The majority of pop culture conventions in Australia are not hotel-based events. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of tips that you may find handy, especially if this is your first convention in a hotel.
- If you’re not paying to attend the convention, please don’t hang out in the hotel lobby. This is incredibly rude to so many people, not least your fellow yaoi and yuri fans who are essentially paying for the event to exist at all. If you want to meet up with friends who are attending the con, there is a park behind the Holiday Inn with plenty of space for you to hang out and take photos.
- Most (if not all) of the traders won’t have EFTPOS facilities. Take out plenty of cash (change is good, too!) before coming into the venue! There are ATMs for just about every bank in and around Parramatta Station and Westfield Parramatta, so check there first if you want to save on fees. Otherwise, the closest ATMs are near the Parramatta Station ticket gates or in PJ’s Irish Pub.
- Sydney weather tends to be quite warm and humid, especially compared with other parts of Australia. Dressing as light as possible is definitely recommended, as is bringing an extra set of clothing; spending hours in a layered costume is likely to leave you hot and sweaty (and not in a good way). Keeping a small deodorant or pack of wipes in your bag is a great idea.
- Being held at a regular hotel means that other events may be held at the same time as Room 801, and there will definitely be other guests on the hotel grounds. While Room 801 will be hosted in an exclusive away-from-the-public area, remember that other hotel guests may be a bit startled to see a lot of people in costume and a little respect and understanding is always appreciated. Please be courteous and tidy when in general areas of the hotel.
- Budgeting, planning and saving before the con is recommended! We know a trip away, especially one when you are more than likely to be buying stuff, is going to cost money, and that yaoi and yuri fans are a diverse bunch with an equally diverse set of socioeconomic circumstances. We have tried to keep our ticket prices as low as possible, to give you the most amount of value for your entry price, (and in consideration for our attendees who are also paying for travel and accommodation). We’ve also made the effort to advise attendees of the event and ticket pricing as early as possible to allow for you to plan for these costs, too. Setting aside even a few dollars each week can make a difference over months, as can taking advantage of our early bird ticket prices and other possible promotions.
- Planning things early is a great idea, especially since time will creep up slowly and one minute the con is “ages away” and the next minute, it’s happening in no time!
- Take note of check-in times if you’re staying at a hotel and departure times if you’re getting to Room 801 via means other than driving yourself or teleporting. Aim to “run early” if you can: you can always kill half an hour reading –or playing handheld consoles or drinking coffee– and doing that is preferable to panicking …or worse, freaking out about a missed flight.
- It’s a good idea to test-run cosplay costumes before the con to keep in mind what problems you may have at the con, either fixing them earlier, or bringing an “in case” emergency kit and knowing what to include. No one likes running around looking for superglue in an unfamiliar city, on the weekend, when they have limited funds and they’d rather be at the convention they’re attending!
A Packing Checklist for Visitors:
Many attendees to Room 801 find it more convenient to stay at the hotel (make sure you mention that you’re a Room 801 attendee when you book your room!) or a nearby hotel. Some things you may want to include on your packing list include:
- Photo identification confirming your age
- Clothing for each day (even if you’re cosplaying, you may feel like getting changed at some point!)
- Cosplay outfits with accessories and wigs
- Cosplay quick-fix kit: superglue, safety pins, a small sewing kit, bandaids, Panadol, bobby pins, spare parts, etc
- Toiletries: body wash, shampoo and conditioner, hair products, deodorant, contact lens gear
- Cosmetics if you use them: makeup, moisturiser, cleansers, sponges, hand cream, perfume, etc
- A notebook and pen: you may want to note down titles of media to watch/read/buy in future!
- Your phone and charger
- Handheld games consoles, eReaders and chargers
- Laptop and chargers
- USB and portable storage devices for sharing things with other attendees
- Medication if you’re taking any
- Earplugs/eye masks
- Snacks and nibbles, especially if you have particular dietary needs
- Camera and spare batteries
- Drawing pens and tools
- Plastic bag for worn clothes if you’re not washing them during your stay
We hope this is helpful information, and we look forward to seeing you at Room 801: Mile High Club.