I’ve been going to conventions for several years now, and this is a new thing I have discovered… my new favorite thing.
So when I started going to cons it was usually ones about an hour away, and only on Saturday. So when I would refuse to leave all day because I didn’t want to miss anything I usually had a few hours between the vendor hall closing at 6 and the night time stuff starting around 9, and I could walk down the street and get some dinner, because I would be STARVING. I don’t normally eat breakfast, and skipping lunch too meant that I was one very hungry cosplayer. Not to mention that about halfway through the day most of the water coolers had long since run out of water and the soda machines were either empty/broken/or way too expensive.
Eventually I learned that I can’t go all day skipping anything that looked like food, and I would stop for breakfast on my way to the con, bring a couple of snacks with me, and a water bottle, and make sure I stopped and ate dinner around 6:00.
Things got interesting when I started going to conventions for the whole weekend. Come day 3 I would have eaten so many fruit snacks and granola bars I would start to forget what vegetables tasted like. I would do my best to grab lunch when time allowed, but usually my only meal for 3 days was dinner, and fast food usually doesn’t include vegetables.
Now I spend more of my time behind the vendor tables than wondering the halls, and I’m still bad about figuring out the food situation. I’m actually willing to leave the convention for a while in order to go out and get lunch, because I know I won’t really miss anything. I love going to conventions, but I’ve already been to 3 or 4 conventions this year, and it is only February. I’m learning the ropes, what things I am willing to miss, how to make the most of my time, and not spend the next week craving something that isn’t a granola bar.
Then I went to ConFusion and everything changed.
At some conventions, from what I can tell, usually smaller, older, more focused conventions, there is a magical room called the ConSuite. In the beautiful room of requirement that is the ConSuite can be found a variety of yummy things. Granola bars, and candy, but also bottles of water, soda, sometimes juice and milk, the occasional packet of hot chocolate, bagels, chips, peanut butter, bread, ham, turkey, cheese, and veggies. There have been two conventions now that I haven’t had to leave, and come 6:00 I’m not even really hungry for dinner yet, because I actually ate lunch! Yummy lunch, that made me feel better, and I got to meet and hang out with convention people, and I wasn’t out any more money, and I got to stay enveloped in the wonderful community that is a convention. Seriously, I’ve never been more happy to see veggies and a turkey sandwich.
I understand that not every convention can do this. When there are 1,000s of attendees there is no way to feed them all, and the chaos something like that would cause scares me just thinking about it. I will always love my big crazy party conventions, but I have a new found love for these tiny amazing, friendly, food filled, sweet conventions. I’m glad these are the ones where I get to sit behind a table and make new friends… and then send them down the hall to get me a Sprite.