So, it’s your first KCON. You’re being bombarded by KCON vocab like “K-Activity Zone,” “STAR Live Talk,” and “Star Square,” not to mention panels, workshops, artist engagements, and two concerts. There’s just a lot of stuff. And, that’s on purpose. We want there to be such a variety of things to do that you’ll be able to carve out the unique “KCON adventure” that suits you.
If this is your first ever KCON, or if you’re just curious about what things you can do, then read on. We’ll release more “adventures” in the coming days to suit those KCON-ers who may have different interests like Dance, Beauty, etc… But, this is a handcrafted, convention adventure for those who we have the honor of welcoming for the first time. We couldn’t be happier to have you, welcome.
KCON Convention Registration
The events and programs that we are recommending below are available at our KCON Convention, which means you’re going to need a Convention wristband. If you haven’t gotten one yet, please register for the KCON Convention here. (1) 2-day pass is $20, and we’re going to use this article to show you why that’s definitely money well-spent.
Of course, if you haven’t decided yet whether you’re going or if you haven’t convinced your friend yet that they should come, you can always purchase onsite. Onsite registration takes some time, so online registration is the best way to make sure you and your fellow fans get through the line fast!
View the full Convention Schedule.
The KCON Convention will be open from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM on June 23 and June 24. We encourage you do early check-in on June 22 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. But, if you’re not available, you’ll be able to check-in anytime from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM on June 23 and June 24.
If you have artist engagement vouchers, we can’t encourage you enough to check-in before the event starts either on June 22 or the morning of June 23 so that you don’t miss any of your engagements.
Hydration & Merchandise
Summertime in the East Coast is…humid and hot. This year, to help keep our fans hydrated, we added a water bottle to our merchandise lineup. With this KCON water bottle, you can use our water refill station to stay hydrated even after a ton of dancing. You can purchase your water bottle and other KCON merchandise until June 17th on Mwave or onsite at KCON 2018 NY.
Get Your Updates!!
Onsite, there will be schedule changes, announcements of artist booth appearances, and important reminders. Please make sure to download the KCONUSA app (iOs | Android), and follow us on social media (Instagram | Twitter | Facebook) for realtime updates. It’s well-worth the minor annoyance of push notifications so that you don’t miss your favorite artist appearing by surprise at the convention.
Just to give you a more visual sense of where everything is at the KCON Convention, we’re going to share you the two maps of the K-Activity and K-Culture Zones. Hopefully, as you flip through all of the recommended programs below, you’ll be able to orient yourself even before the event starts!
MY KCON ADVENTURE: It’s My First Time at KCON! (Woooooo!)
Welcome to your first KCON! We know that with Hallyu only getting bigger, many of you have different reasons for coming to KCON–whether that be K-Pop, K-Beauty, K-Dance, or K-Food. Below would be our ideal schedule if we we’re a fan like you who is coming to KCON for the first time, but who also wants to experience everything. We can’t promise everything (there’s a lot of stuff going on all at once!), but we’ll try our best to show you the KCON world in two-and-a-half days. Let’s KCON!
Also! Just in case you’re new to the K-Pop world or you’re sharing this with a friend who is, we’ll be including GIF’s from all of the KCON 2018 NY lineup and if you click them, you’ll be taken that artist’s MV.
June 22 – KLUB KCON!
If you’re coming for early check-in on June 22, don’t head home just yet. Go straight to KLUB KCON!
KLUB KCON is a massive K-Pop party that takes place from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and is open to KCON-ers of all ages (if you’re under 13 yrs of age, you must bring a guardian). KLUB KCON is a Convention ticket add on, and you can register for it along with the Convention here.
That’s the definition, but here’s what you can expect: 1. A DJ who’s got K-Pop spinning experience and is ready to make you dance with your friends and maybe help you meet some new ones. 2. Artist appearances. In the past we’ve had major artists like SEVENTEEN perform and say “hi!” to fans, and even DEAN and Amber perform in LA. It’s super memorable because you’ll be able to see major idols in a chill, close setting.
What artists are coming this year? STRAY KIDS & PENTAGON! Are you ready to learn the “hammer dance”?
June 23 – KCON DAY 1!
7:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Check-in
If you’re a Convention attendee (and to attend all of the programs we’re about to recommend, it’s a must), please head to Championship Plaza with your registration. It’s time to make it rain paper (or digital paper for mobile registrants) like PENTAGON! A hint of a smile à la Hongseok would be nice too 😉
This registration will have a QR Codes that our staff will scan to give you your wristband and any related items like artist engagement packs. If you went to KLUB KCON, you will have already had to check-in so you can bypass this step. Win!
10:00 – 11:00 : Exploration Time
Convention programs don’t start until 11 AM, so use this hour to get acquainted with the KCON Convention. You can explore it cooly with swagger like this Super Junior GIF, walk arm-in-arm with your friends, or even (slowly) skip through the streets. Definitely, don’t run. Run=injury=bad. Here are the four main areas you need to know:
K-Activity Zone: This is the area where you can experience all of our convention panels and workshops, including our dance workshops. If there’s a panel you’re really excited about, get a seat early.
