2 Months and Counting…

I can’t believe it but we are two months away from the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con! Have I been traveling in a Tardis or what?!?!  Some of you are seasoned ‘Con vets’ and know exactly what to prepare for being 2 months out. Many others are diving into SDCC for the first time and have no idea what to expect. While 2 months seems like a long time, there are still preparations to be made. Here is my top ten list of things to prepare for 2 months out from the ‘Super-Bowl’ for nerds:

1. Passes: Hopefully you have survived the ticketing craziness from earlier this year and was able to score passes. If you have not then your only real hope is to wait for the resale badges sometime in the near future. Some people over bought and will be returning excess tickets. Also, anyone approved for press will also be returning their regular attendee passes. Demand will be high and supply will be low so be prepared for another fast sell out. Keep checking their website and Twitter account for updates. With an increase in credential checking, I would avoid buying off eBay or finding a scalper.

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 opened last month and there seems to be plenty of parking available (for now). 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 is now open. It sounds like they are making the application process more strict than ever before- so there are no guarentee that you will qualify. 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. You can then refund your attendee badge if you already purchased that.

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 (from 2011- 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, the Dark Knight, etc. Invest in some great sneakers since you will be doing a LOT of standing and walking. I would discourage sandals or heels. 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. The big WB bag that you get on arrival is awesome but pretty cumbersome.

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, @ComicConGeek and @SDCCNerdsAttack to name a few. 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 Comic-Con GeekWhen 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.

13 thoughts on “2 Months and Counting…

  1. These are all great tips Tony. I thing I would add is to plan ahead if you are thinking about getting any of the big exclusives (like the Revenge of the Jedi). Budget in the cost of shipping it to yourself, if you fly in and can’t carry it on the plane with you. Luckily there are shipping companies in the Convention Center.


    • Yes, good word. I rarely buy anything that needs shipping so I didn’t even think about that. But if you are flying in from out of town you will need to do that. The shipping at the convention center is really convinient. Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for this post. There’s so much information here. One question, is that $100 total, or $100/day? I’m not big on collecting, either, so I don’t anticipate doing much spending but I definitely don’t want to under-budget.

    And to add to the wealth of knowledge, here’s a tip of my own: as far as twitter goes, I actually went a step further and created a separate, SDCC-specific account, and then added the ones you suggested as well as others that are relevant to the con. That way, when I’m actually in San Diego, I can check that feed and not have to dig through all the people I follow with my personal account. (I love my friends but their latest relationship drama is not what I need to be sorting through when I’m trying to find out which celebrity is doing a signing and where.) Just thought I’d throw that tip out there!

    • Kaci, I have gotten away with just spending $100 during the 4 days at Comic-Con (not including housing of course). I budgeted about $20 a day for meals /refreshments and was fine. It’s not extravagant and you have to settle for fast food but it can be done. Once your at the Con, you can experience it pretty frugally.

      Great idea with creating a separate SDCC Twitter account. You can also create ‘lists’ if you don’t want to create a new one.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! Hope to meet you at SDCC.

      • Hi Kaci & Tony. Well I have to tell you I’m beyond impressed and not worthy if you manage to spend $100 for the entire duration. I’d say that’s more anomaly than typical. I do collect, but beyond that expense, I’m shelling out $100 a day for other general cool items, food, etc. Unless all you are going to do is “window shop” and “people watch” I’d be budgeting way more than $20 a day! You find one item you want to buy, chances are it puts you above $20 right then.

        • Well, I have done $20 a day but that was the super-economy, no thrills route. It can be done if necessary. I totally go all out now and splurge on everything. But for the more frugal minded- you don’t have to be rich to survive Comic-Con.

  3. BTW Tony, I love your site. You gotta update and post more often! ps – You working this year’s con again? If so, can you get me an early entry! 🙂

    • Thanks- yea I need to post more often. I’ll be working it again. As far as early entry…hmmmmmm…;)

  4. I’m going to the SDCC for the first time in July. I am so nervous about getting there. The parking voucher tip is super helpful. Thank you!

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