So it’s been going around tumblr, cos.com, twitter, and just about every social media platform I follow. The need for a ‘recovery and repair’ room, somewhere to sit, take a breather. Get a glass of water. Or simply to just get away from the crowds and the photographers if only for a few minutes. It’s there. But what do people really want? What do they need??
If your local convention had one of these recover and repair room / tables, what would you like to see in it???
Water. It’s HARD AS HECK to find water services at con sometimes, and they’re often empty. Basic sewing kits with white and black thread, maybe a few primaries. Hot glue. Crazy glue. BANDAIDS. Bobby pins. Hairspray.
Less physical but also helpful: A list of the planned photoshoots and locations at the con. If the con program has a map of the nearby food options, have that on a wall somewhere - if not, make a quick list.
Maybe: Cookies. The one thing about offering food is it gets all sorts of a)not wanting people to stay and just eat and use it as a food source and b) mess and so I’d rather just see water. Maybe juice if you want to go ALL OUT.
HEAR HEAR on the water!
I would also love to see cell-phone charging stations and power strips.
If the venue/con rules allow, over-the-counter painkiller and cough drops would also be fantastic!
Both Cos & Effect and Sakuracon had ‘cosplay repair stations’ with some seating and a staff member or two!
From my experiences volunteering at Cos & Effect, Mini Maker Faire and some gaming events - food is probably not managable. It tends to be hard enough to keep volunteers fed and they are 1) a largely known quantity and 2) actually working for it. Likewise juice, though water is probably easy enough to arrange. Depends on the venue - if venue staff are refilling it’ll probably work out better than con staff running around.
Costume Repair: Safety pins, sewing needles, scissors, one of those multi-packs of ten colors of thread, super glue, hot glue + plenty of sticks, wood glue, duct tape, masking tape, cellophane tape, string
Hair and Makeup Repair: Spirit gum + remover, make-up remover wipes, cheap stockings in a few colors (double as wig caps!), teeny hair elastics, thicker hair elastics, hairspray, hairpins, bobby pins.
If there is space/materials for it, curtaining off a corner or two as changing booths is really helpful for people not staying on-site - otherwise it’s commute in full costume or change in a public bathroom of unknown cleanliness.
Medical supplies (yeah, even bandaids) should probably be in a staffed, marked first aid room with a trained attendent, both for liability reasons and because then you can have stuff like sugar tablets for diabetics without the supply being depleted by hungry congoers. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen a well-marked first-aid room at a con - we had a tent for it at Mini Maker Faire, though.