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Singleton93

Tips and Hints

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Here's the list of relivent tips given so far. Please read through this list before posting any tips so we can cut down on the repeats.

Compiled Tip List:

1) Bring A LOT of money!!!!

2) Come early

3) Be ready to walk a lot and to get lost

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

5) Take a lot of pictures!!!

6) Don

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If you are coming from out of town do your research. Know the good/cheap places to eat as well as where it is in relation to your hotel/the convention center. Also writing down or mapquesting the directions to these places are a good idea. It is not hard to get lost in Baltimore and there are definetly areas that you do not want to be lost in. Also don't discount the information desk at the con. That's what they are there for.

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Thanks a lot for the list! ^_^ It really helps a first time con goer like myself ^__^!

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My $0.02 about food : If you're going to go out to eat somewhere, pick a local place rather then a chain. You can eat at a McDonalds, or Cheesecake Factory or Sbarros or whatever anywhere. The local places that are unique to Baltimore, you really can't. Be adventurous. It's one of the fun parts of traveling. ^_^

(well, unless of course you live in or really close to Baltimore.. in which case you've probably eaten at the places already.. but whatever. ^_^ )

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Thanks for doing this!

A few suggestions:

a. Some of these items are pretty far out of date. I'll make a note of the ones I spotted on cursory examination.

b. Suggest you isolate the restaurant recommendations to a separate list. Also note that some of the restaurants mentioned have closed.

c. Where possible try to group similar recommendations; I think there are a few that even contradict each other.

Items needing updates:

16) 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.

The numbers and locations are out of date.

16) Have backup plans ready in case the event you want to see is full. With over 22,000 people expected, there simply isn't any facility available to us that can seat everyone at once. And sometimes particular shows, panels, or events really take off unexpectedly. We attempt to counter-program great events opposite each other so that there's always something awesome to do.

Please note that events that use the Arena can seat up to 10,000 people comfortably as we've got them configured, and we have never completely filled that space (not even for L'Arc~en~Ciel). We occasionally change room configurations, but most of the large "Hall" rooms in the BCC will seat 2500-3000 people (double that when combined), but even then they rarely fill completely.

51) -- remove; Afghan Kabob is gone. Suggest instead that they check the program book for food tips, or hit the Baltimore City Paper website for their "Eats" restaurant review section if they want to browse ahead of time.

55) -- Revise to remove references to works in progress. The Science Center and Aquarium have been completed their big projects, I believe.

56) -- this makes no sense. They suggest trying local cuisine and then list big chains? There is no real local cuisine in Harborplace or the Gallery -- it's all chains.

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Wow. With so many suggestions that seem near rules, don't forget to "have fun". It's really good to try and think ahead to avoid the hassle, but don't forget to relax, breathe, enjoy yourself. Conventions are about having fun and enjoying yourself, after all.

Also, don't forget it's not how much you eat, especially at these things, but more what you eat. No one has much fun getting home from a convention and calling into work sick for the next week from being a victim of ye olde con plague.

Remember to spay and neuter your pets. I'm all out of tips. hah.

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56) Enjoy a dinner out at some place other than fast food. Part of seeing another city is tasting local cuisine or eating at places you've never seen. ESPN Zone or Cheesecake Factory is those type of places. Cheesecake Factory is excellent.

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57) Never wear a convention badge outside of the Convention Center. Never ever do that. Take it off as soon as you exit the building. It is easier to pull a badge out and show it to security at the door than lose your money or travelers checks. This happened to me at a convention. Fortunately, I had American's Express Travelers Checks and I was without them for no more than 24 hours.

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57) Never wear a convention badge outside of the Convention Center. Never ever do that. Take it off as soon as you exit the building. It is easier to pull a badge out and show it to security at the door than lose your money or travelers checks. This happened to me at a convention. Fortunately, I had American's Express Travelers Checks and I was without them for no more than 24 hours.

Umm, I don't quite get this one. What does having your con badge out have to do with loosing your money? We're all easy marks as obvious out of towners, doubly so if in costume, so what does the con badge have to do with anything?

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If you're cosplaying (or you're like me and just a klutz) invest in a Tide pen, Shout wipes, or mini bottle of OxyClean. It can help to remove most stains from your clothing or cosplay and it prevents them from setting in until you can wash them. Works a lot better than water and a papertowel.

