• Project SEAPonyCon: The six elements of attending a convention

    Project SEAPonyCon is coming and to make life easier for those going to a con for the first time or thinking about doing so they have come up with a neat guide covering six important elements of convention going.

    Check on after the break for the full guide!

    “The six elements of attending a convention”
    An editorial by Project SEAPonyCon

    Time flew by really quickly! It seems like it was just yesterday when we revealed Project SEAPonyCon to the world, now we’re just six months away from the Southeast Asia’s most anticipated pony convention. If you have not done so yet, it's not too late to plan your journey to Bangkok!

    Project SEAPonyCon isn't just for Southeast Asia - it's a convention by Southeast Asia for everyone and all are welcome. The convention will be held in English and features some of the best projects from the fandom born and bred in this part of the world.

    Before we get into it, remember that attending a convention requires a degree of financial discipline. Convention organisers all over the world go to great lengths to make these events happen but even then we can't please everyone.

    Many times we hear bronies complain and groan about the lack of a pony convention in their neighborhood. Going for a convention requires a conscious effort and no one can make that effort but yourself.
    Remember that pony conventions aren't like the Olympics. There is no grand central committee deciding which cities get to hold conventions and no one is battling for any rank or honour to hold one. They come about as the result of diligent and committed individuals putting their hearts and minds together to create something beautiful. All that’s left for you to do is to enjoy the party.

    Let's break down what you need to attend a convention! Here we have six main things to consider - Airfare, Transport, Lodging, Food, Admission and Spending.

    Face it, travelling by air isn’t cheap but sometimes it’s the only way to get to your destination. Despite irrational fears of flying, it still stands as one of the safest modes of transport and with the emergence of low cost carriers all around the world, the price of an air ticket has been reduced drastically.

    At the time of writing, many flights to Bangkok from around Southeast Asia hover around 150 USD (US Dollars) on average. Some flights from places like Changi, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are going for as low as 70 USD. It’s still a good time to lock-in your booking so don’t hesitate. You may miss out on these prices if you do!
    Bear in mind, however, that most budget airlines do not include check-in luggage in the base ticket fare. If you are considering shopping at the convention, you may need to either purchase a checked bag as an add-on to your flight ticket or choose an airline ticket that includes a checked bag. Do this in advance as it is often cheaper to pre-book a checked bag as opposed to doing it at the airport. Take note of weight limits as exceeding this may incur extra charges at the discretion of the airline.

    For Project SEAPonyCon, low-cost carriers typically land at the Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok. From there, buses are available to take you to the city centre.

    If you are travelling internationally, ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the departure date of your flight - this is a MUST by international standards. Be sure to check about immigration requirements and which countries your passport is valid to travel to. You may also need to apply for an entry permit or a visa so do this early - you don’t want to be caught without the right paperwork!

    Getting to the city is half the deal - the other is getting to exactly where you need to be - be it your accommodation or the convention centre.

    Unless you are travelling in a group, renting a car is not a viable option - at least not in Bangkok. Consider carpooling or splitting a cab. Ride-sharing services are also a fantastic option that can potentially be even cheaper than metered taxis. If you are travelling alone, taking the bus and/or the train is a great way to save.
    Should you be travelling to Don Mueang Int’l Airport, board the A1 bus outside the terminal and alight at the Mo Chit metro station. We advise you to install the Moovit application on your smartphone to help you with this as it will use the GPS (if available) to alert you on where to alight.

    If you are travelling from beyond Asia or flying a non-budget airline, chances are that you will land at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok instead. This airport has a railway station attached that can take you straight to the city centre.

    The closest metro/light rail stations to the convention venue are the Makkasan and Phetchaburi stations. The venue is a 10 minute walk away from them.

    Again, this is a case where one size does not fit all. Bangkok has a plethora of accommodations for travellers ranging from shared dormitories up to entire villas up for rent. Travelling in a group is always encouraged. Not only is it safer but you will be able to split the cost for accommodation should you prefer a hotel.

    The hotels within walking distance of the venue are rather posh and may not be suitable for the budget traveler. However, as the convention centre is located near a metro station, this opens up the options for travelers. If you are able to procure a room near any station on Bangkok’s integrated metro and light rail service, you will still have relatively easy access to the convention venue.

