Today my Facebook feed is a blaze with San Diego Comic-Con updates from all friends in attendance, as well as all the media outlets that are hyping their sessions and stars. The constant barrage of posts have me wincing in agony, as “the odds were not in my favor” for obtaining a 4 day pass to SDCC2014. Nevertheless after seeing the Toucan blog post this morning about their general tips, I thought I might as well post some strategies that served me well last year at my very first Comic-Con (keep in mind, I’m no expert).
Tips & Tricks From a n00b
- Register for a Comic Con Member ID well before you need it.
- Comic-Con is a team sport. You need that special someone to wait in line, or save seats while you rush to the bathroom or grab a bite to eat. Not to mention it’s great for splitting hotel room costs and even the *fun* random lottery of getting tickets.
- It benefits you to go with someone who has been before, I was fortunate enough to have Emily (a Comic-con vet) show me the ropes.
- Hall H is the place to be for all the big blockbuster events. I’m more of a mainstream attender, so this is where I want to be. The hall can hold about 6,500 people, once everyone is in, there is no guarantee that people will leave between sessions. When I did get in I camped out there all day. Thus going at 3am to wait in line is not too early for Hall H. I lucked out by having wonderful friends wait in line for Hall H, while I got in line to pick up my pass to join them.
- Once in the Halls, keep lurking and attempting to move closer and closer to the front after each session completes, this will help for photos.
- Pack food and snacks! The food served at Comic-Con is non-appetizing convention fast food, and it’s expensive. Plus I didn’t like leaving the comfort of finally getting into the show, to leave and wait in long lines at restaurants for food. My hotel offered a continental breakfast which I brought ziplock bags to pack and bring into the show to eat as snacks throughout the day. Also I brought a refillable water bottle.
- Wear clothing in layers and have comfortable shoes as well as a backpack. Days on the floor I spent endless hours wandering around getting swag and autographs, it really benefited to have comfy everything, not to mention it was cool in the halls but really hot outside. Waiting out in the cold line all night long requires a warm jacket or sleeping bag.
- Bring a poster tube with a backpack strap to take back souvenir posters. Most booths give posters out, but to make sure it arrives safely back at home without dents this will be useful. They charge an exorbitant amount at the con for these.
- A battery pack is key for portable devices, or extra batteries. Also turn off bluetooth and wifi to preserve battery life of cellphones. My battery pack could charge 4 devices completely, came in handy while other folks were huddled around wall plugs, and also helped me make some new friends.
- Location apps. Meeting up with friends? Share your location with friends comes in handy for coordination.
- Plan your day ahead of time. Look at the schedules, study the maps, there is no way you’ll make it into two major rooms in 1 day. If it’s Hall H, it’s Hall H all day or that plus walking the floor or going to some smaller venues. I spent an hour lost one day trying to find a venue while volunteers kept pointing me in the wrong direction.
- There are other venues to hit up besides SDCC! Check out Nerd HQ for a lot of other great sessions and stars, I didn’t end up having time to do this since I was too geeked out over Hunger Games and Ender’s Game last year, but probably should have done this.
- Most of all, don’t stress out you can’t see everything or be everywhere. Some of the best moments I had were unexpected, like getting to hear Entertainment Weekly’s director’s discussion about various films.
Got any tips you’ve found valuable? Let me know and I’ll add them here.