K-Culture Zone: In this zone, you can find our market, sponsors, picnic area, and our stage. A lot of sponsors and vendors have great things to see, purchase, and/or giveaway, so it’s good spot to peruse before it gets busy! Plus, our official KCON Merchandise Booth is here. Get your merch before it’s sold out!
Championship Plaza: This is the registration area, but it’s also the location of the info booth where you can find our Lost and Found.
Barnaby Health Hockey House (BHHH): All artist engagements, KLUB KCON, and Red Carpet events will take place here.
11:00 – 12:00: [PANEL #1] Meeting Idols in Korea – Reality vs. Expectation (Panelists: HeyitsFeiii, JRE, WhitneyBae)
As a fan, it’s a very curious thing to think about what it would be like meet your favorite stars. We’ve invited three, major YouTube stars to share their experiences meeting idols, as well as living/traveling in Korea. If it’s your first time hearing about any of our panelists, here’s the breakdown: HeyitsFeiii is known for Beauty and Fashion videos, while JRE is known for everything from K-Pop reaction videos to hilarious skits. Finally, WhitneyBae shares her life in Korea through videos overflowing with wit and charm. Everyone is amazing and friendly, so if you’re curious about what it’s like to be in Korea, or just want to hear stories about meeting idols, this is the panel for you.
12:30 – 2:00: [STAGE] STAR Live Talk
Actually, this is a brand new series of programs that we’re debuting at KCON this year. Basically, we’re inviting some of our lineup artists to participate in a “talk show” on our convention stage. This means that your convention wristband will get you closer to K-Pop’s biggest artists than ever before. We’ll disclose the exact appearance schedule closer to the event, so be on the lookout for updates fromis_9-style.
2:00 – 3:00: [WORKSHOP] Learn How to Make Jumeokbap and Oi Naengguk (Panelist: Shin Kim)
What are you to do when hunger strikes? Of course, you should hit up our food vendors. But, what if there was a chance to eat your Jumeokbap and make it too? Chef Shin Kim will teach fans how to make Jumeokbap, delicious rice balls, and Oi Naengguk, a chilled cucumber side dish. It’s a super great chance to learn, chill, and recharge.
3:00 – 4:00: [STAGE] COVER STAR K (Finalists: Diamond, Haru, Heather Truong, K, MKDC, OFFBRND)
Over the last few months, we invited fans to submit their best K-Pop dance covers to our COVER STAR K contest. The finalists will arrive at KCON 2018 NY to perform in the hopes of winning the ultimate COVER STAR K crown. Who will be the “biggest hit on this stage”? Head over to the convention stage to find out!
4:00 – 5:00: Exploration Time (2)
We’re bringing one of our most popular programs of KCON 2017 LA, Star Square, to KCON 2018 NY for the very first time! Star Square is an interactive space where you can write and send letters to your idols, take pics in front of our massive photo walls, and even see a star appearance. It’s a great place to make lasting memories of KCON and we couldn’t think of a better way to spend your wandering time.
You can purchase your KCON official fan letter pens and paper at the KCON Merchandise booth, but if you want a sneak peek of what it all looks like, head over to Mwave. Because when the stars are as epic as this both epic and dramatic Kang Daniel GIF, how could you not write a letter?
5:00 – 6:00: [DANCE WORKSHOP] PENTAGON “Shine”
The KCON Dance Workshops are a definite fan favorite and one of the central elements of KCON since forever ago. They’re going on all day and feature the dances you may want to learn so that you can fully jam out at the concert.
Whichever dance workshop you choose will be based around the idols that you love, and since we can’t highlight every single dance workshop here (stay tuned for our Dance Adventure post), we thought for Day 1 we would highlight one of the biggest and danciest hits of 2018–PENTAGON’s “Shine.” We can almost guarantee that if the song doesn’t make you smile, the dance will. And, if we can make you smile then our job here is done.
Now, it’s time to get ready for the concert! The pre-show starts at 7:00 PM and the main show starts at 7:30 PM. See you there!
June 24 – DAY 2!
10:00 – 11:00: Exploration Time (3)
After Day 1, you’re already familiar with the space and you might have experienced your first concert, fan engagements, panels, and workshops. This is your time to explore, so we just want to draw your attention to one thing that tends to happen a lot at KCON right when the doors open–flash mobs! At the front gate of KCON, we’ll be blaring K-Pop music and it’s the perfect time to join in a flash mob even if you’re not super confident in your dance skills. In a huge mass of humans, so you can just have fun! If a jam like EXID’s “LADY” comes on, shout for us and we’ll be there!
11:00 – ?: [PANEL #1] Meet & Greet: Eddy
We put a “?” as the end time because we’ve got another panel planned for you immediately after. But, there’s also a big chance you won’t want to leave, finding yourself utterly charmed by this Beauty YouTuber and musical artist’s witty personality. Of course, if you’re already a fan of Edward Avila and you’ve got questions or some things to chat about, this is your time. Eddy is hosting his own “Meet & Greet,” so go forth and both meet and greet one of KCON’s most sought-after stars.
