Bring something to pass the time. Even if your friend is there with you, bring something to do in case you get bored. Come armed with crossword puzzles or an iPod—anything you can do to make the waiting go by faster, because there will be waiting.
Charge your phone. Same for your camera, video, or voice recorder. On the off chance that you don’t have a camera with you, your phone can always double as one.
Mingle with other fans. They’re lifesavers when you forget your camera and they tag you on Facebook. But that’s not all they’re good for. In general it’s fun to meet other fans, but they can also provide one-of-a-kind information. When I went to the Tyler Hilton concert, two girls told me about a private show he tweeted he was doing the next morning. I got to see him in concert again the next morning in a more intimate setting. It made the two and a half hour drive even more worth it.
Know how to take a picture holding the camera in front of you.
Usually at book signings or events you have enough time to pose for the picture. But for the events where there are no pictures, or your favorite rocker just happens to pass you in the restrooms, you’ll be happy you know how to take one of these.
Final thoughts: For the best experience, you have to remember to be patient. These events—book signings, screenings, conferences, etc.—involve a lot of waiting. The times when you’re confident and willing to take a risk or do something different are the times you’ll have the most fun. Even if you don’t get an autograph or a photo, the experience is still what you make of it.