This year, we had the pleasure of attending our first Midsummer Scream Halloween convention in Long Beach, CA. The event was filled with live entertainment, haunted attractions, classes, panels, and presentations to bring a Halloween fan’s darkest nightmares to life.
Before we got there, we had no idea what to expect and thought we’d share our tips to ensure your next Halloween or horror convention is a success!
1. Know where you’re going and arrive early
Before you head out, do a little exploring on Google Maps to get a lay of the land. Locate parking lots and structures, familiarize yourself with nearby street names and restaurants, and map out your path from the parking area to the convention entrance.
Do yourself a favor and arrive early! When we arrived about 10 minutes before the convention doors opened, the line was out the door and around the building. We overheard a volunteer say some attendees had been in line since 8am. While we’re not suggesting you arrive several hours early, do expect to spend some time in line. Fortunately, you meet a lot of fellow Halloween-lovers (many dressed in excellent costumes) this way, so it’s not the worst time you’ll spend in line.
2. Pack snacks & water
We weren’t sure beforehand if you were allowed to bring in food and water. Still not 100% sure what the official rules are, but we’ll be packing a few small snacks for our next convention. There were plenty of opportunities to purchase food and beverages inside the event and many restaurants nearby, but if you’re looking to save your cash for horror merch, pack a bite to hold you over for the day.
3. Plan your weekend before you arrive
Events like this are built to keep you entertained and busy. We walked in with a general idea of our itinerary, but we soon looked like deer in headlights. If you don’t want to miss an important class or presentation, make sure you prioritize arriving early for the event’s planned start time. Sketch out a schedule for your day beforehand, so you don’t miss something you’ve been looking forward to and make the best use of your time.
4. Hit the haunts early
Unsurprisingly, the mini-haunts are a crowd favorite, and lines for these build up fast! If your schedule allows, plan to hit these early in the day before the lines get too long and the scare-actors are at their peak performance level.
5. You’ll have to carry around your purchases
An obvious thought- But keep this in mind as you make your selections from the vendor booths. You don’t want to leave your purchases outside to enter a haunt or carry all that horror swag around with you all day. Your signings and prints can get damaged or bent throughout the day too. It may work out better to hit the vendor floor before heading out for lunch or after you’ve gone through the haunts toward the later part of the day.
We hope these tips help make your next horror convention stress-free!
What advice would you recommend for someone attending a convention like Midsummer Scream?
Share your tips with us below!
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