The only way to describe Walker Stalker Atlanta 2016 is – EPIC!
My friends and I had such a great time the whole weekend. We are still smiling as we remember all the good times we shared. Each time we attend a convention we learn things we can do to make the best use of our time.
Here’s 10 things to help make your Walker Stalker con experience unforgettable!
1. Take Advantage of Early Will Call
If you are able, pick up your tickets and photo op vouchers early. For both the 2015 & 2016 conventions, Will Call was open the week before the convention so you could pick up your passes/wristbands. If you can’t pick up your tickets/passes the week before, we suggest that you arrive early to Will Call the day of the con.
Photo credit: Stephen/The Dead Connection
2. Have a Plan
When you arrive on the convention floor things can be chaotic but you can save yourself a major headache by studying the Walker Stalker app beforehand. The app has everything you will need to navigate the con and more! There is a place for you to make your own schedule and will send you reminders of when you need to be certain places, like photo ops and panels!
For example: If you want to get an autograph from Norman Reedus you need to make this your plan for that day. Norman is a sweetheart and extremely popular so his lines are very, very long. Time spent in lines depends on the type of ticket you purchased. Lines typically move in this order: Platinum pass holders & those with disability badges go first, next Gold passes, then VIP’s and finally General Admission tickets holders. The line control volunteers stagger who goes when in the line so it is fair and everyone gets a chance to meet Norman. Based on the sheer volume of people in line and there being only one Norman, the process takes a while. Be patient, it’s worth the wait!
3. Keep Up with Your Photo Op Vouchers!
Celeb Photo Ops do the professional photos for WSC and they run a tight ship. When you pick your convention ticket/passes up from Will Call, you need to also exchange your photo op ticket for a voucher. The voucher will have the day, time & the group number of your individual photo op list on it (they will also give you a digital download voucher if you purchased one).
Make sure you keep up with your voucher, these are like cash and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. In the haste of running (literally) to our next photo op, one of our vouchers was stolen and there was absolutely NOTHING we, or the fine folks at Celeb Photo Ops, could do about it. Please, please, please keep up with your vouchers! I can’t stress this enough!
Photo credit: Allie/The Dead Connection
Helpful tip: photo ops are not to be used as meet & greets. The photo lines go quickly! It’s basically walking in, standing next to the celebrity, smile and you’re done. The process takes less than 30 seconds. Plan ahead if there is a special pose, sign you want to hold, etc.
4. Don’t Over-Load Your Bag
Carefully choose what you bring with you in your bag, don’t take more ‘stuff and thangs’ than you can carry. You will be walking the con floor (and it’s HUGE) & standing in lines, you don’t want to be loaded down by the stuff in your bag. Your bag may seem light when you go in to the con, but the more time you carry it, the heavier it gets. Take a bag that’s comfortable to you: I carry a messenger bag and typically pack the following: portable phone charger, a few protein bars, one bottle of water, a binder with plastic sleeves for autographs & a few extra sharpies.
5. Make Some New Friends
This is my favorite part of the convention! Yes, meeting and mingling with stars is great but meeting fellow fans is the best! You will be standing in lines so make friends with the folks around you! I have met some precious people at previous cons that I still keep in contact with. In addition to meeting new friends check out some really awesome cosplayers like Negan Unchained and Chris Twellmann.
6. Do Some Shopping
There are always great some fantastic shopping to be done in the vendor section at the con. There are all sorts of goodies available: original artwork, t-shirts, action figures, custom jewelry, and even hand-made soaps! If you feel like getting a permanent reminder of your convention experience there are tattoo artists on site as well.
7. Wear Something Comfortable
You will be on your feet for most of the day so make sure you have chosen your clothing and footwear wisely. I have found (by trial and error) that the cute dress and heels look great at your photo op but I was completely miserable walking around and standing in line. Find a comfortable pair of shoes and plan your clothing around them. I planned my wardrobe around my trusted pairs of boots.
8. Don’t Try to do Everything in One Day
There is so much to do and see at WSC don’t feel like you must stop at every single table, shop in the entire vendor alley and catch every panel. In my experience, when you have too much on your to-do list it tends to suck the fun out of it and gets to be too stressful. Having a great time is most important so pick a few tables to visit, catch a panel or two and come back the next day and complete your list of “must see” celebs and vendors. Make yourself a “priority list” of actors you want to meet; if you can only attend one day use the WSC app to plan your schedule accordingly.
Photo credit: Allie/The Dead Connection
9. Table Photo & Autograph Guidelines
All of the celebs will sign autographs but not all of them will do a table photo/selfie (I know for a fact that Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan don’t do them, they simply don’t have enough time). If the celeb will do a table photo, there will be a board with their autograph, photo and combo prices displayed at their tables. You simply pick the option you want and pay the handler (cash only, there are no pre-sales for autographs or selfies). Bring your own item to be signed or pick from a wide variety of professional 8×10 photos at their tables.
Helpful hint: Have your camera ready to go when you walk up to the table so you don’t have to fumble around with getting your camera just so, and you can spend a little more time chatting with your fav!
10. Take Pictures
What better way to document your fun than taking tons of pics!
Last but not least: Pay attention to the rules of the convention and listen to the WSC Staff & Volunteers!
There have been some changes made in the last year ranging from prop weapons policy to having your bag searched before you enter the convention. WSC is very good about posting any changes in policy to their Facebook page, Twitter account and on their website. Check it periodically to see what has changed for the con you will attend. If you have questions once you are there ask a WSC staff member or a volunteer, they are extremely helpful!