I am no naive conference and convention attendee, but I tend to frequent the same conferences where people know me, if I forget my badge it isn’t a big deal, and I don’t need to worry about not getting into a room where an interesting panel is happening because the organizers didn’t plan for enough room. Norwescon is a big-little (or maybe a little-big) science fiction conference and there were some things I wish I had realized that I would have done differently. Take note and learn from my mistakes, newbie conference attendees.
1. Print the badge and receipt at home ahead of time. This saves you an hour in line.
2. Bring picture ID with you to line.
3. Bring the badge from registration with you everywhere. There were people turned away from seeing George R. R. Martin because they had forgot their badge in their room.
4. If there is a talk that you know is going to be popular (like a question and answer session with George R. R. Martin) go into the room thirty minutes early during the prior talk to avoid standing in line to get to the room that starts fifteen minutes before the talk starts. Otherwise you might stand in a really long line, get in late or be turned away.
5. Bring something interesting to read or look at while standing in line because you didn’t show up to the room thirty minutes early to get a good seat during the prior panel where George R. R. Martin has his talk.
As you may have guessed, the reason why this conference was so crowded and popular, and lines were longer than I expected, was because George R. R. Martin was their writing guest on honor. To hear about all the things the author of Game of Thrones spoke about at this conference instead of writing the finale book in his series, read the next post.