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Here are my tips about $$ money $$

1) Map out a generous amount of money for food and travel (round up from how much you ACTUALLY think you'll need) and put it in a separate wallet/purse compartment. That way when you're reaching into your wallet over and over for stuff in the Dealer's Room/Artist's Alley, you don't accidently spend it. Budgeting your money is one thing; keeping it separate from one another to be sure you don't spend it is quite another.

2) Bring LOTS of change!! Plenty of singles especially! Vendors can only keep enough cash to make change for so long if everyone is constantly giving big bills for cheap items. Besides THAT, you'll need change if you take any cabs (they generally carry less than $5 in change and if you try to pay for a $9 cab ride with a $20 they WILL get cranky with you!) and money for vending machines too ('cause ya gotta stay hydrated and the last thing you need is you be parched and have a wallet full of $20's)

3) Tip well when you go out to eat. If you can't afford to eat and tip, hit up a fast food place. Tip money should be budgeted with food money always. Especially because you know waitresses probably dread Otakon 'cause it means extra running around and silly otaku and they work super hard to feed us all ^_^

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One thing I found works well and is fairly inexpensive (well over here in Australia it is at least, don't know about in the US) is business cards with your online call sign and website with your previous works (if applicable.). It is a handy way to exchange details with fellow cosplayers and non-creepy fans.

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56) Enjoy a dinner out at some place other than fast food. Part of seeing another city is tasting local cuisine or eating at places you've never seen. ESPN Zone or Cheesecake Factory is those type of places. Cheesecake Factory is excellent.

As far as actual local cuisine (ESPN Zone and Cheesecake Factory are not local cuisine), go down to Fells Point and eat at Bertha's. The Rusty Scupper on Key Highway is also good. The Wharf Rat in Fells Point on Ann Street (yes, there are two) will also be less crowded then the one across the street from the convention center. Fells Point is also mostly made up of pubs and bars, sorry kids. :(

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Guys, please try to skim through this topic before you reply to it. :) Most - if not all - of these have been offered before.

As always, if you have something new to add, feel free!

Thanks!

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4) Whats that in metric?

7) Very true. Donno if it is the same in the US as over here in Oz, but the less you have to haul back the better (Freight is expensive!)

8) Any particular reason we should be Cautious of the rave?

13) Thats half the fun! The rest is giving the answers and seeing there reaction!

16) Do we even want to know?!

17) Can't be as bad as mine. Real thick and heavy Aussie accent. At some places in the US it got down to having to carry a pen and note pad around.

4. A: 80 degrees Fahrenheit = 26.6666667 degrees Celsius

90 degrees Fahrenheit = 32.2222222 degrees Celsius

7. I agree!

8. I also wish to know this.

16. Ditto

17. It can't be any worse than my southern accent.

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Guys, please try to skim through this topic before you reply to it. :) Most - if not all - of these have been offered before.

As always, if you have something new to add, feel free!

Thanks!

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I have a few tips to add. I checked the list and I didn't see these on there.

If you're like me and love hitting up Artist's Alley be sure to pack a folder (possibly a cardboard tube for any poster sized pieces) to make certain your prizes make it home safely.

As for lugging everything else around I strongly recommend a single strap backpack with a quick release buckle, especially if you are in costume. it can be slipped on and off quickly and without damaging many costumes. We got ours two years ago and I don't know how we got by without it.

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Okay.... I REALLY like the idea of Invading 'the block' with 5,000 Otaku. We can set up our own emergency government there for the cons and rule the locals with an iron fist.

...But I'll probably be in the dealer's room wishing they were allowed to sell Pocky, so let me know how it goes. :)

My Tip?

BYOP... there are NO japanese snacks on site, unless you wanna pay ALOT of money... Bring them yourself. Most of us have an Asian store somewhere in our home cities, go to one of those.

Also, when you are at-con, PLEASE stand to the side to take photos, don't stop in the middle of a bottlenecked hallway.

I also second the BATHE idea. Carry a travel deodorant in your pocket even, and swipe it across the backs of unsuspecting smelly offenders, administering when needed.

:)

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From the BIG list atop Page 6:

19) 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.

(Joe Foering)

20) 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

(Jeffrey Kleist)

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Well....it's my first time comming to Otakon, but not to a con in general. So far I agree with what everyone has said before. To add my own tips.....

1. Sometimes you don't have to limit yourself to the hotels in the actual area of the convention center. My friends in my group found a cheep (but really nice) motel some miles away from the convention center (not too far) and it's not far from the light rail either. So expending your search is a really good idea. Also booking early like a few months before hand isn't a bad idea. Sometimes you may think opposite of what is true...that'd you could get a good deal still if you took a chance and booked a month or two before hand. Two words: good luck!

