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Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:21 pm
by madman1502
So now that con has come to an end, it’s time for us to share what we’ve learned in the hopes of helping people avoid problems or enhance their experience.
  • Be yourself: So as a small number of people know, I’m genderfluid but built like a linebacker. This year, I did Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service and was extremely scared to be judged for my body type. It’s a silly thing to worry about, I know, but I’m self-conscious so it meant the world to me to just be me and happy, and people made me feel cute and pretty, which is so rare in my daily life.

    Make your schedule loose: I say this one every year. I make a schedule and then skip half of it to do things with friends. I went swimming at AB for the first time in all the 8 years I’ve gone, and it’s because I chose to not go to a panel.

    Bring tissues to the AMVs: Now, I don’t go to the contest, but every year without fail, someone makes a winning AMV that causes me to cry like a baby.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:04 pm
by GemSola
I learned that I am perfectly comfortable going to a con on my own. In past years I went with friends, and last year talked my brother into going, this was my first year going on my own, which I didn't mind in theory but had some concerns that I'd get lonely or bored. I managed to plan my weekend perfectly so that I was neither lonely, bored, nor overwhelmed.

Also in the vein I found that I am able to socialize fine (if not maybe a little awkwardly) with total strangers while being alone. Sat down to eat Friday and had fun chatting with the couple next to me. When in lines I had some nice conversations, and while leaving the con Saturday night had a nice chat with a pair of girls on the green line.

May not seem a lot, but I see myself as super shy, and awkward with strangers. And when I am alone in a crowd I feel I withdraw a lot. So the fact I felt 100% comfortable going somewhere so busy as AB AND chatting away with random strangers feels huge to me, makes me think maybe I'm not quite as awkward as I feel I am.

Also, bring a smaller bag next year, preferably a backpack instead of a shoulder bag.

And oh boy, second the bring tissues bit to AMV's. That dang AMV had me practically bawling twice in one day! Was in no way shape or form prepared for that.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:33 pm
by Sylal3us
Good shoes are key! If you do a lot of walking like I tend to do, a viking peg leg built on uncomfortable cheap heeled sandals is not advisable for day one. Make sure you have a pair of comfortable shoes for your costume or a pair of easy to carry flats/sandals to change into on the fly, lest you have bruised toenails or blisters.

You would think I would have learned that after costuming for at least 5 years ar conventions and working 10 years retail xD

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:39 pm
by Yukito Kunisaki
That this was my first year in my entirety at AB without a costume and I learned that you just really, really need a costume here. I felt so darn naked being a normie.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:12 am
by Master of NERV
As someone old enough to have watched black-and-white anime (on a black-and-white TV, no less), I have to take a really hard look at how I pace myself. It seems that a lay-down, shoes-off, get-some-water rest between lunch and dinner is now mandatory, no matter what great stuff is happening on the con floor. It's annoying, but it worked--I got past midnight both Friday and Saturday.

Resist the urge to overspend in the dealer's room. This is actually an old lesson for me, but one that proved particularly useful this year.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:36 am
by AnnaNeko
Not really lesson learned, but reinforced like woah - remember to sit down and rest during the day!!

omg my feet needed a lil ice soak to feel remotely ok after all 3 days of non-stop walking/standing

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:40 pm
by Selestyl
Lesson my boyfriend and I learned: it's okay to split and do your own thing. He was determined to accompany me to a photoshoot despite me knowing he'd be bored out of his skull and I made him promise to go to the MHA premiere instead because I knew he wanted to go there. He ended up having fun there, and I had a good time at my photoshoot. I was bummed I couldn't be let in to the premiere afterwards, but that was a lesson I learned the hard way :lol: I just didn't want him to miss out on something because he felt he had to stay with me, and he's been talking about the premiere ever since!

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:48 pm
by Rosedust
Learn to ask questions and don't assume people will do their jobs because you'll probably miss out on something cool because of it.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:31 pm
by Aurabolt
It's funny how the Boylston St. Entrance is now the new "Secret" Entrance no one uses. Until 3 years ago, it was the Artist Alley/Sheraton Connector. Now it's ironically the main Boylston St. Entrance. First thing I see once I get to the top of the elevator is the several THOUSAND people trying to get in via the Mall Entrance.

Then I Facepalmed. Every. Single. Time.

I call it "Why should I have to go outside just to get into the Hynes when I can just use the mall entrance?" logic. The irony is since folks don't wan't to either go outside or take a detour, they'd rather take the shortest and longest route to get into the Hynes.

