I just went to YetiCon this weekend. It was amazing; a lot of fun things to do, creative panels and activities and I got to hangout with some great people.
However, not all things didn’t go as planned. I had to work very late the night before, so leaving early in the morning wasn’t an option for me. So I decided to leave early in the afternoon to pick up my roommates and then head up to Blue Mountain from Toronto.
Oh boy what a disaster that was. Not only was it Father’s Day Weekend, there was a big crash on the highway I planned to take. Also, I feel a lot of employers let their employees off early on Friday, which was around the same time I left my house. All in all, traffic was terrible and I did not expect that to happen.
We were supposed to get there by 3 PM. We didn’t arrive until around 5:30PM. Luckily we still ended up with the hotel room we reserved (NOTE: some hotels overbook and can actually change the room you booked, despite you having a “reservation”). And I still got to do what I wanted to get done at the convention.
However, coming late to the convention wasn’t that great. I had to rush on Friday to check in at the hotel, our luggage and drop off my friends at the con. Then I quickly grabbed lunch with one of my friends, and quickly changed into my cosplay because I scheduled a photoshoot with a photographer. I still got everything done on Friday and still had time to have fun. But the late arrival made it more stressful for me, and put a slight damper on my con experience. I was thinking, “it could have been better if I didn’t have to rush or I had more time.”
On the way home, my friend made a suggestion: “Why don’t we just arrive on Thursday and stay an extra night?” I thought to myself, “What a great idea!”
I’ve never actually tried arriving a day earlier. But I can imagine the benefits of arriving on Thursday/Day Zero. I don’t have to rush or worry about traffic. Having an extra day makes a big difference in having more time to arrive, get my cosplays ready, chill out in my hotel room, etc. Even if traffic is bad and we arrive late, it’s not a big deal because it’s only Thursday and the convention doesn’t start until Friday. Whereas if you arrive late on Friday, it’s definitely a big deal! I’ll also have more time to enjoy the cottage country; whenever I attend YetiCon, I only have time to see the convention and nothing else. However, with a Day Zero, I’ll finally be able to do other stuff around Blue Mountain. Such as go to the beach or go hiking in the area.
The only downside is that it costs an extra night to stay up there. Maybe not a big deal with Anime conventions that have cheaper hotels. But at Blue Mountain, an extra night is a considerable amount of money. Also, I’d have to book more time off work for it, so that’s another downside.
But other than that, coming up to Blue Mountain on the Thursday seems like a great idea that would solve all the hassles and stress of coming on Friday. I can relax and unwind on Thursday. And I’ll have way more time to get ready for the weekend!
Have you guys ever started your convention weekend on the Thursday? How was it? Let me know in the comments!
I have been to Yeti-Con since 2016 (on their first year running a convention), and I have always booked a hotel room from Thursday to Monday (will explain about Monday later).
I would say it beneficial for any cosplayer attendee (who are able to afford an extra stay) to go on Thursday. Not only because you can prepare your cosplays, but you can take the time to get some good photoshoots without a lot of people around, especially if there are some areas that are perfect sceneries for cosplays.
Not a cosplayer or a photographer and going on a Thursday? That’s alright. You have a day to take a look at the scenery, scouting at restaurants/groceries, attractions/activities, or just relax before three days of crazy fun to whatever you enjoy!
In terms of having Mondays at a hotel room. You are not under pressure to pack and be ready to leave immediately compared to checking-out on Sunday. Plus checking-out on a Sunday would make you miss out on shows, panels, or even convention photoshoots that you would want to check out. Mondays are the days that you can have a day of rest after an epic weekend at a convention, and before going back to life itself (work, school – hopefully not skipping classes-, family, etc.). And you have less of a risk to get the con-sickness if you quickly go from convention to life immediately.
Great points you made. To some, staying on a Thursday means paying for an extra night. But that extra day gives you time to enjoy the scenery and relax/unwind like you are saying. I actually stayed on Thursday for Otakuthon, it was great because it gave me an extra day to sightsee in Montreal!
Interesting point about staying on Sunday as well. On one hand, it sucks having to pack up and checkout on time, especially if it’s early. But on the other hand, most cons I find their Sunday programming to be shallow, so I wasn’t going to stick around the con on Sunday anyway. Plus I’d have to get ready for work on Monday. And I definitely dread the Sunday of a convention because of the Monday coming up (we all dread going back to school/work)!
Curious to know, what time do you normally leave on the Monday (if you’re staying from Thurs-Mon)?