The DragonCon Forum

Dragon Con Related (More or Less) => F.A.Q. and Newbie Area => Topic started by: Vidiot on August 03, 2015, 07:15:35 PM

Title: Unique Advice?
Post by: Vidiot on August 03, 2015, 07:15:35 PM
What bits of unusual or unexpected advice can you share to help enjoy or navigate D*C and Atlanta better?  Aside from the usual convention practices about staying hydrated, getting rest, having 3 choices of panels, or breaking in your shoes long before the con, etc etc. 

What is unique or unusual about this convention or city that would be helpful to know, especially for a tourist to the city or region?
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Charismaryllis on August 03, 2015, 07:20:05 PM
Every street is named peachtree. (No, i'm serious.)
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Vidiot on August 03, 2015, 07:33:01 PM
Every street is named peachtree. (No, i'm serious.)

Oh, I ran into that problem already when trying to use the MARTA website to find the right bus.  And what's with the NE - NW designations?  Where's the center of that compass?  Peachtree Center, probably.  OK, maybe Five Points, wherever that is.
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Joshua on August 03, 2015, 08:14:21 PM
don't try and structure ANYTHING. just enjoy the con, the people and the 10 billion things to do. go with the flow, catch what you can and talk to EVERYBODY.

Last year was the most fun i have had in the 6 or so years i have been going and it was the first year i didn't stress about trying to go see everything.
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Charismaryllis on August 03, 2015, 08:20:20 PM
And aren't there two five points? There's Little Five and i guess a big five somewhere... ???

Go see the armory; even if you're not into guns they have some really cool historic stuff down there.
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Vondor on August 03, 2015, 09:51:54 PM
What bits of unusual or unexpected advice can you share to help enjoy or navigate D*C and Atlanta better?  Aside from the usual convention practices about staying hydrated, getting rest, having 3 choices of panels, or breaking in your shoes long before the con, etc etc. 

What is unique or unusual about this convention or city that would be helpful to know, especially for a tourist to the city or region?

Are you flying in or driving?

Are you staying at a host hotel?
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: darthmorbius on August 04, 2015, 12:38:19 AM
don't try and structure ANYTHING. just enjoy the con, the people and the 10 billion things to do. go with the flow, catch what you can and talk to EVERYBODY.

Last year was the most fun i have had in the 6 or so years i have been going and it was the first year i didn't stress about trying to go see everything.

This is excellent advice.
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: ne0ven0m on August 04, 2015, 05:27:39 AM
don't try and structure ANYTHING. just enjoy the con, the people and the 10 billion things to do. go with the flow, catch what you can and talk to EVERYBODY.

Last year was the most fun i have had in the 6 or so years i have been going and it was the first year i didn't stress about trying to go see everything.

I'd modify this a little bit to say be open to the possibility that even the best laid plans may not come to pass. That said, if there is something you MUST see, base your day around that event and be willing to sacrifice other plans.

There was also a thread on Reddit a few days back about similar content, with 40 response posts:

https://www.reddit.com/r/dragoncon/comments/3fewkg/dragon_con_tips_and_tricks/

Other things off the top of my head:

- I don't know how many other conventions are 24 hours, but DragonCon is pretty much going from Thursday evening until Monday at 5pm. And some of us linger around on Wednesday before, and Tuesday afterwards  ;D
- You'll probably walk more than you do at other conventions because the programming is spread out over 5 hotels that make up a 3x3 city block area.
- Since you'll walk outside, be mindful of the homeless population in downtown Atlanta. Just politely say no and go about your way.
- If you're not staying at a hotel within walking distance, consider taking MARTA for a cheap and convenient way to get there. Get off at station N1-Peachtree Center. Look for the signs for the food court. The food court is directly linked to both the Hyatt and Marriott.
- In recent years, Uber and Lyft have become popular and I would use in the wee hours of the night when MARTA is closed.
- It's very hot and humid (if you're not from the south), and you'll eventually have to step outside in costume. So be prepared.
- The 3 panels plan might not be enough because DC has 30+ fan tracks, so that's 30+ panels running every hour-- plus special contests, performances, and games going on.
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: mist on August 04, 2015, 05:29:56 AM
Familiarize yourself with the hotel maps, at least the key places such as the main ballrooms, artist alley, walk of fame, vendor area and so on. For the most part the different fan tracks have all their programming in the same hotel. Example: Almost all Star Trek programming is in the Sheraton unless it's a big featured panel. Most steampunk stuff is in the Westin. The Hilton is mostly the gaming track.

Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Vidiot on August 04, 2015, 03:46:32 PM
Thanks, I think the most unusual aspect I've found so far is the multi-hotel layout, everything else is helpful as well.  I got my standing and waiting in line practice in during Comic-Con in San Diego (insert smack-talk here), part of my training routine.  Plenty of walking to do there as well. 

