The DragonCon Forum

First timer with some questions

Offline trumpt007

  • *
  • 21
  • 0
  • Everything's Shiny
First timer with some questions
« on: April 26, 2009, 01:08:50 AM »
This will be my first DragonCon and really, first Con.  I went to a really small one in Dallas but it wasn't much at all.  I'm so excited already.  I know I'll sound ignorant for asking, but what all can I expect?  Any hints or tips for first-timers?  Is there some event or place I have to take part of?  I've read a lot about parties, do you have to get invited or are they open parties?  What do you bring to the parties?  And also, about buying tickets.  It asks for address.  I am moving in late July and will have a different address, will this cause a problem at registration?  And I want to give one as a gift but don't know the address of the person it is for.  Is that a problem?  Thank you so much for your time and helping me out.

Offline Trathor

  • President of the Entire Galaxy and Owner of the Hippest place in the Universe.
  • *****
  • 2960
  • 620
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 10:51:41 AM »
Dragon*Con was my first 'big' con as well... the only ones I had been to before that were 300 people tops... you are going to have a blast, it's going to be packed, fun, and you are going to wish you had the ability to be several places at the same time, there is so much going on at once.  In the end Dragon*Con can be a lot of different things, depending on what you want to do.  There are loads of posts here about how to best pack/ prepare/ tips/ tricks/ etc... I would start of with these threads:
Tips and Tricks:
http://dragonconforums.org/index.php?topic=72.0
How much will it cost:
http://dragonconforums.org/index.php?topic=69.0

Some parties are open, some parties are invite-only.  Some parties are in hotel rooms (typically in a suite) and some are in ballrooms... all with different themes/ stuff going on.  Depending on what you are looking for, there is a party for it, but it's a good idea to investigate now to try to find them.  There are several bars throughout the con - this is another good place to find out about parties/ events not in the schedule... of course there is stuff in the schedule as well.  What you bring depends on what kind of party... the private ones may ask you bring something or make a donation to hep pay for booze/ food... the public ones tend to have the food free and if there is booze they will check your ID. 

Buying a ticket should be no problem:
http://www.dragoncon.org/members.php#DC_Memb
$80 until 05/15/2009
$90 until 07/15/2009
$100 thereafter

They will mail a confirmation card to you, but if your address has changed it should not be a big deal... you need to know the old address and have a photo ID to pick up your badge.  DO NOT LOSE YOUR BADGE AT THE CON.  If you do, you have to order a new one.  They need to know the address for the other person so they can mail the confirmation card, but you should be able to order one for them - they will also have to show their ID to pick up their badge. 
Bookmark and make Amazon purchases from this link to get 4-10% of your purchase donated to the forum!!!

Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 07:25:58 AM »
Welcome to the forums and remember that all questions are good ones especially when you're new to the con!

The article linked below is a couple of years old but I think it does an excellent job of letting you know what the con is like...

http://www.dvdtalk.com/features/dragoncon2005/index.html


Take care,

Kevin
Community for new and newish Dragon Con attendees
http://www.dragonconnewbies.org

Tuning In To Scifi TV podcast (covering all genre TV shows)
http://www.tuningintoscifitv.com

Tales Of The Black Badge - A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast
http://www.wynonnaearppodcast.com

Offline trumpt007

  • *
  • 21
  • 0
  • Everything's Shiny
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 12:06:36 PM »
Thanks for more info.  I had another question.  Will a map of the hotels be released early?  That way I can maybe plan my route of attack.  Find a certain celebrity or something of the sort.  And also, what time will registration begin Friday?  Should I get in line at like 5 am? (We'll be pulling in to town around then, leaving at 5PM because of work on Thursday and driving overnight)  What time are we allowed in the con itself?  And is registration at a certain place?   I know it's months off, but I wanna be as prepared as I can for it.


Thanks guys!

Offline Trathor

  • President of the Entire Galaxy and Owner of the Hippest place in the Universe.
  • *****
  • 2960
  • 620
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 12:54:01 PM »
It depends on what you mean by map... but I think the answer to your question right now is no... they specific locations for events will not be released until a few weeks before, and even then they are subject to change.  However, things will be grouped, Gaming will probably be in the Hilton again, comic/ anime will probably be together.  They also have an area of the walk-of-fame, where the celebrities tend to be at for you to meet them/ buy autographed pictures, etc. 

