Con safety might seem like it’s pretty straight forward, but you’d be surprised.
There’s something about conventions that brings out a lot of excitement in people and that excitement might not always be appropriate. Cons are great ways to make friends, see content that you love, and just be an overall great time. However, there are certain unspoken rules that may not be obvious at first. With this installment of #ConGuide, we’re going to give you a few tips that’ll help make your con experience is safe for you and others.
Read The Con Rules!
While the bulk of convention rules might overlap, it’s better to be informed. Check the guidelines for the con you’re attending to make sure everything you’re bringing along is allowed in. As a cosplayer, trust me when I say there’s no greater second-hand pain than seeing a Sora cosplayer get their key blade taken away because it had sharp metal parts. You definitely don’t want to work hard on something or have an expensive item taken away because you didn’t check if the con would let you in with it.
If you’re ever unsure about a rule, email the convention for the clarification! They’re always happy to help.
Keep It Moving
It can be easy to get caught up in the hallways trying to get pictures or watching k-pop dance routines. However, it’s important to keep watch of your surroundings. Don’t stop in the middle of a busy space. Instead, if you need to pause or take a break to find a corner or designated area away from the crowds. Stopping walkway traffic can lead to even longer wait times at best and injury at worst.
Cosplay Isn’t Consent
Another important thing to remember is that cosplayers deserve respect. It’s easy to get excited to see someone running around dressed as your favorite character. However, you have to remember they aren’t the character they’re dressed as. Even if you’re cosplaying from the same series as them, ask questions before you do anything. Want a picture? Ask first. Want a hug? Definitely ask first. Most of the time, they’ll say yes but getting permission is respectful and makes for better interactions.
When you don’t ask questions, we get a repeat of the yaoi paddle situation (check it out. It’s wild). This goes for people not cosplaying too of course. Everyone deserves to feel safe in a convention.
Look At The Con Map
Cons will usually post the map of the venue ahead of the con date. It’s a good idea to make note of rooms that have first aid, help desk or where you can find staff. You never know when you or someone around you might need help. Just keeping those locations in the back of your mind is a good idea.
It won’t hurt to have some band-aids in your bag! A big part of con safety and having a good time is having certain items on hand. That means any medication you might need, napkins, hand sanitizer, and more. If you want some ideas on what you should be bringing, take a look at our con checklist for basic and cosplay items!
Trust Your Instincts
If you ever feel unsafe at a con, go with your gut. Tell a staff member or your friends your concerns. If possible, remove yourself from any situation making you uncomfortable. You don’t owe anyone your time, especially if they’re disrespecting your feelings, body, or space. There can definitely be scary situations to be in but people will have your back!
Cons, for the most part, are pretty safe. That doesn’t mean we can’t actively do our part make sure the space stays that way. Keep these tips in mind next time you’re at a con. Stay safe and have fun out there!
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