I generally find when I look at the hotel maps and try to walk around, the maps are somehow flipped to how I see the buildings in reality.  Maybe I'll try flipping them horizontally and vertically in photoshop and see if that matches my tired brain any better.  I also use a compass to orient myself.

Making or finding a short list of what tracks are in which hotels will help, I have pretty wide interests and so will be constantly walking back and forth.

How do people here connect during the con?  This forum or a specific facebook page?  The app doesn't help with that if you don't already know the person you want to connect to, I'm talking about people who want to specifically meet and/or socialize at some panel or event, whether or not they've met before. 
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: richmond.rivet on August 04, 2015, 04:32:45 PM

How do people here connect during the con?  This forum or a specific facebook page?  The app doesn't help with that if you don't already know the person you want to connect to, I'm talking about people who want to specifically meet and/or socialize at some panel or event, whether or not they've met before.

Well, the app will still be useful for meeting up with people at con(at certain panels or events).  Yes, you'll have connect via friend codes first in order to do so.   But, generally here on the forums, people will post their friend codes a week or so before con.
I think last year, you'd post your friend code, and what fandoms you enjoy, and people would add your friend codes(pretty neat idea).

Other than that..., yes, you can keep an eye on this board during con.   It does seem to go dead during con though(as people are busy doing con things..., plus your mobile signal will probably be complete crap while inside any of the hotels).
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Charismaryllis on August 04, 2015, 04:54:25 PM

I generally find when I look at the hotel maps and try to walk around, the maps are somehow flipped to how I see the buildings in reality.  Maybe I'll try flipping them horizontally and vertically in photoshop and see if that matches my tired brain any better.  I also use a compass to orient myself.


it took me at least a couple of years to be able to reliably come out of one hotel and turn in the correct direction to go to the hotel i was heading for.  i absolutely have it in my head that the hyatt-marriott-hilton line is north-south, when it's actually east-west. one year i stuck a post-it note on my window in the hilton with "N" on it to remind myself which way i was looking.

as for the floor plans, i turn myself around until i'm pointed in the direction in reality that's depicted on the plan. if you see a middle aged woman with a DCon messenger bag turning around in circles in the lower levels of the hyatt, that'll be me. :)
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: k8ekol on August 07, 2015, 08:30:26 PM
5 cons in and without fail I still turn the wrong direction when trying to get to the Sheraton coming out of the Marriott. 
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Nightshadeisis on August 09, 2015, 02:07:12 PM
5 cons in and without fail I still turn the wrong direction when trying to get to the Sheraton coming out of the Marriott.

This is my eleventh year and I still go the wrong direction to get to the Hard Rock, so I can't say much.  I feel your pain.
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Oni Kataki on August 09, 2015, 07:13:22 PM
5 cons in and without fail I still turn the wrong direction when trying to get to the Sheraton coming out of the Marriott.

This is my eleventh year and I still go the wrong direction to get to the Hard Rock, so I can't say much.  I feel your pain.

I still have to point her in the right direction :)
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Nightshadeisis on August 09, 2015, 09:01:17 PM
5 cons in and without fail I still turn the wrong direction when trying to get to the Sheraton coming out of the Marriott.

This is my eleventh year and I still go the wrong direction to get to the Hard Rock, so I can't say much.  I feel your pain.

I still have to point her in the right direction :)

