A tweet from @curlyfro about folks not inviting themselves along put me in the mind of convention etiquette and how that happens a lot. Since TwitchCon is coming, have a post no one asked for! 😇

First some basic stuff: Take a shower, change clothes and have gum or mints on you. Brush your teeth, mints aren’t a shortcut. Wear deodorant, don’t try to use cologne or perfume as a replacement. They don’t cover funk. Carry hand sanitizer. Even with TwitchCon’s bag restriction, you can get a travel sized bottle in with you. Use it after you touch stuff, especially if you shake hands a lot. You don’t know where people have been or when they last washed their hands.

AFAIK TC isn’t a big cosplay convention, but if you are planning on it… remember that costume can’t be washed till you get home. Don’t wear it all weekend with no break or shower. It will smell and so will you. Wear comfortable shoes, be cute at the parties. The convention means a lot of standing and walking around and more standing. If you can, get some gel inserts for your shoes, your feet will be happy later. Get insoles, they will help with all the standing around you gotta do. A CVS, Target or Walgreens will have some Dr Scholl’s you can get and trim to your size.

Now for the interpersonal stuff! When you meet streamers you like, or see them walking around please try not to be the person who lurks around awkwardly waiting to say hi. It can seem weird and sometimes creepy, no matter what. Wait for a moment to say hello, thank them, say you’re a viewer or love their content. Don’t blurt out OMG I FOLLOW YOU ON TWITTER! or TWITCH in this case, and not follow up with anything else.

A lot of streamers have hundreds, thousands, if not tens of thousands of folks who follow them on their channel and/or social spaces. It’s not personal if they won’t recognize you immediately. Just saying I follow you on twitch/twitter doesn’t help them know you.

If you’re going to talk to a company rep, don’t just blurt out your numbers to start. Introduce yourself, have a card or other contact method. Then find a way to bring your stats into it, if it’s relevant. Otherwise make contact as a person to a person, not just streamer to rep.

If you are in a group and someone mentions heading off to dinner/lunch/event; do not assume you are invited or just try to tag along. A lot of parties are invite only or you needed to RSVP. You can’t just roll yourself into the party and try to glom on. It’s RUDE for one thing. For another it’s pretty presumptuous that you think you can just ride with folks like that. Remember, watching someone, subscribing etc still does not mean you actually know them well, or at all.

Tell them to have a great time and hopefully you’ll catch them later. If they want you along, that’s a chance for them to say hey, you can come too or more than likely; they’ll wish you a good time too and carry on. No matter what parties you wind up at, don’t be the person who gets so drunk they become the convention story everyone talks about and remembers the next year. Imbibe responsibly if you’re over 21 please!

Get a rideshare app on your phone and share the ride info with trusted folks if you go anywhere you don’t know a lot of people or travel alone. When you can share rides with folks you know, safety in numbers. Make sure someone can contact you, even if you’re not sharing a hotel room. That way if you don’t show up when expected, someone can try to reach you.

TwitchCon is a working convention for a lot of people; especially bigger partners and community reps, devs and others. It’s not about having a lot of free time to just relax and chill with folks. Please remember that & don’t take it personally if they can’t give you lots of time. The hustle is real, and it’s what a lot of folks are on while at the convention, so don’t make an inability to have personal time with your fave broadcasters; even ones you are friends with a THING. Networking and making connections that can lead to opportunities is something that many folks are focusing on. It’s not personal y’all.

ONE MORE IMPORTANT THING I ALMOST FORGOT! Keep your hands to yourself. Do not just hug people without asking and for the love of DOG, do not touch folks hair. Head & Hair touching is very intimate and not OK for strangers to do at a con.

Lastly, try to have fun and be comfortable. If you’re shy or anxious, and find that you need a minute it’s totally OK to leave for a bit to regroup and come back later. Self care is more important than the cool thing you wanted to see.