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Going to a Pop Culture Convention Doesn’t Need to Cost You the Earth

Going to a Pop Culture Convention Doesn’t Need to Cost You the Earth

A pop culture convention, such as Supanova or Oz-ComicCon, can be a super fun way to spend a day (or a whole weekend!). It can also get quite pricey. Check out these tips and tricks for keeping the price bearable, while still having a fantastic time.

(Image credit: Aus Retro Gamer)

  1. Pre-book your tickets: Buying your tickets in advance will save some money – usually around 20% of the price of the ticket. Pre-sale tickets are usually limited, so get in and buy that ticket early!

  2. Kids tickets – check the price of children’s tickets for the expo you’re going to – Supanova lets kids under 12 in for free, while Oz-ComicCon lets kids 4 and under in without charge. You can also save at Oz-ComicCon with a family pass

  3. VIP passes – these are great value IF you were going to purchase everything they offer. Otherwise, it’s worth doing your sums on these packages. Unless you need to skip the queues, must be in the front row for a high-profile panel, or were going to purchase all the photos and autographs that are part of the package, leave these for the die-hard fans

  4. Dress up – this is a great way to get your kids (and you!) into the spirit of the event. It also opens up some extra activities, as there are events such as group photos and cosplay parades that you can take part in that don’t cost any money. Whether your child is dressed as Lord Voldemort or Captain America, there’s bound to be someone in a complementary costume to battle with, then get a quick photo!

  5. Guest Panels – these are more for adults and older kids who can sit still and listen for 55 minutes. They’re a great way to find out behind-the-scenes info on your favourite movies and TV shows, and they don’t cost a cent!

  6. Workshops – another free activity usually for the older crowd, these panels can be on anything from costume making, writing books, creating comics, make-up tutorials, forging weapons and so much more! Find one that interests you and learn from the experts

  7. Celebrity Guests – in the autograph area, it’s a little-known fact that you can go up and say a quick hello to your favourite guest without purchasing an autograph. Of course, for a more lasting memory, you can purchase a personalised autograph or have a professional photo with them

  8. Fan clubs and models – take the time to walk around the whole convention. You’ll be surprised at the range of things to see and do. There will usually be a fan club or two with cool props that you can interact with. Make sure you look for the 501st Legion who do epic Star Wars events, and the Doctor Who fan club. You may also find actual movie props brought in for you to have photos with, such as a full-sized Back to the Future Delorean or a Star Wars X-wing

  9. Communal spaces – while you’re wandering around, make sure you go out into the communal spaces. It’s not uncommon to find a mock battle of some kind going on, or even random video game characters doing the Nutbush!

  10. Food and drink – these are available to purchase at the venue, but if you’re trying to stick to a tight budget, you’re better off bringing your own food and drink, as they can get quite pricey

  11. Kids activities – make sure you check the event program for specific kids’ activities. You’ll often find colouring competitions, a kid’s costume parade, giant board games, scribble boards, Just Dance game, or superhero training

  12. Artist’s alley – this is a fun way for your kids to see artists at work and learn about people who are drawing, crafting, and creating for a living. You will often find a cheap and unique souvenir in Artist’s Alley

  13. Window shopping – an expo is somewhere to shop if money were unlimited! It truly is a toy lover's dream. So long as your kids understand that you won’t be buying a life-sized Alien model, it’s amazing to see just what’s on offer

  14. Set a limit – a great way to stick to your budget and teach kids about money and prioritising is to allow them a small amount of money and they can choose how to spend it

Most of all – have a fun time!

Need a costume to complete your con experience? Check out these fun costume ideas - perfect for groups and families!


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