this is a guide to fully prepare you for almost everything you’ll experience in a creation supernatural convention.
THE TICKETS & WHAT THEY MEAN
every ticket offers different perks. here’s a run through of what they each mean, in order from most exclusive to most common.
vip passes - these are a limited number of passes auctioned off at least a month prior to the convention. they give you the ability to cut in line for photo ops and autographs. you also get to meet and greet with every guest for ten minutes before they go onstage for their panel. you still need to buy an admission ticket to have a seat at the convention, however.
gold passes - these are the best ticket packages available. most importantly, they offer you the best seats in the house. the first rows are all gold seats. they also include complimentary autographs with more than half the guests attending the conventions. in addition, gold ticket holders are the only ones invited to the exclusive saturday night cocktail party, as well as the sunday morning breakfast with jensen & jared (or jared & misha depending on the con). you’re also guaranteed free admission to any scheduled concert the convention may offer. you even get to get your autographs before any others, since they call autographs up row by row.
silver passes - these are the seats behind the gold rows. they’re still a great view, and they also include a package of autographs as well. these are a good package because you’re next in line for autographs after the gold tickets.
preferred day passes - specifically for one day’s admission, they give you a reserved seat all day, so you always have a place to sit.
general admission - these tickets give you access to the convention, but do not reserve you a specific seat. you’re still guaranteed a place to sit, but it’s wherever’s available.
PREPARING FOR THE CONVENTION
here is a quick outline of how i prepare for a convention.
budget is important to keep in mind, because things can add up pretty fast. know exactly which photo ops you can afford, firstly. i buy my seat first. gold seats go quicker than others, especially the better views, so that would be the first purchase. then, since jensen photo ops and autographs are notoriously first to sell out - buy those as soon as you can. i would recommend doing the same for jared autographs and photo ops as well. there is a $7.75 fee for every single thing you buy on the creation site, and yes that is per item. so two photo ops = $15.50 in fees and so on and so forth. so, any j & j photo and auto tickets are the only things i will buy online. and - if they announce limited runs of photo ops like the previously offered mark/misha or misha/jim etc, i buy those just in case as well. the rest i recommend buying at the convention - where you do not have to pay any $7.75 fee. they are the flat price of what the photo op is said to cost.
meet and greets go up for auction before the convention takes place, usually a month or two beforehand. keep an eye on the site every once in a while to see if they get posted. they will get expensive sometimes, so keep that in mind.
if you’re buying a flight, i recommend buying it at least six months prior to the conention to get a good price. you can find great prices to compare on cheapflights.com. as for booking the hotel, make sure you get a reservation in early, as the rooms have booked out of the special supernatural rate before. if you’re flying in and the city has more than one airport, aim for the one the hotel is named after - as they will provide a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel! if you’re looking for room mates, follow this tumblr, leave a submission in the ask box and i’ll be able to share it around for people who also might potentially need roomies. check out twitter too, there are always congoers on twitter!
plan on arriving thursday night sometime, since everything starts bright and early friday morning.
things i would recommend you do on thursday evening - PREPARE! this is your last breath until sunday night so be sure you have everything you need. if you’re buying food and alcohol and props and such before the convention - this is the perfect time to do it. you won’t have to rely on pricey hotel food & drinks, and you’ll eat things you might actually want. the hotel room has a fridge!
if your convention offers thursday registration…. registration is the simple process of all the attendees lining up to change in their printed tickets for lanyard passes and wristbands. they will always have registration open first for gold tickets, then silver, and then general admission. if you get there late, and you’re gold - it’s okay. you can just jump in line like normal. you’ll also be able to sign up to upgrade your seat for next year’s convention if you’re gold - the last event on sunday night usually. if there are any meet and greet spots open you might be able to buy a seat, however, they will usually let you buy those quickly to get your spot open - but that’s IF there are any left.
the day will play out according to the schedule that they’ll post at the convention. when you register, they’ll hand you a weekend schedule to follow and keep tabs on what’s going on where. here’s a little guide as to what to expect out of each activity the schedule offers
photo op & autograph ticket purchases - if you have photo ops with jared and jensen, they’ll ask you to trade in the printed pdf tickets for the colorful paper ones. it might sound like a strange procedure, but it’s to make the sunday photo ops (of which there are so many!) go quicker and smoother, so they don’t have to scan the barcodes and run the risk that there’s a glitch with so many people in line. depending on how busy registration is, you may be allowed to purchase additional photo ops and autograph tickets. if it’s too busy, don’t worry. come back in a few hours when registration is over and they’ll be more than ready to help you out. just jump in line when you’re ready to buy (if there are a lot you want, have a prepared list ready to save time and make sure you get everything) and let them know which ones you want. they’ll give you a total and you can pay in either cash or credit/debit card. if a guest you already have a ticket for has cancelled, they will trade it for equal value of another ticket as well.
