1. Set Your Budget
The Vendor's Room and Artist Alley have tons of treasures inside. You will find: art prints, plushies, key chains, jewelry, hair accessories, posters, capsule toys and so much more! Your child will be completely blown away by what these marketplaces offer. Before the convention, set a budget for the event. How much will you need for necessities, like food and water? Transportation and a sleeping room may be required as well. How much will you spend for souvenirs? A set amount can help you stand your ground when your little one has the desire to take everything at the con home.
If your son or daughter is old enough to understand money, feel free to explain their convention allowance to them. When your child is interested in a particular item, take the time to explain how much they will have left to spend if they purchase that particular item. Not only does this save you from being the "bad guy," your child understands that they are in control of their own finances. It is up to your child as to what they choose to purchase and bring home.
2. Buy the Unique Items
There are items at a convention that is difficult to get elsewhere. Even if you could buy the items online, many times there is a greater selection at the convention. Also, you do not need to pay for shipping! The ability to see the specific item in person is always a huge benefit. If you are torn as to which item to purchase, choose the object that is difficult to find, or one that is completely unique.
3. Items That Inspire "Play"
Your young child loves to play. Any piece that inspires role play, cosplay, or anything creative is always a good choice. The Vendor's Room has many official toys, plushies, and gear to outfit your aspiring Pokemon master, ninja, Jedi or Sailor Scout. The Artist Alley is littered with cool handmade plush, bags, crowns, colorful jewelry and inspired fantasy gear to fuel your child's creative mind.
4. Suggested Age and Item Construction
Any items in the Vendor's Room should have a recommended age on the package. If it doesn't, many times the vendor that is selling the item is able to shed some light as to the nature of the materials that were used to create the piece. Do not be surprised if some items have a higher suggested age than you were expecting! Many collectible toys are, well collectibles, and made for an older crowd.
Any items in the Vendor's Room should have a recommended age on the package. If it doesn't, many times the vendor that is selling the item is able to shed some light as to the nature of the materials that were used. Do not be surprised if some items have a higher suggested age than you were expecting! Many collectible toys are, well collectibles, and made for an older crowd.
A HUGE bonus of the artist alley, as opposed to the Vendor's room, is that an artist is able to make adjustments to an item! If there are parts of a plush toy you need to be removed or need a piece of jewelry resized, an artist should be able and willing to assist you! I personally bring my jewelry tools, extra parts and my sewing kit to each convention. If the adjustments will take longer than a day, I have the customers come back at a later time or I ship the item to their home address. Not only are you happy as the parent, but I was able to make a sale. It is a beautiful compromise!
Do not be afraid to use your judgment! You know your child best. If you know that your offspring is particularly careful with items, like stuffed animals or jewelry, it is entirely your call. A recommended or the suggested age for an item is a general advisement, rather than an enforced rule.
5. Take Business Cards
With so many choices in the convention marketplaces, it is impossible to take home everything your little one adores. Take a business card from the artists or stores that you, or your child, liked! These business cards will come in handy when you are looking for future gifts! Grab your stack when you are lost as to what to by for holiday gifts, birthday gifts or small presents for special occasions.
Do you take your child to conventions? What are your tips and tricks? I'd love to know!
Have fun this convention season, and stay frilly!
This is the account of one woman and her passion for lolita Fashion.