Hey there! It’s me, Heidi.
Here’s the deal… BroadwayCon 2018 is now 13 days away and I am pretty sure there’s no such thing as being too excited (says the girl who LITERALLY already has her suitcase packed)! Seriously, y’all, I am freaking out! Bright lights, big city, puffy coats and fuzzy scarves, weather so cold your nose turns pink and you can see your own breath, nerds of all kinds united under one roof, Schmackary’s, Queen Lesli, running into Alice Ripley and *swoon* Jeremy Jordan in the hallway, bouncing from stage door to stage door, hoping your sharpie doesn’t run out of ink, BROADWAY BROADWAY BROADWAY. Honestly what could be better? (The correct answer is absolutely nothing)
Since this is my third year attending the Con, I’ve learned a bit about what I need to bring with me and what can stay at home. Especially if you’re going for the first time this year, I want to share my tips and tricks with you to make your BroadwayCon 2018 experience as efficient and enjoyable as possible. Keep reading for my
Ultimate BroadwayCon Packing List:
1. Layers of warm clothing… emphasis on LAYERS
Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. And so should you. New York City in January is cold. VERY cold. Because of that I tended towards layering longs sleeves, sweaters, and every undergarment imaginable to keep me warm under my pea coat that somehow us southerners seem to think is a winter coat. Here’s what should happen instead (and, yes, I’m taking my own advice on this). Go out and get yourself a TRUE, heavy, weatherproof winter coat. They’re big, they’re puffy, they’re warm, and you can bring it to coat check at the Javits Center so you don’t have to carry it around all day. Underneath said winter coat, I would wear an incredibly normal amount of clothes. Maybe a long sleeve shirt and a sweater. You will be warm inside because the heaters are on. If you know you’re going to have to walk to the Javits or if you’re planning to hop from stage door to stage door like I probably will, WalMart has Cuddl Duds that are incredibly thin AND very warm that you can wear underneath your clothes. They’re also very easy to take off and roll up into a backpack or tote if you get too warm indoors. To wrap it up… heavy weatherproof winter coat, long sleeve shirts, perhaps a sweater, and some Cuddl Duds for layering underneath. You want to be able to regulate your temperature by adding or subtracting layers without having to carry too much around.
2. Snackage and a Re-Useable Water Bottle
Year 1 the Con was held at the New York Hilton Midtown, and food was easy to come by because it was kind of in the middle of everything. Plus, there was a hotel restaurant/bar and food court that was convenient. The only problem was that Winter Storm Jonas hit turning BroadwayCon into BlizzardCon so we really couldn’t leave the hotel and the lines at the in-house options were outrageous. Year 2 the Con moved to the Javits Center which pretty much has zero options close by outside of the convention center, and the food at their food court is overpriced and really gross… cue me biting into a $10 chicken strip only to find that it’s still raw on the inside. So for year 3 (again I will be taking my own advice), I will be packing all of the snacks and possibly even full on meals to stuff in my backpack and take with me to the Con. I’m lucky enough to have a mini fridge in my hotel room this year, so I’ll be stocking up on snackage on Thursday so that I’m set for the weekend. I’m bringing my protein powder from home that’s SUPER easy because all I’ll have to pack each day is a pouch or two of protein, an empty bottle, and find a water fountain in the Javits to mix up my shake if I’m on the verge of getting hangry. I’m also planning on hitting up a Duane Reade for some snacks like mixed nuts, granola bars, dried fruit, or any other engery boosting items I can find so that I can get to the Con in the morning and stay til night without having to worry about what I’m going to eat. OH! And, make sure to bring an re-useable water bottle. There are water fountains everywhere so you can refill, and don’t have to keep paying for that.
3. A Sharpie and Your Favorite Playbills
Not only is New York City a place where you never know who you’ll run into on the stress, at BroadwayCon you are almost guaranteed to run into Broadway royalty (I’m looking at you, Laura Osnes) in the hallway or the marketplace. You’re not oily going to want to make sure you pack a sharpie and a backup sharpie, but you’ll want to keep said sharpies in a place where they are easily accessible. The last thing you want to happen is to stop Anthony Rapp for a hot second to get him to sign your super coveted RENT original cast playbill only to not be able to find your danged sharpie. Wield that sharpie like your life depends on it and know where it is at all times. That being said, you also want to make sure you check out the list of BroadwayCon guests and make sure you take any playbills that you have with your favorite guests inside so that if you happen to catch them in the BroadwayCon Marketplace, you’re not stuck with a sharpie and nothing for them to sign… and trust me they do not want to sign one of your appendages. It’s weird.
4. Hand Sanitizer Hand Sanitizer Hand Sanitizer… and Kleenex, too
No, it’s not an error that I wrote it out three times. I REALLY mean it. Flu and colds are rampant right now, and I for one don’t want to mess with getting sick when I’m supposed to be having fun. I’m sure you don’t either. Any time you’re confined to a space with a bunch of people you’re at a higher risk for spreading germs. Make sure you are constantly washing your hands, using hand sanitizer frequently, have kleenex on hand in case you have to sneeze or cough, and bring along some Ibuprofen and/or Tylenol in the event that you start feeling bad. Early mornings, long days, and late nights back to back to back can weaken your immune system so be prepared!
This one’s important especially for those of you who will be participating in any of the dance workshops. Again, early mornings, long days, and late nights can take a toll on you. Running from panel to panel and being crammed into small rooms with lots of people, all while wearing winter clothes with the heater on can make you start smelling some kind of ripe. Travel sized deodorants are available at almost any drug store, grocery, Target, or WalMart. Pack one. Keep it on hand the whole weekend and re-apply frequently. No one wants to be “that guy.”
6. Electronic Devices and Chargers
You’re going to be in the Javits Center all day long. You’re going to be videoing panels and mainstage events. You’re going to be snapping pictures. You’re going to be using your BroadwayCon guide app, and your battery IS going to die at some point. Bring a charger, bring a backup charger, and maybe even a backup to your backup charger just in case. You can bring a portable charging bank or just a cord… there are wall plugs everywhere. Just make sure at some point during the day you take a breather and charge your phone, camera, tablet, whatever you have with you. You don’t want to miss an opportunity for a quick photo opp at the Con or at the stage door!
7. Backpack or Tote Bag
And if you’re like me, you’ll have a backpack AND a tote bag. The BroadwayCon Marketplace has all kinds of goodies you’ll want to snatch up, but you’re going to need somewhere safe to put them while you’re trekking around the Con all weekend. You’re also going to need something to carry your snacks, water bottle, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, Ibuprofen/Tylenol, Sharpie, Playbills, deodorant, and electronic devices and chargers. Not to mention you’ll also probably have your money, hotel key, metro pass, hat, gloves, scarf, and other personal items. Typically, I keep my snacks, water bottle, medications, Kleenex, etc. in my small backpack, and the rest of my personal items that I need easy and quick access to in my tote. Don’t worry about being that nerdy person with all the bags either because EVERYONE has a bag or two with them. It’s a must.
There are honestly SO many more things you’ll need to pack for your trip, but these are my BroadwayCon essentials. The Con experience goes so much more smoothly if you’re prepared. That last minute nonsense is for rookies. If you would like more detailed information on what you should pack for BroadwayCon 2018, go to the right side of this page and subscribe to my blog. As a thank you I will send you my extensive BroadwayCon packing list. I hope it helps, and I hope you have a blast on your trip.
See you at the Con!
Until next time,