What is it like going to AB alone?

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Gingerhaze
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What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Gingerhaze » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:10 pm

The first (and last) time I went to AB was a few years ago with a group of my friends from college. It was really great! Really! I had a ton of fun!

Because we were broke college students at the time, we didn't stay in a hotel, instead we took the T into the city, and we didn't go to the con the for the whole weekend, just Friday night and Saturday. Even though I still had a really good time, I kind of felt like I missed out on a lot of things. I've wanted to have the complete con experience ever since! You know, stay in the hotel, go for the entire weekend, go to the after parties and late night events, etc.

We all have graduated college since then and it's just been too difficult to coordinate a group of us to go again. A lot of people moved away from Boston after graduation and a lot of people just aren't willing to spend the money, because going for the whole weekend could be quite the expense. People also can't get time off from work.

Since I don't think I'll be able to get a group of my friends to go again I've considered going by myself. I just wonder what it is like to go alone. Like, real talk, what is it like? Is it easy to find a group of chill, friendly people to hang out with? Are people usually willing to let you into their friend group? Has anyone gone alone in the past and had a good time? I hesitate going alone because I think it might just be lonely and not much fun. That and, I know from experience anime fans can sometimes be a bit...much? I'm not a cosplayer (though respect for those that do) and I'm not an anime encyclopedia or anything. I'm just an average person who happened to grow up watching anime.

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Master of NERV
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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Master of NERV » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:59 pm

Gingerhaze wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:10 pm
Since I don't think I'll be able to get a group of my friends to go again I've considered going by myself. I just wonder what it is like to go alone. Like, real talk, what is it like? Is it easy to find a group of chill, friendly people to hang out with? Are people usually willing to let you into their friend group? Has anyone gone alone in the past and had a good time? I hesitate going alone because I think it might just be lonely and not much fun. That and, I know from experience anime fans can sometimes be a bit...much? I'm not a cosplayer (though respect for those that do) and I'm not an anime encyclopedia or anything. I'm just an average person who happened to grow up watching anime.
Hi, Gingerhaze! I understand exactly where you're coming from. :) Between 2009 and 2012, I arrived at each of those ABs by myself...but, however, I didn't necessarily stay alone.

The short answer is yes, you can have a great time at AB by yourself! First, (especially if you're not pre-reged and getting your badge on Thursday night), check out the con schedule ASAP as soon as the web site posts it, and jot down anything that interests you, day by day, hour by hour. Don't worry about overlap; you'll make decisions on the fly (we all do!) Don't overlook screenings; I can't tell you how many times I've previewed anime at con and ended up buying (or, for most folks these days, streaming) the whole series later. Also, screening rooms are a great place to hide if the mayhem in the corridors becomes too much to take.

The first year I was alone, I decided to turn a negative into a positive. After all, going with a group can be constricting, with no one able to agree on where to go and when, and lot of time can be wasted that way. It can be liberating being entirely self-directed, able to leave a panel if it doesn't keep your interest, etc. Especially in 2009, I went to a lot of panels and events I'd never gone to before!

As for company, the best place I've found to become part of even a temporary group is while waiting in line for an event. Don't be afraid to talk if the conversation around you gives you an inroad. There have been times when doing so can make an hour-or-more wait in line just breeze by. More than once, I've had invitations to tag along with a group later after the event let out.

Just for fun: if you know a particular show well, try speaking to a cosplayer from that show as if they're "in character" (some cosplayers will be) and see if they reply in character. Every once in a while, you'll get a great bit of banter--I know, since I've been on both sides of this equation. ;)

In the end, so much of your question depends on your own attitude and demeanor. If you're friendly and outgoing, finding company is not too hard. You're all here for the same thing, and the mix of fandom and a touch of enthusiasm can be infectious.

One last thought: since there will be no one to remind you, remind yourself to keep hydrated and eat properly!
AB 2003-2017; pre-reged for 2018!
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Lamron
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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Lamron » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:17 pm

Master of NERV wrote:
Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:59 pm
In the end, so much of your question depends on your own attitude and demeanor. If you're friendly and outgoing, finding company is not too hard. You're all here for the same thing, and the mix of fandom and a touch of enthusiasm can be infectious.

