2014 Tip of the Day #2: Is Preview Night Worth It?


With badge sales this Saturday (3/15), a common Twitter question I get asked is about Preview Night. What is it and is it worth including in the San Diego Comic-Con experience. As the title suggests, Preview Night started as a casual evening preview of the showroom floor for the over eager attendee. With some venders still setting up their space, attendees were allowed a sneak peak at the floor. For years, many people passed over Preview Night to just attend the regular days. But like everything else, the scarcity mentality has inflated to included Preview Night. Now, experiencing Preview Night is about as crowded as attending the show on a regular Thursday or maybe Friday- which is crowded. Not as bad a Saturday but it seems like it’s getting there. The need to attend Preview Night will vary depending on your purpose to go to the show. Here are a few reasons to consider:

  • If you have a Preview Night pass, this is the time to pick up your badge. If you wait till Thursday, you will be stuck in line considerably longer and might miss something important on Thursday morning.
  • After reviewing the programming schedule, you may decide that there are some important panels to attend on Thursday morning. Doing Preview Night will give you an idea of the floor so you can go straight to programming on Thursday morning. This is the best time to attend panels since a majority of people are wanting to check out the floor first. The showroom floor is like a moth to the flame- most can’t resist checking it out first thing on Thursday.
  • If you are a hardcore collector, Preview Night is the best time to get a Comic-Con Exclusive. These are the limited edition toys and collectibles only available at SDCC. As soon as the doors open, head straight to the booth to get what you want.
  • The only programming offered is in Ballroom 20. Typically Warner Bros previews a few shows or debuts one of their DC animated features. These line up early too depending on what is being featured.
  • If you are a photographer, this is also the best time to take your pics. It’s still crowded but a little better than the other days if you are trying to get photos sans fans- this is especially important for some of the bigger displays.
  • After reviewing the signing schedule and giveaway promotions that some of the studios/companies advertise, this would be a good time to map out the floor in preparation of the rest of the week.
  • In general, there is less cosplay on Preview Night.

Overall, Preview Night isn’t anything that you can’t see sometime later in the show- and considering it’s now and additional $35, you should take that into consideration. If you are a casual attender and don’t have any hardcore agendas than skip Preview Night and enjoy the Gaslamp nightlife. In contrast, if every second counts in your Comic-Con experience then plan to include it. Fans start to line as early as the late afternoon for the 6:00 opening- but casual fans can just stroll in at little after 6 (FYI, they will open the floor a few minutes early if the vendors are ready). Personally, I have enjoyed Preview Night over the years. It’s the only time I don’t feel the pressure that I should be standing in line somewhere and I can just enjoy the floor. Hope this was helpful and please let me know if you have any other questions and leave a comment of what you think about Preview Night. See you there!

REMINDER: This year, you must now purchase ALL DAYS in order to qualify for Preview Night. You can’t buy it separately.

To read more ‘Tip of the Day’ post, click here.

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