San Diego Comic-Con International 2012 starts with preview night on July 11th, and lasts all weekend through July 15th. The four-day event covers pop-culture, movies, video games, and of course, comics. With a massive showroom floor, panels, and parties, Comic-Con can be a very daunting and exhausting experience. We have previously put together 12 tips to thrive at Comic-Con to help you make the most of your time. We are now back with a part two, advanced tips. The Con is nigh!
1. Bring A Power Strip
Over the years we have begun to lug around a lot more personal electronic devices. If you’re like me and you carry more than just your phone around these days, finding a power outlet alone isn’t enough. With the density of people and electronic devices, power outlets are at a premium. Instead of worrying about stealing a power outlet for yourself or having all the outlets in the area taken, bring a power strip so you can share.
2. External Battery Charger
Some cell phones don’t last an entire day and with the potential of extended use reading Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates, an external battery charger or any other kind of supplemental battery is extremely helpful and useful at Comic-Con. Having that little bit of extra juice will make sure you don’t miss out on that photo opportunity when you run into Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day or your favorite cosplayer!
3. Panel Camping
Hall H and Ballroom 20 are the two largest rooms at Comic-Con and they are located at opposite ends of the convention center. The biggest names in the industry are hosted in these two halls which also means that they fill up fast. If there’s a panel that you really want to see, it is important to get in line for the panel as soon as possible. On some occasions, it may be necessary to attend the panel prior to the panel that you are actually in line for. We are affectionately calling this panel-camping.
4. Utilize Re-entry Passes
In some of the larger halls that fill up to capacity, they utilize break passes to allow you step out to go to the bathroom. If you have friends inside a panel already that do not want to stay for a following panel that you want to attend, you can have them step out, grab a hall pass, hand it to you and you can hop right into the hall in their place.
5. Parking Deals
There are some large parking structures throughout downtown San Diego and these sell out very quickly. But they are located in great locations in relation to the convention center. The parking structure at the Omni hotel is the closest, there’s a parking structure on 6th and Market, as well as one on the far side of Petco Park. These generally have the fairest prices in downtown as well.
6. Follow Twitter Feeds
Thanks to the power of Twitter and real-time updates, following your favorite people will often times be the fastest way to get the latest information. @SDCCsurvival has been great in the past with posting what’s going on and where. Updates for parking or how much room there is in some of the larger ballrooms can be key to having a great con. Other excellent Twitter feeds are @Comic_Con, @SDConventionCtr and @SDCCPark.
7. Room Capacities
Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center can seat over 6,500 people while Ballroom 20 can seat about 5,000 people. Use this information to your advantage when trying to gauge how far in advance you may need to jump into line to get into the panel you want.
8. Daily Newsletter
Located in different parts throughout the convention center is a daily newsletter. Pick one of these up each day because if there are any schedule changes to the panels, it will be reflected in these daily newsletters.
9. Downtown San Diego
Comic-Con events extend beyond the convention center and deep into the gaslamp quarter of downtown San Diego. There are lots of great events occurring at different venues in downtown. Last year I got to see Stan Lee himself promoting Marvel’s new monster trucks, while the South Park team had an entire section offsite and didn’t require a Comic-Con badge to enjoy. This year, The Walking Dead is hosting “The Walking Dead Escape” at Petco Park!
10. Line Etiquette
Part of the San Diego Comic-Con experience will be standing in lines, very long lines. To make the most of your experience, practicing common courtesy will ensure a good time will be had by all. Be aware that some people will be in costumes so watch out for their outfits. If you are holding a place in line for a friend or a few friends, let the people around you know. Comic-Con attendees won’t make a fuss about holding a place in line for friends as long as you let them know ahead of time. If you can, bring a small folding chair or be prepared to stand or have a seat on the floor. In some cases, an umbrella is useful when the line extends beyond any shade or tented areas.
Most importantly, have a fun and safe San Diego Comic-Con International 2012!