Last year I went to my first homeschool convention. Then I went to my second in the same year. I realize that doesn't make me an expert but I did learn a few things.
1. Have a game plan.
I went to two different venues last year. I highly suggest you print out schedules and have an idea of what sessions you don't want to miss. Come up with some sort of highlight system. The time will move very fast and you will be in a new surrounding. There isn't a lot of time to think on your feet about where you want to go or who you want to see.
2. Decide before you go how much shopping you will do at convention.
Exhibitor hall is designed to be appealing. The Vendors want to sell you their product. Make a budget and a list. I also suggest you give yourself just a little money for a splurge. There will be something amazing there you have to have so plan for it!
3. Dress Comfortable and bring bags!
You will be on your feet a good bit of the day. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Think in layers. Air conditioning can be cold but in the vender hall it might be hot.
Also important is to bring a large enough bag to carry your notebook, pen and water. You might want something big enough to put some of your purchases in too.
4. Don't waste Vendor's time.
I know this sounds weird but honestly they are there selling their product. If you already know you are going to order online then don't take up all their time. If you legitimately want to know about the product then go ahead and ask away.
5. Arrive early and plan on staying late.
Don't let a lack of time be an issue. Make this event the priority of the day. You won't feel so overwhelmed if you aren't rushing.
6. Don't forget to stop by the used book sale.
There are great deals to be had at the used sale. You can even volunteer at most conventions and get in the used sale early. If your are on a tight budget this might be a big game plan for you!
Hope these tips help you when planning your first convention trip. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will be happy to help!
Also be sure to click on the graphic below to see more post on Homeschooling Conventions from the Crew!