panels - throughout the day there are panels for each of the guests. depending on who it is, the panel usually runs somewhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour. you’ll sit in your assigned or general admission seat as the actor or actress answers questions and shares stories. if you want to ask a question, just line up at the microphones on either side of the stage. but be quick! for the more popular guests the lines will get very long - very fast. when asking a question, there’s a few things to keep in mind. try not to ask for hugs or simply go up there to profess your love for the show and the characters (we all love it!), as the creation staff frowns on it. if it’s a question that might make the guest uncomfortable, please don’t ask it. that usually pertains to personal questions, questions about projects that the guest may not want to talk about (spoilers, Karla, etc), and questions about fanfiction. Try and make your questions interesting and original! They become the most memorable ones all weekend!
photo ops - generally speaking, after a panel ends for a guest, their photo op follows soon after. not always, but most of the time. if you have a certain pose or prop, make sure you have it with you! the photo ops go quickly, so you want to be prepared. photo ops are a tricky business. as much as we’d like to have all the time in the world with the celebrity, to say our hellos and have a personal experience as well as getting a good photo - we just don’t get that chance. don’t let that discourage you from doing one, because they are once in a lifetime chances. just don’t get your hopes up for something that isn’t exactly like that. here’s the rundown. you wait in line for a bit before you get to the door of the designated photo op room. you’ll be asked to leave your bags on a table so you don’t have to have anything in the picture. you can even leave your lanyard passes there as well - the staff keep a close eye on your possessions. if you’re choosing to bring a prop - make sure it’s something that doesn’t use up a huge chunk of time in the photo op room. it’s hard to tell what they’ll allow or not into the room because i have personally seen so many different scenarios, so if they say you can’t take it in, you’ll have to listen to them. have a plan b if you’re worried about your original idea. things they’ll usually let in - hats, accessories, items that can be held. things they don’t always allow - anything that they have to wear, signs, and complicated items. the reason is that time is of the essence for everyone to get their chance. the schedule runs tightest in the bigger conventions due to the volume of fans, so expect it if the staff tells you whatever you want to do isn’t going to fly. especially for jared & jensen photos. those are the fastest and craziest. so, when you get to the door and dump your stuff, you’ll join the mini line waiting for their picture. they’ll rip or scan your ticket, and then it’s your turn at bat. don’t be shy! go right up to the guest and introduce yourself, and ask for what you want in the photo. if they don’t feel comfortable doing whatever it is, they’ll politely ask for something else - but otherwise they’re usually game for it! especially if it’s funny. they have a lot of fun doing different poses with you, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. the language on the creation site is very confusion about props and hugs. you can absolutely get hugs in your pictures. what they’re trying to say is please do not ask for a hug, then take the picture doing something else, then ask for a hug again. if we had all the time in the world, they’d allow it, but since something like that would take a minute to do for each person, photo ops would take hours.
over the course of the convention, the photo ops will be ready to be picked up. usually someone will announce it between panels, but they will also have a sheet at the photo op room of what times to expect your photos to be printed. when they’re printed, they’ll be laid out on a table near the photo op room sectioned by the guest in the photos. however, if you see the staff still setting out photos, please don’t hover over them or snatch your photo out until they’re finished. they’re just doing their job, even if it’s later than the promised time please have patience. if you don’t get your photo, make sure it’s definitely not on the set table before you ask a staff member. this rarely happens, but it always could. sometimes there are too many photos to humanly get printed in time for you to pickup - especially on sundays. they’ll let you know ahead of time, and give you a sheet telling you what to do in that situation. basically, a certain number of weeks later, the photos will be up on their website in small thumbnails. write down those photo numbers and send an email to the address on the sheet they provided with your address and photo numbers. they’ll mail you out a copy sometime over the next few weeks. it takes a long time to get mailed to you, please be aware. there is always a way to get a copy of your photo op however, on sunday night, which i will explain in a bit.
