We are 1 month away from the San Diego Comic-Con- actually, even though today is the 24th, we are only 28 days away so we have less time than it sounds (but who’s counting?). Regardless, the fleet is amassing and the legions are making battle plans. If you underestimate SDCC, you’ll find yourself on your own, completely surrounded by hostiles, and freaking out. Sounds dramatic, well it absolutely is- but it’s a late night and I am trying to make this stuff sound compelling so cut me some slack. Where was I?.. oh, winning a war takes major preparation. Like a long trek to find Earth, you don’t want to just survive but to come out victorious. So here are the top ten things you should be doing one month out from the show.
1. Define Mission Objectives
I’ll start with an important one that I think gets often overlooked. For many, Comic-Con is about all the biggies- the showroom, panels, exclusives, etc… but for some, this is a critical opportunity to make some major changes in life. I know this sounds lofty for a con, but I know many that got their ‘start’ at Comic-Con and have moved on to do great things. Now, they are making their mark in culture and living out their dreams. Thanks to technology, finding your own voice has never been easier, however it all starts with knowing what you want to do with your life and by taking some risks. So before you get lost in all the details of planning, ask yourself, what do you dream of and how can Comic-Con help you take that next step. Keep those objectives in the forefront of your mind during the show so you can take a step of faith when the time is right. Aim high and be all that you can be.
2. Gather Your Allies
Social media has probably been the most valued asset to impact Comic-Con in the past few years. Not only is it a great way to meet other like-minded allies but it’s the best way to get news, tips, and tricks from con veterans from all around the world. Even if you are not big into Twitter, it would be good to create a ‘list’ of a few accounts to help you prepare for the show. Some suggestions (but certainly not all):
@TheNerdyGirlie @EnglishmanSDCC @SDCCNerdsAttack @FriendsOfCCI
3. Secret Weapon
SDCC can be a flurry of experiences with one event eclipsing another. By Sunday, the victories that occurred on Wednesday will be a faint memory. That’s why you need to invest in a Con*Quest Adventure Journal. Imagine this like a scrapbook specifically designed for comic cons. Within each book, are pages for autographs, sketches, panel notes, business cards, photos, swag, and much more. The creator sent me one and I can definitely vouch for it’s usefulness. If you want to preserve your Comic-Con memories while they are fresh, this is perfect for you. Available for $40, you can watch their video to learn more or order one here. I’ll be doing a giveaway for one soon, so stay tuned.
4. Get Your Uniform in Order
Being just weeks away, you should be well underway in executing your cosplay for SDCC. However, if you are a new cosplayer and still haven’t started then don’t fret. With some imagination and a few late nights, you can get a great costume together while working within a budget. However, since we are running out of time, make sure to order any special items (like shoes) asap. Sachie, from the Geek & Sundry channel, has a few tips on how to assemble an affordable cosplay outfit:
Unless you storm beaches for a living, there are very few events in life that make you ponder your footwear. It only takes one Comic-Con to learn the value of having the right kind of shoes. Blisters and sore arches are inevitable but you can certainly minimize the pain with four important tips:
- Broken in newer shoes with good arch support
- Rotating new insoles each day to offer new support
- Use Moleskin adhesive felt tape instead of bandaids to protect from blisters
- A little Ibuprofen helps keep the pain and swelling down
6. Requisition of Supplies
There are a lot of extra supplies that are recommended to survive the 4-day gauntlet. Whether it’s the right back pack, phone chargers, portable stool, etc… It’s time to start choosing and placing orders. You don’t want to be scrambling a week before the show because you ran out of time to order the right gear. I ordered a couple of items that I could only find overseas so it’s taking extra long to get to me. Make some decisions and pull the trigger.
7. Targets of Opportunity
If you are new to San Diego Comic-Con or to con culture in general, one term you’ll be seeing more of is the word ‘Exclusives’. Typically only offered at larger cons, Exclusives are toys and collectibles that are first offered to the public at the show. Offered in limited amount, the Exclusives are the ‘brass ring’ for toy hobbiest and con enthusiasts. Check out my recent Tip of the Day posts further explaining SDCC Exclusives and how to get them. Also, check out my page highlighting my favorites being offered for 2014.
8. Offsite Missions
Over the past month, we have been hearing about all kinds of offsite events like fan meet ups, mini-cons, concerts, promotions, and special parties. Some are paid, some are free, some are small, and some are huge. These extracurricular activities have become some of my favorite parts of the show over the past few years. I’ve made a list of the more prominent ones on my Offsite Event page. The important piece of intel to note is some require tickets or RSVPs while space lasts. You won’t want to wait on this and miss out on something awesome.
9. Learn from the Veterans
I just posted my ‘Pre Comic-Con Prep Podcast’ for this year. Joined by some other veterans, we provide very practical preparations on how to tackle the showroom floor, standing in line for Hall H, outside events, and much more. This is perfect for you first time attenders but will also include a lot for you veterans. The only real short cut in life is learning from the experience from others. Check out our podcast here.
10. Military History
The story of the San Diego Comic-Con is unique. From it’s humble beginnings to the modern day media Goliath it has evolved into, SDCC is truly one of a kind. Chances are, many of you have basked in the glory of Hall H however probably don’t know the story of how Comic-Con became Comic-Con. I truly believe that understanding the history will help you appreciate the show even more. This documentary is a few years old but it does a good job taking you back to a simpler time.
28 Days to prepare may sound like much but it’s really not. General rule of thumb when advancing on Comic-Con; over prepare and ask a lot of questions. You veterans leave your comments on how you are preparing 1month out from the show. Also check out my 2014 Tip of the Day posts for many more in-depth tips leading up to this point. Happy hunting soldiers and God speed.