Hello Skkawliens! After all our SDCC adventures, we thought we’d share some tips and tricks in case you consider going next year and some of this is still applicable then. So without further ado, check out our Top 10 Tips from Comic-Con 2019!
- If you want to get into an exclusive signing or any line that’s first come first serve, wake up and get to the convention early! The earlier the better but you definitely want to be there before 7am if you want to reach the head of the line.
- Make a plan and know the lay of the land. You’ll want to know ahead of time where exactly the booths are so you can make a beeline for what you want when you get into the exhibit hall.
- Set a budget, and either be prepared to stick to it OR forgive yourself if you don’t. There are so many “shiny” objects at SDCC, better to come financially disciplined or at least give yourself some slack if you do buy that exclusive you weren’t counting on. Also, consider buying exclusives that have a limited number, such as items that are one out of 250 or 500. It can pay off to have these later.
- Bring a buddy or make a friend. If you have multiple items on your list that you want to get but they are only available at a particular time that makes it difficult for you to get or via SDCC lottery you didn’t win, you may want to bring a buddy to help you buy them. Or, you can make friends at the con with people to trade later. We’ve actually found this to be very effective and have helped people buy things they were looking for to be quite effective and received help getting items we wanted in the same way. But, never give up on the exclusives that you want. Always nicely ask the line security workers when might be a good time to come back to snag that exclusive.
- Line-up for the Exclusive / Autograph Lottery held at the Sails Pavillion at your own risk. The lines can get long pretty early, wait times can be in the hours, and all you’re essentially waiting for is an opportunity to get an autograph or exclusive. From our experience, you may be better off lining up for an exclusive or autograph at the exhibit hall booths as those are pretty much assured if you get there early enough.
- Attend a panel. It’s easy to get caught in the SDCC exhibit hall blackhole and never get out of it, but if you have free time we highly recommend you attend a panel. Rather than try to go for biggest panels like Hall H, you may want to choose among some of the smaller panels so you actually get to sit and enjoy it.
- Do your research, it will pay off. Don’t just take it from us, search the interwebs to find out more about the con to help bolster your plans. A good place to start is the SDCC Unofficial Blog. They have numerous tips, schedules, and announcements that can be useful to a newbie and SDCC veterans alike.
- Book that after party beforehand. When the dust settles for the day, you’ll want to kick back, relax and enjoy a night out the San Diego town with friends. Thing is, you’re not the only one who has plans and the most popular after parties are usually ticketed well before SDCC starts. So try to search the Internet for what you want and book early. If you missed the cut off though, don’t fret, there’s still plenty to do downtown along San Diego’s Gas Lamp District.
- Pack like you’re going on an extended hike: bring food, water, and comfortable clothing. Since it can get awfully busy and you may have plans scheduled pretty tightly, bringing some supplies to replenish yourself can be extremely helpful. Making a sandwich in the morning and putting it in a hard shell Tupperware can be a lifesaver. Your stomach and wallet will thank you later. Also, you’ll be walking long hours so choose your footwear wisely. Additionally, first aid kits can be helpful, for example in case you need to bandage your ankle area due to excessive friction form your shoes. Lastly, choose a roomy and comfy backpack – we tried messengers and found that they just wear out your shoulder.
- Don’t forget to have fun! SDCC can get pretty stressful, with the crowds, long lines and pressure to see and do everything you want. Try to remember that you’re there to enjoy yourself. It’s ok that you don’t get to do everything on your list and take moment to take in what is basically the biggest nerd/geek convention of the world!
Do you have any tips or tricks for your SDCC adventures? We’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment below so we can share them as well.
We hope the above was helpful and if you do go to SDCC next year, to be sure to drop us a line!
Post contributions by @skkaw and @justin