It was an emotional weekend as 2014 Open Registration brought either cheers or tears to a myriad of SDCC hopefuls. Congrats to all the winners! Even though there was no way to please everyone, overall I think Comic-Con should be commended for a fairly seamless process. Not only was it crash-free but I think the they did a thorough job at preparing us for this sale. Still I know there were a lot of disappointed fans but that was inevitable given the extremely high demand for the show. Now that the majority of badges have been sold, we can now turn our eyes on the rest of the Comic-Con preparation. For many of you that are new to the ‘journey to Comic-Con’, I’m hoping these tips will help reduce the anxiety and help you plan effectively in the coming months.
Badges: With both Pre-Reg and Open-Reg completed, a majority of the attendance has now been set- but there is still a glimmer of hope for some. Typically, there is one last sale sometime in June for badges that have been returned. This is a very small sale in comparison to the first two but it’s worth a shot if you are still in need.
Hotels: The next hurdle to overcome is the Comic-Con Hotel Lottery. Each year CCI reserves 30+ hotels all around the Gaslamp, downtown San Diego, and beyond just for the week of the show. If you call right now, you will find that most rooms are already booked or exorbitantly priced. Presumably this hotel lottery will occur soon now that the last bulk of tickets have been sold. While it’s another mad scramble, it’s not as riddled with angst as the ticket sales. Once the hotel system opens, you put in your top 6 hotels, then hit send. Then you are notified a few days later of the results. Prices are generally cheaper than going on your own ranging from $300-$500 a night. I’ll post more about hotels later. If you are impatient or want to book something now, get on Google and start calling every hotel along the SDMTS Trolley map. You can find some hotels in National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, etc that may be farther out but will only take 20 mins by trolley. It’s not particularly scenic but the rates will be reasonable. I stayed in National City a few year ago and thought it was fine. We were half a block from the Trolley and it dropped us off right in front of the convention center.
Press: While some press outlets have been notified, a lot are still waiting to get their acceptance e-mail so hang tight.
Airfare: Yea, lock that down ASAP.
Parking: Parking can be a beast to find as well as pricey. If you are commuting each day, you will need to take care of parking so you don’t spend an hour driving around in circles in an already congested downtown. ACE Parking will offer pre-paid parking sometime over the next couple of months from $15-25 a day. They will offer parking at the convention center and these will be the first to sell out.
Cosplay: With just four months left, if you have cosplay (costume play) plans, you should be underway. Depending on complexity, an average costume can take a couple of weeks to many months to put a costume together. The main thing you need to be concerned with right now is having enough shipping time if you have to order some parts. If you are ‘noob’ to Comic-Con, then taking this first step can be pretty intimidating- but fortunately, there are TONS of resources available on the interwebs. For instance, check out Sirene’s Cosplay 101 video. If you are not super crafty, then you may want to draft the help from a more experienced cosplayer. The cosplay community is very helpful so feel free to reach out. More cosplay tips to come in future posts.
My First Time: The amount of amazing stories that come from the San Diego Comic-Con is the main reasons that keeps my inspired to keep writing for this site. I love meeting new fans, listening to their experiences, and sharing in their highs/lows. To me, SDCC offers a lot but what makes it so special are you all. Last year I started ‘My First Time’ posts to capture ya’lls stories. Thank you all for sending in your stories over last year and I look forward to posting more. If you are a Comic-Con noob, make sure you read these stories to help you prepare for your first time. If you want to send your story in, check out my instructions post.
Twitter: If you are new to Comic-Con, you will discover that Twitter will be your best resource leading up to the show. There are plenty of Con pros that can offer sage advice that you will want to listen to like: @SDCCNerdsAttack, @TheNerdyGirlie, @lennyukdeejay, @ComicConFamily, @DarkStitch, and @The_Con_Fluence
That’s it for now. Plenty more post in regards to panels, technology, outside events, exclusives, and more. Comment below for any advice you have and let me know if you have any questions- thanks and see you in four months!