meet & greets - these are exclusive events for ten or twenty fans over the weekend. the seats were auctioned off months prior to this convention, but sometimes one or two spots will still be available when you register. the times and locations were sent to the winning bidders, as well as posted on the schedule so you’ll know where to go and when. here’s what to expect in your meet and greet. you’ll go to the room at the appointed time, and someone will either ask to see your invoice or your name on any kind of identification to let you into the room. for all the guests except jared and jensen, you’ll be sitting around a round table with 9 other attendees. at some point, the guest will join you as well - and your hour begins then, so don’t worry if they’re late. they’ll sit at the table with you, and the meet and greet begins. you’re encouraged to introduce yourself, ask anything, say anything appropriate. you can’t take pictures, and there will be a staff member there to make sure. it’s a nice personal experience with the guest, and worth every minute. and if you’re in richard or misha’s, prepare for adventure. if you are in jared or jensen’s, it’s a little different. twenty people will be in the room with you, with seats arranged in two rows of a semi-circle. the seats are numbered and you draw numbers from a bag determining where you sit. these meet and greets are a half hour, and you get to ask them questions and have a more personal conversation than questions during the panel. if you’re one of the lucky few in any of the meet and greets, have fun! enjoy yourselves. IF YOU HAVE A SCHEDULE CONFLICT such as a photo op at the same time - go to the photo op first. you will be allowed to cut to first in line due to your meet and greet. the same goes for autographs.
auctions - creation entertainment runs an auction every day of general television and film related items, as well as specific supernatural merchandise packs. they’ll also auction off banners hung around the ballroom of the guests that were on stage that day. if you bid on those and win, you’ll be given an autograph ticket as well - letting you get the huge banner signed. and you also get to cut the autograph line with the vip ticket holders!
the yes/no contest - creation has contestants go up on stage with a paper saying yes, and saying no. the host and audience members will ask yes or no questions about supernatural to try and test your knowledge. the questions get very tricky! whoever is left standing answering the questions correctly is the champion. the winner receives a gift certificate for creation merchandise.
the vendor’s room - you can stroll in here anytime it’s open and check out the merch for sale. there are usually a few independent sci-fi and genre vendors with things like signed 8x10s, comics, figurines and other memorabilia for all kinds of shows and movies. there are jewelry vendors, selling things based on supernatural lore, and there are tons of other kinds of things sold. there’s also the creation entertainment vendor, selling shirts, mugs, glasses, and other things. they also sell 8x10s of the guests attending, so you’ll be able to get something for autographs.
autographs - when the time for autographs comes, you should return to your seat. the first people in line for autographs are going to be the vip pass holders and the people who won the banner auctions. the autographs are usually set up into two different lines on either side of the stage. when your row is called OR your ticket number, you get up and start in one line. once you finish the autographs in that line, you move to the line on the other side. it’s a slow and tedious process with a lot of waiting, so be prepared for that. when you’re on deck for your autograph, either your gold or silver pass will receive a hole punch on either of the numbers on the top of the pass (each number is for a different guest’s autograph) or your separate ticket will be scanned. they will probably not offer personalization if the lines are too long, but if they do, there will be someone with a sticky pad asking how to spell your name. they’ll pass the sticky note to you to stick onto whatever you’re having signed, and you’ll move up the line to the guest. there are a few things to keep in mind. if you’re looking to take any pictures, you will not be allowed to. the line will move really quickly as well, so you won’t be able to have a lengthy discussion with the guest either. a staff member will count your autographs and pass your item to the guest to be signed. it’s a fairly quick moment, so if there’s something you’d like to say to the guest, be ready to say it! they’ll sign your item and it’s over and you get in the other line. if you have a pass AND another ticket, bring them all up together. you don’t have to get back in line just because they call the ticket numbers long after the passes. if you want to get in line with your friends and you’re all in different seats, it’s probably best to wait in line with the friend who has the furthest seat back, because cutting in line will be frowned upon.
possible concerts - after autographs are wrapped up, the band will take the stage. the admission is free for anyone with a gold pass, and a small ticket fee to anyone else. you’ll be sitting in your seat if you have one reserved, the same as panels, and finding one on your own if you’re general admission.
the karaoke party - one of the most outrageous regular events, the karaoke party is free to all. there is no reserved seating - and you’re encouraged to crowd the stage like any rock concert. the dj will take song reservations, and matt and richard will kick the night off. when your song gets called, make your way onto the stage and sing your heart out! if your friends are singing with you, all go up together! just have fun! if you’re getting a karaoke kings photo op, they’ll announce when it’s time to go to the photo op room mid-party. you hurry on down, wait in the line and get your photo just like any photo op. when that’s over, go right back to the karaoke party!
registration, panels, meet & greets and photo ops play out exactly as friday’s did. there are a few additional saturday events to go over.