As far as registration, if you are there Thursday late afternoon, you can pick up your badge then.  I believe Registration opens at 9:00AM on Friday, but I'm not sure on that, so don't quote me.  From what I have seen, the lines are worst around 4:00pm Friday for several hours, but the staff has done a really good job over the years of getting the flow as smooth as possible. 

What I recommend for people who are 1st time Dragon*Con goers when they arrive is this: 

(1)  Drop off your car and check into hotel
(2)  Get all of your stuff to your room
(3)  Use the restroom, grab a pre-packed snack/ drink and find the line to get tickets
(4)  Be ready to be in line for an hour or two (this is why (3) is above)
(5)  Walk to each hotel and figure out how to get to the food court from each one (you will polly be hungry by this time anyway)
(6)  Sign up for any last second stuff, check for location changes for what you want to see/ do, and start looking at costumes.

Thursday will mostly be people setting up for the con - for example the dealers will all be in the dealer room, but don't bother them while they are trying to set up.  No one will stop you for not having a badge on Thursday (Con officially starts on Friday), so really you are allowed in the con at any time... it's just a matter of getting your badge ASAP. 
Bookmark and make Amazon purchases from this link to get 4-10% of your purchase donated to the forum!!!

Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 01:02:42 PM »
I believe registration is moving to the Sheraton for the first time.  The hope is that will help with the lines since they apparently have a better setup for moving the large group of people through the lines.

Kevin
Community for new and newish Dragon Con attendees
http://www.dragonconnewbies.org

Tuning In To Scifi TV podcast (covering all genre TV shows)
http://www.tuningintoscifitv.com

Tales Of The Black Badge - A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast
http://www.wynonnaearppodcast.com

Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 01:13:13 PM »
Thanks for more info.  I had another question.  Will a map of the hotels be released early?  That way I can maybe plan my route of attack. 

Thanks guys!

Below is a link to last years official program with all kinds of information you should find helpful... 

http://www.thesmallbusinesstech.com/2008DC-PocketProgram-Combined-web.pdf

This is the printed program that's given out when you register.  It's normally available to download about a week before the con so you can grab a copy ahead of time to help with your planning.

One other bit of advice from someone who's been going for several years...

Don't try to preplan your entire weekend.  There are usually 10-20 different things going on at the same time and you will find events occurring from 10am and until well past midnight almost everyday.  Try to put the things you are interested in into a few categories...

- can't miss
- would really like to go to
- would be nice to go to

The reason I mention that is that you will find that some events get canceled or rescheduled at the last minute and you will often find yourself getting overwhelmed with too much good stuff going on.

I'd really suggest that you pace yourself especially in your first year since you're going to have so much new stuff going on.

Under the 'shameless self promotion' category I'll also recommend that you check out Dragon-Pod which a podcast all about Dragon*Con.  I'm one of the co-hosts along with Derek and Swoopy who are track directors themselves.  We cover all kinds of information about the con as well as have interviews with some folks who work at the con.  Our first podcast of 2009 should be out soon but the shows we did last year are still very valuable especially for a newbie since we cover all of the basics as well.

You can download the episodes to listen on your computer or MP3 player and you can also listen to them directly from the website if you'd like.  You can find it here...

http://www.dragon-pod.com


Good luck,

Kevin
Community for new and newish Dragon Con attendees
http://www.dragonconnewbies.org

Tuning In To Scifi TV podcast (covering all genre TV shows)
http://www.tuningintoscifitv.com

Tales Of The Black Badge - A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast
http://www.wynonnaearppodcast.com

Offline Cyrus Stern

  • *
  • 19
  • 0
  • I'm a Con*Man
    • Twitter
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 01:55:20 PM »
Our first podcast of 2009 should be out soon but the shows we did last year are still very valuable especially for a newbie since we cover all of the basics as well.

