Meet and Greets
Meet and greets are usually super expensive, especially when seeing a big name artist. Although I have been able to meet several artists and celebrities, I've actually only paid for a meet and greet once. I have met serval artists on other occasions and some through the luck of the draw.
Luckily, a lot of bands I go to see are more than happy to talk and meet fans after their shows and some even tell fans they will be meeting people after the show. This will either be done by the merch table, out front, or by their tour bus.
If the artist didn't say anything, you can choose to wait and see if they'll stop to talk to you later but there's also a chance they might not. I like to plan in advance to have an idea if I will want to stay after and try to meet the band or not and the best way to figure that out is through social media. By researching past shows, you can get an idea of whether or not the band usually meets fans after the show and where they usually do that. By looking at previous pictures the artist was tagged in, you can usually find out one way or another.
I've never had to stay longer than an hour before they come outside, but sometimes loading and getting everyone to leave the venue can take a few hours after the show ends. I know a lot of people who have waited outside a venue until 1 in the morning to talk to or get pictures with the bands.
There's also a chance that if you get there super early, and are towards the very front of the line, they will come out and say hi to the front of the line while the crew is loading in or they have a little bit of free time.
Also check if the band/artist has any special perks or contests for their fans or members of their fan club, etc. Fan clubs are still a thing and tend to have incentives for fans to join. For instance, I am a part of All Time Low's fan club because they give out meet and greets and early entry privileges to members of their fan club. It is a paid membership ($25 a year I believe) but you get first priority to pre-sale tickets and you can enter to win a meet and greet or early entry for the shows you're attending. I've been awarded meet and greets twice from their fan club and it was 100x better than an expensive meet and greet where you're barely given enough time to say hi to the artist. I definitely recommend looking into if any of the artists you like have things like this!
For any meet and greet, paid or not, just remember it's totally what you make of it. It's understandable to be nervous but try to come out of your shell and talk to them and enjoy the small amount of time with them! Don't be afraid to talk to them because you don't know what to say or think you'll say something stupid or embarrassing. They meet so many people every day and would probably never think twice if you said something stupid. They know you were probably nervous so don't dwell on it!
I had an awful encounter over the summer where a band walked right behind me (with no barricade or anything just causally behind me) and my friend swung me around and I did not react the way I would have liked and it haunted me for so long. But in all honestly, they probably thought nothing of it and I'm sure its happened many times so don't sweat it if everything doesn't go exactly as planned--because it definitely won't, but embrace it!
Just remember, don't freak out and try not to to cry. I've never cried or had a feeling of crying but I know it can be overwhelming for some people and its hard to keep in emotions. If you paid for a meet and greet or are planning on meeting a band after the show, try to prepare yourself as much as possible. The first few times I met people I went completely blank and my hands were shaking so bad. It's totally normal but now that I'm able to anticipate this happening when talking to bands, I find it a bit easier to deal with in the moment.
Don't expect a ton of time with the artist. If its a paid meet and greet, the people running it will often go through people within seconds. If its outside of a venue or somewhere else, the artist probably doesn't have too much time and is often being pulled away to a meeting or rehearsal or to leave for the next tour date. Also you're probably not the only one there. Be respectful of other people and don't talk to a band member for the entire time or FaceTime your friends with them or play on snapchat for the whole time so no one else or only a few people are able to talk to them.
Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. There has been many times that I've been afraid to ask for a picture or autograph or something because I heard they weren't doing that or I just didn't have the courage to ask in the fast-paced moment. Nine times out of ten, the artist is happy to do it and will try to sneak in a picture even if the security isn't allowing it. And the worst thing is they're going to say they can't, so at least try!
If you only say hi, they're not going to be able to engage in much of a conversation. A lot of times artists want to talk to their fans, so make it a point to have a conversation with them instead of just saying hi, shoving your phone in their face, taking a picture, and then have nothing to say. If you really like the artist, they're worth more than just a picture you can post on Instagram saying you met them. Engage in an actual conversation and that will be the best part of meeting them, the picture is just to remember the conversation you had with them!