Con crud is a very real struggle for creators. With thousands upon thousands of people all contained in the same building, it’s easy to imagine how quickly illness can spread amongst them. Creators are interacting with guests all day long, talking, shaking hands, hugging, etc. without a second thought about it.
Most creators who’ve been to a convention in their lifetime will tell you that it’s hard to come home and feel 100%. Between the fatigue of working all weekend, and again, interacting with all the different people, things can really hit you once things wrap up.
Here are some things to help you before, and during a convention:
- Stock up on hand sanitizer to bring to the convention.
- Stock up on disinfecting wipes for your booth.
- Drink some Emergen-C (or an equivalent) to keep healthy leading up to the show – this isn’t a scientific or medical recommendation to specifically ward off illness but Vitamin C has a lot of benefits that make it worth taking.
- If you’re feeling sick before the con, buy a face mask for yourself so you don’t get others sick (face masks are not meant to keep you from getting sick; they’re meant to help prevent others from getting sick if you’re contagious).
- Get the flu shot, if you haven’t already.
- Get a good nights sleep in the coming days before the convention – anxiety and stress can really make this hard, but getting enough sleep and being well rested going into the show will help you out so much.
AT THE CONVENTION
- Wash your hands every single time it’s possible. Passing a bathroom but weren’t planning on going? Go wash your hands. Eating your con lunch? Go wash your hands.
- Remember to eat and snack – keeping your energy levels up can help with your mind and body being able to fight off any impending illness. Fruits and vegetables, especially!
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Encourage others to do the same if you see anything different (and if you’re comfortable speaking up).
- Use hand sanitizer. Remember when you stocked up on that hand sanitizer prior to heading to the convention? USE IT. USE IT ALL.
- Wipe down your table (if you’re boothing) frequently with disinfecting wipes.
- Don’t share food or drinks – this is a common enough thing to do with friends and people that we’re close to, but during a con, you have no way of knowing what other people have come into contact with. Try to resist the urge to share items, unless you’re splitting things up between you right off the bat.
- Don’t go overboard on the drinking. Bar con is a very real thing and the majority of the networking and schmoozing happens after the show at the bar. That being said, drinking too much and staying out too late will take away from a good nights rest during the show when you’re already fatigued. Party in moderation.
- HYDRATE! Remember to drink water, or any liquids that will keep you refreshed and hydrated.
- If you accept card payments, look into getting a rubber-tipped stylus so people aren’t using their (potentially germ-ridden) fingers to sign on your phone for their purchases. They’re inexpensive, and they are way easier to keep clean than your phone (thanks to Carl Mizell for this tip).
Right now, things are extra scary with the thought of a worldwide pandemic with the Coronavirus. Don’t attend shows if you think you may already be at risk for illness. In the USA, if you have no insurance (like most freelancers), the costs just to get tested for the Coronavirus is $3270. Again, that’s just to get tested. The fear of being blacklisted from a convention guest list can be scary, but getting sick and not being able to afford a doctor to get better is a million times worse.
Canadians: illness and injury abroad is no longer covered by our insurance, so if you’re traveling to a show out of country and you get sick, all of your expenses to get treated will be out of pocket unless you buy travel insurance.
Take care of yourselves, and if you’re going to go to a convention, be sure to do everything possible to stay healthy.
If we’re missing anything that you think is vital and important, let us know in the comments below!