So my first Dragon Con is over and there are definitely some things that I learned from the experience. What to do. What not to do and so on. As I get ready for my next Con experience and prep myself in advance for Dragon Con 2018, there are some things that I have decided to make staples of my experience going forward. Things that I learned from people at the event who are veterans of Dragon Con and freely shared with a relative newcomer.
Many people talked about this in the run up to and consistently during the event and they were absolutely right. I went into my first day at Dragon Con in a pair of sneakers and did not regret the decision once. I was initially going to go in a relatively conservative blazer, slacks and loafers, but the amount of walking I planned on doing when I got there made me rethink that entire ensemble before stepping out of my hotel room. With the Con being spread out between four venues including the Vendor areas, walking was going to be the bulk of my activity in between interviews and panels, so a good pair of comfortable shoes was a must.
As this was my first year going to a Con as Press, I didn’t cosplay. I had ideas and planned on going as some of my favorite characters, but I decided against it. A mistake I will not make again. Next year I plan to go all in with the experience and cosplay and thankfully, I have a whole year to prepare.
Like any other experience, you get out of Dragon Con what you put into Dragon Con. If you come in with an attitude of divisiveness and anger (I heard several people with badges complaining about fellow attendees and “nerds” in attendance.) you will walk away with that as your experience. Everyday I spoke with someone new. Someone I never knew or met before engaged in conversation with me about their experiences at the con and how positive an experience it was. After talking with them, we collectively agreed that Dragon Con was a place where you could truly be yourself without the judgment of the outside world.
Dragon Con 2017 was an amazing experience for me. I enjoyed my time and cannot wait to experience it again next year. Next year though, I will be embracing all of the experience and bringing a positive attitude and sense of wonder with me.
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