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last updated: 20.03.2003
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My experiences from several years of FedCon:
(by Avyan)

I've been to 5 or 6 FedCons now, and the experiences I write about only refer to them. I don't know whether some orders of events will be different at RingCon; but I expect the main characteristics to be the same.

1. Arrival, receiving Con information / your hotel room

As soon as you enter the hotel you will probably see long queues in front of a big table. Behind that table, there are several Con staff, and they will give you the documents you need for the Con such as identity cards and bracelets. On your ID-card there is a number (your registration number) plus an alphanumeric number (for example A 15), which identifies the row containing your seat. In our example, you would sit in block A, row 15 throughout the Con. Along with their papers, FedCon attendees always get a little present from the Con management (a little package including program, flyer etc.). For all participants who have also booked a hotel room: The rooms will be free for check-in at about 12 o'clock noon. But you have to stand in line once again to get your room.

2. During the Con there will be panels, autograph sessions, other shows, and of course there are dealers' rooms

Panels: One of the celebrities is on stage talking about his or her life or about film shooting. There are also some microphones. You can go to one of them to ask some questions during these panels. Usually, when the microphone is lighted up, it's switched on. People generally ask their questions in English, as many of the stars can only speak English. The actors on stage do their best to understand your questions. But if you're not sure, or if you can't speak English yourself, you can always ask someone else to ask a question for you.

Autograph sessions: You will get your autographs according to your registration number. Participants with numbers 1 to 200 will get their autographs first, then numbers 201 to 400, and so on. You can buy autograph cards before the actual signing session. The stars are sitting at different tables, assisted by stewards who take your autograph cards, choose the right marker and give it to the actor, who will then sign your card. You're allowed to take photos during the session but only WITHOUT flash, because nobody wants to go home with swollen eyes ;-)

Dealers' rooms: They are always very crowded. But at RingCon there should be less people than at FedCon I think.

3. Dos and Don'ts

- In the big hall: Do not beg for autographs or photos during the panels. There are just so many people, and if everyone would keep asking for photos or autographs there wouldn't be much time left for the panels. So please ask questions which many people might be interested in instead of asking personal things.

- Taking photos: There are four aisles leading to the stage and dividing the blocks of seats. For taking photos best use the middle aisle, squat down to take your photos. After that you should go back to your seat quickly, but use the left or right hand aisles.

- In the evening at the bar or in the morning at breakfast: If some of the stars have rooms in the Con hotel it is possible that you see some of them in the elevator, in the sauna, etc. If that happens: be friendly but not pushy. For some people this will sound obvious, but over the past years the celebrities have grown more and more reserved because lots of people keep on begging for pics, autographs etc. even if the actors just want to have a drink at the bar.

- Seats: The seats in the big hall don't have any numbers on them. You only know the row which you sit in. You're not allowed to take a vacant seat in another row just because one of your friends is sitting there. Even if you tried, the stewards would ask you to sit in the correct row.

4. Food and soft drinks

You can bring some food to your hotel room and store it in the fridge. However, you're not allowed to bring glass bottles to the big hall (danger of injury).