Regarding conventions, you quickly learn that it is always best to plan in advance. Especially when it comes to the larger big-name ones such as San Diego Comic-Con which we shall be covering in the week to come.
There is an overload of information that can leave one feeling frazzled. What events do they have? How do I get there? Where’s the best place to find information about small-time creators going there? Etc, etc…
It takes a while to get used to the large crowded atmosphere of a convention. The San Diego Convention Center in particular is one of the largest in the US, ranking just behind the Anaheim Convention Center at approximately a 397,907-foot difference. This Center has been the home of the convention since 1991. Also, Downtown San Diego is notorious for the busy traffic, so how can you minimize getting caught in the wave and finding your way around?
Don’t worry; I will help provide some tips as I prepare to go to Comic Con and look over all the upcoming activities!
Go to the Comic Con Website
The first step is to start at the source from which you got your badges. And right next to that badge icon, I’d recommend taking a look at Programs and Guests under the Programming Schedule. This will give you an idea of when, where, and what events will be taking place at Comic-Con. Some are already being advertised at a significant amount such as the guest appearances of Junji Ito as well as Rachel Smythe, the writer of Lore Olympus.
Now all you have to do is create a schedule of all the events you want to attend and balance the possibility of which ones you will be able to make it. Remember, the more popular a series or topic is, the more likely seats will fill up! It’s hard to make a process of elimination especially when it’s between balancing to see one of your favorite movie actors or the sneak peek to a new video game.
Moving on to the next tab in the search bar is Transportation under Getting Here. I wouldn’t recommend driving to the center as parking can be quite a challenge. I plan to take the train as it is not only convenient but provides a perfect view of the ocean.
And finally going back over to the Exhibit Hall tab provides a map of all who will be in the Artists’ Alley! This year I hope to get a good look at the Comic-Con Museum as although they had the same event at Wonder Con, I didn’t get a chance to visit. There is also a booth for Emily the Strange who is having a panel about a new RPG on Sunday.
If you still feel lost on the website, there’s a handy dandy app to bookmark all your events and schedules that Comic-Con has on the app store.
Preparing Time, Money, and Energy
I sure hope you called out of work on the days you planned to go. All jokes aside, conventions can sap up your resources at an alarming rate if you’re not careful. A snack or two can help you get through the day so you don’t blow it all on the overpriced food. Also if you have a large water bottle of any kind, it would be wise to use it. The summer heat is no joke so be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
If you plan to cosplay, make sure to pack any sewing kits! Accidents happen sometimes, and it’s always ideal to look your best, especially if you plan on being a part of the 2023 Masquerade. The Masquerade will be on Saturday evening, July 22. If you’re not able to sit in and watch, there will be a replay the next day on Sunday.
When you travel throughout the Exhibition Hall and Artists’ Alley, consider spending your time exploring all there is to offer before making a definite purchase. It can be hard to hold back on spending your money for the first merch you see but trust me. It’s better if you wait to see what others have to offer as well.
Be sure to also listen to your body. If you need to sit down and take a break then take one! Conventions include a lot of walking and you’ll need to make it through the day one way or another.
Practice Convention Ettiquette
Remember to be kind to others and always ask artists or cosplayers for photo permission! There are all kinds of people you can meet at Comic-Con, and giving everyone some common human decency will make the experience a lot better. Give up your seats to any elderly or disabled and let at least one person go in line ahead of you. Not that you have to, just a friendly suggestion.
And if you believe you see someone in trouble or encounter any kind of problem, find the nearest event staff or go to the the Information Desks ain the lobbies of Halls D and C in the Convention Center.
Hope to see you all there! Let us know in the comments what events you’re excited for us to cover at Comic-Con!