We are on eve of the greatest event of the year and the fine nerds at ConFeed (me) wanted to get your week started off right with a few pearls of wisdom. Drawing from over a decade of experience, if you avoid these pitfalls you will most likely have a great Comic-Con. Let’s get to it:
1. Wearing the Wrong Shoes: This is Comic-Con 101. To make it the full 4 1/2 days, you have to have the right footwear. Sandals may be cute but smashed toes on the showroom floor are not. I know someone that gauged how far they went during the week and it almost equaled a full marathon. So imagine doing a marathon in pumps! My favorite tactic is rotating new insoles in my sneakers, clean socks mid-day, and soaking your feet at night. Abusing your feet will mean blisters or strain and you won’t want that going into Saturday. Any vet reading this is nodding their head in agreement.
2. Lack of Planning: If you’re new to Comic-Con and don’t plan your entire day out to the hour, you will not have a very good time. Most other conventions you can wing it- not at SDCC. Other than the showroom floor, if you just try to spontaneously get into panels, you will literally not get into anything. Now, even the Offsite Events require lining up or purchasing tickets. You definitely need to make a plan if you want to get a certain Exclusive. If you only have a single badge day, check out my post on How to Comic-Con in One Day. Or check out my post on How to Get Into A Panel Room (like Hall H)
3. Not Experiencing Offsite Events: One of the coolest parts of the San Diego Comic-Con that very few cons can boast about are the offsite events. Whether it’s the Camp CONival at the Nerdist, Nerd HQ, or CON-X, there are plenty of publicized and underground events, experiences, and parties to attend. They are a nice change of pace after being cooped up at the convention center and they will add unique memories of the show. So plan now your whole week out now (and buy tickets for some). Check out my list of Offsite Events.
4. Not Bringing Supplies: Navigating the Con is physically exhausting and there is no way of getting easy food. Sure there are a few vendors spread out but the lines may be too long to get food in time. You might literally be in line from 6:00 AM and not get out of a panel till middle of the afternoon or dinner time. So extra food, snacks, and liquids are essential. If you are serious about Hall H, you will have to do some waiting outside and you may not have the luxury of the grassy knoll tents. I’ve been out there some years when it was blistering hot. The only way to survive it is to have a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. You might want to invest in one of those small pop up stools too. Those heat induced headaches will end your day early. Check out my 10 Weird Things to Bring to Comic-Con Post.
5. Running Out of Power: The Con is a black hole of power that will suck your phone dry. Because of the congested network, your phone spools all day long trying to find a signal. A single tweet could take many minutes to go out. Plus with Periscope, Snapchat and now, PokemonGo, your phone will die much quicker. If your phone is dead, there is no way of finding your friends or maybe getting home- you might never see your loved ones again. An external battery or charging case is your only hope. Go to Best Buy and get one now!
6. Not Having Meds: I know, it’s hard to take your eyes of that gif right? If you don’t bring a small pharmacy, you run the risk of getting knocked out by headache, flu, sore feet/knees, indigestion, etc… My Kryptonite is migraines. It’s the one thing that will immobilize me and ruin my day. Know your Kryptonite and have preventive measures. Daily Emergen-C is highly recommended. along with Ibuprofen and Tums.
7. Not Coordinating with Friends: If you have a diverse group of friends, there will be times when you will end up going solo in order to see what you want at Comic-Con. If you don’t make a plan to re-connect, you might not see them for the rest of the day. Believe me, I know. There is always something else to distract you or your friends and you’ll end spending the con day by yourself- which sucks. Comic-Con is awesome but it’s much better enjoyed together. Plus, working the buddy system is a much more effective way of getting into panels or buying an exclusive.
8. Stressing Over Money: You are going to spend a lot of money at Comic-Con, so just accept that. Whether it’s comics, toys, or Comic-Con Exclusives, you are going to spend more than you thought you would. For those of you that fixate on getting the ‘best’ deal, you will drive yourself mad. As soon as you buy something, the next vender will have it for $2 cheaper. That’s okay. Efficiency and economy is low priority. Sure you’ll be eating Ramen for a month- but it will be so worth it.
9. Nerd Rage Comic-Con is a whirlwind of activity filled with many highs and lows. You WILL NOT see everything that you want. In fact you might miss a lot of things that you were hoping to see or you might not be able to get that exclusive you waited hours to get. The higher your expectations, the greater the chance you will be disappointed. Comic-Con is a constant winning and losing battle. For most there are more wins than losses- and your expectations will help decide that. It’s easy to develop serious nerd rage at Comic-Con. There are tons of things to complain about- and do enough of it and you will ruin your day. A bad attitude affects your friends as well as your fellow con-mate in line or in panels with you. The WORST is if you become ‘that person’ in your group that is constantly disappointed and makes that known. Don’t be a Debbie downer. When you consider how many people were not able to make it to Comic-Con and if you relish in the fact that you are one of the fortunate few, it’s easier to let things roll off your back. Don’t sabotage your own happiness.
I also suggest my Annual Comic-Con Prep Podcast before you attend the show. If you have ever let one of these ruin your day or if you have one of your own, please leave a comment. see you tomorrow!!!