Whether it’s your first time ever, your first time since the global pepperoni or you’re already a convention going badass, it always helps to have a survival guide on hand with helpful tips and tricks. So, you’ve decided you’re going to Anime Expo 2022, it's approaching real fast, and you need to make sure you have everything prepared. We’ve got you covered! Come along for a quick and easy guide with a checklist so you can face the Herculean adventure that is Anime Expo.
Things to triple-check before the con - ٩(◕‿◕｡)۶
Note from Anime expo: ” The last day to purchase a shipped badge is June 13th at 12 PM PST. After this date, all badges must be picked up at Will Call in the Registration Booth located in the Gilbert Lindsay Plaza beginning June 30th, 2022.”
Another Note: Anime Expo & SPJA Health and Safety Guideline - Proof of vaccination or a COVID test 24hr beforehand. For full details check the Anime Expo website Health Safety Guideline
You bought your badge, got your confirmation emails, and maybe already got your badge in the mail! The next step is to activate your Badge. If you need a quick walkthrough Anime Expo has that for you here. It will show you how to activate your badge with Showclix. Sometimes tech messes up or we misspell things, so I recommend you take screencaps and maybe even print out some confirmation emails as a backup just in case you have any issues getting in the day of, or if you decide to pick up your badge at Will Call.
- Activate badge
Things To Bring - (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Personal Bag -
While you’re probably going to get a lot of free big bags and totes at AX 2022, it's always good to come in with your own bag to carry your essentials. You should consider something with good/multiple pockets and easy to carry. Don’t be silly and bring an entire suitcase. Anime Expo has an oversize bag guideline
“Oversized Backpacks / Bags: No bags over the airplane carry-on size are permitted. As a point of reference, the size limit for a standard airplane carry-on is 22 x 14 x 9 inches. All bags, regardless of size, are subject to inspection at any time.”
This is Los Angeles during the first week of July: It’s going to be hot outside. You’ll be walking and standing in a few lines outdoors, so you will want to bring bottled water or a reusable bottle of your own. AX allows for guests to bring food and water for personal use but, no bulk items. But, there are plenty of water fountains inside to refill bottles that you bring in that are empty. You want to stay well hydrated to avoid any kind of heatstroke and in general to keep you energized.
P.S you may be able to purchase water inside the convention but it's going to cost about the price of 2 volumes of Manga, so be prepared and save some money by bringing your own.
Extra Clothes -
You may be staying at a nearby hotel or Airbnb, or maybe you’re local and drove in for the day. You will want some extra clothes on hand. You can leave it in your car, but you want to keep it close, if possible. You’re going to get sweaty, it’s gonna happen, so a spare shirt will go a long way! I leave it to your discretion on what else you think you will need.
Sidenote: Bring a light hoodie or sweatshirt. While it’s going to be extremely hot outside and a lot of body heat can build in crowds, the second you switch over to a panel or a screening room the temp will drop as they run the AC high. The constant switch in temp could lead to some colds so make sure you keep a hoodie/sweatshirt handy. Need a new sweatshirt? Just click over to our hoodie and sweatshirt selection~ ;)
General Medicine: Allergies, headaches, aches, and soreness are common things that may happen during a 4-day convention trip. I recommend that you take anything in its original packaging. You can buy travel packs of Advil which is around 2 pills per pack that are individually sealed. If you have any prescription medicine, make sure you have a screen cap or proof of said prescription just in case to ensure the bag check goes smoothly.
Sidenote: Going to add Sunscreen and sun protection to this area. Sun is good, too much sun is bad. UV rays are strong during July in Los Angeles. Protect your skin!
Portable Charger -
You’re going to have a lot of downtime during lines and wait time before events start, so you’re going to be using your phone a lot more, especially to communicate with your friends and folks you may be wanting to meet up with. While they have outlets all over the Convention Center you will most likely not be able to use them. There will be some charing stations provided by Anime Expo but, there is a chance they will be full most of the time. I recommend you take 2 portable chargers per day and make sure you charge them up the night before.
Info On Charging Station: here
Some vendors might have their tech go down or only take cash. It’s important to keep a bit on hand in spots different from your primary wallet as well. This is also good if you try to possibly buy from street food vendors or food trucks.
Simple protein bars, breakfast bars, easy carry, and portable snacks are amazing. Now, if you got a car and can tailgate the event then a small cooler you can keep in your trunk or backseat is amazing. I personally did that for years when I went to AX. I recommend you study the parking lots and try to set yourself up near a spot that is close to one of the many entrances of the Convention Center. This will make going back to your car easy and efficient.
Deodorant/body spray -
NOW LISTEN - this is not a substitution for good hygiene, and I will not sit here and make the played-out joke of stinky nerds. But, I will say this it's always good to keep this in your bag to re-up midday after you have taken your morning shower/bath. Having a pack or 2 of wet wipes is also very good as you can wipe down a lot of the sweat that will come from long lines and all the walking. Look, it's hundreds of people walking around together working up a sweat, be kind to your fellow con-goers. We can work together to get rid of the stigma that Anime fans smell.
So run it back for me -
You have all your stuff ready, now what?! (」°ロ°)」
No worries, here are just a few more things to do and be aware of for the actual event.
Make sure you study the map and event schedule -
Plan with your friends, because, trust me, there are going to be panels and events that will cross over each other. Make sure you know what you really want to see and get there early because there will be a line for it and we don’t want you to waste away in line and end up not getting in. My suggestion is 2 hours before the event starts, minimum. If you’re willing to wait longer, get there sooner.
The Staff -
The staff is there to help, but remember that a lot of them are volunteers and might not know everything there is to know about AX on the spot. Use your best judgment and be kind. You win more people over with honey, not vinegar.
ASK PERMISSION -
See a Cosplayer, Voice Actor, Influencer, or content creator and want a picture? Be kind and courteous, ask first before you go snapping away. Please for the love of all that is good, try your best to not bother cosplayers when they are eating.
Check Social Media for updates -
Anime Expo and Vendors tend to update using social media so make sure you are following them AND US PLEASE (´・ω・｀)
Double-check if events you want to go to are ticketed -
A lot of concerts tend to have their own tickets so make sure you purchase yours ahead of time
Beware of thieves -
Yeah, it happens, it sucks. Be safe, keep your things close and make sure you look out for each other.
Spend wisely and Budget yourself -
I’ve been there, you get into the dealers' room and it's all fair game: figures, manga, plushies, art, CLOTHES, the works. Plan ahead so that your bank doesn’t give you a call and so that Wallet-kun isn't sad.
YOU MADE IT! ヽ(°〇°)ﾉ
Phew, if you made it this far, you’re a rockstar. Remember to have fun of course! Being prepared is great and it helps things go smoothly. Anime Expo is a place to enjoy this special media and content that we binge watch and identify with. Use these 4 days to forget about the stresses of the world and life. Take pictures, buy the things that make you happy, and ultimately do your best to enjoy it with others. Thanks for reading along and I hope you can find some use in this guide! We will be at Anime Expo so if you get a chance come say hi! Booth located in The Kentia Hall ANNEX #ANX 411!