Thursday, October 16, 2014

Surviving Comic Fiesta: Tips for All

Whether you are a first timer or a long time attendee of Comic Fiesta, each year is a whole new experience all together. For many all anime, manga and game fans around Malaysia, Comic Fiesta is the ultimate convention of the year. Comic Fiesta was even moved from previous smaller venues (Sunway Pyramid and Times Square) to the huge Kuala Lumpur Convention Center to accommodate the ever-growing crowd and has even become an event for outstationers and tourists to visit.

Last year saw an astonishing 39,8555 visitors for the two days event. That means a packed and crowded hall that looks something like this.


Now before you freak out and wet yourself, there are ways for you to make it an enjoyable experience whether you are a reasoned attendee or a newbie. Here are some tips to help you survive Comic Fiesta.


Before
Plan your arrival.
If you are hardcore fan with a must-buy-limited-edition list, then getting to the venue early is crucial. However if you are first timer, just wondering what is the best time to drop by, I would recommend after lunch as the crowd would have lessen by then. Even if the crushing crowd remains, at least you won't have to queue for a long time to get in. 

Check out the itinerary and map beforehand. 

  
Plan which show/workshop/signing session/performance you want to be at and get there at least one hour ahead of scheduled time. There is no way you are going to be able to see and do everything so pick wisely, plan as best as you can but don't be so ridged that you would fall into despair if your plan goes out of sync. It's bound to happen.

Plan your breaks
Picture this. One toilet per hall, filled with five stalls and basin. A hall full of cosplayers in need to redo their makeup, fix and change their costumes and no properly allocated venue for them to do the needed without getting arrested for indecency. And then there's you who is in dire need to answer the call of nature. Number one or two it's your secret to keep but where will you go if all the toilets are occupied. So if possible minimize your toilet breaks and if you really need to go, go before you leave the house, before Comic Fiesta starts and after it ends.

Alternatively use the toilet of the closest hotel.

During 
Listen to the crew.
Much like you and I, the crew are mostly at Comic Fiesta on their own free will. They are there as volunteers and to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience. So be nice to them and give them your utmost patience and respect.

Be prepared to queue.


Queues can go up to an hour of waiting or more, depending on the popularity of the celebrity or item up for grabs. Hence you will probably be queuing just to get into the hall! So if you are going to queue, be prepared to keep yourself entertained and comfortable which brings me to the next point. 


Dress for comfort. 


Forget dresses, high heels or fancy outfits (unless you are a cosplayer of course). You are going to be on your feet majority of your time there and will be weaving through massive crowds. My suggestion would be keep it simple and plain and wear fuss-free clothes like jeans, shirt, sneakers and a backpack to carry your spoils of war.

Don't block the aisle.


If you must stop in the hall or along an aisle, do step aside and find a corner of that hall that is not in the direct flow of human traffic. That can be hard to do but at least you aren't the cause of people's intense contempt and the cause of a traffic jam. Come on, just don't be that person. 

Respect the cosplayers.


Admire them, talk to them but don't get all creepy and stalkerish on them. If they are clearly not prepared to take photos, don't. Ask them politely for permission and thank them after taking their photos. They have every right to see the photos and have you remove them on their request. And by no means do you take obscene pictures of them.

Watch your step and your surroundings. 

 
There are a lot of fragile stuff around the hall, probably belonging to cosplayers or store owners.
I have seen some dude trample on a cosplayer's wooden sword and just walk off without so much as a proper sorry. The poor cosplayer looked gutted and about to cry. Most of these stuff are handmade and incredible fragile so developing a sense of spatial awareness is key less you step on the wrong foot or sword or robe or wig.


After 
Hydrate and rest. 


So you survived Comic Fiesta. Congratulations. That sheer exhilaration and joy you are feeling now is a result of your achievement and your spending spree. They are also the same things that are keeping you from feeling the exhaustion of making your body go through a very tiring experience and horror of how much you have spent. So for the next two days, just rest well and drink plenty of water. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.

Start saving up for next year!
If this experience hasn't scared you off and has instead given you something to look forward to next year, then start saving! RM100 a month until the next Comic Fiesta would mean plenty of spending money before you get to start this process all over again.

So if you think you are ready for Comic Fiesta this year, then grab your early bird tickets! For more information, go to http://comicfiesta.org/

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