I figure it's never to early to start planning what you need to take with you. I have only ever been to one con (CIII) but I learned a lot about what you do and don't need to have with you at an event like that. I'm sure some of our seasoned convention veterans have a wealth of tips they can share here to help everyone have a better time. Here are a few of the things I've either learned or read that you should have with you that could help: [ul] [li]Rain gear! - I learned this one the hard way in Indy for CIII, as everyone else did. Florida in August means thunderstorms (but hopefully not hurricanes) so if you are walking from your hotel each day, you could get wet. Umbrellas and ponchos are key. Along with that. be sure to have plastic bags to protect your valuables (both those you brought with you and those you buy while at the show). Also keep a plastic bag handy for the wet umbrella/poncho for once you get inside so it doesn't get the rest of your stuff wet.[/li] [li]Snacks - Don't wait until you get there for this one. If you can travel with things like powerbars or granola bars, bring them from home. It will save money and it's good to have a quick snack like that if you are stuck in line and get hungry.[/li] [li]Sharpies - Keep these with you for random celeb run-ins so you can grab a quick autograph. I kept two of the mini ones clipped to my lanyard at CIII and it paid off.[/li] [li]Extra camera? - I know not everyone has one, but I'll have my DSLR around my neck all of the time but I plan to keep my older, small point & shoot camera in my pocket as a backup. Plus, it is easier (than the DSLR) to hand it to someone for the "Hey, can you take a picture of me with this hot Slave Leia?" moments.[/li] [li]Layers - It'll be hot outside and probably freezing inside. Wear layers.[/li] [li]Cash - Don't count on on-site ATMs. They may run out of money and will probably charge you huge fees.[/li] [li]Extra bag - I'm a big fan of the "bag in a bag" technique. This way you have an entire extra bag/suitcase for all of the swag you need to bring home.[/li] [li]Extra everything - Socks, underwear, batteries, memory cards, headphones/earbuds. You name it, if you have a backup, bring it (if it doesn't take up too much space)[/li] [li]Contact info - This is a two-way street. Be sure to have all of the info you need to get in touch with people you are meeting up with. But also have a way to give out your info to new people you meet. It could be as simple as a small note pad so you can write down your email address, or you could go crazy and pre-print something so it's quicker (aka some basic free, business cards).[/li] [li]Backup glasses - Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone. But if you wear glasses/contacts, have backups. It would be a shame to not be able to see what's going on if something happened to your glasses/contacts on the first day.[/li] [/ul] I think this is good for starters. Looking forward to seeing more tips from others here. I've never done any cosplay before so I can't share tips for that, but I bet there are some good ones that could help.