We know that this website is full of information and can be confusing to first-timers, so here are some basics to get you started. We suggest that you check out the rest of website for more details, especially At a Glance, which will give you an overview of the convention weekend, General Information, and What's New.
First-timers will have the option of attending a special orientation at 8pm on Friday in the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre.
Dress is casual at the Convention. Temperature outside normally ranges from 65 to 90 degrees, and FIT is air-conditioned, ranging from a little warm to frigid. Rainfall usually exceeds 3 inches in June, so an umbrella or raincoat would be a good idea.
Paper will be supplied, so just bring your folding tools (i.e., scissors, tweezers, ruler, glue) or other special items (i.e., notebook, pen). You might also like to pack at least one strong-sided box or plastic container to carry home your finished models.
At the convention
Friday evening there's an informal get-together in the Hospitality Area. If possible, try to attend the First Timers orientation at 8pm. There will be lots of tips on how to see and do as much as possible during the convention. Come by the Information Desk in the Hospitality Area any time Friday evening to meet us, and to ask questions about the convention or about New York. If you miss the Friday orientation, be sure to get in early your first day of classes and stop by the Information Desk so that we can get you oriented.
The Information Desk in the Hospitality Area is staffed at all times. If you need help or have a question, ask anyone (everyone will be very friendly), but especially look for red ribbons on nametags (Board Members and Convention Committee), or blue ribbons (Convention Pros). We'll recognize you by your yellow ribbon, which will identify you as a first-timer.
In the classrooms
The classes are not overly structured, but quiet attention and politeness are requested. Please be on time for classes, and please do not try to attend a class for which you do not have a ticket, as you may be asked to leave.
Our students range in age from 5 to 95! It's a pleasure to see people of all ages appreciating each other. Children are certainly welcome at all events, but to make the environment safe and comfortable for everyone, please do not leave children under 8 unattended in a class. If you're not going to be there, make arrangements with another responsible adult. And, please, take your child out of the room if he or she is having difficulty being quiet.
Remember that all teachers are volunteers. Please help them whenever you can.
Don't get in over your head!
Please select your classes with your existing skill level in mind. Folding is fun, but if you take a class that is too difficult you will not enjoy it, and you might impede the others in the class.
To take an intermediate class you should know how to fold a bird base from memory, and be good at inside reverse folds, outside reverse folds, and sink folds. To take a high intermediate class you should be comfortable folding double rabbit ears, crimps, double sinks, closed sinks, and stretching a base. To take a complex class you should be an experienced folder, comfortable folding from diagrams, and able to follow intricate sequences of precise moves.
The classes in which specific models are taught are NOT the place to learn basic folding.
If you're staying at FIT, you'll be given a packet at check-in which will have neighborhood and NYC tourist information. If you have problems or time to spare, contact the Home-Office at (212) 769-5635.
If you have more questions, please write to Delrosa Marshall at convention-firsttimer-info [at] origamiusa.org, or call the Home-Office at (212) 769-5635. If the person who answers the phone can't help you, they'll pass your message on to the convention coordinators.