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Swoon Author Danika Stone: A Fangirl's Guide to Avoiding Convention FOMO

A few weeks ago I was at San Diego Comic Con. No really. I was! The convention was amazing! Cosplay and panels, movie actors and comic book artists, together in a week-long spectacle. I spent my three days at SDCC trying to squish in every possible experience and left the con utterly exhausted.

That got me wondering: Is there a way to avoid the fear of missing out? In the time since I came home, I’ve come up with five pieces of advice that me-now wishes she could give to me-then.

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1.) Plan ahead.

This sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many people never bother to put in the time. If you have one particular fandom you follow, then you’ll definitely want to see a panel on it. Read through the guide to find out what is available. Focus on your interests and plan accordingly.

2.) Be aware of wait times.

For the new con-goer, it can be overwhelming to realize if you want to see a BIG panel, you may need to dedicate major amounts of time (and yes, I mean days) in order to do it. Keep this in mind as you organize your schedule.

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3.) Choose your top three events… but be flexible.

The grass is always greener on the other side, but at some point you must make choices. Refine your purpose. Are you at the convention for entertainment, education, fandom? Once you’ve got your top event choices, plan for the others. Narrow the field. One panel is still a success!

4.) Be social media savvy.

Still stuck in line? You can catch the highlights of your favorite panels online instead. While some panels (for movies etc.) do not allow filming, most will post information, photos (and sometimes video!) afterwards, letting you catch up after the fact.

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5.) Divide and conquer.

If you’re attending Comic Con in a group of friends, you can divide up the panels, reconvening afterwards. Coming together after the fact lets you enjoy it a second time as you share what you saw, and listen to your friend’s highlights too.

My last bit of advice isn’t about FOMO, but fan conventions in general.

6.) The best parts have nothing to do with the official events.

I adore cosplay! And to be honest, that is my biggest joy of any con. Perhaps yours is talking to fellow geeks. Or checking out the awesome fandom items available for purchase on the sales floor. Whatever your interest is, whatever your focus… you can take in those unplanned elements ANY time!

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So how about you? What are YOUR tips and tricks for getting the most out of cons? Tell me in the comments below!

Looking for a convention near you? Here are a variety of upcoming Comic Cons happening worldwide!

Author spotlight

Danika Stone

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of ...

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