Walker Stalker Con is making its way to London once again this weekend, and I’m pretty darn excited. For three years running, my brother and I have packed our bags, hopped on a train to King’s Cross and made our way to Olympia London to spend the weekend with impressive cosplayers, some pretty convincing zombies, and The Walking Dead fans galore.
Having attended every Walker Stalker Con since they first brought it over to the UK, you could say I’m somewhat of an expert. Okay, maybe not quite an expert, but here’s the advice I would give you if you’re attending for the first time…
✓ Do be prepared to spend a lot of dosh
First thing’s first. You’re gonna need some money in your pocket for all sorts of enticing stuff at the convention. Even if you’re not planning on grabbing selfies with the cast (which, by the way, you should totally do), there are a number of vendors around the venue, selling everything from retro sweets and custom artwork to exclusive clothing and tattoos. Throw the various food carts into the mix and you have a recipe for an empty wallet…
✘ Don’t be that dick that tries to push in the queues
You know the people. Despite the fact everyone is in the same boat, they seem to think it’s okay to try and be sly, silently declare themselves more important then any other attendees, and start edging their way towards the front of the queue. Normally unsuccessfully. We see you, and yes, we’re all quietly hating you together as a team and judging you and your morals. Don’t do it. Be one of the good guys.
✓ Do wear comfortable shoes
Whilst time may seem to fly by at Walker Stalker Con (that’s what happens when you’re having fun, don’t ya know?!), the days are actually pretty long and I can guarantee you that majority of them will be spent on your feet, whether that’s standing in queues, walking around the stalls or hunting out some toilets. Make sure to wear shoes that aren’t gonna leave you near to tears by the end of the weekend… Unless you’re in a sick cosplay outfit that requires them, of course.
✘ Don’t be afraid to tell cosplayers how awesome they look
Walker Stalker Con would be nowhere near as fun if it weren’t for the amount of people who make an insane effort with their cosplay outfits. Be prepared to have convincing zombies screech at you if you get too close, a fair few Negans who will make you do a double glance, and plenty of recognisable characters casually strolling around the venue. See someone you think looks particularly awesome? Tell them, or ask if you can grab a photo! They put so much effort it, they’ll appreciate it, I promise. 🙂
✓ Do treat the celebrities like humans
Don’t get me wrong, it’s suuuuper exciting to meet someone you’re a fan of, and it’s fine to have your fangirl moment, but always remember the celebs are humans too. Don’t pounce on them, or grab them before you’ve even had chance to say hello. Have some small talk with them. Ask how their day has been, tell them you like their tshirt, give them a bit of banter. I can tell you from experience, they love it. (My brother happens to be particularly chill and cool and gets chatting to them like they’ve met in a pub or something!) And remember: they get tired, they need lunch breaks, probably a bit of fresh air now and then, so don’t be disappointed if you head over to their stall and find they’re not there for a moment. They’ll come back when they’re ready.
✘ Don’t miss out on the selfie opportunities
It’s no secret that the selfies can be a bit pricey – anywhere from around £30 to £70 – but trust me, you should totally give it a go at least once. The very first year we went, my brother and I decided we’d mooch around and just enjoy seeing the celebs from afar. As the first day drew to a close, we thought we miiiight as well get at least one. And then we kicked ourselves for not doing it sooner. Getting up close to the people you normally see only through your TV screen is such a thrill, and you’ll walk away from them with a little buzz and a spring in your step!
And, of course, be polite, be safe, and have an amazing time!