Lady Lily La Douce
Packing and prepping for BurlyCon is like packing for summer camp…summer camp in early November in Seattle. So Bring Socks! Lots of socks, cheese sticks, and granola bars. I don’t think I truly appreciated the power of a good thick sock until I went to BurlyCon the first time; or how the offer of a cookie can easily make a friend.
1. It’s a good idea to plan weeks before you arrive.
If it can be helped of course, I know we’re all busy…sometimes busy flying around the world. I know I’m guilty of not waiting to procrastinate, but don’t hurriedly pack your bag the night before or you’ll most likely forget a few important items. Take your time to make a check list.
2. Save up a little spending money.
Not only is there fabulous shopping at BurlyCon! But there may be a few group trips into town…or you may need to buy something like deodorant or toothpaste. There is a small basic general store in the hotel, but the 7/11 across the street might have better prices. Regardless, it’s always good to have access to a bit of cash.
3. Make friends before you arrive.
We have a Facebook page! And there’s always fun social media groups! Join them, introduce yourself to fellow BurlyCon goers, and start talking with people who share your interests. It’s easy to make friends before you arrive…we’re a fun group.
5. Check out activities and classes in advance.
Showing up without knowing what you’d like to do may lead to rushed decisions, budget your time wisely. Some activities, like dance classes, may have limited space and require enrollment before you arrive. In addition to choosing activities, check out the online BurlyCon app. The app will have helpful tips about the hotel, convention center and any and all activities. It will give you a better idea of how to get around and make the most of your time.
6. Don’t be shy!
Everyone will be feeling a little shy so be the one to break the ice. Join in on all those embarrassing name games and fun intros. Introduce yourself to all the instructors and organizers; they will help you make friends quickly. Wearing your name tag helps! Actively say “hello” to people you don’t know. Chance encounters can lead to lifelong friendships!
7. Play 20 questions…or just ask people about themselves.
Begin by asking other people about themselves. Your fellow BurlyCon goers or instructors may come from very far away – even different countries. By all means please talk about yourself too…maybe just after you’ve learned a bit about the other people you’ve just met. Being interested in other people is a great way to make friends.
8. Be extra-nice to our instructors.
Day 1 is when our instructors will see you for the first time. There are a lot of new faces for them to meet, and they’re trying to figure out who’s who. Please treat them with extra respect, don’t talk over them, interrupt, or challenge every lesson they might teach in class. BurlyCon attendees save up for a long time and look forward to the classes and experienced instructors.
9. Invite a new friend to dinner.
Asking a fellow BurlyCon member to go to a meal with you not only helps you get to know everyone better, it gives your not-quite-so-social friends a way to meet new faces. Inviting a shy BurlyCon member to sit with you just may change his or her entire convention experience and you might make a new friend. And, you won’t be eating alone!
10. Keep meeting new friends!
Don’t lock yourself away just because you met a couple friends or already know people at BurlyCon. Keep saying “hello” to as many people as possible in all the activities you attend. With everyone you meet, make sure to get their full name so you can look them up on social media and stay friends after the convention is over.
11. Join new activities, even ones that might seem scary.
Maybe you don’t think you’re great at sewing, or speaking in public, writing a bio, or rhinestoning…anything. That’s okay! BurlyCon is a safe place to really explore deeper waters and expand your horizons. You may surprise yourself and find that something is more fun than you thought!
12. Please do your part to keep things neat.
BurlyCon is fun but laundry strewn over the floor, smelly trash cans and food left everywhere are not. We are all fabulous unicorns with fabulous make up skills and fabulous make up looks can sometimes lead to a fabulous mess. Please be polite to the hotel staff, they work hard and are happy to help. But it’s a good idea to pack extra make up wipes and your own washcloths. Tons of make up stains on towels and lots of damage may get you an incidentals charge, and we wouldn’t want that. Don’t let that person be you!
13. Follow the rules.
We don’t have many. But obviously respect and the golden rule ring true. Ask for help if you need it don’t feel like you can’t call out something out of place.
14. Get your friends’ contact information!
I remember leaving BurlyCon for the first time and then realizing I didn’t know how to call one of the friends I’d made and with all the rush of packing, checking out, driving home or catching a plane back, I hadn’t been able to see my friend before leaving! Make sure to take a little bit of time to have a proper goodbye.
15. Check the packing list you made before coming to BurlyCon.
Do you still have all your items? Is there something you’re forgetting like the extra jacket that’s been in the lost-and-found all week? Figure it out before you’re halfway home! Have a safe trip home and we can’t wait to see you next year!