The Richter Boys San Diego Comic-Con Survival Guide
With seven years consecutive experience under their belts, father-son duo Shawn and Gavin Richter definitely know their way around San Diego Comic-Con! Just in time for the biggest and craziest comic convention there is, they’re here to offer some helpful tips with the Richter Boys Survival Guide.
1. Plan Ahead
SDCC is H-U-G-E! You can not and will not see it all. We rarely even see the whole exhibit hall floor (although we never miss the Sideshow, Marvel, Lego, Hasbro, and Funko booths!) Prioritize, but be flexible. Each day you should have a couple of things that are at the top of your list, and find out what you need to do to make them happen.
To help you plan your time, on the SDCC website there is a feature called MY SCHED. Log in, and you’ll be able to look through the hundreds of panels, signings and other events to find the stuff that you want, and add them to your own personalized schedule. There is also a free official SDCC app which you can load on your phone and take with you.
2. Shopping Exclusives
The unofficial SDCC blog keeps a great list of Con exclusives that will be offered at the show, so you can decide in advance which ones you’d like to scout out. The process for buying exclusives varies by booth, some with simple lines and ticketing systems, and others with more extensive rules and regulations. Try to find out in advance either online, or, if you are there for several days, ask someone at that booth on the first day, and be prepared for the rest of the weekend. The more popular ones do sell out quickly, so if you really want something, the sooner you get it the better!
3. Bring a Good Camera
Take lots of photos! Once things get started, it’s all VERY overwhelming. Bring a camera that you are comfortable carrying all day and using. We all use our phones to take pictures, but if you can, bring something that will take better photos and USE IT!
4. Rules of Conduct
Speaking of photo opportunities, Comic-Con is known for its world-class cosplayers! Gavin and I cosplay all the time and we love it. As a rule of thumb, you should always ask before taking a cosplayer’s photo (we will always say yes!) Sneaking a photo is sort of frowned upon, unless someone is already posing and there are people all around them snapping photos.
5. Carry Water and Snacks
Traveling around the convention can be very slow going, and lines very long. The worst thing is to be trapped somewhere and suddenly realize you’re starving. Be sure to take a water bottle and snacks to keep up your energy, and stay hydrated wherever you go.
6. Keep your Phone Charged
With all the waiting that is to be expected, what do we all do when we have time to pass? We pull out our phones, and that can drain em pretty quickly. Make sure your phone is fully charged at the beginning of each day and, if you can, get a hold of a portable charger just in case.
7. Prepare for the Unexpected
It will be VERY crowded, and easy to get separated from your friends and family. When Gavin was younger, his mom and I assumed that we would lose him, so we created a plan accordingly. Kids especially tend to see something cool and wander off! SDCC kid badges require emergency contact phone numbers, and I would also put a couple of business cards (with my email and cell) in Gavin’s pocket, and we would carry walkie talkies. He’s been lost several times, but always found quickly, because we were prepared.
8. Explore Downtown
There are a TON of things to do outside the convention center that don’t require SDCC badges. For the full SDCC experience, wander around outside downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp District afterwards, you never know who you will run into!
Hopefully you’ll find all of these helpful. Good luck and enjoy SDCC!
Until next time,
Shawn and Gavin