Fan Fest Portland: Day 1

I’ll have to admit, writing this post is both daunting and incredibly exciting, because I get to relive the most epic weekend ever (I’m still not over it).

In case you missed my last several posts, I flew to Portland, OR, last weekend to attend the Walker Stalker Con / Heroes & Villains combined event Fan Fest Portland for my birthday (which was the Saturday). I’m a huge fan of conventions – a place where you can unite with likeminded individuals all there to celebrate the same fandoms.

Rather than typing up a typical recap, this entire post (and the one following it for Day 2) is going to be an online diary entry of the day combined with NEW tips and tricks I learned, as well as a review not only of FFPortland as a whole, but also the Platinum Pass product that they offer. I know many people – myself included – were curious about the pass itself (and whether it’s worth what you pay) so I hope this gives everyone some food for thought. Some of my tips will be repeated from the convention guide posts I made, but seeing situations in real time just proved my points further so I have to reiterate them.

My general convention tips will be reiterated in blue, while any comments or feedback I have about the Platinum experience will be noted in red.

Are you ready to join me while I relive the epicness? Sweet. Here we go.

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Conventions 101: The Ultimate How-To Guide, Part Two

Welcome one and all to the second installment of my super mega epic Ultimate How-To Guide for conventions! If you haven’t already, check out PART ONE, where I talk about planning, ticket-purchasing, and everything you need to do leading up to the convention.

Today we’re going to discuss being at the con itself and I’ll be sharing all of my tips and tricks to making the most of your days there from start to finish! Like with any vacation, you’ve saved up and spent money to attend this fantastic event, so I want to make sure you have fun and have a memorable (in a good way) time!

Today’s post is going to cover:

  • Special Requirements/Needs
  • What do I bring / what do I wear?
  • Familiarizing Yourself With The Space
  • The Autograph & Selfie Table
  • Photo Op Time!
  • Artists! Vendors! Merchandise! How Not To Set Your Wallet on Fire!
  • Some Final Thoughts

So without further ado, grab your tea and your snack and settle in. Let’s dive in to part two of our comprehensive guide!

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Conventions 101: The Ultimate How-To Guide, Part One

With Walker Stalker Portland coming up this weekend and with several conventions tucked under my belt, I thought it was the perfect time to feature a Convention How-To on the blog! The guide will divided into two parts.

Today’s post is a step-by-step walkthrough which features:

  • How to choose what convention to attend
  • Ticket Types / What ticket is best for you
  • Things you need to purchase ahead of time (photo ops and autographs)
  • Planning your weekend out

Part Two on Wednesday will feature everything starting from the moment you pick up your passes, followed by tips and tricks for attending, enjoying, and surviving the convention weekend… and the the inevitable crash afterwards when you get home.

Caught between a rock and a hard place at FanExpo Vancouver, 20 April 2014.

The very first convention I attended was a decade ago, and it was a convention specifically for the Stargate fandom run by Creation Entertainment here in Vancouver. Soon after that, I’d attended a Supernatural convention, a Sanctuary convention, and Gatecon. Each of the conventions were specific to certain shows and I’ll admit, I was young and naive then, so I threw my money at everything pretty and shiny! (If I could go back and redo those I’d probably save significant sums of cash). It wasn’t until several years later, in 2014, that I attended FanExpo Vancouver, a far more general comic convention. Fortunately, a decade of con experience has helped me learn and hopefully I can pass all that info on to you.

Whether you’re new to cons or you’re a vet just wanting someone else’s insight, I hope you learn a ton from this! This is a long post, so make sure you have a cup of tea and a snack, and strap in for the ride!

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