I should really do a "Conventioning 101" however that more or less gets covered in many FAQs for first timers at conventions. So here's my version which is for intermediattes, experts and more importantly the bored and energetic. It'll be stuff I do, stuff I don't do but want to, stuff I don't want to do anyway and stuff that is stupid enough to have you catapulted to The Convention halls of fame and/or stories we take away with us.
I should also note I'll do a seperate one on "How to Tokonatsu" and that'll have a downloadable disclaimer which exempts me from all responsibility and also entitles me for 80% of impending royalties if you get super fucking famous from it.
I'll assume that you too are a heavy drinking knobhead who has a decent tolerance/dependence on caffeine. Not everyone drinks beer (but bloody well should) so I'll factor that in.. reluctantly.
Amongst your standard crap you bring, YOU WILL NEED:
Hat (I recommend bowler)
The glowsticks that aren't bendy
Your hipflask is important, don't fill it with anything less than 15% alcohol unless you have an alcohol tolerance of a southerner or you'll be constantly refilling it. I prefer scotch or absinthe as the extra alcohol acts like a cleaning agent against bacteria and memories of *that* girl doing *that* dance.
Before you get to the con, prepare! Personally I'd suggest getting enough money to make a run to the local supermarket at the convention itself to avoid heavy luggage. Sometimes you can't do this when you're so arse-bleedingly far from the convention that you're rogered without a car (Kitacon, Tokonatsu). If you're in a town centre that's even better; root around the biggest supermarket for the best deals to bring back enough intoxicants to render you and your bezzies technically flammable by the evening. You'll need it. Be sure to get some powerade too, or any isotonic drink. Great for hangovers and sobering up fast for when you have to explain why you took a shit and set it on fire before flinging it at your -former- mates in the world's greatest pokemon impression. Of that monkey thing with the fire. You know the one.
Parties are awesome and rocking out in your cosplay is even better. Big kudos to that Belle in the ballgown (Beauty and the Beast) who was headbanging with the rest of us plebs. But you wanna go all night and be alert, we all know alcohol is a depressant so it'll slow you down. Check into a sports shop and get a sachet/bottle/vial of a pre-workout drink. This has a metric fuckton of caffeine and other stuff designed for sports people to ramp up their workouts like a coked out hummingbird. Big alertness and little to no "crash" because they're designed not to. Just be prepared to not sleep till the next day.
We love food, and we need food but somehow a staggering amount of you forget to get food and put it in your face. Personally I'm not quite sure how one of your basic survival requirements gets forgotten, but no worries. Just wake up and get down to breakfast (if there is one) to stuff yourself silly, take a bag too and see how much you can sneak off. I was so close to being able to carry round a mug of coffee with me last Kita.. so goddamn close.
Feel like you wanna stand out a bit more at parties? Don't feel glamoured up enough? Are Team Neko making you feel inferior because they somehow managed to wear so many glowsticks that if XtremeCaffeine dances hard enough you'll see rainbows on your vision for a week? Some things we can't help such as Team Neko's insane love of glowsticks, but what we can do is find a few T shirts that glow/uv react. If you're a fan of Cyberdog like me, you'll know they're the best source of rave gear (If anyone wants to prove otherwise, feel free to direct me where to throw my money for more rave gear).
Getting on Ebay will also get you to bulk buyings of glowsticks and it's always good if you wanna get loads with your mates or if you feel like handing them out like the creepy man giving away sweets at the playground, because everyone wants what you got.
At times you won't feel like you've got time, and drinking takes time, right? WRONG. Carry some straws in your pocket so you can shotgun entire bottles of beverage as if you're sipping it. Don't do more than 3 in one go unless you have a stomach of titanic proportions or you wanna show your mates what you meant by "Technicolour yawn". Though if you can/want to do more than 3, whether it is bitchpops or beer please take a video of it and send it to me. It'll make a change from all the hedge porn I'm getting, but hey who wouldn't sign up to "Fuckin' Shrubberies XXX"? I also suggest having an alcoholic beverage in the shower/bath, as this is always super fun, unless you're blind drunk then I accept no responsibility for you braining yourself on the taps. Please send pictures though.
