Sideshow’s San Diego Comic-Con 2018 Survival Guide!
So, you’re going to San Diego Comic-Con? Awesome! Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, conventions have a way of bringing fans and fandoms together for a few days of nerdy bliss. The panels! The exclusives! The Sideshow Booth #1929! Are you ready? No?
Well, no worries! We have you covered with our Convention Survival Guide! Check out our tips and tricks below to help successfully navigate your convention-going experience.
Get Your Priorities Straight
Before setting foot on the show floor, you need to take some time to determine what the most important things you want to accomplish while at the convention are. Do you want to shop for that long lost collectible, or get an autograph from your favorite celebrity? Do you want to attend panels to get the latest news, or hit the artist alley to get a cool one of a kind sketch? These are just a few of so many possibilities!
If you need help with this, the convention will most likely have a website or a guide with all the information on what there is to do. Take a look at this, and then make a list prioritizing what is most important to you.
X Marks the Spot
Once you have your priorities straight, you are going to have to find out when and where to do the most important things. Depending on the size of the convention, there may be a map of the entire hall on their website. If not, the guide book will definitely have a map when you arrive.
Time Machine Not Included with Badge
Once you have your priorities down and your map in hand, you can make a loose plan for the days ahead. Keep in mind that there will always be a degree of improvisation during any convention. Schedules change, guests cancel, and surprise lines will keep you far from the room where it happens.
Instead, make a timeline guide for your most important events each day, and sync it to your phone’s calendar. This way you have everything at a glance, and you won’t have to plan every minute of every day.
Hygiene is Very Important
Some convention halls can get hot. Plus, some lines may be outside, and you could end up standing in the sun, waiting and waiting for your next panel room to open up. Convention Funk is real. Please be considerate to your fellow convention-goers by showering AND using deodorant daily. Mints or gum probably wouldn’t hurt either.
What’s Your Armor Class?
Most likely you are going to want to get the most out of your day, which means you may not have the time for a wardrobe change. Unless you are doing some amazing cosplay, plan on wearing relaxing, comfy clothes that breathe. If your convention happens to fall in the colder months, layers are a must.
Also, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so wear the most comfortable pair of shoes you own. Closed-toe only please, unless you don’t mind your delicate toes getting trampled under masses of Nikes.
It’s Dangerous to Go Alone. Take This.
Below is a list of some items you can and should bring with you on your journey:
- Water – Hydration is important, and you should go to a local market the day before the convention and buy a large pack of water bottles for a few bucks. Or better yet, bring your own reusable bottle. Unless you want to spend $5.00 for one bottle during the show? Didn’t think so.
- Snacks – While at the market, pick up some easy, handy snacks to carry with you during to the day. Granola bars, trail mix, whatever floats your boat. Again, this will save you time, money, and stave off the hangry feelings.
- Backpack – How else are you going to carry your snacks and all the cool stuff you are going to buy?
- Large Backup Battery and Charging Cable – Outlets will likely be few and far between in the convention. Bring a spare, so if your phone battery dies halfway through the day, you can just plug in from your bag and won’t miss that unexpected photo opportunity with your favorite celebrity!
- Cash – While many booths now take credit cards, cash is still king. Bring some green just in case.
- Hand Sanitizer – You are going to be shaking lots of hands and bumping elbows with fans all week. The best way to fight off the dreaded Con Plague is to wash and sanitize your hands often.
Save Your Battery
Even though you are bringing an external backup battery, you should do a quick Google search on how to extend the battery life of your phone. Turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, location services, and even LTE when not in use. These few changes can go a long way.
Take a Break
After a few hours of walking, you are going to want to sit down and take a break. You may want to plan to attend a panel or a screening toward the middle of the day, if nothing else to give your feet some well-deserved time off. Be mindful of places where you are and are not allowed to stop and rest- the fire marshal is there to keep things safe!
There is No ‘I’ in Team
Bring friends! The best way to overcome scheduling conflicts is with a team. Trying to get into a panel, but there’s a celebrity signing at the exact time? Less of a problem with two or more people! Person A can run and get the autographs, while Person B holds the group’s spot in line for the panel.
Pick a Landmark for Home Base
If your group is splitting up, pick a large, easy to find landmark/booth and set a time for everyone to meet up for the next event or meal you are planning to do together.
The Golden Rule
Last, but not least, be kind. Conventions should be enjoyable for everyone, and all it takes is one rude person to ruin everyone’s good time. Don’t be that person. Kindness and courtesy go a long way.
Also, at any convention, there will be numerous attendees in cosplay. Many of these costumes will be dazzling works of art, and the product of hours of hard work and dedication.
If you see a cosplayer, and you want to take their picture, chances are they will stop and pose for or with you. Always, always, always ask permission to take a picture. If you want to be in the picture too, ask exactly how you should stand or pose with them. Do not touch them unless they give you permission and/or instruction on how to do so.
Treat all your fellow attendees with respect. If they tell you no, don’t get mad, just move along.
There you go. You are now convention ready…. more or less. There will be quite a bit of improvising and schedule shifting, and you most likely will not get to do everything you want to, but that’s okay! If you miss something one day, just try to make up for it the next day. Plan ahead, be safe, and be kind and you’ll get through just fine.
No matter where in the world you are, be sure to stay tuned to Sideshow’s Online Comic-Con 2018 all SDCC weekend (July 18th-22nd) for more booth news and updates. Join us online on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter to participate in giveaways, exclusive reveals, and more.
If you’re attending San Diego Comic-Con, be sure to visit Sideshow at Booth #1929 to see what we have in store!