Monday, March 28, 2011

First-time Convention Goers: What You Need To Know

The only people who really know what a Creation Entertainment Twilight Convention is like are the people who have gone to one. Are there con tickets in your future and you don't know what to expect? I've been to two conventions this year, and I'm here to answer your questions as best as I can.
First, I'll answer some of the questions that were posted on the convention's official Facebook group page, and then offer you some advice that has been passed down to me or learned from experience.

Q: Why don't they come to [my city/country]??
A: As far as I know, Creation only does convention tours in major US cities (as well as Vancouver and Toronto in Canada). You'll probably have to travel, though hopefully not TOO far.
Other countries have their own convention companies. I believe the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and Italy all do similar Twilight events, with panels, autograph signings, and such. Google it. :)

Q: Will Rob/Taylor/Kristen be there?
A: Don't count on it. They did one convention in LA in 2010, but they haven't been scheduled for any more. The stage would get mobbed if they came to too many! >_<

Q: What should I wear to the ball?
A: It's a formal dance, but there is no required dress code. Wear what you want. I've known people who have come in jeans and no one said anything bad. Whether you wear a formal dress, dress in character, or whatever, just make sure you're comfortable. Don't wear anything too tight, awkward, or painful to dance in!

Q: What package includes photo ops?
A: None. No matter what package you get, you have to buy the photo ops separately.

Q: What should I bring?
A: Food, if you don't plan on eating out of vending machines all day, or shelling out major $$$ to eat hotel meals. Cash. Most of the vendors don't take credit cards. There are ATMs all over the hotel if you only have cards with you. A backpack or tote bag to hold all of your things. Include a folder in the bag to put your photo ops or autographs in so they don't get smeared, ripped, or wrinkled. Hard cases are also available in the vendors room for that purpose. And bring a camera with lots of batteries, of course! (But only for photos, videos aren't allowed in most places at the con.)

That's all the questions. Now, some more general information.

The admission packages vary obviously by price and what's included.
General admission is around $20-25 per day. You can have access to the vendors room (where you can find T-shirts, gifts, jewelry, posters, and all of Hillywood's stuff) and watch all the guest speakers, as well as participate in the contests. Your seats will be in the back of the room.

Preferred admission is between $40-50 per day and $160-180 for a 3-day weekend. You can sit farther up front and autographs are included, but no night events. If your camera has a strong optical zoom, you can get some good quality pictures from this distance.

Gold admission gives you all of the above, plus even closer seats and admission to the ball and karaoke. They cost anywhere from $200-300, depending on if you're going to a 2 or 3 day convention. Ball and karaoke tickets can also be bought separately if you have one of the cheaper packages. The ball ticket alone is around $75-80 and the karaoke ticket is $15.

Photo ops are an additional $40 or more, depending on what photo you get. Photo ops get done very fast. You can choose a pose, but if you don't, the guest will put their arm around you and smile. They use a professional photographer and you usually get a shiny 8X10 photo the same day.

Autographs are called up row by row. Take time to talk to the people you meet in line. You might make a new friend! You might have enough time to ask the guests a question or two. The time you can talk to them the most is at the ball, when they sit at each table for a few minutes to talk one on one...Unless you do a private meet and greet, which are very expensive.

I would recommend not to come if you just want to see one guest. Sadly, cancellations do happen. Creation is really good about finding replacements to make the convention a worthwhile experience. In Nashville, the entire lineup cancelled, but I still had a great time with the replacements! The smaller stars are way more interactive with the fans. In Minneapolis, Booboo Stewart sat at his own table in the vendors room and played games with anyone who came to talk to him!

If you want to save on your travel costs, find a cheaper nearby hotel to stay during the weekend. You can save as much as $100 a night, and you'll only be at the hotel to sleep anyway. Don't do this if you don't know the city, however, or you might miss all the events while you're driving around lost! Also, enter as many contests as you can (costume contest, centerpiece, trivia...) You might win some of the money back!

I have never heard of anyone who had a bad time at one of Creation's conventions. It's worth the effort of buying tickets, traveling, and taking time off of work/school. You'll have experiences you'll never forget!

If I missed something, visit the convention website at
or comment and I will try to find an answer for you!

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