You could go through the Hynes entrance and end up standing for 10+ minutes. On othe other hand you could go through the Boylston St. entance and be inside within 10 seconds without a bag or in my case, 45 seconds with two heavy bags.

...Choose.
Master of NERV wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:12 am

Resist the urge to overspend in the dealer's room. This is actually an old lesson for me, but one that proved particularly useful this year.
...Yeah, that was me this year. Last year I had a $2,000 budget =D

This year I kept it to just two Blue Ray buys (Yuri!!! On Ice and Your Name) and finishing 3 Manga Series (Devil Survivor, Persona 3 and Persona 4). I'm gonna hit up Comicopia later this week for some moar Manga since I live in Boston ^_^

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:17 pm
by animefan1238
Selestyl wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:40 pm
Lesson my boyfriend and I learned: it's okay to split and do your own thing. He was determined to accompany me to a photoshoot despite me knowing he'd be bored out of his skull and I made him promise to go to the MHA premiere instead because I knew he wanted to go there. He ended up having fun there, and I had a good time at my photoshoot. I was bummed I couldn't be let in to the premiere afterwards, but that was a lesson I learned the hard way :lol: I just didn't want him to miss out on something because he felt he had to stay with me, and he's been talking about the premiere ever since!
My wife and I agreed on the same thing. We were mostly separated Saturday b/c panels I went to and her showing the ropes to her friend's son and his gf at their first AB. We talked about it and we enjoyed ourselves even though we weren't together. Some times you have to have your "me time" even at a con. LoL.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:50 pm
by royalbakaness
Aurabolt wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:31 pm
It's funny how the Boylston St. Entrance is now the new "Secret" Entrance no one uses. Until 3 years ago, it was the Artist Alley/Sheraton Connector. Now it's ironically the main Boylston St. Entrance. First thing I see once I get to the top of the elevator is the several THOUSAND people trying to get in via the Mall Entrance.

Then I Facepalmed. Every. Single. Time.

I call it "Why should I have to go outside just to get into the Hynes when I can just use the mall entrance?" logic. The irony is since folks don't wan't to either go outside or take a detour, they'd rather take the shortest and longest route to get into the Hynes.

You could go through the Hynes entrance and end up standing for 10+ minutes. On othe other hand you could go through the Boylston St. entance and be inside within 10 seconds without a bag or in my case, 45 seconds with two heavy bags.

...Choose.
Right? I learned about Boylston Street being the better entrance last year after our "secret" artist alley entrance became known to the world. Never had to wait in line at Boylston Street. It's worth taking a walk outside for.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:41 am
by runicmagitek
  • California Pizza Kitchen on Saturday afternoon was A Mistake™
  • Don't stress out if you forget a small piece of your cosplay. Most likely you'll be the only one who notices and others are just too happy you're cosplaying the thing they love to realize what's missing
  • Figuring out how long it would take to get ready in the morning and adding an hour to it made getting into cosplay a lot smoother and less stress inducing
  • Need more casual/street clothes cosplays to wander around in when I'm out of my more elaborate cosplays
  • 3rd floor of the Hynes is apparently where it's at for photographers
  • It's ok to break away from friends and do your own thing! I met a lot of cool and new people by doing this
  • I don't know the cosplayer's name, but the Jojo cosplayer from the last round of Afterdark can talk to me about dolphins any day of the week

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:40 pm
by TheGlassesGirl
-If you're wearing uncomfortable shoes, make sure to set aside time when you can just sit down! (Walking around in 3 inch heels for about 7 hours as Black Lady required a lot of sit breaks)

-Make sure your wig styling is real secure, or be careful about how you transport it....my Dorothy wig came completely unstyled in my bag and I had to do a super fast restyle in the bathroom!

-If you're bringing food, make sure you pack a variety, or you might get bored of eating the same thing every day!

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:20 pm
by Aurabolt
royalbakaness wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:50 pm

Right? I learned about Boylston Street being the better entrance last year after our "secret" artist alley entrance became known to the world. Never had to wait in line at Boylston Street. It's worth taking a walk outside for.
Until a few years ago, the Game Room and the AA were swapped with each other. The switch was finally done and that made the second floor a bit quieter. I'm glad the switch was made personally. Coincidentally, the switch happened after security was heightened due to the marathon bombing back in 2013. AB happening during bad weather also forced most attendees inside on top of the increased security measures. As a result, most elected to just use the Mall Entrance to avoid the weather.

