Staying Fresh at Expos and Cons, or How Not To Smell Like A Swamp Monster On The Show Floor

We posted this on our old website in prior to Star Wars Celebration and the 2017 D23 Expo and wanted to share the info with those attending the 2019 D23 Expo! Some of the Amazon links may no longer work, but suggested similar items will appear in their place!

One of the things that plagues Conventions is the tales of olfactory abuse. We all expect a convention to be loud and noisy,  many of us think that the tales of “odor and funk” are just a played up myth or beaten into the group joke. But, because many people sleep overnight in lines for multiple days in a row, and do not leave the location the Expo or Convention is being held at for days at a time for any reason, sadly this myth is in fact a very gross reality. But with the proper planning, we can make this gross reality a thing of the past!

Rules to remember: 

  • Less is more
    When it comes to body spray and perfume, less is more. Drenching yourself in these items does not resolve any “funk” issues you may be trying to mask. They actually make the situation worse.
  • The 5-2-1 Rule
    I recently learned of the ” 5-2-1 Rule of Cons” while researching the upcoming Star Wars Celebration event. This rule reminds you that you should have at least 5 hours of sleep a night, 2 good meals, and 1 shower per day. The article I read on this topic reminded readers that “the key words here are “at least” and “per day.” This is the one time where more is better!
  • Change is good
    Bring a change of t-shirt and/or undergarments. Keep these in a Ziploc in your bag so that they are easy to find when you need to put them on, but also so that you avoid those potential embarrassing moments of your dirty gutchies falling out when you go to grab a Sharpie. Also remember to refresh your fabrics with some Febreeze when needed.

Have a “Go Bag!”
Travel size items are your friend at conventions because they take up little space and are easy to carry.  They also can make staying fresh and clean easy. A go bag will not only hold your travel size items in your regular bag during the Expo or Convention, it can also become a place to stash those little bits and pieces that you want to keep together in your luggage on your way home. Below I have assembled several useful items for your “Go Bag” that can be found in local stores or in online shops like Amazon. To help you save money I have found items that can either be used multiple times or have multiple single use items in the same package, making it easy for you to replenish your go bag for the next convention.
Because Amazon Prime offers free shipping and makes shopping so easy, I opted to use Amazon to help me showcase the “Go Bag” example items in this article. You can obviously buy your items where ever you want. 

Assembling your “Go Bag” 
The easiest way to create your “Go Bag” is to start with a small zipper pouch. If you want to go basic, a gallon size Ziploc will also work. Here are a few cute options I found that might work for you.

Star Wars Rogue One Rebel Debossed Clutch Zipper Pouch 

Star Wars The Force Awakens Multi Character Pencil Case by Loungefly

Disney Travel Cosmetic Pouch Bag Storage Zippered Canvas Tote Makeup Toiletry 

Marvel Cute Iron man Canvas Zipper Wallet pouch with strap 

Once you have found the perfect “Go Bag” you will want to fill it with the inexpensive must have travel-size or single use stay fresh items I am about to share with you. These items will help you stay fresh and clean smelling throughout the day.

Shower Wipes
Just because you won’t go shower, doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to shower during the Expo or Convention. You would be amazed at the number of options there are for space saving, inexpensive individually wrapped shower wipes! Here are just a few of the options out there! And because these shower wipes come in individual use packaging, you will be prepared for multiple events.

  • ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipes – $9.99 for a 10 count
    These extra thick, works like a “washcloth” to clean your entire body with just 1 wipe. FDA approved formulation is scientifically proven to kill 99.99% of germs including staph & ringworm. 
  • On The Go Towels Shower Refresh Large Shower Wipes – $9.99 for a 10 count
    10 x 12 inch towel with 70 GSM hypoallergenic large shower wipes that clean, cool, moisturize and deodorize. These no rinse paraben free bath wipes, closest thing to a shower.
  • GoodWipes – Deodorizing Body Biodegradable Wipes – $9.99 for a 10 count
    10 Individually wrapped wipes for women pH balanced, alcohol-free, and hypoallergenic so your skin won’t dry out or get sticky. Cleanse your face, chest, back, pits, legs, and feet with these extra large and durable 9.5 x 11.5 wipes. 
  • Flushable Bathroom Wipes – $9.99 for a 30 count
    These convenient, flushable personal bathroom wipes fit into your purse or wallet to keep your privacy discreet to let you stay fresh! For use throughout your day to keep fresh and clean at the gym, office, home or out on the town.

This is another one of those items that I find can be excluded from the “less is more” rule. Before you leave your room and head to the Expo or Convention, make sure you apply deodorant. Then throughout the day as you pop into the restroom for bathroom breaks, take a moment and reapply said deodorant using the travel size deodorant in your Go Bag. By the way, this application rule applies to the ladies and the gentlemen! 
Just to be safe make sure put your travel size stick deodorant in a Ziploc bag before placing it in your Go Bag. This will help ensure that if the lid comes off (or it is super hot) that your deodorant won’t get on the other items in your bag. While researching this article I found out that there even single use wipe options for Deodorant! 

Brushing your teeth at cons is a must do. Whenever you eat or drink take a moment to keep your teeth shiny white for photos. This will also help ensure you don’t become the strange character portrayed on “Con Man.” It used to be that you would have to carry around a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, but now thanks to the creation of the disposable mini-brush you have several options! Don’t forget! You also want to remember to take a brush or comb so that you can brush your hair to keep it photo op ready!

First Aid Items/ Germ Stoppers
No one wants to get hurt or sick at a convention, but there are a lot of people in a small place, so germs will spread and accidents can happen. To save yourself time in the First Aid area opt to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best by having some basic First Aid items in your Go Bag. 

Random Items
The items below are just a few random items that will help get you through the next Convention or Expo smelling and looking great that really didn’t fall under a set category. Out of respect for those sitting next to you remember that you want to keep your clothes and costume smelling good and fresh. To ensure your photos are crisp and your vision crystal clear make sure you keep your screens and glasses clean. And while we know you don’t want to share the restroom with thousands of other people, it doesn’t mean you should forget how to keep your personal space fresh and clean.

Finally remember this… It is OK to leave the event and go to your hotel (or home) to shower and sleep. Say it with me as I know many of you are shocked I am saying/writing these words. “It is OK to leave the event to shower and sleep.”
As much as we all hate to admit it, you can’t possibly be at every event and panel a convention has to offer, there are too many things to do and see and there is just so many hours in the day. By taking the time to make sure you have showered and slept in a safe and clean environment, you are making sure you will be freshly rested, and not offending the noses of those around you. While I know the concept of missing even a second of a convention or expo is ludicrous to many, I can tell you from experience sleeping on a bed and having a shower makes an Expo or Convention so much more enjoyable. You are awake, alert, and you find that you don’t have swamp monsters chasing after you thinking that the odor creeping out from under your clothes is a mating call of some sort. 
Most importantly please remember respect those around you, be safe and to have fun!