We are three months away from San Diego Comic Con 2011 and the time could not pass quick enough. Some readers are seasons ‘Con vets’ and know exactly what to prepare. Many others are diving into SDCC for the first time and have no idea what to expect. While 3 months seems like a long time, there are still preparations to be made. Here is my top ten list of things to prepare for 3 months out from Comic Con:
1. Passes: Hopefully you have survived the ticketing craziness from earlier this year and was able to score passes. If you have not and you are still in need of tix then read my earlier post for more details. Ultimately, your best chances right now is to wait for resale tickets that will probably start sometime in early june. Many people over bought and will be returning tickets. Also, anyone approved for press will also be returning their passes. Demand will be high and supply will be low so be prepared for another fast sell out.
2. Parking: If you are commuting in each day then buying a pre-paid parking voucher is a MUST. Nothing will get your day off to a worst start then driving around in circles in the Gaslamp trying to find parking. The lots just opened on 4/18 and with parking still available at the convention center for only $10! Although I would encourage you to buy parking in the city since you will probably leave each day after eating dinner in the Gaslamp. The last thing you will want to do is trek all the way back to the center. Pre-paid parking is not more expensive than buying parking on-site so don’t think you will get a better deal. Click here to buy a parking voucher. *Please note that this is NOT overnight parking and can result in towing after midnight.
3. Press Pass: If you are applying for press, the registration starts on April 26th. It sounds like they are making the application process more strict than ever before. Even if you have not already received your pre-approved e-mail from your 2010 press pass, then you must re-apply this year. If you are applying for the first time, you will need to provide; A media outlet that is relevant to Comic Con, credential page listing your title and sample work, and Business Card. Your media outlet has to have been in existence for at least a year. It is first come first serve, so plan on sending it in right away. If you get a pass it WILL include Preview Night.
4. Cancel Hotel: If you were able to get a hotel in the SDCC hotel lottery, then make sure your backup hotel is canceled. If it’s not canceled, you might want to considering offering it on twitter for someone who is in need.
5. Confirm Hotel deposit: If you did get a hotel with SDCC, no matter what e-mail you get, NOTHING is confirmed unless your deposit has been processed. Check your credit card and make sure your hotel has charged you for the single night rate as a deposit. If not, call your hotel immediately.
6. Show me the money: Budgeting for Comic Con can range on what your priorities are. I am not a huge collector anymore so I usually budget about $100 for gifts, snacks, and misc. If you want one of the SDCC exclusive items like this Revenge of the Jedi 14 figure set (pictured above), then you will need to budget for more. You can eat cheaply if you want so it’s all based on your culinary tastes. All in all, you can get by cheaply if you plan ahead.
7. To cosplay or not to cosplay?: ’Cosplayers’ (costume playing) is what makes Comic Con so special. If you are a veteran, then you know the hassle, time, and the expense of making your own costume. Buying a pre-made costume is considered pretty amateur (except high-end products) so unless you have some crafting skillzes then you might leave it to others. If you are new to cosplay then check out my “5 tips to Cosplay” video. If you want to dress to impress then you need to start working on your costume right away.
8. What to wear??? Besides basic comfort, Comic Con is a chance to express your fandom and to identify with your tribe. Nerd shirts are a must and fortunately are cheap. While demand is low, I would start thinking about what shirts you want to bring. Look ahead at what is going to be hot in 5 months, like Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern, etc. Invest in some great sneakers since you will be doing a lot of standing and walking. Start thinking of if you are going to use a messenger bag, backpack, or go with the SDCC oversized bag (pictured above) that is supplied when you pick up your pass.
9. Social Media is your friend: Get on Twitter to find out the latest from great resources. Besides @Crazy4ComicCon, check out friends like @SD_Comic_Con, @DarkStitch, and @SDCCNerdsAttack. Of course there is also the official @Comic_Con. Comic Con doesn’t post often but when they do it’s usually important. If you are a fan of a certain show, start hunting or suggesting a ‘tweet up’. These are gatherings of like-minded fans at a local bars or restaurants. I went to a CHUCK tweet up and the cast made a surprise visit! I met Zachary Levi and it was one of the highlights of last year. So if you are not on Twitter then you are missing out.
10. Stay in the loop: Keep up to date with some helpful blog sites like When Nerds Attack and The Unoffical SDCC Blog. The Comic Con website has a iPhone App too. The handiest thing about it is the nifty countdown timer :)
Hope these tips helped you. I will be posting more tips as we get a month out from the big week. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions, thoughts, or other suggestions.