It’s that time of the year again. The most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas or Halloween… it’s San Diego Comic Con time!
Having attended San Diego Comic Con for well over 15 years now (and watched it grow and grow and grow), I thought I’d give you some advice on how to make the event a much better experience. Some of these are no brainers, some are things you won’t agree with, but if it’s your first time, or you’re looking for a change of pace, you may want to consider the following:
Don’t Forget to Bring…
For all the goodies you will buy and freebies you will get, and then have to walk around the floor and wait in line with for hours on end. Slinging a backpack over your shoulders should help you carry that load.
You could of course pay a small fortune for a pretzel or some nachos. Or, you could carry some light snacks like trail mix, protein bars, cookies or whatever wonderful things your mother used to pack in your lunch (and hey, maybe still does). And hey, if you can, bring a sandwich. That way you don’t have to leave line or a room and have more money to spend on comic and toys. You know, the important things.
Whatever you bring, make sure it’s easy to scoff. I do not suggest tacos.
A water bottle
You could bring a six-pack of water, but unless you’re in weight training, lighten your load by just bringing one bottle of water. They have water fountains in the convention center. Yeah, San Diego’s finest is not the finest, but it’ll keep you hydrated.
A charger, or two
With waiting in line, tons of photo opportunities and all the exciting stuff you want to share via social media, your phone will lose power pretty quickly. So make sure you have a powered up charger (or two). May not hurt to have an adaptor, since you may be able to find a power outlet or two in an empty hallway, but remember, they won’t let you sit on the floor there. There are also some places off-site that offer charging stations.
Two pairs of comfortable shoes
Huh? Somebody told me this once and it has saved my life…or at least my feet. With all the walking and standing you’re going to do those days, switching your shoes every other day will help your feet not be THAT tired at the end of the day. But, oh… they’ll be tired. So very tired.
Lower Your Expectations
If you’re a Walking Dead or Game of Thrones fan and/or it’s your first time at Comic Con and you want to try to get into those panels, then go for it. But I’ve been there and done that, or rather, been in line for hours on end, to only not get into those panels (and oh so many others). So, after that, my choices were to either camp out over night, or find a better way of spending my precious time at Comic Con.
I opted to avoid the big crazy panels. In this day and age, any big news revealed is shared on the inter-webs immediately. Yeah, you may not get to see some cools clips or outtakes, but the odds are good that those will show up somewhere someday as well. And yeah, there’s nothing like being in the room with your favorite actors, but for the huge panels, you’re most likely going to just see them on a big screen anyhow.
No sour grapes here, but as I said, I’d rather find a better way to spend my day. Not waiting all day in line gives me more time to shop on the dealer room floor. And time to explore smaller panels where you may get to see some great artists/actors and only have to wait in line a short time.
This also goes for folks trying to get Comic Con exclusive toys and collectibles. Prepare yourself that even with all the waiting you may not get the prize you eyes are on. But hey, I’m rooting for you. I’ll just be grabbing whatever freebies I can get my paws on.
Plan Your Wardrobe
This is a TeeShirt blog, so of course I’m going to mention clothes. Now, if you’re a cos player, you got your days all planned out, I’m sure. But for those of us who will wear something closer to our every day clothes, I suggest bringing the most unique t-shirts you own (and your will probably discover at SDCC that they are not as unique as you thought).
Because this much I have learned, t-shirts are great icebreakers. When you’re waiting in line for hours next to a stranger, complimenting t-shirts is a great way to start a conversation. I’ve been both on the giving and receiving and of that and it helps to make a more enjoyable time. And who, knows, you may make a new friend or two.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
SDCC can be crazy, crowded and quite exhausting. But don’t forget, you are there to have fun with ten thousands of people who are into the things that you are into. So, do your best to have patience and be patient with others. Take breaks. Make sure you are well rested. Eat (I always suggest start with a big breakfast, because who knows when or if you’ll have lunch.) And do what you need to do to enjoy yourself.
So… are you ready to get you Comic Con on? I’ll see you there!