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 Geek, 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.