Attending conventions is a lot of fun, but it can also be exhausting and even confusing. So while you're planning out your panel schedules, compiling your back issue list and putting the finishing touches on your cosplay, take a minute to check out CBR's New York Comic Con tips, the first in a new series of con-specific safety and resource guides, for navigating the wilds of the Javits Center.
Cons are the ultimate in nerdy revelry and should be a safe, exciting place for all attendees -- so make sure that you feel comfortable in your environment, that way you can help others feel the same way. We're a community, and fun for one should be fun for all.
The following resources are a great starting place, especially if you're unfamiliar with the area, but please be sure to do your own research and come up with a plan that feels good for you. Cons are a powerful source of entertainment, networking and friend making, and with great power comes great responsibility.
The Responsibilities of Safety
New York Comic Con has a very reasonable set of rules to keep guests and exhibitors safe. Check these out beforehand and make sure you're abiding by the terms of attendance.
In addition to safety, NYCC is ready and able to accommodate guests with special needs. A Medical Badge may be obtained for those that require any special assistance as well as one for a companion. Pretty cool. This includes people that are hearing impaired, mobility impaired and those with service animals. Check out the full details here.
In case of injury, please be sure to reach out to any member of the NYCC Staff, Crew or security. They can help you get the appropriate attention. If you see someone who is injured, be a hero and find help for them.
If you need medical care, visit the TransCare medical facility located on Level 1 in the southwest corner of the building. The office is staffed with EMT-Ps and can provide assistance if care is needed. As well, the following off-site locations may be contacted if needed.
Nursing mothers may also use the TransCare facility for pumping or feeding.
Beth Israel Medical Center
529 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 420-4001â€¨Closest pharmacy:
500 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036
The Responsibilities of Drinking
If you enjoy imbibing alcohol, please do so responsibly. Manhattan has fantastic public transportation services as well as an abundance of taxi cabs, Uber and Lyft service. Put the number of a cab service in your phone or make sure you have the Uber or Lyft app ready to go, that way you can safely depart into the night once you've reached your capacity of drink.
Manhattan Taxi Service
Designated Driver Program:
Questions about substance abuse or need support for finding treatment:
The Responsibilities of Preventing Harassment
NYCC has zero tolerance for all forms of harassment. In fact, they have a wonderfully comprehensive policy identifying the specifics of harassment that you can review here: http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/About/Harassment-Policy/
Don't think harassment happens? Think again. Both women and men face unwelcome attention at conventions and it's everyone's responsibility to monitor their own behavior to make sure they aren't overstepping any bounds. Be aware of your physical space and respectful of the people around you. It's okay to be uncertain of what other people may or may not find appropriate-but do the right thing and seek understanding. Don't assume that anyone occupying any space is automatically open to attention. â€¨See an awesome cosplayer that you'd like to meet or photograph? ASK THEM. Be respectful if they verbally decline or seem physically uncomfortable. Try these consent-seeking phrases:
- Good: "I like your costume! Mind if I get a picture? Do you mind if I share it on my blog?"
- Great: "Cool outfit! Looks like you put a lot of work into it. Can I ask you about your process?"
- Awesome: "Woah! You look just like Wonder Woman, she's my favorite! Can I take a selfie with you? Is it okay if I Instagram this?"
If you experience harassment, the most important thing to remember is that you are not at fault. Remember, nothing you did, said, wore or thought gives anyone permission to engage with you in a disrespectful way. Your emotions are valid and there are resources to support you. If you have been harassed, contact NYCC's staff, security or a crew member. If you are unable to find a member of the staff, ask a friend or an exhibitor to help you. If you aren't able to ask for help, text a friend or family member to help you collect yourself until you are able to reach out. Don't feel compelled to confront your harasser, but do have a plan to find a safe place should you need it.
If you witness someone being harassed, say something. Ask if they need help. Ask what you can do. Find a member of the NYCC staff to provide support. Help them get to a place where they feel safe. If you overhear an inappropriate comment, it's okay to respond. Remember that people may not always realize that what they're saying or doing is offensive, so try these phrases to help course-correct:
- Good: "That's not a very nice thing to say."â€¨
- Great: "Not cool. Please don't talk about someone that way."â€¨
- Awesome: "That makes me uncomfortable. Please don't use that language."
Resourcesâ€¨The New York Comic Con app has a Report Harassment feature. Open the app, follow the steps and NYCC reps and security will deal with the situation, in person, ASAP.
Circle of 6
A free app that can help prevent violence before it happens. Check it out at http://www.circleof6app.com/â€¨The Samaritans
A 24-hour crisis hotline providing emotional support. Check them out at http://samaritansnyc.org/24-hour-crisis-hotline/ or call (212) 673-3000
Ready to nerd out? Bookmark or print this page as a resource. Give a copy to a friend. Post the link on Facebook. Do a thing on Twitter. Spread the word about our community creating the kinds of experiences everyone can enjoy.