2. Think of your cosplay ahead of time in regards to how long you could walk around in it. considering what everyone has just said about wearing comfortable shoes....I feel kinda foolish now for not reading this sooner. not that the cosplays I'll be wearing would cause much trouble....but regardless I may stash away some sandles in my bag. Another thing too...I just have to say it....for females....if you are going to wear a skirt or dress whatever...wear shorts underneath if possible (in regards to what was mentioned before about the mirrors on shoes and perverts video taping) and for those of us who may be a bit on the heaver side...bring a small bottle of baby powder with you to pat on ur inner thighs....it helps with the friction (unless if you are wearing a dress or skirt long enough, just wear carpris under neath....so you won't need the baby powder). And perhaps bring a light cardigen or long sleeved shirt just in case the ac is too much.

3. As far as weather goes...for the 'just in case it rains' bring a poncho.it's easyer to pack and if you need it you've got it. Make sure wear sunscreen and besure to protect yourself against sunburns if you easly get it. having a small first aid kit on hand isn't such a bad idea for minor mishaps.

4. Don't ever carry a large amount of cash with you....either to the con or on the trip in general. It would be too easy too lose and you'll get pissed off (I'm not sure if the dears accept credit cards/debit cards but if they do....that's ur best bet...to use that as a way to pay) Be aware of your surroundings. you never know if there's a pick pocketer around and they also work in groups so they could easly distract you. Keep your belongings close at hand in a hard to reach spot for pick pocketers. If you are with a group of friends...make sure everyone has an eye on everyone else. and for the sake that you do deside to split up or whatever the case, make sure you set a time and place to meet rather then rely on a cell or walkie to relay that message....at least you'd know ahead of time....and let everyone know what ur plans for the day would be....where you'll be and at what time.

Well...for now that's all i've got ^_^ if I think of anymore I'll add it.

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Hi Everyone! Your friendly co-Head of SpecOps here :P

Seeing how everyone has had such great suggestions, I wanted to share my $0.02 of tips and tricks:

1) Read the BBS for meetups and great info (but you already do that :D)

2) If you have weapons questions, click here: http://otakon.com/policies.asp#weapons

3) HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE ~ it gets gosh-darned hot in Baltimore during the Summer, especially when you're waiting outside in the Reg Line

4) Pre-Reg! believe it or not, even if the line can seem longer, it *DEFINITELY* moves faster. Why? because all your credentials are set and done - all we have to do is give you a bright, shiny new badge!

5) Photo-Ops: always fun, always awesome, usually hinder movement... Try to be mindful of other Otakon Members and find a more out-of the way place for character meetups and photo opportunities. SpecOps thanks you in advance!

6) If you are over 18, and want to see the Hentai and other 18+ panels/shows, please remember to GET YOUR 18+ WRISTBAND ASAP. Too many times people didn't get to see their favourite late-night [insert show/panel] because the wristband stall was already closed and we don't do ID checks

7) When in doubt, check with Info Desk - they *really* know about Baltimore, and more importantly, all about Otakon

See you all in a matter of days!!

-JK

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Hi Everyone! Your friendly co-Head of SpecOps here :)

5) Photo-Ops: always fun, always awesome, usually hinder movement... Try to be mindful of other Otakon Members and find a more out-of the way place for character meetups and photo opportunities. SpecOps thanks you in advance!

-JK

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Wizard World Philadelphia had a booth set up that said something like "Con photos here." I couldn't tell if this was a commercial photo booth though.

Otakon could try hanging some banners in areas where photos should be taken. Tape out a box on the floor for cosplayers to stand in, and have some neutral or gray colored background with the banner hanging above "Photos Here." A large enough space for a bunch of people to pull out their cameras and grab a fast shot. Too many cosplayers get stopped in the halls. They could be like the Pied Piper of Hamelin and lead a throng of photo seekers to the designated photo areas.

This is an inspired idea! I'll bring it up with Operations and we'll see what we can do. Maybe even post the locations. Keep your eyes peeled for updates!

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Seeing as this year I will being going with a group of friends and that we are bound to lose a person or two in the crowd I have come up with ideas on how to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Plan A:

While in line for registering or pre-reg decide who will be the designated meeting place when someone get's seperated from the group. You should choose the tallest person, if they are a cosplayer it helps. There are going to be plenty of tall people at the con so the next step is to figure out some signal that is easy for the lost party to see.

