I’m medium-well traveled and I found the transit system baffling at first, like you probably will any time you visit a city for the first time. What I realized quickly enough is that it is expensive-ish (6 bucks? I don’t quite remember) getting into the city from the airport, but once you’re out it is fairly cheap. I was staying slightly out of the city last year and I still don’t think I had to leave the main zone, so getting around was actually quite cheap. And the stop you need to get to the convention center (the northmost-ish one?) is RIGHT outside the con, so that takes a TON of the stress out of navigating. Listen to VictorViper and BOOK A PLACE TO STAY NEAR A TRAIN. It will make your life so much easier. Just use google maps or whatever to check out how long it takes to get from a place you are looking at to stay to the convention center. If that is reasonable for you, then great!
VictorViper also said it was expensive, but coming from Chicago I actually found most of the stuff pretty reasonable, so that totally depends on what you’re used to paying for things. I have NO IDEA what things cost in Scotland, so you may feel one way or the other, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s not like NYC or London expensive from what I saw. You’re going to be in the convention most of the time and there is a food court with McDonalds, Tim Hortons, that kind of stuff, right across the street so you can eat pretty affordably. Coffee and whatnot in the convention center was affordable.
As for the social parts: I went there knowing NO ONE. I had one contact that I did not know personally at all until I got there and ended up spending almost the entire time with him and his group. I also met two other big groups I became a part of throughout the weekend and lots and lots of other people I met up with from time to time.
And who did I talk to about all the great people I met while I was there? Quinns! I ran into him and Leigh at the board game library at the end of the second day and had a lovely chat with the two of them for a couple of minutes. I ran into Matt on the train there, and Pip and Efka and Elaine all around the floor throughout the weekend and got a chance to say hi to all of them for a couple of minutes. They were all lovely people who were happy to spend a few moments to say hi to the fans.
Overall, I have never been to a social event of any kind that was so well designed for people to socialize so easily. Don’t worry about that at all, you will find people to hang out with and you will enjoy yourself. For sure please check out pre-con events if you have the opportunity, but I went in totally fresh and had an amazing time. If you need help getting started, feel free to hit me up on here. My name is Jordan and this will be my second year going. I’ll be with other friendly folks who have been once or twice before and I know for sure our groups are open to all.
Sorry this was so long, hope any of this helps!