San Diego Comic Con is equal parts exciting and terrifying, and that goes doubly so for someone attending their first con in San Diego. Our first con was indeed San Diego Comic Con and we fervently searched out tips and tricks to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Alas, it is our time to pay it forward and provide various tips to make San Diego Comic Con your best con experience.
Bring food and water!
Food and water are an absolute must, unless you like paying for overpriced food at the con. You can bring virtually any food and drink (as long as it isnâ€™t alcohol) into the convention. We tend to bring things like Nature Valley Bars because they are quick and easy snacks that do a decent job of tiding over your hunger pangs. As for what to bring to drink? Water, water, water. Bring some kind of water bottle (or even a camelbak) so you can stay refreshed (relatively speaking) and save money. If you need that sugar rush, you can certainly buy a beverage from one of the many places scattered around the con or outside, but it will certainly be nice to have something in line or waiting for a panel.
Have power for your devices
Thereâ€™s a high probability that you take pictures (a ton of pictures) from your phone, are stalking the various exhibitorsâ€™ Twitter accounts to keep track of late-breaking info and probably want to meet up with your group at some point during the con. So, an external battery of some form is absolutely necessary! They can be relatively cheap from various online retailers.
Go see a panel in a small conference room.
Hall H will always be the elephant in the room, but you will find a sense of intimacy that is lacking in the larger rooms like Hall H and Ballroom 20. Hall H, for example, seats 6,500 people, whereas Room 6A holds just over 1,000. The numbers represent a huge difference, especially when you consider that shows do tend to be smaller in those rooms. For example, you can see the Bates Motel panel and only have to get to the conference room mildly early to get a good seat. In our Bates Motel panel years ago, we were in the third row, and the cast was less than twenty feet away! There is nothing like being that close to the people of which you are a fan. I guarantee youâ€™ll be impressed and pleasantly surprised by the intimate setting that you canâ€™t get from Ballroom 20 or Hall H.
Be line friendly
If youâ€™re going to be standing alone in line, make sure to have something to keep you entertained. And when in doubt, make friends! The people in line clearly like the same thing as you! Simply bringing a card game of some sort, or a handheld will certainly do the trick. No one really likes standing in line, but you have the ability to meet some fantastic people from all over the world at SDCC. Also, be sure to have that camera ready because with the tens of thousands of people you will come across, there will be a ton of cosplayers!
Camp out (maybe?)
Weâ€™ve camped out plenty of times at SDCC for Hall H and the like, and it has usually been just fine. Weâ€™ve gotten good seats in Hall H and were the first X amount of people in the Exhibit Hall another time. While these camps out sessions were fine, itâ€™s tough to recommend standing in line for an autograph. In most cases they are a random draw, and that means you could camp out for absolutely nothing. In past years, the Funko camp out session was also frustrating because by the time we got in there, the line was already capped. We were even in the first chute to go in. However, that is mitigated somewhat this year by issuing wristbands in the Sails Pavilion.
There you have it. The one final tip is to have fun! Seriously. You will miss out on exclusives, panels and signings; it is just an inevitability. But, just try to take in the chaos and go with the flow!