Con-Etiquette: When You’re at an Event, Don’t be That Guy
Let me start by saying how impressed I was with Fan Expo Canada as a whole and the entire convention community in attendance in Toronto this year. The convention etiquette adherence was truly remarkable. There were and always will be exceptions to this. There are also first timers and for those mentioned above, just a few tips for convention etiquette so that we can all improve the wonderful community that is our own. Setting the right role model for the next generation and making everyone’s experience the best possible should always be a goal.
1. Let cosplayers eat their food. If you see a cosplayer eating, wait to ask for a picture. You may miss your shot but people need to eat and it’s common courtesy. I keep seeing people interrupt a cosplayer while eating, for a photo op. This isn’t appropriate.
2. Do ask permission to take photos. This is not feasible for crowd shots, however, anything where you are able and looking to use someone as a feature in an image, this is absolutely a must.
3. If you intend on placing the pictures of cosplayers or businesses on social media or in an article, ask if the cosplayer/ business has a card and take a picture of it. This saves their cards and time trying to remember which cosplayer goes with what card or trying to locate a business after the fact. They are allowing you to use their images so some free promotion is a common courtesy IMHO.
4. While taking photos, do move to the side, people are trying to do things and you may not be able to do so perfectly but the best effort should be made.
5. Say excuse me, please and thank you. To the merchants, the cosplayers, and most of all- the volunteers. This should always be the case however in our excitement, I know it can be hard to remember. Everyone is rushing about, eager to meet friends and get into lines so we don’t miss our favorite creator but there is always time for manners.
6. Let kids go first. I have to say, I was so impressed with this one in particular at Fan Expo. In the Hasbro demo area, the toys were intensely cool. Still, I observed several adults as excited as myself, pushing to let children have their turns first. Fellow toy lovers can appreciate when a few kids come along how difficult this can be. Kids though lack our patience and their parents already have to talk them through long lineups. This is a kindness to the kids and parents alike.
This list is short but I guarantee if everyone follows them, all of our experiences improve. With so many people passing through the doors at conventions, common courtesies and politeness are how we build an amazing thing into something even better.
I don’t know about all of you but I smile and am happy every time I see these redeeming behaviours displayed. We can’t change every person in the world but we can make our own corner into a haven.