Thinking about venturing out to your local convention? Want to meet your favorite actor? We met so many people over the weekend who said that Silicon Valley Comic Con was their FIRST convention ever! While we were shocked by these confessions, their unbridled joy when they met their idol was amazing. So we thought that there might be others out there who would be “newbz” and we should create a list of tips of how to survive a comic book convention.
- Do Your Research! – Find out who is coming! Make the plans! Book Hotel! Buy the tickets! Download the app! Get the lay of the land! Most importantly, make sure you have a backup plan. There are some instances that celebrities where they will cancel and refunds will not be issued. Always go to a convention where you want to to see MULTIPLE THINGS. If there is tons you want to do, VIP may be the way to go. It always gets you shorter lines so less waiting, but it’s going to cost you.
- Plan your days accordingly – There is no way you can do 4 autographs and 3 photos ops in one day. Space your time out or only focus on certain celebrities. At some point, something is bound to go late thus ruining the rest of your day and causing you to potentially miss out on another paid celebrity interaction.
- If you’re only attending the comic con for one day, expect to have to make some sacrifices! You can’t do everything all at once, and over-exerting yourself will only bring you some serious havoc!
- Pack Properly – Always have a bag of the following with you: snacks, water, pencil, paper, extra chargers/battery packs, camera, and band-aids. Just trust us, we will explain later. The band-aids should be self-explanatory though. In this weekend alone, I’ve given out an entire stash of band-aids for: paper cuts, blisters, cosplay fixes, and the deadly plastic pop protectors.
- Get Ready to Wait in Line – It may sound like we are joking, but us nerds have some stamina. Have you seen San Diego Comic Con? We sleep outside for the things we love. So be prepared to stand in lines for hours on end to see your favorite people! That’s where those snacks, water, and extra chargers come in hand! I’ve sat in a line for 3+ hours to see Stan Lee and then there have been times I’ve gotten to walk up straight to a celebrity. There is no set wait time and every celebrity will be different.
- Respect the Celebrities – True Human Beings will understand this, but it needs to be said for those who don’t get it. It doesn’t matter how much money you paid or how long you’ve waited, these actors are here at these conventions for US! They want to show their appreciation by letting us come to see them. Don’t be the jerk who ruins it for all of us!
- Always be Early – Panels always line up an hour beforehand. Tickets are usually available for pick up days in advance. If you can get it or be there early, do it! This usually reduces your line waiting and allows you to get closer to your favorite people. The same is true for autograph and photos ops! Always keep a track of time, and look at when you are supposed to be lining up!
- To Cosplay Or Not? That’s the Question – It’s completely up to you. The beautiful thing about conventions is that everyone there loves something as much as you do. Do what makes you happy and what you are most comfortable with! Some people are happy in a t-shirt and face paint. Others go all out and then there are the normal people who show up in tee-shirt and jeans like the rest of us! At the end of the day be comfortable because you will be doing a lot of walking and standing!
- Can I Take Pictures? – ALWAYS ASK! 95% of the time the answer will be yes because people find it flattering that you think their costume is awesome! Plus they want to make you happy as dressing up makes them! BUT, if someone asks tells you no, THE ANSWER IS NO! Cosplay is not consent! This is, to many of us, one of the most important rules to follow. Seriously. I can’t stress this enough, PLEASE be respectful and always, ALWAYS ask.
- Is it a family event? – YES! There are so many amazing families wondering around the convention in costume and out of costume! Personally, the kids make the convention even better for me. Nothing melts my insides like a 3-year-old freaking out over an amazing Frozen cosplay or a 5-year-old Luke Skywalker who thinks he just defeated a giant Darth Vader. Just remember the part about the lines when planning your day. Kids hate lines, especially long ones. So don’t plan photo ops during nap times, food times, or times where they could potentially explode. Actually, you may just want to add extra electronic devices to the packing list if you are that concerned.
- Bring an extra set of clothes! – Cosplays can be tough to wear all day long; if you’re wearing a costume, it’s best to have an extra set of clothes on hand in case you’re unable to wear your costume all day. This is also helpful for regular attendees, on the off chance you spill something on your clothes.
- On that note, you should also bring a shopping bag; if your regular clothes get dirty, you can store them in the bag and not have to worry about damaging any of your souvenirs!
At the end of the day, the goal of attending Comic Cons is to immerse yourself in nerdy culture with people who enjoy the same things as you! Just remember to be respectful, enjoy your time, plan ahead, and be sure to have fun during this Comic-Con season!