Since the creation of Golden State Comic-Con (now well-known as the San Diego Comic-Con International) by Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, Mike Towry and Greg Bear back in 1970 drew 300 attendees at the U.S. Grand Hotel, El Cortez Hotel and UCSD. Now, that number of attendee’s have increased by a very dizzying 150,000 while the venue also have changed to the San Diego Convention Center since 1991. Since then, talks of expanding the convention center have been in the somewhat ongoing between the City of San Diego and the Board Members of SDCCi.
Since the capacity of the convention center have been filled to the top, many of the supporting vendors (i.e. Microsoft, Nintendo, AMC, Marvel Studios and many others) have opted to rent out hotel conference rooms, local restaurants and bars all over Downtown San Diego. Since more walking is now involved, (along with many other things!) this is what I do, this my survival guide that I will share with you all on this crazy 4 day event!
- SHOES – Yes you will need good walking/running shoes depending on how your schedule looks like from day to day. If you have a new pair of shoes please do break them in properly so that your feet can survive the ordeal of walking and running. Worse thing you can do is to break in the new shoes during comic-con and that I say is a total NO-NO! It is a great way to strain your feet while having cramps. Now if you do have shoes that you like that fits the need and it is a few months old, I would suggest new show sole inserts. This is a good investment since it is just a slip on without the way of breaking it in like a new pair of sneakers. This will give you the comfort that you need all for around $20 at your local store.
- T-Shirt – For being a big guy like myself I tend to sweat while during the nice hot yet windy summer in San Diego. While the location of SDCCI is near the ocean, it is still nice and hot to have people sweat inside the convention center and in Downtown. Having an extra t-shirt will come in handy due to the fact that you will feel sticky while drying up, now if you forget to bring one this is now the chance to get the shirt you want to get and sport it!
- Deodorant – This is a must alongside #2 because I don’t want to have a funky dried up sweat smell during an interview with a writer or while shooting a cosplay event! I know that everyone that’s been to a comic-con event or any type of Con, have come across that person that just came out their parent’s basement. I call that person Pepe Le Pew, yes I know it is cruel but yet why have other people smell you while walking around and enjoying their time?!
- Food – SDCCI encourages people to bring in food to snack on or just doesn’t want to buy the expensive food in the convention center. What I normally bring with me is 2 granola bars, 2 protein bars and a large bottle of water every day to keep me full until I have to eat real food. This is a great way to keep you up on your feet and have energy to last you throughout the 4 days and actually save you money all in the same time. I highly recommend everyone attending to bring water with you because it is summer time here in San Diego, you will be actively up on your feet. This would also benefit the cosplayers with the very detailed, very heavy costumes they have on, the last thing you want is to have dehydration while in suit!
- Money – Money is one of the major questions that first time goers have asked me or I have seen on FaceBook group threads. First off, I ask them is that what are you looking to buy? Are you on a budget? Are you going to eat outside of the convention center? Etc etc etc. I say to them it is all about how you plan your con, from preview night on Wednesday to the final day on Sunday and the days in between. The second most frequent question is “Do the vendors inside take card or cash?” Yes they do take both forms of payment but I have to say that cold hard cash works the best due to the fact that card transaction takes a bit longer because of the connection inside the convention is a bit weak. Hence the reason cash is king, go in find what you want to buy, pay then continue with your adventure!
- Backpack – It’s simple, a backpack that can carry all your items with you without any worries. Food, camera and items you bought during con will inside unless the items are bigger than your bag!
- Portable Chargers/Extra Batteries – We live in an age full of technology, a smart is a perfect tool for anyone during Con Season. Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram and other social media outlets are a perfect way to spread news with friends and followers all over the world. But the draw drawback of using a smart phone is that the battery life can be consumed so quickly that you’ll need to recharge your phone. One solution to this is to have a portable battery charger on hand to keep your news feed up to date and not to lose a second of the action all around you. For the people with camera’s (either point and shoot or DSLR) I do highly advice is to have back up batteries on hand just in case!
- PLAN OF ATTACK! – The final, most important thing to do during Comic-Con is to have a plan of attack! Plan accordingly on what you yourself want to do, either wait in line for the infamous Hall H for the Star Wars movie panel (good luck getting in!) or other panels. Walking around the convention center or all over downtown is very tiresome to many people like myself, we want to conserve energy and save our feet from all the walking!
Well this is my Survival Guide: San Diego Comic-Con International, I hope you all enjoy the short read but I really wanted to show the first timers to SDCCI on what to expect and what to bring along and what to plan out! I would also suggest writing your very own “Survival Guide” during con season and for what specific con! And YES by the time you all read this SDCCI have banned the infamous Selfie Stick from Comic-con!