Hi, guys! As you already know, Anime is pretty much my epicenter and origin. With that being said, that extends to conventions as well! If you're interested in going to an anime convention and you don't know where to start, you're in the right spot and I'm happy to help.
Now, there are plenty of conventions out there to choose from. It doesn't have to be MomoCon, but MomoCon is where I went for my first convention; I have been going religiously ever since - at least, until Covid-19 hit.
How To Start
First, determine which one you are going to go to. A really good factor to use in order to determine this is distance/location as well as what you are primarily interested in. For example, MomoCon happens to be one of the closest conventions to me and it is really heavy on Anime. Of course, it has a lot of other things to offer as well, but the main focus for me will and has always been Anime.
Secondly, you should look around the area and check out the environment around your chosen Con. Do research! How close is it to hotels? How close is it to eateries? This is very important to determine and figure out. Usually, the closer a hotel is to a Con, the higher the price is. If you are on a tight or specified budget, you want to take things like this into consideration. Let's say you want to save on gas because you already drove a good distance to get to the convention, then you should probably find a hotel close to the con and eateries.
That way you can save money where it counts!
In addition, let's say you want to save on food. A good thing to do is to bring some snacks and beverages. Hotels generally have microwaves and fridges, so it's a great way to cut back on food/eating out because the vending machines at the conventions are generally a little costly. If that sort of thing doesn't bother you, then all the better! It's all about what you prefer, but keep money and budgeting in mind if you intend to buy souvenirs like wall scrolls. Also, if you go to the hotels from the actual convention site, you may or may not get offered discounted hotel prices!
Okay, so your research is almost done! Great! Here's another cost to consider: cosplay.
If you're not cosplaying, then the only costs you will have to worry about are the necessities. The necessities typically include registration fees, food, hotel & parking, souvenirs, and gas. If you are cosplaying, your cost will probably double - they will definitely increase! I personally recommend saving up at least 6 months in advance for any convention. However, if you're in the process of learning how to sew (like myself), so you don't have to spend a huge amount of money, then that's one less thing to worry about.
Lastly, determine if you are going alone or not. If you are going with a few people, you will be able to save on hotel and food costs! If not, it will cost more money and you may feel a little lonely, but the good thing is it's very easy to chat people up and you will be around like-minded people. However, remember to be careful!
That's all for now. There's more to come on this subject later!