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February 11, 2013 / minusbar

“There and Back Again: A Noobie Con-goers Tale” by Roger Bellini

(Pt. 1 of 3: Pre-Convention)


“There and Back Again: A Noobie Con-goers Tale” by Roger Bellini


My name is Roger Bellini and I am a con virgin. For a wide array of reasons, I’ve strayed away from conventions. The reasons where endless, “It’s too expensive,” “Work conflicts with the schedule,” or the one I’m most ashamed of…  “Going to conventions is for geeks.” Some these reasons had merit to them, others, not so much. I’ll go other these reasons in this article and explain why I was so wrong to wait this long to finally geek-out and go Con-hunting.




$ $ $ Price $ $ $


The Dilemma: It’s true, conventions can be expensive! Prices range for a weekend pass from $35-$300+. Now I’m not going to go whining about $35 as I find the price vs. the experience more than worth it, heck the $300 one might even be worth it! However, when you’re a parent, or a college student, or struggling to pay whatever expenses you might have, this can seem like a fortune after you add traveling and lodging expenses.


Solutions: Volunteer! I was overjoyed to find that most conventions offer packages to individuals willing to work, offering to reduce or even waive their admittance fees entirely. As for traveling, I suggest carpooling and splitting the gas cost. Remember to treat your driver well and offer to pay their share, and/or treat them to some food some time over the weekend as a way of saying thanks. Is that hotel too expensive? Pile the people in! Don’t be shy, crowded rooms can be fun. Late in the night when the activities slow down, you’ll have a posse of your favorite con fiends by your side.


(-.-) Work (-.-)


The Dilemma: Either you forgot to plan ahead and request the weekend off or your workplace really sucks. If it’s the latter, then you have my condolences you poor souls.


Solutions: Give your workplace a month or more notice! Make it known to your superiors that this is something that’s important to you. Get confirmation the request off has been approved, don’t risk any surprises.


(x.x) Embarrassment (x.x)


The Dilemma: I am too stupid to recognize a good time and for some strange reason feel that I’m also too cool to hangout with actors, authors, artists and people who enjoy these things.


Solutions: Embrace the dark side! Not everyone at a con is any different than you, and the ones who are, often are some of the nicest people to meet. Stop judging people for their cosplaying, choice in hobbies, love of fantasy (or whatever else they might enjoy).




On February 22nd I will be attending Mysticon 2013 in Roanoke Virginia! I’ll be running the Indie Film Festival and meeting awesome people all weekend. I will be the biggest geek in the room, and I will love every minute of it.

If you enjoyed this post, please stay tuned for part two after February 22nd that will be detailing my first con experience.



Roger Bellini



One Comment

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  1. Redhead / Feb 20 2013 2:12 pm

    I was a Con noob last year, and my first con was AMAZING! luckily the badges and hotel were fairly affordable, even with food and merchandise bought, it was cheaper than many 3 day vacations.

    if possible, get a hotel room with a fridge, because then you can bring in a lot of your own food, snacks and drinks, and save some nickel ‘n diming, or even just bring a cooler and refresh it with ice from the ice machine. Also? Con suite? BEST place for some quick free grub! Thank all volunteers and hotel staff, they worked hard so we could have a crazy weekend.

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