The funny thing is although the Boylston St. Entrance is the actual main entrance, it's got the lightest security presence. So...yeah.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:25 pm
by royalbakaness
Aurabolt wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:20 pm

Until a few years ago, the Game Room and the AA were swapped with each other. The switch was finally done and that made the second floor a bit quieter. I'm glad the switch was made personally. Coincidentally, the switch happened after security was heightened due to the marathon bombing back in 2013. AB happening during bad weather also forced most attendees inside on top of the increased security measures. As a result, most elected to just use the Mall Entrance to avoid the weather.

The funny thing is although the Boylston St. Entrance is the actual main entrance, it's got the lightest security presence. So...yeah.
Yeah, I think I recall the switch. Honestly, I've gone out to Boylston Street in inclement weather (in cosplay even), and it's not that bad. I prefer to avoid the craziness at the mall entrance if I can help it.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:47 pm
by Thrillho
Lesson Learned: If you have a cosplay that requires thigh-high white vinyl boots, invest in ones that are actually comfortable.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:39 am
by Mirotic
If you're staying at the Sheraton: check-out at 12PM is absolute chaos at the elevators.
Ended up taking the stairs with 2 bags, a 40 gallon rolling tote and my suitcase.

Next year: stay an extra day to wait out the majority of con-goers and also don't pack a full suit of armor.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:43 am
by runicmagitek
Mirotic wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:39 am
If you're staying at the Sheraton: check-out at 12PM is absolute chaos at the elevators.
Ended up taking the stairs with 2 bags, a 40 gallon rolling tote and my suitcase.

Next year: stay an extra day to wait out the majority of con-goers and also don't pack a full suit of armor.
My friends and I have been doing this for most cons for a while. Not only do you miss all the craziness that is checking out, but you don't need to rush to pack and get out and instead enjoy the day/evening. I'd gladly fork over money for an extra night if it means saving my sanity. Highly recommend it!

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:10 pm
by JosephW
Lesson learned: Losing sleep by getting up super early to get to the con exactly on time is a bad idea.

Was told that there would be tons of traffic and to leave at 6am in order to get there by 9....left at 7am and got there at 8. And then there was no line at all to get into the convention itself. So yeah, I guess in future years, I can just leave at 8am or so and get to the con by 9:30 or 10.

I might just book a hotel next year instead, to avoid having to drive / wake up early at all.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:20 am
by sdfx
Heels aren't as bad as I thought, but definitely take breaks..! I've taken more photos this year than any year at the con--definitely don't be shy to ask to take photos.

Bring a dedicated camera next time for nicer shots :)

EDIT: Echoing Joseph's statement, I'd definitely book a hotel room next time even though I live close by.

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:00 pm
by MidnightSiren182
Eleeeeecccctrolytes.

Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:31 am
by MichaelZed
I know the board is a bit dead and quiet again - so im not sure who still comes around and not.
But what I do feel is that a lot of lessons have been learned this year and that most have just gone out and applied that and thus havent been here as often because of that that things are improving.

So.. what are your lessons learned, what insights did you discover in 2016 when it comes to dating?

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:50 pm
by Nenie
Dress warm, bring an extra sweater. The AC in the convention was really cold. I was shaking by midnight on Saturday. You can always leave it at the coat check if you don't want to carry it around.


Pack a snack with you. Chips. Breakfast bars. Crackers. Anything to hold you over til meal time. Especially if your schedule is tight.

The older I get, the more valuable sleep is. When I was 18-25, it was fun to just stay up late with my friends during the con. 1AM, 2AM. Would stay late for the Karaoke. But in recent years, a mature time-managing adult such as myself needs energy for the whole day. I try to get to bed by 12 or 13:30 depending on how the late programming goes.

Budget your money. When I was younger, I use to give myself a $36-80 budget in the dealers room. This year I spent like almost $200. I've come to realize that I don't want to be so materialistic anymore, so next time I want to limit myself to purchasing items that are more rare to have. Like anything Digimon. That stuff is rare.

The restrooms in the Sheraton are the best, nicest and most private restrooms to go to. ;)

Re: Lessons Learned at AB 2018

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:38 pm
by david196520
That this was my first year in my entirety at AB without a costume and I learned that you just really, really need a costume here.