As 2018 San Diego Comic Con quickly approaches, I can feel the anxiety building. Here are some Comic Con tips I’ve followed over the past years that I’ve found make the experience a lot more enjoyable. Whether you’re a comic con newbie, or a veteran looking for a change, my tips below should help you out!
1. Plan Your Schedule Ahead of Time….But Not Too Much — This is probably one of the most common rules. Set in your mind what you know you absolutely can not miss and give yourself some leeway for the other things. If you try to follow an extremely tight schedule, a lot of the fun of SDCC could be stripped away. In my past experience, I’ve found that my most random days are always my favorite. Roll with the punches and keep a positive mindset.
2. Be Kind to the People Working at the Booths and on the Floor — Human kindness should go without saying, but it’s easy to forget when you’re just trying to win an exclusive poster tube. These people are at the convention long before you get there and leave long after you go home. They work very hard and have to deal with 100,000 plus sweaty comic con goers. Often they’re just following the rules they’ve been given. Plus it’s always fun to see if they remember you from the year before, you wouldn’t want to go down in infamy.
3. Prepare to Be Patient… Like Super Patient — The lines are very long and sometimes have little payoff (I once waited in line for over an hour for an ugly free T-shirt — you do crazy things at Comic Con). If you’re impatient, you will not have a good time.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Completely Nerd Out — It’s what you’re there for, and honestly, it’s a bit infectious.
5. Don’t Be Upset if You Miss Out on a Celebrity Sighting — Comic Con is crawling with your favorite celebs. There are many of them and only one of you, odds are you’re not going to see every single celebrity, but that’s ok!
6. Follow Every SDCC Update on Twitter You Can — If you don’t have a Twitter, make one. Give accounts like, The SDCC Unofficial Blog, Hall H Line, and Ballroom 20 line, a follow to stay actively updated through social media. Sometimes you learn where things happen last minute on Twitter long before the official site alerts the public. These accounts will retweet pretty much everything Comic Con related, from secret Maze Runner screenings to bag trades.
7. If You Don’t Like Your Swag Bag, Trade it — Everyone is given one bag and you probably will not get the bag you want. It’s very easy to trade as everyone likes different things, you can ask people if they want to trade in person or, as I mentioned above, check out Twitter to see who’s willing to trade.
8. Figure Out Parking Ahead of Time — We’re only a month out, so if you have not figured out where you’re parking, now is probably the last chance you can do it. If you get to San Diego and don’t have pre-paid parking it gets very expensive.
9. Offsites — Don’t forget about the offsites! It can get super overwhelming at the convention center sometimes. Fortunately, there are offsites all over downtown San Diego where you can enjoy your time while feeling the perfect degree of separation from the actual convention. The SDCC Unofficial Blog already has an event calendar of the offsites you can check out here.
10. Keep your eyes peeled — After missing out on Daniel Radcliffe walking around as Spider-Man, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Lupita Nyang’o last year, I have personally vowed to just pay more attention to what’s going on around me. Not only will you likely see a celebrity, but also some of the coolest cosplays.
11. Split Up — Don’t be afraid to split up the group you’re with. Not everyone has the exact same taste and sometimes it can be fun to get some alone time.
12. Keep Up with Your Badge — Constantly check to make sure you still have your badge on you, nothing is more irritating than getting to the front of a line and realizing it either dropped or you left it back in your overpriced hotel room.
13. Watch Your Wristbands — If you get a wristband (for Hall H or Ballroom 20), make sure it’s secured on your wrist. If it’s loose, you will have a tough time going through security as some people take theirs off and try to sell it.
14. TAKE PICTURES — This is a must, especially if it’s your first time. Don’t let anyone shame you into not taking as many photos as you want. Just make sure you’re allowed to be taking photos/video. Also, please don’t leak Marvel secret footage.
15. Read the Shuttle Schedule — If your hotel is on the shuttle route, pay attention to where the shuttle will be and when. Sometimes the shuttle picks up and drops off by Petco Park and other times it will be in front of the convention center. The bridge is awful; imagine walking across it only to realize the bus is on the other side and you’ll have to walk across it again because you didn’t read the shuttle schedule properly.
16. Standby Lines — Security will often tell you there is no standby line; this is only half true. While there usually is no official standby line for autographs or exclusives, there’s often a group of people circling the booth who are allowed to slip in after ticketed people. It’s all about timing and not being rude to the security guard.
17. Comfort Is Key — While your super cool recently purchased shoes may look badass, the blisters you get from them will not be. And, sure a fanny pack might not be the most stylish thing (I’m looking at you Cable), but it sure does beat having a sore back from a heavy backpack.
18. Make Friends and Have Fun — Turn and talk to the people you may not know, almost everyone is friendly and just as happy to be there as you. The weekend is a lot of stress but more importantly a lot of fun and a place where you can meet the best kind of friends (the ones you only see once a year).
Stay tuned for our coverage of the event this year. You can check out last year’s interviews on our Youtube.