Anime Expo is just around the corner and whether you’re staying in a hotel nearby or commuting, you’re going to want to pack a few things to survive walking around all day long!
1. Bring a Bag
Yes, many booths on the show floor do giveaway cheap tote bags and other things for you to use to carry your stuff, and well, there’s a reason they usually give these things out for free (or in exchange for your email address), they’re cheap!
I know you’re going to want to grab all the free promotional loot you can from these booths and you would really be glad you brought your own bag! Make sure you keep it mostly empty so you have room for all the free loot and merch you will inevitably be handed.
2. Pack TWO Water Bottles
You’re definitely going to want to have some water bottles handy! Why two?
Firstly, you are going to want to have one main water bottle to have handy throughout the day. The LA Convention Center has a few food areas where you can refill your water bottle for free. But sometimes, with all the free loot and excitement going on, you might forget to refill your bottle and end up throwing it away. That’s what the second bottle is for.
Also if one of your friends happens to be unprepared, you got a second one for them!
Of course, you could also pack a refillable water bottle, though they tend to be heavier than normal water bottles. Figure out what is best for you! Don’t forget, TWO water bottles!
Note: Having a second, disposable water bottle is also really useful when you just gotta have a wet piece of toilet paper… please don’t ask…
3. Pack some Snacks
Tell me seriously, do you want to be ripped off by the food at the convention center that could be possibly $10 for a hot dog? Of course not!
You’re going to want to pack some snacks that are easy to eat on the go and won’t spoil or spill in your bag.
Here’s a few good snack options:
- Peanut Nature Bars (So good and are easy to eat quickly)
- Nature Bars (Crumbly but still pretty good)
- Trail Mix
- Energy Bars
- Granola Bars
Try to avoid packing chips as they will probably take up too much space in your bag, usually not very filling, and might cause you to become thirsty. You want something that will probably allow you to skip lunch at least and give you the energy to walk around for hours.
4. Make a Schedule
The AnimeExpo website has a schedule here.
I know it might be tempting to say, “Well I’ll just wing it” or “I’m not interested in those things,” but trust me, after years of attending conventions like this, I have learned that being prepared can get you first in line to whatever events you want to be a part of and that some of the events are really quite good!
I saw some screenings of new anime before only because someone next to us was talking about it. If I hadn’t overheard that conversation, I would have missed out on a really memorable time!
Make a schedule on a spreadsheet or google sheets and print it out!
Also, if you are commuting, you’re going to want to check out the LA Convention Center Parking Map!
5. Charge Your Stuff the Night Before
This might sound like a nobrainer but as a photographer, I have forgotten to take my batteries out of the charger a few times in the past, which always made me hesitant to charge the night before. If you’re a photographer, a good tip is to leave your bag next to the battery charger so you’ll always see it when you grab your things to leave!
Rushing because you were late is usually always how you forget something, so be prepared the night before.
Also, if you are commuting, it is a wise idea to bring a charging cable for your phone just in case. The last thing you want to do is loose your way home when your phone GPS shuts off! LA can be a little tricky to navigate through by car for those who aren’t familiar with it.
6. Bring Cash
A lot of the booths to accept card, however we usually advise to bring cash to conventions because it’s very easy to spend a ton of money on things at these cons. The last thing you want to do is experience regret after the expo when you’ve maxed out your card on anime pillows.
Cash is a great way to limit your spending, as long as you tell yourself that once the cash runs out, you’re not spending any more money! (Bring your cards too just in case of emergency!)
It’s a wise idea to keep the cash in your pocket than in your bags. Just a pro tip…
7. Lastly, Have Fun!
If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point? Meet new people, exchange business cards, take lots of pictures!
Conventions are always fun when you attend with friends. Just make sure your friends are actually into anime. I’ve been to conventions where some friends weren’t all that into it and it really dragged down the fun. Just stick with the weebs this time. Convention is not the time to try to convert your normie friends into anime lovers.
We’ll be out at AnimeExpo having a ton of fun and we hope to see some fans there! Don’t go broke, be safe, and have fun!