attend last year's con. Simple math tells you that not everyone is going to be able to see any given event. This, BTW, is why we "counter-program" good shows against Cosplay or concerts.

- Make sure that you're properly hydrated; drink lots of fluids. While the BCC's AC system does a good job of keeping that huge building cool, it also sucks a lot of the moisture out of the air. Combine that with all the walking you're likely to be doing and it's easy to get dehydrated. We have water coolers in every room (including any empty ones) for that very reason. Still, it wouldn't hurt to bring some bottled water/soft drinks of your own. Just don't wave them around the Aramark people! :D

- Have patience. The registration/pre-reg lines will be long; we can't change that unless we turn people away. But if you watch closely you'll see that they move fairly fast. At-the-door regs were being processed at a rate of faster than 40 seconds per person per register. It adds up quickly.

As far as a restaurant recommendation... I've always enjoyed the Wharf Rat right across the street from the BCC. It's good pub food at a very reasonable price.

Cheers!

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All the sports bars across the street have good food, you can eat there easily for under $10 and get a good meal. Many of them will do takeout as well, and are open late (1-2AM)

And no, you don't have to be 21 to go in. Just to order alcohol

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There are some very good tips here. From my experience, I would recommend to have pair of shorts handy. The weather in Baltimore in summer can be very humid. Especially while waiting on the registration lines.

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[i posted in this topic last night, but my post is now missing o.<

Was it cut out for something?]

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MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY

I cannot stress this enough. Whatever you do, do not try and do everything.

-Pick a couple events that intrest you and don't worry if you miss the others. I have found that the events/panels/etc. that I've randomly felt like going to because they were occuring at that time were the most enjoyable for me.

-Anything occuring in the Main Events hall usually attracts a lot of people so plan to get in line 1-2 hours before the event is scheduled to start. I have always planned these few hours of nothingness into my schedule and the better seats have made the experience worth it. Also the time sitting around in line is when I've been able to get to know new friends (and old ones better).

-Stay positive. If you're having a good time, everyone else will. I can name a few occasions when one rotton tomato spoiled our whole group.

-Bring snacks if you will be carrying a backpack or purse. I have found that eating breakfast in the morning and snacking during the day has kept me moving. My friends and I usually try to get a meal around 4 as well. That way we're energized for the evening and we can beat the lunch and dinner crowds. (this plan saves money too - you only have to pay for 2 meals instead of 3). I usually snack at night too so it's not like I'm starving.

So yea if your looking for cheap food I can suggest the Inner Harbor food court and the Burger King across Pratt Street from the BCC though both these places tend to be crowded. My favorite place to eat, however, is the pizza place next to Burger King (inside that food court-type building). I can't remember what it's called but they have really good pizza, cheap!

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One other advice, Don't walk the streets alone!

Also watch out for the homeless, they'll be out in hordes.

Take public transportation if possible, parking is bad, plus they charge crazy prices for parking. There is a light rail station next to the BCC and a bus stop right in front.

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the homeless are always out there. it just seems like hordes because your not down there all the time

Well, panhandlers do tend to gravitate toward the BCC when there's a big show on anyway...and we are nothing if not a group of people who Stand Out. :lol:

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By mace, do you mean pepper spray, or a real metal, spiky mace? Im praying for the latter.

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Firstly: BRING AN UMBRELLA or some kind of rain gear... if anything like Friday morning 2002 happens again, you'll be glad you are prepared (those who were there know what I mean, and those who weren't, well... imagine standing outside the BCC waiting for Otakon to open at 9AM, when suddenly, around 8AM, a downpour errupts... made for many, MANY soaked Otaku.... thankfuly, Cousin Sue made the executive decision to let us into the dry BBC at 8:30)!

If you're coming w/ a group, then you definitely want to either bring a set/sets of walkie-talkies or cell phones should you get seperated (either by accident or willingly spliting up :lol: ).

However, there a few caveats: Walkie-Talkies have a limited # of channels that they can be set on, and most likely they'll all be in use at con, so interference from other walkie-talkies is a very real possiblity.

Cell phones are much better for at-con communication, IMHO, but they, too have limits. Aside from the obvious airtime/roaming/long distance issues, there is the issue of being able to get a good signal in the BCC. From experience, places where I have experienced little-to-no signal in the BCC are mostly the cavernous basements that make up the Dealer's Room, Video Games & Artists' Alley, due to these rooms being below ground level & the thick concrete walls. If anybody else has found cell phone 'dead spots' in the BCC, please post them here...

