You might be wondering “why would I need an etiquette guide for a convention? What is there I need to know?” Well, you would think that no one needed an etiquette guide in order to attend a public convention, but that is unfortunately not the case. You see, a surprising amount of people don’t seem to understand the most basic rules of walking around a tight space with a large group of people, sometimes on accident, and sometimes just out of disrespect. Based off of witnessing these broken rules, I am here to provide a small guide for you not to do the same.
Shower before you go. This might seem like an obvious one, but I swear you will pass by someone who smells like they haven’t showered in 3 weeks. Especially at Anime Expo. It’s uncanny how many times I’ve walked down an aisle, only to be hit with the distinct stench of someone who just went to the convention without washing themselves (for who knows how long). It’s gross, and no one wants to smell it.
Never crowd in the center of the aisle. I know conventions, particularly big ones, may be a little disorienting, but don’t stop in the middle of the aisle. Find a place that you can collect yourself off to the side so people can pass by. When you stop in the middle, you force people to have to walk around you, often causing a huge line of traffic. Another obvious one, but it still happens all the same.
Don’t block the paths to booths. Some booths are quite popular, with a popular artist or company displaying their wares, attracting many to see. However, often there are always some people who make it impossible to get inside the booth, causing people to have to push their way through just to see. And then the culprit gets mad at those people for trying to push their way through. Be polite, and always try to let someone in the booth if you can.
The last thing big thing I am going to put is respect the cosplayers. There are always cosplayers milling about, going around for people to take pictures of. Be polite and ask first, however. Don’t come up and demand a photo, and especially don’t come up and touch a cosplayer inappropriately. This is an issue I have witnessed first-hand, where someone asked for a picture then grabbed the breast of a cosplayer. That is not okay, not even if they’re scantily dressed. It’s a character design, not an invitation to harass. They are just trying to enjoy their time at the convention just like you, and you should let them.