A convention is a great place for taking photos: there’s plenty of cool things worth turning into con memories — celebrity sightings, cool displays, and plenty of people in costumes. At a Star Wars convention, expect most of the costumers to be your fellow fans, so here’s some important etiquette for taking pictures of or with folks in costume:
This post has been completely updated for Celebration Anaheim.
There will be lines for panels. There is no avoiding the lines: There’ll even be a line to get in in the morning. There will be lines to get into the exhibit hall when it first opens. Lines are a Star Wars tradition; Realize that they will happen, and that you will have to stand in them. (There are Medical Badges available to those who need them.)
The good news is that rooms are cleared between panels, so don’t plan to spend the entire day in one place ala San Diego Comic-Con.
Some of the lines will be long; It entirely depends on the popularity of the panel. There is no doubt that the longest line at Celebration Anaheim will be the one for J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on Thursday morning, and we already have all the details on that. Expect something similar, if lower key, for things like Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank on Sunday.
The next longest lines will likely be for celebrity panels and screenings; Plan to queue up at least an hour ahead of time for those, and be aware they will close off the queue if it gets full. Be sure to pick backups for the big events, just in case.
Most smaller panels for things like books will have much smaller queues; Give yourself time, but historically you can show up as early as 10 minutes beforehand and still get in the room.
However, Anaheim is looking like it could be the biggest Celebration yet, so it’s hard to say exactly how things will shape up. Many of the rooms, particularly the theater, are bigger than what we’ve seen in the past, though. Whatever the case, keep your eyes open, plan to be early, and have something on hand to amuse yourself and your friends if you need to wait.
Inspired by Matthesen, Maria Dahvana Headley shares some of her own tales of being harassed at genre conventions. A former pirate negotiator, she has this chilling statement: “The pirates in the maritime industry were generally a great deal more polite than the creeps in the SFF world. They stuck to terms.”
It’s been a while since we’ve addressed this topic, and sorry to be a downer as we approach the weekend, but this is important stuff for everyone to know.
Everyone loves a Q&A, but here are a few thing we’ve picked up over the years.
The key, the big uno, the biggest thing you should do: Keep it snappy. The more succinct your question is, the more time the panelists have to answer it. Andrew: “Know what your question is ahead of time, and don’t ramble.” Bethany: “One question. Not a three part question, no follow ups. Numero uno is the way to go.” Nancy: “Have a second question in mind in case someone ahead of you asks your first question,” and “Avoid “yes/no” questions.”