11:30 – 12:30: [PANEL #2] The K-Beauty Craze: Why Everyone’s Talking About K-Beauty (Panelists: Devon Abelman, Joan Kim, Caro Malis, Sarah Han; Moderator: Stevie Chong – PR Manager, Glow Recipe)
K-Beauty is definitely one of the elements of Hallyu that has exploded in popularity in recent years and unites trends in Beauty as well as K-Pop and K-Drama. We’ve invited a lot of industry insiders to chat about the biggest trends in K-Beauty and their thoughts about why it’s gaining so much notoriety. So, if you want to hear about everything from makeup trends à la Red Velvet or just about items our panelists recommend, this panel is for you!
12:30 – 1:30: [PANEL #1] The Art of K-Pop Music Design (Panelists: Andreas Oberg, Jim Wolf; Moderator: Reacttothek – umu)
With this panel, we want to give our new fans a chance to dig deeper into the production process of K-Pop. We’ve invited Andreas Oberg, who has written/produced songs for major K-Pop idols like Super Junior, Red Velvet, and NCT, as well as Jim Wolf, an American Singer/Songwriter whose songs have appeared in dramas like “My Secret Romance.” Be ready open your mind and find out how K-Pop is made!
2:00 – 3:00: [DANCE WORKSHOP] fromis_9’s “Glass Shoes” & “To Heart” with Min Kyung Shin
Every dance workshop is a major highlight, but we just wanted to highlight this particular one because it’s being taught by fromis_9’s own performance and choreography director Min Kyung-shin. This is the rarest of rare chances to learn a K-Pop dance under the tutelage of the group’s own choreographer. Plus, we hear that there’s going to be a very special surprise. Don’t miss out!
3:00 – 4:00 – Exploration Time (4)
Every year, we try to make sure that our KCON Convention attendees get to see their favorite idols even if they can’t attend our artist engagements or our concerts. We chatted a bit about Star Square and STAR Live Talk as a way to experience idols in the Convention, but there’s also a more fateful way that you can see them up-close–booth appearances. In our K-Culture Zone, there will be surprise idol visits throughout the Convention at some of our booths. To make sure that these appearances are safe for our fans and artists, we do not announce these in advance with the rest of our schedule. But, if you stay tuned to your technology like Heize below (specifically to your KCONUSA app), we’ll give you surprise updates. So, download the app and stay tuned!
4:00 – 5:00: [CONVENTION STAGE] JUN, Alexandra Reid
Our convention stage runs the entire length of the convention, and we’ll highlight it more fully in other Adventure posts about music. Right now we want to highlight two artists in this peak slot, Alexandra Reid, who made history as the first ever non-Asian, black K-Pop Idol, and JUN, who is best known by his 1.4 million YouTube subscribers for his Violin and Dance covers of various Pop and K-Pop music.
5:00 – 6:00: [PANEL #1] Meet The Reaction Video Superstars (Panelists: BRISxLIFE, The Producer, Kevin – ReacttotheK, umu – ReacttotheK , Ilanna – Your Sweet Guys, Peggy – Your Sweet Guys; Moderator: internetsnathan)
Whether you decide to slow motion jump and dab like Golden Child or saunter into Panel #1, we think this panel is a great way to end your KCON Convention. One of the major forces behind K-Pop is its YouTube prowess, so what better way to end your KCON than to engage in a panel about K-Pop and YouTube.
LEVEL-UP YOUR KCON ADVENTURE WITH ALL-DAY CONVENTION PROGRAMS
There are some programs that run the entirety of the Convention, so we just want to note them here. Since these are areas that are active all-day, you can visit them any time that you have a spare minute or thirty.
What’s the best way to get prepped for the concert? Learn some of the moves from the idols you’ll see atop our stage! Over the two days of KCON, you can learn at least one dance from each of our lineup artists–with the exception of Heize–all the while being taught by talented choreographers like Min Kyung-shin, Ellen & Brian, and East2West among others. Stay tuned for our next KCON Adventure article focused around dance and see the schedule here!
Fan Club Meeting Space
Located in the K-Activity Zone, our Fan Club Meeting Space is an area where fan clubs related to our lineup artists will host 1-2 hour programs over the 2-days of the Convention. This is an unique chance to meet fellow fans of the group (or groups if you’re multi-fandom) that you love and make new friends. Of course, if you’re not too familiar with K-Pop and you just happen to wander inside too, that’s totally fine. We’re fairly sure that you’ll come out of the tent a brand new fan.
The purpose of this article was to highlight a variety of different content across the Hallyu spectrum, so we were only able to highlight very few programs from our Convention Stage. However, for the entirety of the Convention, there’s a vast amount of things to see–from the traditional performance of Woorigarak Korean Cultural Art Center to the Hip Hop flow of DANakaDAN. The stage is located in the K-Culture Zone and you can catch the full schedule on KCONUSA.
You’ve toured every inch our Convention, met our panelists, and got up to speed on our lineup. The only thing left to say is, “Let’s KCON!”
See you there!