August 1, 2010: Surviving Conventions
Drink Water. It may sound silly, but keeping yourself hydrated will make a world of difference. Everyone is used to drinking more when you sweat, but when your moisture is getting pulled out from talking too much, or from over-conditioned convention center air, the dehydration can go unnoticed. Find a cool water jug and refill it often. Energy drinks may give you a boost, but they're no replacement for pure H-2-O!
Take Care of Your Feet. My Vans have never steered me wrong, especially with a gel insert or two. For some shows -- when the hotel is a particularly long walk away from the convention center -- I'll bring a second pair of shoes, and change into them after the exhibit hall closes. New socks can help, as can soaking your feet in cold water after a long day.
Keep Clean. Many is the con-goer who has a "nerd flu" tale. It sucks to come home from a great gaming experience just to be sick. Avoiding this fate is possible by observing some basic rules about regularly washing (or sanitizing) your hands, and showering daily (or more frequently).
Take a Break. With dozens (or hundreds) of booths around, and twice as many games you'd like to play in, it's easy to get up earlier and stay up later than normal. Exhaustion will make sore feet hurt more, and will get you sick faster. Find a quiet corner or go back to the hotel room in the mid-afternoon, and get some downtime. You'll be better for it.
Got your own list of "never fail" convention tips? We've got a forum for that!
-- Paul Chapman
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