Also, remember, both w-t's & cells run on batteries, so that may become an issue. If you bring a cell, I reccomend you fully charge it (if possible) before you leave for the con, and it should last you the whole weekend, powered on 24/7... but bring your charger with you just in case! :wink:

Well, that's all the advice I can think of that hasn't already been shared here.... my main advice, though, is to make sure you have fun!!

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But.... But....Thats not fun enough!

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tip: if it looks like a pervert, smells like a pervert, has a expensive cam and holding it at a angle that is not towards your face for a extended period of time it is prolly a pervert

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Watch out for feet carrying mirrors

That's my tip.

Hey what's that on my foot. :shock:

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Drink plenty of water or gatorade..something that will keep you well hydrated. I have seen several people pass out in the years I have attended Otakon from dehydration.

Also remember to try to get some rest..people passion out from exhaustion is a baaaaaad thing.

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i agree with the umbrella....2002 was rainy. you don't want to ruin your costume by standing in the rain. rain makes stuff smell, and some costumes can't be cleaned.

bring lots of money, but look around before commiting to one place. we almost got gyped buying swords two years ago. dirty bastards almost didn't refund us our money. just threaten to report them to con security, and they'll hand it over.

emergency sewing kit, in case. if a seam rips, your lovely costume might not have any use.

change of clothes. you never know. bring comfy shoes too, cause your feet WILL hurt.

bring water, and food and stuff. you might have a tight schedule, and not be able to run over to BK or whatever. you'll be able to survive a long time without eating, but don't do it if you get weak easily.

headache, muscle ache medicine!

uhm...that's all.

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Don't wear a costume that prevents you from using the elevators, or one with long, trailing bits that can get caught in the escaltors [and I know it's probably not spelled right XP]

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Remember, there are no lockers at the convention center, or any where to put things that you don't feel like carrying. If you're going to bring something, realize that you will have to carry it around for the rest of the day, unless you want to go all the way back to your hotel room or car to put it away.

Also, be conscious of your costume. It you have an enormous set of wings that stick 5 feet out on either side, remember that you can decapitate some one with it.

Have fun :)

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Acctully that not unture, one of the reasons i gofer is that there are chuncks of time that don't have anything i want to see/goto :)

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My favorite place to eat, however, is the pizza place next to Burger King (inside that food court-type building). I can't remember what it's called but they have really good pizza, cheap!

It's called Chef Paolino. Their subs are good, too. Also worth checking out:

The Burger King and Chef Paolino are usually mobbed, but upstairs is the Cafe 200; it's only open weekdays, but the sandwich I got was made just for me and it came with a yummy pickle. :) There weren't very many people there, but from the size of the place it looked like they'd be ready for a big crowd. Lunch would have set me back about $6, but I needed a big bottle of water, so it cost me closer to $8.

Other good places: Harborplace is nice if the weather's good, and if you're from out of town and want to bring souvenirs back for your non-anime loved ones, there are some small shops in Harborplace.

One other thing:

Not only is planning "line-time" into your schedule good for getting better seats, you can enjoy the manga or artbook you bought while unwinding. When you sit down in line, you realize just how wound up you've been all day.

Bring a portable DVD player or Discman if you're carrying a backpack. Be sure not to lose it, though. :roll: It'll help those few hours pass faster.

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TIP: get a seat at the AMV's do not lounge around and decide oh i will just sit on the floor. i thought heck i dont need a seat let someone else get one. i ended up getting kicked out with a bunch of other people because we where a "fire hazard"

p.s. i still think that place would have been a fire hazard if fire did break out and everyone stampeded for the door...at least the people on the floor would have gotten out before the herd in the chairs got moving :D

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p.s. i still think that place would have been a fire hazard if fire did break out and everyone stampeded for the door...at least the people on the floor would have gotten out before the herd in the chairs got moving

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i'd like to quote the great mitch hedberg for a moment:

I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammible and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.

Ah. Good stuff.

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8) Food Tip: Across from Harborplace is another downtown mall with a food court on the 4th floor much like your local mall's, McDonald's, Sbarro, etc, if you're looking for cheaper food. Also it's usually not as crowded as Harborplace, so I end up there a few times every year. However I still go to Harborplace for my yearly crabcake :D

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Invest in a pair of walkie talkies, or bring one of those walkie-talkie cell phones. The dealer's room gets very loud, and walkie-talkies have a pretty good range, so you can meet up with someone else from your group without the hassle of "no signal" cell phones and "can you hear me now?" This will let you go shopping by yourself (good for crowd control at the popular booths) without fear of losing your party. Plus, you can find walkie-talkies for less than $20 just about everywhere. KB Toys sells them, if you're into The Incredible HULK™-themed ones.