http://i1.wp.com/cdn3.whatculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/tumblr_lrbvopYhAc1qc9s75o1_500.gif?resize=500%2C281
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Jojo on August 10, 2015, 04:28:02 PM
Forget about making the panels  everything.  They are great but can eat up your time.  Head for the Pulse Loft grab a drink and people/costume watch.  That is one of my favorite things to do. 
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Eric_dsm on August 19, 2015, 08:06:29 AM
Here's one for you if you're driving and hitting the highway. When leaving the con on Monday, Georgia State Police are usually out in huge numbers on the highways. I've seen them stacked up 10 deep in the median on I-75 somewhere between Atlanta and Chattanooga. Presumably they're doing DUI enforcement on the holiday weekend. Be careful out there.
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: w0lver on August 25, 2015, 06:21:58 PM
My advice, for what its worth:
    Bring a badge lanyard, the D*C ones are way expensive
    Good broken-in shoes, you walk everywhere and may times run from a panel in the Westin to one at the Hyatt
    Phone charger, extra cables, and USB battery...  I've made friends from my access to power alone...  ;)
    if you're an iPhone user, switch off iMessage, it rarely works during the con, especially on Saturday
    I bring a hotspot, again I've made friends for my access to the Interwebs
    Sunscreen - I got fried waiting outside in a line one year, ruined the rest of my con, have and not need it
    Bring $20 - $30 in small bills.  Tips, exact change for a drink, that Coke from the hotel vendors with no change, etc.
    Shift your eating hours, if you can eat a meal off the expected hours, you encounter less crowds; that 3pm lunch can be pleasant instead of a madhouse on at noon
     Make lost friend meeting spots, nothing is worse than losing a friend with dead or no phone, if haven't seen someone for say an hour or two meet them at designated spot to reconnect at the bottom of the hour for example
     Karaoke in the Hilton, have to, at least once
     Buffy sing-a-long, even if you never watched the show
     Basement of the Hyatt after 8pm, best bang for the buck for drinks buying a double
     Best crowds for the dealer rooms are right at opening time
     Watch the parade on D*CTV and skip the madness
     Write your room number down somewhere or put it in your phone, 3am on Friday those digits become foggy
     Use automated checkout, the lines sucks, and the bellhops take forever
     Take the stairs up a few floors when the elevators are crowded, you'll be able to grab one going down and just stay aboard
     20min Disco naps at 6-ish are the key to my stamina
     There is nothing worth driving for that weekend, park and leave it.  Uber if you have to
     Check the Daily Dragon, you'd be amazed at what you'll learn
     Follow the Dragoncon Twitter
     I'll tell you my parking secret but then I'd have to kill you...


     
   
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: KPK on August 26, 2015, 10:15:15 AM
My advice, for what its worth:
    Bring a badge lanyard, the D*C ones are way expensive
    Good broken-in shoes, you walk everywhere and may times run from a panel in the Westin to one at the Hyatt
    Phone charger, extra cables, and USB battery...  I've made friends from my access to power alone...  ;)
    if you're an iPhone user, switch off iMessage, it rarely works during the con, especially on Saturday
    I bring a hotspot, again I've made friends for my access to the Interwebs
    Sunscreen - I got fried waiting outside in a line one year, ruined the rest of my con, have and not need it
    Bring $20 - $30 in small bills.  Tips, exact change for a drink, that Coke from the hotel vendors with no change, etc.
    Shift your eating hours, if you can eat a meal off the expected hours, you encounter less crowds; that 3pm lunch can be pleasant instead of a madhouse on at noon
     Make lost friend meeting spots, nothing is worse than losing a friend with dead or no phone, if haven't seen someone for say an hour or two meet them at designated spot to reconnect at the bottom of the hour for example
     Karaoke in the Hilton, have to, at least once
     Buffy sing-a-long, even if you never watched the show
     Basement of the Hyatt after 8pm, best bang for the buck for drinks buying a double
     Best crowds for the dealer rooms are right at opening time
     Watch the parade on D*CTV and skip the madness
     Write your room number down somewhere or put it in your phone, 3am on Friday those digits become foggy
     Use automated checkout, the lines sucks, and the bellhops take forever
     Take the stairs up a few floors when the elevators are crowded, you'll be able to grab one going down and just stay aboard
     20min Disco naps at 6-ish are the key to my stamina
     There is nothing worth driving for that weekend, park and leave it.  Uber if you have to
     Check the Daily Dragon, you'd be amazed at what you'll learn
     Follow the Dragoncon Twitter
     I'll tell you my parking secret but then I'd have to kill you...


     
   

Awesome advice! +1 for you!!
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: Nightshadeisis on August 26, 2015, 11:44:17 AM
Definite +1 especially for the lost friend bit.  My teens first year I took her to every host hotel so she would know what they look like and where the front desk was; her own personal walking tour.  Made sure she had a cell phone on her charged and ready in case she got lost and knew where to go in the host hotels if the phone was lost for any reason to give them our numbers to reach us.  You never know and it's always helpful to have a backup.  :)
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: casual_observer on August 26, 2015, 03:33:40 PM
Growing up in a city that was shaped out in a grid, I always took for granted the foresight the city planners had.

When in Atlanta - if you're driving - taking a wrong turn could steal 45 minutes from your life that you will never get back. 
Title: Re: Unique Advice?
Post by: w0lver on August 26, 2015, 08:52:51 PM
Definite +1 especially for the lost friend bit.  My teens first year I took her to every host hotel so she would know what they look like and where the front desk was; her own personal walking tour.  Made sure she had a cell phone on her charged and ready in case she got lost and knew where to go in the host hotels if the phone was lost for any reason to give them our numbers to reach us.  You never know and it's always helpful to have a backup.  :)

Yeah the friend thing came from experience, like all of them.  We had a friend who had her street clothes in our room and no place for a phone, kind of a skimpy costume.  We lost her and she couldn't remember the room number.  She started to get an over appreciative fan and couldn't find any of us.  We found her in near panic hours later, since then, we have set spots.