Awesome!  I was wondering if you guys were going to keep doing episodes! 
-Wyatt Funderburk

Offline Trathor

  • President of the Entire Galaxy and Owner of the Hippest place in the Universe.
  • *****
  • 2960
  • 620
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 02:31:58 PM »
Kevin - excellent on all points, the pod-casts are a great asset! 
Bookmark and make Amazon purchases from this link to get 4-10% of your purchase donated to the forum!!!

Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 03:30:31 PM »
Awesome!  I was wondering if you guys were going to keep doing episodes! 

Kevin - excellent on all points, the pod-casts are a great asset! 


Glad to hear that you folks enjoy them.  Derek and I recorded some stuff the other day and it's being edited now so episode #6 should be out soon.

Remember, we (myself, Derek and Swoopy) are always looking for feedback, ideas and suggestions on ways to make the podcast and website more valuable to the community.

Don't be bashful with the feedback.

Thanks,

Kevin
Community for new and newish Dragon Con attendees
http://www.dragonconnewbies.org

Tuning In To Scifi TV podcast (covering all genre TV shows)
http://www.tuningintoscifitv.com

Tales Of The Black Badge - A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast
http://www.wynonnaearppodcast.com

Offline Cyrus Stern

  • *
  • 19
  • 0
  • I'm a Con*Man
    • Twitter
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 05:48:40 PM »
Awesome!  I was wondering if you guys were going to keep doing episodes! 

Kevin - excellent on all points, the pod-casts are a great asset! 


Glad to hear that you folks enjoy them.  Derek and I recorded some stuff the other day and it's being edited now so episode #6 should be out soon.

Remember, we (myself, Derek and Swoopy) are always looking for feedback, ideas and suggestions on ways to make the podcast and website more valuable to the community.

Don't be bashful with the feedback.

Thanks,

Kevin

Kevin, I'd just suggest you guys mention this forum if you haven't already because I just stumbled upon it yesterday and never knew of it before.  We need something like this!  The livejournal page is nice but it's not a proper forum.
-Wyatt Funderburk

Offline trumpt007

  • *
  • 21
  • 0
  • Everything's Shiny
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 09:06:59 PM »
I just searched "dragoncon forums" and this came up.  It's already been great for me as a rookie to Cons in general.  I wish everyone knew about this site.

Offline Trathor

  • President of the Entire Galaxy and Owner of the Hippest place in the Universe.
  • *****
  • 2960
  • 620
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 09:40:12 PM »
I wish everyone knew about this site.

Me too! 

I just searched "dragoncon forums" and this came up.  It's already been great for me as a rookie to Cons in general.

I'm really glad to hear that, that means we are succeeding in our mission! 
Bookmark and make Amazon purchases from this link to get 4-10% of your purchase donated to the forum!!!

Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2009, 05:56:15 PM »
Kevin, I'd just suggest you guys mention this forum if you haven't already because I just stumbled upon it yesterday and never knew of it before.  We need something like this!  The livejournal page is nice but it's not a proper forum.

We do have some general discussion forums over at the Dragon*Pod site but now that this site is getting a lot of good discussions so it's certainly worth mentioning now.

In the past there have been several new general Dragon*Con forums/lists/wikis that start-up but many of them quickly fade away so we need to make sure something is going to last before sending folks there.

I'll add this to the show notes for our next show.  We recently recorded one that should be out in a few days so this will probably appear in our next show which is likely to be done in late May.


Kevin
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 06:00:33 PM by Kevin Bachelder »
Community for new and newish Dragon Con attendees
http://www.dragonconnewbies.org

Tuning In To Scifi TV podcast (covering all genre TV shows)
http://www.tuningintoscifitv.com

Tales Of The Black Badge - A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast
http://www.wynonnaearppodcast.com

Offline trumpt007

  • *
  • 21
  • 0
  • Everything's Shiny
Re: First timer with some questions
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2009, 06:35:09 PM »
Back with some more questions.... Do the guests of Artist alley and the walk of fame stay at their tables/booths for the bulk of the event?  I wanna get autographs from all the Firefly and Stargate Atlantis people.  I don't want to run to them first when there will be a line I'm sure, if I could wait until there was no line and actually get to talk to them.  How often are guests added/canceled?