One last thought: since there will be no one to remind you, remind yourself to keep hydrated and eat properly!
Best advice right there :-)

There is also nothing wrong with just being alone the whole con. I've been to most of the AB cons and have gone alone, with friends and met people there, I've had both good times and not so good times with all three, but I have always enjoyed the con. :-)

So make a plan of what YOU want to do and see and then go with the flow of the day. Don't go looking for friends, expect to be alone, then when you find people and make friends, it will be more fun. :-)

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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by AnnaNeko » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:59 pm

It's honestly... not bad!

When you're not in a group suddenly you can plan out things YOU and only you want to do/see and not worry about half the group goin "but there was this other thing...."

Few days before check out the schedule, highlight stuff that sounds interesting. Charge up all the batteries and input food reminders/alerts in your phone and go have fun! Make some new friends at the con, gush to people about their cosplay & fandoms! It's the best ice-breaker when waiting in line - turn to person behind you & ask what they're cosplaying as or strike up a convo about that one show on their tshirt 'cause heeeey, we both already know we're into it
why, yes, I have been goin to this con since day 1. Wanna brain-break on the age math?

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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Kusuguru Usagi » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:58 am

I've been attending AB since 2003, and from 2003-2012, I went to the con with one of my friends. I've been to the con 2X by myself (2013 & 2014). I did have alot of fun with my friend, and I also had lots of fun when I went by myself. I never had any problems when I went alone, and everyone who volunteers is very helpful & friendly. Plus, if you notice several of the same people go to some of the same panels you go to, it's a great starting point for conversation. :) :)

There is something to be said about liking your own company, and being able to spend your time at the things YOU really enjoy. So go forth, and enjoy the con!! :D :D

I didn't go to AB in 2015 or 2016, but I will be there this year. Can't WAIT!!

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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Redwillowhearts » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:08 pm

It's not that bad going alone! I've been going to AB for about 3 years now and this year will actually be my first one with a group. Try talking to people in line or talk to the cosplayers of series you like, even talk to the artists in the artist alley about their art or series they've drawn from (they're there most of the day and can't escape from you :P)! Yes, there will be rude people out there, but a majority of the people there are really kind. It's really easy to meet new friends and join a temporary group. If you can't join a group, make one yourself! Just remember, it'll only be lonely if you make it so.
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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Aurabolt » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:11 pm

Been going to AB since 2010. I have attended AB solo each time. For me, I like being able to play my whole schedule for the weekend in advance. Of course if you meet friends there, plans change.

Point is there is more than one way to enjoy AB. Even if you don't go with friends, that doesn't mean you won't have fun ^_~
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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by water_angel » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:23 pm

I went alone last year and I'll be alone this year as well. While I did have a good time because I could do what I want when I wanted, I'll admit that there were times I wish I had someone to turn to when I saw something I thought was cool or funny. But I mostly go for the artists alley and to see the costumes anyway so for me that's enough. I had hoped that I would meet new people here but being as shy as I am that doesn't seem to happen for me. But that doesn't mean that it won't happen for you! The best thing you can do is give it a try and decide how you feel after.

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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by H. Guderian » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:16 am

While going with friends is great, you'll be surprised how much you miss by traveling in packs. A lot of time is spent trying to make sure everyone gets to do what they want, and keeping track of people as they get lost in the Dealer's Room is its own nightmare. It is the best though.

You have much more freedom of action on your own. Attend Panel A, hey maybe swing by the Dealer's for just 5 minutes? Eat anywhere. Coordinating is so stressful you'll be able to try and experiment a lot more on your own.

See, also, its easier to meet people. Normally in a group i might sometimes talk to others. Sometimes. When I'm adventuring on my own I talk to others at nearly every destination.

But yeah, being on your own might enable you to find a niche. I found I loved going to panels, and then started talking to those that did them (before and after the panel) and then started doing it myself. And while I'm still poor at it I met so many people that way.

Its the time to experiment!

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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Old_School_Anime_Lover02 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:50 pm

very nice, you get to pick and choose what you want to do with out having to vote on anything, (if your going to be getting a room or something like that) you won't have to share space (But the down side is money i suppose i dono i get stuck saving up all by myself ) and your not dragged in all sorts of directions you don't want to go to, and best of all you can talk to as many people as you want! Ab is the perfect convention to go alone :> i do it every year!
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Yurio (yuri on ice)
Rinku (yu yu hakusho
Magi (aladdin Magnoshetot)

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Re: What is it like going to AB alone?

Post by Mschibi » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:11 am

This thread puts me at ease. :)
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