When you go to a comic book convention, it might seem a little confusing. There are a lot of people there—many in costume—and virtually all are rabid fans of something. Sometimes, us geeks have trouble knowing how to react in certain situations; other times we're at a loss on how to act appropriately. So I've put together this list of helpful tips you can use to navigate safely through Salt Lake Comic Con without embarrassing yourself or upsetting anyone else.
Stay positive. People are here to celebrate their fandoms, which could be anything. Think twice before taking a crap on something you don't like because the person behind you might love it. If you can stick to what you love, you're celebrating your passion and you'll make a lot more friends that way.
If you're going to cosplay, don't dress up as something racist or sexist. It's pretty simple. Avoid blackface, cultural appropriation or things in poor taste that always make great BuzzFeed lists of most offensive Halloween costumes. For that matter, don't even speak or think sexist, racist or otherwise bigoted thoughts. Think about Star Wars or Doctor Who, and you'll be fine.
When meeting artists or writers you love, do your best to buy something from them (and I'd say that even if I weren't a writer myself). It costs a lot of money to travel to a show and meet fans. They love hearing how big of a fan you are, surely, but they love having you help support their livelihood even more.
If you see an artist whose work or lifestyle you find yourself offended by, don't stop and take umbrage with the artist. Just move along. We're supposed to be a welcoming city, and we need to ensure that the celebrities, artists and writers who come to Salt Lake Comic Con have a great time so they'll want to come back—and tell their friends to come as well.
For the most part, cosplayers love having their pictures taken with you, all you need to do is ask. When you're taking the picture, don't put your hands anywhere that could possibly be considered a problem. And if the person you're hoping to take a picture with refuses to take a picture with you, understand that being in costume is hot and exhausting. They might just need a break. Don't take offense.
When you're at a panel and you have a question, ask it quickly and concisely. Make sure it actually ends in a question mark. The panelists in attendance are experts in their fields. If you were the expert, you'd be on the panel, so your personal diatribe might be best left to a blog post about the event.
If you're in a celebrity spotlight panel, don't ask for personal requests, and don't ask the same questions you hear over and over and over again if you've watched any interviews with said celebrity. You're in a room full of other people who want to have a one-of-a-kind experience, and you asking for a hug or an autograph isn't what they had in mind.
Don't argue with the volunteers. Conventions are overseen mainly by volunteers. They're working hard in trade for their own convention experience. They don't have all the answers, and they're not getting paid to deal with your crap. Be courteous to them, and they will do everything they can to help you. Be a jerk and yell at them, and they probably won't go out of their way to help you at all.
There are 100 other tips I could give you in order to maximize your experience and make it more pleasant for everyone, but really it all comes down to this: Don't be a dick. That's it. Not only will that bit of wisdom get you through Comic Con, it'll probably get you through life pretty well, too.