As many of you already know, we will be attending Walker Stalker Nashville this year. This will be my third Walker Stalker Convention and I think it’s safe to say I’m addicted. I love Walker Stalker the way I love Richonne. And y’all know how much of a Richonne shipper I am so that’s a whole lot of love. Though you can definitely catch much of the cast at other conventions, Walker Stalker’s focus is all things TWD. So here’s a list of a few thaaangs to help you survive your first Walker Stalker Convention.
-Know what your ticket gets you. There are 4 ticket levels at varying price points available for WSC: General Admission, VIP, Gold, and Platinum. Though Gold and Platinum certainly come with their perks, they also come with a higher price tag. Let me let you in on a little secret. With the right planning, you can likely still achieve many of your WSC dreams with a VIP or GA ticket. Additionally, now that WSC has implemented pre paying for autographs for big names like Norman Reedus, that helps to reduce your wait times. If you have general admission and all you want in the world is to stand next to Norman for 5 seconds and breathe in his rugged beauty, purchase a photo op. Also, beware that Andrew Lincoln typically only attends the Atlanta and London conventions.
-Pour some Bisquick and do some good! Make sure to bring some Bisquick or another nonperishable item to Michael Cudlitz’s booth for his food drive. Though Bisquick is a popular items to bring, you can also bring things like fruit juice boxes and canned vegetables.
-Maybe don’t wear the stilettos. You will be standing in line a lot. There’s a line to get in. A line for photo ops. A line for autographs. A line for food. A line for the bathroom. You get the picture. Those 6 inch stilettos may make you stand tall next to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but they will make your life miserable. Plan accordingly.
-Cash me outside. But for real. Get your cash from anywhere but the ATM inside the convention center to avoid hefty fees. Remember, all autographs and table photos are cash only. Prices vary by attendee so come with more than you think you need. Because when you see that Ross Marquand will make a video for you while doing a Matthew McConaughey impression you are gonna give the WSC gods all your money.
-You have to take at least one table selfie. My vote is always with either Josh McDermitt or Michael Cudlitz. Both have a penchant for taking hilarious selfies and taking time with their fans. Also, they give the best hugs. Don’t take my word for it. DO IT!
-Pack snacks like you’re preparing for the apocalypse. Because you never know if the lines for refreshments will be insane/if the zombie plague might occur while you’re waiting in line for a $15 sandwich. And if it does happen, you already have a great talking point for convincing Steven Yeun to join your very own Survivors Club.
-Thou shalt not bite Norman Reedus. Or kiss, or grope, etc, etc. It’s an emotional moment. I get it. 😉 You’ve been planning your wedding to Norman since he had the dark emo hair in season 4. But so has every other female in the building. So let’s keep the honeymooning in our heads and hide our crazy, k?
-Meet and greets are short. Notice this is called a Meet and Greet. Not a Meet and Bare Your Soul for half an hour. Some guests are able to take more time with their fans. However guests like Melissa McBride who are there for one day only, will likely move very quickly. If there is someone you really want to meet, hit their line first. Prepare your heart with one thing you really want to say to them. Introduce yourself. Say hi. They are people too. They just happen to be really really really cool people.
-Photo Ops are fast. Read that sentence again. Your photo op is now over. That’s how fast it is. This is not a meet and greet. Don’t even think about asking for an autograph. Many guests do welcome fans to have fun with their photo ops and many choose to pose creatively. If you have something special in mind, be prepared to tell the celebrity quickly or show them a photo on your phone as an example. Then throw that phone down FAST. I cannot reiterate this enough, guys. Be prepared to move quickly. Have everything off of you that you don’t want in the picture and place it on the table in the photo op area. Also, find out ahead of time if the guest you want to take a picture with allows cosplay weapons if that’s something you are in to. Some guests do not allow anything resembling a weapon. Please be respectful of their boundaries!
-Take in a panel! Depending on who you want to meet/how many folks you want to meet, you can spend several hours of your day in line. But one of the great things about WSC is getting to take in the panels. Cast members take fan questions and give you a behind the scenes look at The Walking Dead.
-Do a lap around the convention floor and visit the vendors. There are so many! I’m not just talking about buying t shirts, though you can certainly find some great ones. Make sure to check out the Zombie Charm School booth where you can take photos with some of the best TWD cosplayers around including The Daryl Dude.
-Dress to impress! Cosplayers are one of my favorite parts about convention life. I have seen some amazing ones. Some of my favorites include the little kiddos dressed like our favorite survivors.
-Download the Walker Stalker Con app. From there you can access the full schedule of events and plan your days accordingly. Here’s the thing. If you don’t have anything you are dying to accomplish, by all means, be spontaneous and do everything on the fly! In my experience though, you will enjoy yourself more if you have at least some kind of loose plan.
-Make new friends! This is without a doubt my favorite part of the whole thang. I met my first WSC friend while standing in line to meet Tom Payne in Nashville in 2016. We then had lunch and discussed our love for our favorite show. Cindy is now one of my favorite people on the planet. There is a whole community of fans out there that is just as obsessed as we are. The Walking Dead fandom is one of the most loyal. Not just to the show and its cast, but to each other. I have made so many beautiful friends because of this show and this convention that I will be a WSC devotee for as long as they continue to have them.
For a complete list of guests attending WSC Nashville, click here. For venue information click here.
For hotel information, click here. You may also want to check out the FAQ on their website. For information regarding photo ops, visit Celeb Photo Ops.