Thursday, July 29, 2010

Christmas in July: Blackhawks Convention

It's that time of year again, the Blackhawks Convention. The worst and best weekend of the year. No matter how experienced you are with these things, you always end up hating every person you see by the end of the day. It's a given.

What you need to know for your first Convention:

-Autographs: The bigger the player, the bigger the line. A single autograph can take up your whole day, like waiting close to six hours for Toews. During your wait, you'll run into forty year old men who can get vicious for a signature or the young girls decked out in their six inch heels and tiny dress. You finally reach the end and you have your two seconds with your favorite player. This could be the greatest moment but if you're not dying for the autograph just skip the whole experience. Heard they'll be doing the wristbands this year, which is wonderful. The White Sox use the wristbands for their convention and it works perfectly. It will make everything very less stressful knowing you are guaranteed an autograph. Also, less arguments between the workers and the fans.

-Photos: Personally, I would rather have my photo taken with a player than their autograph. I think most people feel this way, which is why the lines are usually longer. An important thing is to find out the price before you get in line. You won't be too happy when you realize you have to pay $25 dollars for the photo. It also tends to be a bit of an awkward experience with the player sitting and you standing. I don't know maybe it's just me. Just make sure to have your camera on you, you never know when you might run into a player during the weekend. That's always the best.

-Panels: This is where I plan on spending my whole weekend. The panels are the best way to go. The personalities on the team always make these fun and hilarious. There's some great stories that come out of them too. The go to one is the Second City on Opening Night at 8:00 pm. It's a must. You'll probably have to skip the Opening Ceremony. Last year, the people who didn't make it into the Opening all got in line for the Second City. You can see a list of all the panels here.

-Opening Ceremony: Probably the hardest event of the weekend to get into. It starts at 5:00 pm on Friday. You most likely won't even be able to get in if you come an hour early. They shut the doors once the room is full but for some reason people still line up thinking they can get in. If you come late and see a line ignore it. Your best bet is too get a spot in front of the TV in the lobby, because once everyone in the pointless line realizes it's pointless will be dying to get in front of the TV. The TV will be showing the Opening Ceremony. If you want a spot in the Grand Ballroom get there early. When people say early in Convention terms, they mean EARLY.

-The most annoying part: The last two conventions, especially last year, were very unorganized. I'm crossing my fingers they have cleaned it up a bit. A little rundown of the layout, there are three main rooms. One is the autographs, they're all in the same room which can get a little crazy. Second is the shopping/photos, this where you can buy team memorabilia and some of the photos stages are set up here too. Third is the activity room, this is where the food is located and a bunch of other small things. The activity room is where you can go to breath, it's usually not as crowded. Now let me get to the annoying part. If you leave the autograph room, which is connected to the shopping room, you have to get back in line to get back in. That may have sounded super confusing, but if you gotta use the bathroom you're going to have to wait in a long line to get back to where you were. Remember, all of this may have changed from last year (I hope). It's just a little warning in case it hasn't.

-Food: The food they have is your basics: pizza, hot dogs, nachos, etc. The prices are little high, so you might as well just go outside the hotel. It's nice to get some fresh air and plus you have every food chain at your finger tips in the loop.

-Shopping: This is where you'll happily waste all your money. They have nice little booths set up of different stores. They sell tons of photos, clothing, and other memorabilia. It's the place to be in between autographs and panels. The prices are usually pretty good too.

-Bottom line: Long lines. Very long lines. You'll be waiting in a line for everything you do. Bring an ipod, crosswords, or a coloring book. Just something to keep you entertained and from losing your mind.

Can't really think of any other info to give you. If you have any questions just leave a comment. No matter what it's a great experience, I mean I keep coming back. It should be even better this year with them being the Stanley Cup Champions. Don't forget to have fun! Check back because I will post a run down of the whole weekend.

Some photos from last year:

Sharp at Second City

Seabs, Sharp, and Burish at Second City

Burish at Second City

Me having one of the best moments of my life

This speaks for itself

Videos from Second City:


  1. So this is my 1st Convention for the shopping part will you need cash or do the little shops take credit cards?
    From what you said above obviously Kanes signing line is probably going to be a million feet long would it just be a better idea to skip out on it and go to the panels?
    Also what goes on during the Opening Ceremony vs.Second City?
    Sorry for all the questions im just trying to gather as much info as possible to make my experience as good as possible. =)

  2. Just want to say that I am a huge fan of your blog and I read it all the time. Thanks for all the convention info. Last year was my first year and it was pretty overwhelming and the lines were frustrating at times. This year I took your advice and skipped the opening ceremony - instead I got in line before 5pm for Second City (which I missed last year). I got great seats and it was SO worth it! Thanks again!

  3. Miranda- Sorry to get to your comment so late but today they were taking credit cards for the shopping.
    As you must know already Kane isn't signing. The panels are really worth the time so I would go to those for sure
    Sorry again!

    Chris-Thanks so much!! I was also at the Second City, which was hilarious! Happy you got to go!

  4. No Problem i think i did pretty well for my 1st one well no my 1st convention but this was my 1st Hawks one.
    I actually won a signing with Kane on Friday so i missed Second City but it was well worth!
    and today i made it to all the panels i wanted to go through. So im happy about that.
    Thank you for all the info & i love your blog!

  5. Thanks so much! Congrats on the Kane autograph!