Convention Etiquette

By Stephanie Marinkovic

Georgie and I went to Supanova Sydney last weekend. It was really fantastic, but it was obvious that a large percentage of people forgot to adhere to a few basic courtesies. Because conventions should be fun and enjoyable for everyone, we’ve compiled a list of the Top Ten Things To Remember When You’re At A Convention. 

  1. Be nice to the staff. They are most likely volunteers and are just trying to make sure the day runs smoothly.
  2. Conversely, if you are a volunteer, don’t be rude to the attendees. You’re their to help them not ignore their questions and herd them around like sheep.
  3. Conventions are usually crowded so don’t just randomly stop in the middle of the walkway. It’s hard enough to get from point A to point B without people blocking the way. If you desperately need to take a photo of that cool cosplayer or talk to someone, move to the side.
  4. Just because someone is dressed up, does not mean you can touch or take photos of them without their permission. And while conventions are great places to chat to people with the same interests as you, don’t make them uncomfortable. Let’s just stick with: don’t be creepy.
  5. If you’re going with small children, please make sure someone looks after them. It’s not pleasant having a random 4 year-old bark at you are cling to your legs for 5 minutes! (Okay, maybe that’s not a common occurrence but man, it was awkward)
  6. When attending a Q&A panel, don’t ask something that you can easily google the answer to.
  7. Let’s just all agree that any fanfiction questions are off-limits. Yes, they’ll know what it is by now and yes, it’s probably awkward for them. (Unless you’re Misha Collins, he seems to find it hilarious) But really, it’s uncomfortable for everyone and honestly, it gets boring.
  8. On that note, think of a unique and engaging question. The guests are more likely to answer something interesting and thought-provoking. “What pranks did you pull on the set?” is asked all the time and really, most of them will have ‘you had to be there’ type answers. I can’t believe this has to be said but “What is your favourite food?” and other ridiculous questions are also a no-go (someone actually asked the Merlin knights that question). I mean, really? 
  9. Keep calm and speak intelligently. I know it is exciting to meet your fave actor but squealing and hyperventilating is embarrassing for everyone involved.
  10. Don’t ask them to do things, like sing or say a line from the show/movie. They’ll usually say no and it’s just awkward.

I’m sure you’re all smart enough to know this but I felt that it needed to be said after some incidents and awkward panels at Supanova. Conventions need to be enjoyable for both attendees and special guests, and everyone needs to feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter that you’re paying to meet a celebrity, you still have to respect their basic human boundaries. That all said, I’m going to be super clichéd and finish with remember to have fun! 🙂

Steph @ frangipani princess xoxo 

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