Bring REAL food from home. This means no sugar or soda.
Trust me, you might be whining and saying you'll be fine, but you won't. Sugary snacks and soda give you a sugar rush. This is basic knowledge. I'm tired of being around cranky people at 5pm when they get off their sugar rush. I'm included. I snapped at five people at one con before calming down after a cup of ramen.
Bring a sewing kit if you're cosplaying.
Clothes rip, or fangirls rip them off you. Some conventions have cosplay repair booths, but others don't. So if you get a giant rip in your cosplay and didn't plan for it, either deal with it or go home and change.
When you get in line to get in the con, have your money ready.
It makes the line go MUCH faster if you don't have to dig around in your back for that last five bucks.
Iron your cosplays before the con.
Even I, the laziest of the lazy make sure mine and my sister's cosplays are ironed. The best cosplay looks like junk wrinkled.
Plan your line of attack.
Scope out the website for the panel schedule and figure out which ones you're going to. That way you don't stay in one place like I did and miss everything.
Think about how much you're going to spend and whether you really need it.
My entire family does this. We say we're only going to spend X amount, then beg for more money for Y. In the end, we didn't get anything we really wanted. Unless you're really good with money, have someone responsible hold your cash. Think about what you want to buy beforehand, find those first, and set aside a little extra for those little splurges. Half the time, you'll end up buying junk you're NEVER going to use. I still have this Ichigo hollow mask from my 2nd or 3rd convention and I can't get rid of it.
Put effort into your cosplays.
Don't put on a T-shirt, jeans, and call yourself L. That's not L, that's a mess. If you aren't going to bother trying DON'T COSPLAY. I admire those people who might not have the best cosplays, but spent all their effort on it. My friend tried making a cosplay using clothes she owned, and a stick on patch. The patch didn't stick, sadly. But at least she TRIED.Which is better than at least ten of any lazy attempts you can think of.
Buy a wig brush and bring it.A brushed wig looks 10x better than a wig you threw on willy-nilly, and after 5 hours at a con, it gets tangled. A hair brush will damage your wig. So, buy a proper wig brush to use at the con. Start at the bottom, then work your way up so you don't tangle the bottom.
Style your wigs.
I hate seeing unstyled wigs. It can make or break a cosplay and I've seen several cosplays I couldn't recognize at first because the hair didn't even look like the character. And don't make it all spiky and unnatural. Look at this cosplayer for example. Their hair looks pretty natural, and it makes it look 10 times better. Don't just slather on gel.
Wear a Wig Cap.
Wear makeup. Even if you're a man.
And make sure it's high-quality. Anime characters have flawless skin, and makeup can help you achieve that look. Even my suck-ish skin looks better on camera with makeup. You don't need lipstick or mascara (unless you want it), but foundation and concealer are pretty good. Rememeber to put it on AFTER putting on your cosplay since it smudges.
Practice your poses.
This is important. Don't look awkward in front of the camera like me!
Realize that you might not look 100% amazing in your cosplay because you (probably)
I'm not being racist. Anime characters have round faces, large eyes, and small noses because... THEY'RE JAPANESE. So, unless you're lucky enough to have those features, it's not going to look like those asian cosplayers on google images. You can cheat by picking characters with hair styles and colors that flatter you if you want to be nit-picky. Now, quit saying you're ugly. We're all ugly.
Have a nice day.
Part two is here: Clicky