    Okay, we concede here. It’s hard to hold back on spending on food when you’re in one of the gastronomic capitals of Asia. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that splurging is a must.

    Street food is a part and parcel of Bangkok’s colourful culture. For the weekend, we advise setting aside about 50 USD for food and drink. It’s a generous estimate but it is best to safe than sorry.

    To our Muslim attendees, we advise setting aside a little more money as Halal food is not as abundant in Bangkok as it is in Malaysia or Indonesia. Consider packed food from supermarkets as an option - not only does it save you time and money but it is also convenient.

    Above all, packing a couple of packets of ramen or instant noodles would help you save on your food expenses and they are a really fast way to resolve late night hunger pangs without losing too much sleep. Plus, ramen parties with friends are really fun and a great way to spread the magic of friendship!

    A lot of thought went into deciding the ticket price for Project SEAPonyCon. From our initial promise of ensuring that the ticket price is below 50 USD, we finally set the ticket price at 1,000 Thai Baht or 28 USD.
    We promise that the tickets will be on sale at the door during the convention for this price as well. We know that not everyone has access to electronic banking, so we try not to discriminate.

    We also have an offer for those travelling in groups. If you pre-register in a group of 5-15, we have special discounts for you. We even have a ticket package for groups of 8 which include an apartment rental.
    At the time of writing, the online exclusive #FriendshipWithoutBorders campaign is still available, so here’s your chance to get your ticket to Project SEAPonyCon for just 900 THB - 10% off the usual price.

    Yes. We understand that Project SEAPonyCon is the most expensive Southeast Asian pony convention to date, and is the second most expensive in Asia, next to Japan PonyCon. Why does it cost so much?

    Project SEAPonyCon is aiming to raise the bar in Southeast Asia. After extensive planning and study trips to BronyCon and Trotcon among others, we want to bring the convention experience of the west to Asia and put our own signature twist on it. Hence this is why we went so far as to get a VA all the way from the other side of the world to attend our convention. Project SEAPonyCon will be Andrea Libman’s first trip to Asia, and it will also make Project SEAPonyCon the first pony convention in Asia to host a voice actor in person.

    So join us for this momentous occasion and make it memorable for everyone. Get your tickets now at http://tickets.SEAPonyCon.com

    A convention experience is priceless. Spending quality time with friends is also priceless. For everything else, however, there’s a price tag.

    How much you want to spend at a convention is entirely up to you. There are some things to consider, of course - one of them being autographs and photos with a VA.

    Contrary to popular belief, this is not free of charge. Autographs and photographs with VAs and show staff at pony conventions can cost 20-30 USD each.

    In the spirit of making the pony convention experience accessible to all, Project SEAPonyCon has secured a price of just 600 THB for a photo or autograph with Andrea at the convention. We completely signed away any profits for the convention that we could derive from autographs and photos and instead, passed the savings down to our attendees.

    Of course, one cannot forget the vendor halls and the vast variety of wares materialised by the amazing artisans of this fandom. It’s hard to resist buying everything that tickles your fancy so exercising restraint is important.
    Don’t forget that everything you buy will add to the load you carry. If you travelled by air to the convention make sure that your purchases do not cause you to exceed your baggage limit. The penalties and/or extra charges imposed by some airlines can be severe, to the point that you may have to leave some of your purchases behind instead.

    If you are looking for a memento of the event instead or looking for bargains, hold off visiting the vendor hall until the last day of the convention. Some vendors lower their prices drastically to clear their stocks so be there when that happens!

    That’s pretty much all there is to it! With six months left before Project SEAPonyCon, there’s still time to arrange everything you need. Don’t hesitate! The sooner you prepare, the better. Lock in your journey with us now and we’ll see you at Southeast Asia’s most anticipated pony convention!

    Project SEAPonyCon is happening from 19-20 August, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, check out http://SEAPonyCon.com, drop a Facebook message at http://fb.com/SEAPonyCon or tweet @SEAPonyCon. You can also email us at contact@SEAPonyCon.com.

    Twitter: Calpain