Maximize your Fan Faire experience with these tips from veterans!
Have you registered for Fan Faire yet? It's less than a month away and registration closes in two weeks. That means it's time for my annual Fan Faire Tips! This is stuff I and other Fan Faire veterans have learned attending past Fan Faires and other conventions. All this may mean nothing if you're the type who can toss a change of undies in a bag and be good for a week, but me, I need to plan a bit.
Getting there: If you're flying, be sure to check the current FAA regulations on what you can and cannot carry. There are, for example, some odd rules about extra laptop batteries. Check your departing airport's website for how early you need to be there: if you miss the window you might arrive without your luggage. Once in Vegas, plan on a couple of hours to get from the plane to your hotel. I recommend you catch a shuttle to the hotel. It doesn't matter which one - they all cost about the same, $15 or so. Buy a round trip-ticket, because it's cheaper that way and all you'll have to do is call the night before you leave to schedule a pickup.
Lodging: It may be cheaper to stay in a smaller hotel than the one hosting the convention, but if you can afford it stay at Bally's. Fan Faire goes just about all night and all day, and if you really get into it you won't have a minute to spare! It's also nice when your swag bag has gotten really heavy to have a hotel room five minutes away.
Where's the Con?: As you are facing the Bally's registration desk, turn 90 degrees to your right. Walk that way, past the Flamingo Road exit and past the North Tower elevator. Keep going down that hall. It will take you there. There are some great hotel maps on the official Fan Faire forum.
What Happens in Vegas Ends Up on the Internet: There's a sign outside the Fan Faire area warning that by walking in you consent to having your image used. Hence Ke'la linking that picture of me being thrown in the pool at FF '07 over and over again. Although it seems names are rarely attached to Fan Faire pics, if you're very privacy conscious wear a costume!
The Devs are Nice People: After Fan Faire 2009 a dev asked me to pass this on: "If you see me standing at a booth or demo all by myself, please come talk to me! I'm probably bored!" The developers and other SOE staff are great people who love what they do and love to talk about it. Don't be shy! On the other hand, they are working, so if they have to run off don't take it personally.
Sign Up Early: Some activities have limited space. Sign up early to save yourself a spot!