Aren’t conventions fun? Don’t you just enjoy being around people with similar interests? Spending money on things you know you shouldn’t at the dealer’s hall? Well, too bad!
If you’ve had a rough go of it financially recently (like me), and can’t make it to the con (Anime Weekend Atlanta, I will miss you!), here are some ideas for better planning for next time.
The more the merrier!
Splitting costs is always the easiest way to stretch your dollars a little further.
Can’t move out? Roommates! The same idea applies here. If you’re part of an anime club like I was, or just have friends that would like to go, ask them what they think.
Another good idea is checking the con’s Facebook pages/groups for people that are also looking for someone to split costs with. Try your best not to be afraid of putting yourself out there. I’ve met some of my best friends this way!
Stay in a hotel close by, rather than at the convention hotel
Con hotels are always beautiful, but extremely expensive. If you find a hotel a few miles out from the actual convention hall, you’re likely to save hundreds of dollars. While it can be a hassle, especially if you don’t have your own car, it could be worth it. It might even be worth it after factoring in the cost of a rental vehicle.
Staying away from the con might have extra benefits, as well. I often need a space to get away for a few hours after being in the excitement of the con. Having a room a little ways away works well as an escape, even if just for a bit.
My favorite way of saving some cash! Most cons are always looking for people to help with the event, and offer reduced or free badges for those that do.
I happen to know that Crunchyroll looks for volunteers to work their booths at several popular conventions, and pays for badges for those that do (learn more about that here http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-935331/join-the-crunchyroll-convention-crew-today)
When I volunteered in the past, I often got free food. It’s a really good deal, and you really can make friends with those that work with you! Consider that you can then put volunteering down on your resume, as well as meet people within the industry, and your weekend could really be amazing!
Planning is VITAL!
Maybe you could just squeak by if you could just have an extra few dollars… Well, have you considered going to the local grocery store and packing food, instead of eating at the pop-up subway in the middle of the con?
This works well into my last and most critical point. Please don’t think you always have to go all out for every convention. You don’t always have to cosplay, and you don’t always have to storm the dealer’s hall. The biggest advice I can give it to simply plan.
Plan, plan, plan.
Stephanie is a gamer, otaku, and your local friend who posts on Twitter too much. From Mississippi, she spends most of her free time prepping for her next convention or getting beaten at Overwatch. Follow her on Twitter.