Summer Conventions Survival 101: How to face the heat in Artist Alley!

Summer is just around the corner, the solstice is fast approaching, and as much as the Italian weather seems rather uncertain at the moment (the current difference between the northern and southern climates is astonishingly large), we are confident of a future balance of temperatures on the nation's territory. This inevitably means considerable heat during the brightest hours of the day, in whichever region you find yourself: between the Bergamo Comicon next week, the Rimini Comix in mid-July and the Festa dell'Unicorno in Vinci just before the beginning of August, we believe it is therefore essential to prepare for the scorching heat that awaits us in the coming months! 

Facing the heat is never easy, neither from the point of view of cosplayers nor from the point of view of the artists working in Artist Alley - this discomfort should not be underestimated. There are countless events held during the summer months, from the most famous to the lesser known, and they tend to make the most of the period by taking advantage of large outdoor spaces - parks, car parks and beaches thus become the most popular locations during the warmer months. Working in an open-air conventions can be a double-edged sword, however: on the most intense days, you runs the risk of not finding relief even in the shade of the surrounding trees or buildings, and in windy weather, the comfort provided quickly turns into discomfort as prints, stickers and exhibitors fall into the hands of fate.

The attendance at these events also tends to be quite intense, and not everyone is comfortable with crowds of a certain size. Although the thematic areas of these events are well defined, it is not uncommon to notice visitors seemingly confused in front of the event they are inspecting: using public places as locations for events is inevitable to 'occupy' areas that, during any other time of the year, tend to be frequented by local residents - now justifiably interested in the novelty taking place.

In order to be able to cope with the upcoming events on the Italian artists' calendar in the best possible way, we offer some tips that we have matured in our recent years of activity. Let us make a brief premise: remember that your health and well-being come before any other intention of the moment. Wanting to achieve a certain amount of sales and revenue, or wanting to be there for customers all the time, does you credit and shows a great spirit of enterprise that characterises young people who are passionate and determined to create a future for themselves - however, overloading yourself with work and ignoring any ailments that may afflict you during these events is never a wise choice. It is never worth reaching a point of no return, ruining the experience, the memory and the free time dedicated to enjoying the event itself. Without you, your art cannot exist.


So, what should you do to facilitate your trade fair experience during these months?

  1. Check the weather and keep an eye on the day's maximum temperatures - knowing what you will be facing can make all the difference.

  2. Before going to the convention, think about outfits that make you feel comfortable and allow your skin to breathe. Cotton and linen clothes, especially in light colours, are ideal in order not to put additional stress on the body.

  3. For those who appreciate the art of make-up: invest in light foundation and concealers, waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Sweat is inevitable, and covering your face with fixative spray is not the case during hot days.

  4. Remember that fresh water and energy supplements can be your best friends - hydrating is essential at any time of the day, and supplements can give you that extra boost that keeps you charged until the evening.

  5. As much as the food options at the conventions are limited, it is best to avoid heavy and fried foods - they weigh down your digestion and slow down your metabolism, keeping your body temperature high for longer than necessary. In the same vein, it would be best to avoid overly sugary drinks - quite a complex undertaking during comic fairs, we realise. Avoid any foodstuff that has been in the direct heat of the sun for too many hours, especially if it is to be eaten raw (such as fish or meat).
  6. Sunscreen should be applied before going out and throughout the day, even several times a day. Anything that can protect you from the sun is always welcome: hats, sunglasses and chapstick with sunscreen incorporated are just some of the most comfortable protections.

  7. In the unfortunate event that you find yourself working in direct sunlight, ask a friend to look after the booth and go into the shade for breaks of at least half an hour. Heatstroke is sneaky and you may realise it too late - check how you are feeling often, and if you realise something is wrong, ask for help. Most events have a rescue team and an ambulance on stand-by in case of such incidents - they are there to help you.

  8. Invest in a small portable fan or, better still, a nebuliser that can cool you down. There are different sizes, most are small enough to hide behind the displays on the stand, angling them so they don't disturb the products on display.

  9. Always remember Grandma's words of wisdom: wetting the extremities of the body (such as ears, head, hands and feet) helps to lower the general body temperature. Take advantage of the drinking fountains in parks or, in the worst case, the toilets in nearby bars.

  10. Prepare a small emergency kit with what mentioned above, it will be much easier to carry everything you need! Remember to interact with other artists: you are all in the same situation and knowing you have the support of others can make all the difference during a particularly tough day.


Thank you for reading this short article, we hope we have been helpful. We look forward to meeting you all in the Artist Alley at upcoming events - we trust that they will prove to be more than positive experiences and that you will have memorable memories of the summer ahead.

Have a great day,


About the Author



Columnist, (He/Them)

Content Creator for cosplay, gaming and animation. With a degree in foreign languages and a great passion for Oriental culture, he writes about copyright to protect the work of artists and young minds. A cosplayer since 2015, Yako is an advocate of gender identity and the development of one's creativity through personal attitudes: be it role-playing, cosplay or writing.