Now that your Comic-Con badges and hotels are secured (for most of you), it’s time to start developing the an attack plan. If this is your first time to Comic-Con, there is much, much more than just showing up on Preview Night. Whether it’s exercising, budgeting, or buying supplies, planning is the key to a successful Comic-Con. Three months will pass before we know it so here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the big trip:
1. My Precious… Your badge and hotel.
If you don’t have a CC badge, your only options are to work for a vendor or to be invited as a guest of a volunteer or panelist. There are, of course, contests out there but they are far and few between and chances of winning are slim. For you current badge holders, make sure you have your e-mail badge confirmation in an easy to find place folder on your computer. Your RFID badge won’t be mailed to you till about 3 weeks before the show so keep track of any documentation just in case you don’t get your badge. Also, make sure that OnPeak has charged you the two nights deposit on your credit card for your hotel. Regardless of what confirmation you have, payment is the ultimate reservation. Nothing is real until they have processed your card. If you have an extra hotel room, don’t forget to cancel by April 30. Speaking of hotels…
2. Is this box taken?
Hang in there if you are on the OnPeak ‘wait-list’. I know many of you are anxiously expecting good news to arrive in your inbox. My guess is that those on the wait-list will be notified after the April 30th deadline. After this, there might be more available for another sale- but probably not downtown options. Besides searching on your own, your other option is working with the Friends of CC Forum. They are a great resources to find open SD hotels, roommates, etc. You can still go online and find places far out by National City or Sea World. It’s not convenient but it’s something. If you plan on spending all your nights in the Hall H line, then invest in a great sleeping bag. Check out my earlier post for all my suggestions on housing.
3. Ace up your sleeve?
If you are commuting in for a day, parking can be a beast to find as well as pricey. You will want to take care of parking so you don’t spend an hour driving around in circles in an already congested downtown. Ace Parking is now taking registrations over e-mail until April 24 (lottery system). Prices vary from $15-40 but will be worth it if you are just coming in for a day or two. More info: Click to register.
4. Offsite and Exclusives!
If you are new to Comic-Con, the experience is so much more than just the show- there are Offsite Events which offers a variety of parties, concerts, and interactive experiences hosted by various organizations separate from Comic-Con. Make sure to check out my new updated Events page for the latest. If you love to collect rare toys (and other cool stuff) then keep your eyes out for new Comic-Con Exclusive announcements over the next few months. Check out my updated Exclusive page. Just a couple have been released but the list will grow to over a hundred.
5. Show me the…
Fortunately, you can do Comic-Con on a pretty tight budget once you get past the badges and hotels. Pack a few PB&J sandwiches and your good to go. However, if you want to experience SDCC to the fullest, you can definitely throw down some dough on food, Exclusives, Offsite Events, and more. Start saving anywhere from a couple of hundred to a thousand if you really want to be safe. I’ll post more about this in the future.
6. Tweet, tweet…
Social media has probably been the best invention to impact Comic-Con in the past few years. Not only is it a great way to meet other like-minded fans but it’s the best way to get updated news, tips, and tricks from con veterans from all around the world. It takes time to get used to it so start tweeting now. Even if you are not active on 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): @EnglishmanSDCC, @SDCCNerdsAttack, @ComicConFamily, and @FriendsOfCCI to name a few. Regularly search #SDCC to pick up the latest tweets too.
Comic-Con International’s very own Toucan Blog will have a lot of great tips and announcements so you will want to check that regularly.
A lot more tips coming up in the coming weeks covering Exclusives, budgeting, backpacks, cosplay, first time press and more! Make sure to check my building list of 2016 tips to help you out. Also read the First Time stories of past attendees! Please leave a comment of how you are preparing for the show!