You are allowed a small personal item for free 16x 14x 12 so like a smaller messenger bag or a giant purse, and the typical carry-on will cost you up to $100 depending on when you buy your bag option. To make the most of my small personal item I packed very minimally and we chose costumes that were basically jeans and a t-shirt so I was able to squeeze all I needed to in my bag. This restriction does put a damper on your cosplay for a con, you just don't have room to bring an elaborate costume.
I also had to be very cautious of what I bought at C2E2 because I had very little room to bring home merch goodies.
It was wonderful that everything for C2E2 was contained within the McCormick convention center. I know you might be thinking, "duh most conventions are in a convention center," but you need to remember my noobness and the only other convention I've been to is Dragon*Con which is basically a sweaty scavenger hunt around mid-town Atlanta.
So in comparison, it was SO nice to be able to have mostly everything con-related on one floor in one big room. There was even a map provided so when you finally decide you really wanted to buy something from that booth that you only vaguely remember... you can actually find it!
Noob alert: the security guard will yell at you if you try to take pictures of the featured guests in the autograph area from a distance. My picture didn't come out clear anyway.
I loved the tattoo area I thought that was a great idea to have at a con. We didn't leave C2E2 with any new ink but it was tempting. I do regret not staying for The Crown Championship of Cosplay that night but we were exhausted from too much sight seeing the day before around Chicago so Wayne and Garth had to head back to Aurora.
My sister and I cosplayed as Wayne and Garth from Wayne's World. Our costumes came out great and we heard many many exclamations of “party on!” It was a fun and comfortable costume, jeans comfortable shoes, no make-up, and if you accidentally faded your shirt or got a stain it just added to the look. I still cannot get the dark dye out of my hair, but we all make sacrifices for our hobbies!
I'm not sure if I will be able to make it back for C2E2 next year simply because it does require long distance travel. If I lived in the Chicago area I would definitely go back, if nothing else a one day pass is not very expensive and it is a fun way to spend a Saturday.