Attention on deck! Captain Cats and The Nightrider speaking.
We have seen our share of conventions for nearly 20 years, and we have noticed that the rules of surviving conventions have changed dramatically. Back when we first attended the San Diego Comic Con in 2001, we were privileged to witness the wonder of such a convention with more than enough room to spare. The long lines never existed, the badge prices were very reasonable and the price for the following year’s convention was $30. All that changed when about three years later, the prices steadily went up. With the first expansion of the Convention Center and the birth of Hall H, prices soared through the roof. Suddenly the convention population exploded to the point where in 2010 the Fire Marshall closed the Convention Center for the very first time! The internet helped shift the registration process from ONSITE REGISTRATION to ONLINE REGISTRATION. We can go on and on about the changes but let’s leave it at that.
But that doesn’t mean that one can fight through a convention without having fun. If one plans their adventures carefully, they can definitely take advantage and become a winner in their own right. We have decided to create a general guide for someone who is planning on attending a mega convention such as SDCC for the very first time. It can be very intimidating and quite scary for a first timer, but with a little help from our proposed guide, one can leave a mega convention being less afraid and ready to tackle many more! [Please note that this is a general manual and that it should not be taken too seriously. Everybody has their way of going about a mega convention, and we respect that. We are just giving some interesting tips that we have learned through the years.] Book I is all about PREPARATION for a mega convention. Book II (coming soon!) will be about how one ENDURES such a convention.
So, let’s get started! We will be using SDCC 2019 as a prime example since 2018 is upon us in a few weeks.
So, you heard the legends of the San Diego Comic Con International and want to try going for the 2019 Edition for the first time. August is around the corner and you want to get started. So what do you do first?
One should do some more research to verify the legends while learning valuable information that may lead up to getting a 4-day badge. For official news, there’s the main website at https://www.comic-con.org. If you want the juicy news about exclusives, parties, and offsite activities, Google will direct you to the “San Diego Comic Con Unofficial Blog at https://sdccblog.com. This site is a good resource concerning news, rumors and detailed information about offsite events. Other blogs and websites, such as “Crazy 4 Comic Con” at https://crazy4comiccon.wordpress.com. are ok; the more resources, the better! If you find permanent resources that help you stay in the loop of information, KEEP THEM!
Assuming that you have more than enough information about SDCC 2019, now it’s time to decide whether or not you’re going to cosplay or not. If yes, Book II will have the details in a paragraph designated as “Scenario A.” If not, Book II will have details in the paragraph designated as “Scenario B.” Packing your cosplay outfits won’t be a problem as opposed to enduring their weight for four days (5 if you plan on cosplaying on Preview Night).
You now have a good idea of what to wear for SDCC 2019, but now comes the most significant issue of all: money. Plan a budget. You have to scrimp and scrape every last penny so that you can make the most of your first appearance at SDCC 2019! Getting to San Diego can be easy for some but not for the majority of convention aficionados. Life may get in your way (e.g., sudden unemployment) or perhaps one of your proposed plans won’t work. That precious exclusive might cost you your Con. Food is a big issue for one who is not native to San Diego, but with the help of your newly-acquired information, you can find good food at reasonable prices instead of paying $22 on a hamburger and a small drink. Fun also costs money, but it may be worth it as you may go clubbing on Saturday night and bump into Johnny Depp!
Knowing that you have an adequate job that allows you to endeavor for a journey to the second biggest convention in the world, you ask yourself “Where will I stay?” SDCC’s main site offers the infamous “Hotelpocalypse.” Ordering a hotel this way does not guarantee you’ll be getting a great place to stay for a week; it’s you against the world! But there’s hope in the form of other places within San Diego that may take out-of-town guests and provide shuttles to the Convention Center. Call around and book in advance if that is your option instead of “Hotelpocalypse.” Book II will go into further details with “Scenario A” being that you will fight the world for a hotel room and “Scenario B” is that you will pursue other options.
So now you are PREPARED. But only in theory since now you must apply your method to physical and mental use. ENDURANCE is the main issue after you have secured a week in San Diego for SDCC 2019. In Book II, we’ll go into more details as to how to physically and mentally prepare oneself so that the mere sight of over 140,000 attendees won’t drive one bonkers.