You survived the trip and you’re here! The first usual order of business once you’re on site is getting checked in and settled in your room. I can already tell you that you’re going to need another towel, and maybe another pillow too. Next, we’ll help you get settled in:
• If we happen to pass a housekeeper's cart on the way to my room, we’ll grab an extra bath towel as we pass by. We’re not taking it home, but we know the usually wafer thin one they’ll supply won’t be enough for my roomie and me.
• If you’re not cool with creeping the maid’s cart, you can call the front desk and ask for extra towels, pillows, blankets, soap, or whatever else you need.
• It may seem high maintenance, but you’re the customer here, and by their very nature, hotels are a customer service industry. They’re here to serve you. Just remember to be polite, they’re people too.
• Keep in mind that gratuity greases the wheels of the service industry and you should expect to kick the bellhop at least a buck a bag for the trip to your room with an armload of stuff. The same goes for anyone who is going out of their way to help you out during your stay above and beyond the usual service.
• Whatever your food and beverage plan, it’s best to assess if you need anything (or forgot anything) before you dive right into the convention so it doesn’t become an emergency later.
• We’ll usually get a few of those 3-gallon store brand water jugs so we can ensure we’re drinking enough water by setting up a little fill station in the hotel room by the door. This way there’s a quick and easy place to fill up my water bottle every time we stop by my room which is another way to help keep yourself well-watered and the large containers are typically priced at a fraction of the cases of small bottles.
• We’ll also buy cans of seltzer to keep a stock of cold fizzy water because we find it easier to drink lots of to stay hydrated. House rule is that you have to take a water with you every time you leave the room, and finish it before you get where you’re going.
• If you brought a cooler (or bought one on your supply run), fill that sucker with beverages on the bottom layer before you add the ice to ensure good beverage density and quick cooling.
• If you didn’t bring a cooler, you can substitute a wastebasket from your room (use a clean liner so it doesn't leak quite as much), or even the sink in a pinch.
Lay of the Land
• After check-in, settling in to the room, and going on a supply run if necessary, check in and get your RollerCon badge goodie bag if you haven’t already. Remember to be friendly and polite to the volunteer staff, they’re people who love roller derby and are donating time just to help you.
• This is a good time to double check the schedule for any updates or additions as well against your calendar to ensure you’re completely up to date.
• If the event halls are open, familiarize yourself with where the various tracks are and where your favorite vendors are set up. The pool is another hot spot you’ll want to know how to get to as well.
Time how long it takes to walk from your room to the Event Halls to figure out if the timing on your schedule is realistic. When the weekend hits, add ten minutes to your time to allow for increased crowds. Arriving late is a bad look, and also you don't want to miss the events you've carefully planned to attend.
Not everyone is as amazing as your derby crush and your derby wife, so protect yourself and be watchful for others too. If you see some shenanigans going on, or if your Spidey sense tingles, then say something. Please.
• When you’re at RollerCon, travel in a pack just like on the track.
• Find a buddy and don’t go it alone even if you’re sober, and even if it’s a short trip away from the group. Never leave your friends alone either.
• Yes, the folks you just met may seem like derbybros4lyfe, but also keep in mind you just met and there is often more than meets the eye.
Safety Pro Tip:
Not every predator is a stranger.
• If you’re not comfortable saying something about weirdness you observe yourself, find someone in a RollerCon volunteer shirt, a hotel employee, security guard or similarly dressed official type person to help you. Keeping yourself and others safe helps preserve this great event for future you to enjoy!
Give yourself realistic “socializing” and “resting” time. If that 10am panel on Saturday is something you HAVE to go to…then maybe go easy on the adult beverages Friday night. The same goes if you’re signed up to skate a ton of challenge bouts, or if you had your heart set on skating The Strip. Make sure you build in some time to kick it and socialize to stand in for the time your body is usually recovering in between practices or games. Again, RollerCon is a marathon, not a sprint.