the costume competition - if you’re planning on entering, make sure you know what time it’s scheduled for. you’ll need to plan accordingly if you’re changing into it, or plan on wearing the costume all day (why not!). the winner is chosen by an applause-o-meter (the crowd) and all contestants usually walk away with a supernatural mug for their efforts. the winner gets a gift certificate for creation merchandise.
the cocktail party - this is exclusive for gold passes only. it’s not an actual cocktail dress party, but i guess they needed to change the name from the dessert party, since last year they stopped offering dessert. when the time comes, just mosey on down to the appointed room. despite what it’s called, all ages will be let in! there will be a line until they let everyone in, usually - but you get to pick to sit wherever you want with your friends when you’re in. there’s some down time for you to get settled, get some drinks if you’re of age, chat with your friends or make new ones. if you have a centerpiece for the contest, get there early with it, because you get the first crack at a table. after all the guests have been brought down, they’ll all be announced and come out on the center stage. you’ll be able to take photos only while they’re on the stage - put your cameras away after that. each guest will be dispersed with a staff member and go from table to table to chat with everyone. be prepared for the guest to only be at your table for two or three minutes. there are a huge number of tables and if they took any longer they would be there for hours - and some guests have flights that night or early the next day so they simply can’t stay for hours and hours even if they really wanted to. after every guest has made their rounds, they’ll either head off or stick around to have fun! sometimes they’ll stick around to dance to the music, sometimes they have a flight to catch. but stay awhile, have a good time! but not too long because you have to be up at the crack of dawn the next morning….
sunday is a horse of a different color.
breakfast panel - early in the morning, the breakfast room will open for gold passes only. they’ll either call you up by table to get something to eat, or let people do it as they filter in. it’s varied as to what to expect. fruit, muffins, bagels, sometimes bowls of cereal. it depends on the hotel’s service and we’ve never been to this hotel before so i can only speculate. after everyone’s had some time to chat and eat, jared and jensen (or jared & misha) will arrive. they’ll be up on the little stage, introducing themselves and then taking questions from anyone who has one. it’s a nice, relaxed little panel.
photo ops - usually the first thing after that breakfast is getting photo ops going. the process will be very different from the ones all weekend. instead of lining up at the appointed time at the photo op room, they’ll instead ask photo op holders to line up by sections in the ballroom. usually they’ll do something like this : jensen only photos first, then the duo ops, then jared photos. sometimes somewhere in the middle, they’ll have jensen or jared’s meet and greets. if you’re in those, you get to cut the lines and be first for the photo ops. they’ll have you sit in sections dedicated to photo ops. so if you for example only have a jensen and a duo, you’d sit in jensen’s, and then get the photo, then come back and sit in the duo op section. if you only have one, just sit in that one section. if you and your friends are sharing photos, you have to stick together somehow. you need to be together in the line when the photo ops are coming up. i hope that doesn’t sound confusing, but it’s a slightly tricky process. IF you are a gold pass holder - you will not get an early crack at the photo ops because while you get the exclusive breakfast panel, the other attendees are already getting in line at the ballroom. if you’re vip, you still get to cut in line.
panels are about the same. expect a long line at the microphone! autographs will take extra long as well, since sunday is the most popular day.
sunday auction - usually slightly different. since it’s usually scheduled at the end of the evening, they’ll be auctioning off pre-signed banners this time. in addition to the usual headshot banners, they’ll be auctioning the giant banners on the sides of the stages and in the photo op rooms all signed by the entire cast attending. they are HUGE but awesome banners if you go for one.
sunday seat upgrades - exclusive to gold, its a chance to upgrade your seat closer up and secure your spot for next year. you’ll need to have the money to purchase this ticket on hand, be ready for it. they’ll call you up from the number you reserved at registration and go from there. if you’re sitting with friends, sign up together!
digital photo op copies - this is one of the last things all weekend. if you want your photo ops burned onto a cd by our photographer, go to the photo op room at the appointed time. before you go, know which photos you want to have on the disc. if you already have printed copies, write the number down at the corner of the photo ahead of time. he’ll locate it much faster. if the photo you want on the disc isn’t printed yet, just tell him which guest the photo is with and he’ll find it for you. one at a time he’ll pull up the photo ops and burn them onto a cd for you. the cost is $10 a photo, so be prepared for $80 bucks for 8 photos on a disc. the process is slow, so the line will not move very quickly. RECENTLY, our devoted photographers CD drives burned out. as of burcon, he has been asking guests instead to provide their numbers and an email address to email your jpegs to, instead of being alb to burn a cd. Or, if you have one handy I would recommend bringing a usb stick!
and that about covers everything you’re going to run into at the convention! i hope this helps you know what to expect and to see you there!