Making friends may seem tricky and some people resort to signs. Now if this were a good idea then signposts and lamposts up and down the country would best mates. In fact some have more than me, but let's gloss over that because I don't want to spend too long wishing I had friends as I've got to make some fake profiles on facebook and kid myself for a bit longer. A good way to make friends is to compliment them on their cosplay and be down to Earth and somewhat more corporeal than many present themselves as. (However due to that many people won't be ready for someone actually down to Earth at Expo, and may react adversely such as hyperventilation, broken bad Japanese, guttural throat sounds, severe defecation and sweaty hugging). I wouldn't even try throwing catnip or balls of yarn at the catgirls or furries, it's a waste of time and they just steal your fucking yarn for use as a free prop.
However you didn't come here to do things by halves, so here's what you do; find the party animals. I'm not talking about that girl who blazes herself like a moist teatowel across the forums in an effort to show how cool she is, there's like 7-8 different ways this would pan out as bad but I'm already waist deep in Angry Lesbian ranty mode here and if I go anymore I may as well cut off my junk, buy a chequered shirt and quiff my hair. You must find the Party Animals, these beasts of conventions are actually tough to find and a rare species. Some may even get wasted before the parties start and get carried off by their mates, I can't even dream of being that awesome. Not in public anyway because you can get in trouble when it's apparent you've got a raging boner. Finding them depends on experience and you'll have to be prepared to stay up all night, but I know you little fuzzybums are hardcore and you can do it! Best place to look is to the committee/organisers, they'll know who to tell you to find. It'll be a crazy night but well worth it, take along at least one full bottle of vodka and leave your mobile phone in your room.
Yatak's Con Essentials is a golden set of rules for any weeb at a con, however rule 7 is quite important;
Bring Condoms. People actually do the horizontal shuffle at conventions, and the last thing you want is to be caught short and use one of those white ones with TESCO written on the side. I'm joking, don't use a tesco bag as contraceptive. You've got more class than that, use a Sainsburys one.
Hanging out at the bar with your mates is a staple of the convention. That feeling of knowing you spent a crapton of money to be there only to do what you can do in any bar back home for free. Use this time to get nicely wasted with that bottle of JD in your bag so it looks like you're getting drunk on cola. Also check out what special drinks they're doing for you special con-goers. These are always full of win, such as the infamous Amecon Back Door Smasher. Anything alcoholic that is named after reaping great vengeance upon one's coccyx has got to be good. Get 3-5 of them to make sure it really tickles your taint, you'll like it after the 4th, honest.
You're waking up in bed as if the Hulk had teabagged you into it, half awake with a mouth full of funk and a head full of hurt. What do? Well don't stay there, you're wasting time! Drag your sorry ass to the bathroom and get a powerade down, or water. Drink it all in one go if you can, you need to process that fluid before your morning Guinness. If there's a sachet of coffee, eat that and get in the shower, right now I don't care what you do because no amount of cleaning will remove those memories but you do need to get yourself straight. Put the Rocky theme on, Eye of the Tiger and pump yourself up! (Personally I do this, but with the intro theme to Fist of the North Star, the not Gackt version). I tend to bundle my clothes into sets, so I pull out a set of clothes in a neat bundle. Clean yourself, chew toothpaste in the shower and get something to drink. When you get to breakfast start on the eggs and meat, high amino acid profiles/protein will assist in breaking down the alcohol in your system. Lots of coffee and/or a Guinness to top up your iron levels should seal the deal. And yes, I did say eat the coffee granules, don't be a pussy.
When you come to the sunday of the Con, try and pack your shit up the best you can and find something to put all your alcohol into, like a fishbowl or some shit. I guess you could save it and take it home, but you gotta carry it and waahhwahhhwaahhh. Don't mix beer and liqour unless you're ridiculously awesome to the max. You've got one more day of the convention to shuffle through so smash back a pair of paracetamols and have at it like the worlds most fabulous swashbuckler. If you're lucky they'll play the Pokémon theme at the party so you can do all the actions to it, if you're lucky you may win some new friends. .. That's a lie, it never works, no matter how heartfelt my actions to the song are.. OHH YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND! IN A WORLD WE MUST DEFEND!! .. My best friend... friend...
By the time it comes to Monday morning then you are on your own. Hopefully you'll feel like a bag of smashed arseholes with equal amounts regret and joy. But that is called living and for more information leave a comment or email or something, yeah.