With a new year, brings new conventions! It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling far or hitting one up in your own backyard, you’re going to need supplies. Here are a few things I always make sure I have on hand for convention season!
A Portable Charger
There are tons of options out there like the Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350mAh, Mogix Portable Charger 5000mAh, or the EasyAcc Classic 10000mAh Power Bank. This is just a small sample of what you’ll find out there! Just make sure it’s compatible with your devices and I always like to have one that can charge a few things at once. If you’re able to help a friend out in line who’s down to 1% battery, you’ll have a friend for life! Of course remember to recharge your charger throughout the con!
Maybe you need a new book because you filled the last or your new to sketches but either way, it never hurts to have a few books on hand! My personal favorite is the Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album (5 x 8.25). I’ve had artists compliment the book and I’ve never had issues with art bleeding through. It says watercolor but it holds all mediums pretty well. Trust me, if you’re paying someone for amazing art, you want to hand them something that’s good quality. The size is perfect as well and can easily fit in any bag. Plus sometimes you’ll get a deal because you’re not asking for a sketch that’s huge.
Honestly, this is a super personal choice as far as what style bag you want. I like the traditional backpack while friends like the messenger style. As long as it’s comfortable and holds what you need, you’re good! One bag I use is a SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack because it was an employee gift at work. The straps are padded though which make a huge difference! I’ve used a boring Jansport bag too though. Honestly, I have way too many bags but I do make use of all of them! If you wanted to spend a little more though, you could always look into a Camelbak style bag. It’s a hydration bag where you can fill it up with water. I have one that I use for hiking but it would work well for a convention too. Remember, staying hydrated is super important!
A Con First Aid Kit
It’s always smart to make sure you have items like band-aids, hand sanitizer, tissues, asprin, and lotion on hand. Some panel rooms can be a bit chilly and the last thing you need is to be sniffling while your favorite star is on stage speaking. I know my hands dry out quick and there’s nothing worse than not being able to soothe them because I forgot the lotion, plus hand sanitizer can be drying as well. The other items are good for the random headaches or blisters that pop up. I normally hit up the travel section of Target before a con and stock up! The small sizes are perfect for travel and won’t take up a lot of space in your bag. Feel free to throw random items like mints, gum, floss, and other “might need” products in your bag as well.
Comic Book & Art Supplies/Protection
I’m “that guy” who never has these kinds of items and has to bum them from a friend like Deidre. If you’re someone who gets a lot of celebrity photos done, or buys a lot of 8×10 art, be sure stock up on and bring your own Clear Sheet Protectors! The box I linked to has 100 and is only $8.49. If you want a little more protection for your photos or art, you can always pick up the harder plastic sleeves as well. You will find booths that sell them but the price can add up quickly. It’s always smart to bring a few in different sizes since you never know what kind of art might catch your eye! I’d also look into a poster tube, especially if you’re doing a larger convention like SDCC or NYCC where posters are typical swag. If you’re hitting up a convention to stock up on comics, be sure to bring some boards and bags too! the last thing you need is for your comics to get mangled in your bag.
Whew! That’s it! I mean, this list could go on and on but I didn’t want to make it too long. Plus I feel these are supplies pretty much everyone can use. The items are something someone new to conventions might need to pick up and items us “pros” could probably restock or take inventory of. Or you could always just get a coat and stand out the convention center like this and make some extra cash!
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