Dragon*Con 2017 – A Virgin’s Guide

 

Dragon*Con 2017 is done and dusted – what a ride!

This was the first year attending for my wife and me. We weren’t 100% sure what to expect going in, aside from being told by multiple people that it was huge and had an energy all its own.

They weren’t wrong.

For those of you unfamiliar with Dragon*Con, it takes over five downtown Atlanta hotels [ Westin Peachtree Plaza, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Hilton Atlanta and the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel] for panels, plus three floors of the AmericasMart for the vendor hall. What does this mean for you as an attendee? It means things are spread out over 10 city blocks which can make it challenging to get to everything you want to get to.

So – I’m just going to be the one to tell you: you can’t get to everything you want to get to. It’s impossible. There is way too much awesome stuff happening all at the same time in too many different locations.

Once you accept that fact, Dragon*Con gets way more manageable and way more awesome.

Other things my wife and I learned as Dragon*Con virgins:

  • While staying outside of the downtown area is viable due to the Atlanta Metro system (a 7-day unlimited use pass is roughly $25/person), it does lead to a certain amount of time wasted spent travelling. It’s not necessarily the worst thing to be out of the downtown party atmosphere, but having to wake up early-ish to get into town isn’t the greatest either.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Granted – we were already doing this. But let there be no doubt that this is 100% a requirement. Remember – 10+ city blocks of Con space. We were doing 14,000+ steps per day. If you wear uncomfortable shoes, you’re going to have a bad time.
    • The corollary to above: stretch out. Seriously. You’re doing 14,000+ steps a day. You need to stretch out a bit.
    • Second corollary to above: stay hydrated. You’re in Atlanta. In the summer. It’s humid. Bad things can happen if you get dehydrated.
  • The coffee shop at 200 Peachtree (http://www.200peachtree.com/coffee/) was amazing. They deserve to have you throw money at them if you’re in downtown Atlanta and are jonesing for delicious caffeinated [disclosure: not a paid advertisement].
  • If anxiety in crowds is a thing for you, make sure you’ve got coping mechanisms. They may not always work perfectly, but they’ll help.
  • Early morning panels (by which I mean 10a and 11a) on Sundays tend result in great seats and hung-over guests. These two things together can lead to hilarious panels.
  • If an opportunity presents itself to use a bathroom, use the bathroom. Trust me on this one.

Bring on DragonCon 2018 😀

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