Another good banisher of line-boredom is a sketchbook. I bring mine sometimes and not only can I relax, people stop by to look. It's a neat way to meet new people. Just don't bring your 300-count set of Prismacolor pencils if you're going to be transient while you're sketching. :3 Or you could bring it and let me *ahem* take care of it for you. *shifty eyes* :D

"No, ma'am, I insist - allow me to carry all of that heavy jewelry for you. :)"

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Or you could bring it and let me *ahem* take care of it for you. *shifty eyes* :D

"No, ma'am, I insist - allow me to carry all of that heavy jewelry for you. :)"

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8) Food Tip: Across from Harborplace is another downtown mall with a food court on the 4th floor much like your local mall's, McDonald's, Sbarro, etc, if you're looking for cheaper food. Also it's usually not as crowded as Harborplace, so I end up there a few times every year. However I still go to Harborplace for my yearly crabcake :D

Don't get me started on crab cakes and the travesties that they foist on you guys over at Phillips. :D

The place across from Harborplace is the Gallery, which is also connected to the Renaissance. And you can avoid the streets entirely by using the skywalk -- first to the Hyatt, then across to one Harborplace building -- then walk across the performance area to the other Harborplace building, then up and across the skywalk there. It used to dump you out behind Au Bon Pain, but I'm not sure what fast food places survived there.

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One thing on the talkabout walkie talkies:

Keep in mind that there are probably a dozen other groups who have chosen to use the same channel you have, so I would have a backup such as a cell phone or a meeting place should you not be able to get through on them

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nothing like picking up a signal that tells you to meet them at the front desk and heres some bearded inuyasha saying "how you doing?" :D

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I've found that parts of the Dealer's Room are fine for cell phone usage. Others are completely unusable. I would plan on those little FRS radios as backup, and just refer to each other as some sort of recognizable call sign:

Otaku A: Skull One, this is BlackRose. I'm at dealer point alpha, how copy, over?

Otaku B: Copy, BlackRose. Skull One is en route from the far corner.

Dorky? Yes. Cool? Suuure. "Unit Zero, what are you DOING?! The prices on boken are ten times better over here!"

Other recommendations: if you want something other than pizza, Afghan Kabob is definitely worth it. They're inexpensive- something like $5-7 gets you food and a drink all told- and the food is GOOD. Decent kabobs, fresh pita-esque breads, and whatever that ground spinach stuff is, it's nice and spicy. It's all just perfect to eat if you want something fresh.

You want something quick, you go to the food court in the Harborplace. There's actually a decent Chinese/Korean place in there, a step above your regular old Generic Dragon. There's also Otaku Chow somewhere... just google "Otaku Chow" and you'll find it. It lists all the restaurants.

Also, my advice: BOOK EARLY. It always helps to have your name down in the hotel you're looking at. As I recall, the Wyndham sold out last year, as did everything else but a couple... I was lucky to get in with my crew because I booked early. Just a thought.

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1)Don't walk around at night by yourself. Try to walk with a group. Baltimore is still a city and the mundanes will stare if you are in costume.

2) The food Court in the Light street pavillion at the inner harbor is pretty good.

3) The Wharf Rat across from the convention center is a great Brew pub if you are over 21! So is the Independence Brewery in the Light Street Pavillion

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Unless your Launchpad, he has to carry a clear bag or backpack so security knows what he has at all times. :D

Ohhhhhh... :cry: :cry: And female-type here, not "he". :D

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Unless your Launchpad, he has to carry a clear bag or backpack so security knows what he has at all times. :D

Ohhhhhh... :cry: :cry: And female-type here, not "he". :D

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Don't worry about it. :D *offers pocky at the risk of forever being called a man*

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Some tips of my own:

-As a lot of people have mentioned, bring an umbrella. In the past three Otakons, there have been at least one moment where it rained during the weekend (i.e. Friday morning at Otakon 2002).

-Be aware of the layout of the BCC, as it is somewhat confusing for first-timers.

-Another thing that I agree on: get in line an hour or so early for anything that happens at the Main Events room (with the possible exception of the Friday Night showing of the AMV Contest, which has always been a "walk in after the 9:00 PM event ends" thing). As for things to do while waiting, besides the obvious CD's/DVD's and books, there's also the OtaChallenge thing that happens while people wait in line for the Friday Night event and the Cosplay.

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I read most of the posts, but here are some of my tips... BTW, I have staffed more conventions than I have attended in the last 5 years. My info should be up to date :D

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Hey these are some great tips so far! Keep them coming! And make sure to point this thread out to anyone who's coming to the con for the first time. :D

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