Do not wave your arms back and forth, you'll risk being found by the wrong party. A piece of cloth with an X on it not only is easier to find, but it also makes a anime reference at the same time.

Plan B

Hallways and rooms (like the dealers room) make the above strategy almost useless, so it's best to have a generic meeting place that applies to any room.

The Dealers Room (and rooms like the dealers room)

Before you enter the room, first pick a generic time to meet if you get lost and then choose a specific corner of the room. If it's the dealers room the Funimation booth is also a good choice.

Hallways

What to do if your the person that gets lost:

What you should do depends on what type of hallway it is, if it's straight just go stand against the wall or railing to your right. If the hallway makes turns or has other hallways that junction off it find the nearest corner and wait for your group to find you.

What to do if your the group:

If it's a straight hallway check the along the right side (if you don't find them you might be looking on the wrong side). If it's a hallway that makes turns or has other hallways junctioning off it check each corner.

It's always a good idea to have a backup plan just in case a phone dies or gets lost.

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Seeing as this year I will being going with a group of friends and that we are bound to lose a person or two in the crowd I have come up with ideas on how to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Plan A:

While in line for registering or pre-reg decide who will be the designated meeting place when someone get's seperated from the group. You should choose the tallest person, if they are a cosplayer it helps. There are going to be plenty of tall people at the con so the next step is to figure out some signal that is easy for the lost party to see.

Do not wave your arms back and forth, you'll risk being found by the wrong party. A piece of cloth with an X on it not only is easier to find, but it also makes a anime reference at the same time.

Plan B

Hallways and rooms (like the dealers room) make the above strategy almost useless, so it's best to have a generic meeting place that applies to any room.

The Dealers Room (and rooms like the dealers room)

Before you enter the room, first pick a generic time to meet if you get lost and then choose a specific corner of the room. If it's the dealers room the Funimation booth is also a good choice.

Hallways

What to do if your the person that gets lost:

What you should do depends on what type of hallway it is, if it's straight just go stand against the wall or railing to your right. If the hallway makes turns or has other hallways that junction off it find the nearest corner and wait for your group to find you.

What to do if your the group:

If it's a straight hallway check the along the right side (if you don't find them you might be looking on the wrong side). If it's a hallway that makes turns or has other hallways junctioning off it check each corner.

It's always a good idea to have a backup plan just in case a phone dies or gets lost.

:mellow:

Option 4: follow this thread and meetup

/index.php?showtopic=19291&view=getnewpost">http://board.otakon.com/index.php?showtopi...view=getnewpost

/ :ph34r:

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If you are hearing sensitive, bring a pair of ear plugs to the concerts. They can get very loud in there. I remember the Mell concert and it was very loud in that room.

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Not sure if anyone mention this, but the Light Rail isn't free. You have to buy a pass for 1.60$ (I bleieve) for one way. So if you park at Timonium Light Rail and take it down to the con, you have to buy the pass. I've seen a lot of con-goers just get on without buying a pass. Also, if you need to get around Downtown, there's the Charm City Circular (Orange Root and Purple Root) that is free to ride. Perfect for those weary of walking around the con. Click this for more information about it: http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/

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Not sure if anyone mention this, but the Light Rail isn't free. You have to buy a pass for 1.60$ (I bleieve) for one way. So if you park at Timonium Light Rail and take it down to the con, you have to buy the pass. I've seen a lot of con-goers just get on without buying a pass. Also, if you need to get around Downtown, there's the Charm City Circular (Orange Root and Purple Root) that is free to ride. Perfect for those weary of walking around the con. Click this for more information about it: http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/

Yes, the Light Rail is $1.60 for one way, for a round trip on the Light Rail, you should get a day pass for $3.50. For more information on the MTA, you can go here: http://www.mta.maryland.gov/

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Not sure if anyone mention this, but the Light Rail isn't free. You have to buy a pass for 1.60$ (I bleieve) for one way. So if you park at Timonium Light Rail and take it down to the con, you have to buy the pass. I've seen a lot of con-goers just get on without buying a pass. Also, if you need to get around Downtown, there's the Charm City Circular (Orange Root and Purple Root) that is free to ride. Perfect for those weary of walking around the con. Click this for more information about it: http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/

Yes, the Light Rail is $1.60 for one way, for a round trip on the Light Rail, you should get a day pass for $3.50. For more information on the MTA, you can go here: http://www.mta.maryland.gov/

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