SDCC: My First Time

Every nerd dreams of going to SDCC, but not all get that opportunity. I assumed I would be one of the many who would never make it to San Diego, but last year I was finally able to get there with the help of some awesome friends. Not only was it my first time at SDCC, but my first time actually spending any time in California.

I arrived in San Diego on Wednesday so that I could have some time to breathe before the chaos began. I thought I was prepared, but I had no idea. There are plenty of things you can plan for, like having a fully stacked con-bag. Sure, I had great walking shoes, plenty of hand sanitizer, extra phone batteries, and a refillable water bottle, but no amount of preparation could have gotten me ready for the sheer amount of people. As a small town Ohio girl, I’m not used to being around quite that many people, not even at the “big” conventions that I’m used to. Not only were there tons of people, but also an insane amount of content. I had thought that being there for preview night would help, but I still feel like there is a ton that I missed. With the show floor, all the panels going on, and all of the off-site events, it’s easy to feel like you’re always missing out on SOMETHING.

Wednesday morning was spent hitting up a local comic book store to get some new comics while friends made a plan of attack for the weekend. That evening I checked the layout of the con floor to make notes of the booths where I knew I wanted to take a little more time.

Thursday morning I headed over to Nerd HQ and met up with some wonderful friends that up until then, I had only known online. Zachary Levi gave an uplifting and inspiring panel. I’m so sad that HQ won’t be having an event this year, but I’m confident that we’ll see it back next year. I then ran from the Children’s Museum to The Hilton so that I could catch the Con HQ and Nerdist panels. That evening I was able to attend the Her Universe Fashion Show and witness the spectacular outfits that were created. I imagine judging that event had to be EXTREMELY difficult.

Friday was a fairly calm day. I headed back to the con floor so that I could take a little more time at the artist and vendor booths that I noted on Wednesday. That afternoon I headed across town to see some of my buddies in their panel for Bat In The Sun. I had the privilege of attending a rooftop party that night for Gentle Giant and Anovos, and met some fabulous new friends.

My entire Saturday was spent in Hall H. I caught panels for Warner Bros. Pictures, Star Trek, Aliens: 30th Anniversary, Entertainment Weekly: Women Who Kick A**, and Marvel Studios. The Warner Bros. segment included panels on Fantastic Beasts (where we all got wands!), Kong: Skull IslandSuicide SquadLego BatmanJustice League, and Wonder Woman. The Marvel segment included panels on Doctor StrangeGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Thor: RagnarokSpider-Man: Homecoming, and Black Panther. Squee! What an awesome experience!

I was so excited to be at the Pokemon Go panel on Sunday. I think everyone was hoping that they might be able to catch something that was exclusive to the panel, but we just heard a few ideas for the future of the game. I still play periodically. Am I the only one, or will there be another fun installment of Pokemon Go SDCC?

While I had an incredible time at SDCC, I’m very thankful that we all get an entire year to recuperate. I can’t believe that it’s almost that time again. This year I’m ready for the fact that I’ll only get to see so many things and miss out on others. The key is to make a plan ahead of time and prioritize the things that you most want to see. Have a back up plan just in case things don’t work out, and don’t stress if not all goes according to plan. The goal is to experience what you can and, most of all, to have fun. If this will be your first year at SDCC, make sure you leave a comment or tweet me at @amlehr so that I can make sure to say hello if I see you!

8 thoughts on “SDCC: My First Time

  1. Awesome write up Allison! I always love reading these first time experiences and perspectives! I’m going on maybe 6 or 7 years and I still feel on too many days I missed out on something.

    Question, you sort of just casually mentioned you were in Hall H all day Saturday, but did you camp out to get in or come super early?

    • Yeah…I feel super guilty, but I didn’t do those things. It mainly happened because I knew some folks on the inside.

  2. Very nice write up. The point I think folks need to make a mental note about is the understanding you can’t/won’t see it all. This will be my 13th year in a row and I’ve been doing what you did every year. It helps make sure I prioritize the things I want to see. That way I don’t get upset with not seeing some things. It allows you to have so much fun knowing you can check things off your list, and know that these were the things most important to you. As you noted also about being in Hall H that will eat up a day. So you have to factor that into your planning as well.

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