HomeOriginal ContentAre You Prepared for Comic-Cons?

Are You Prepared for Comic-Cons?

Comic-Con 2020 season is here! Are you ready?  Perhaps you’ve already attended your first Con of the year.  I recently went to my very first Comic-Con E.V.E.R. Yes – EVER!  And I picked a Big one – C2E2 in Chicago. My friends and I thought we were adequately prepared. However, in my excitement to attend my first Star Wars book panel, meet authors, see my friends, and take in the sights, I overlooked some important things. As I learned, I wasn’t alone in not knowing some vital tips that would’ve made our time even better. We learned some valuable lessons, and I turned them into tips for the first-time or second-time Comic-Con attendee.

What We Did Right:

  • I personally purchased my Comic-Con badge from my local comic bookstore. This was a time saver in comparison to those in our party who purchased an on-site badge and needed to pick it up the day of.
  • Getting a hotel vs traveling in can be a tough decision to make: a group of our friends shared a hotel and a cab. No-fuss with parking, no getting up extremely early, no long drive home after being on your feet all day, and it was money saver as they shared expenses. For me? I carpooled into the Comic-Con. We gave ourselves extra time in the morning to deal with traffic and parking. Time was key, as I would learn first-hand from others that attended that weekend.
  • If an app is available, then download it. Check out the different vendors and artists you want to check out, as well as panels. Check out the map and begin to familiarize yourself with the convention center layout. Being a big Star Wars bookworm, it was important to me to attend the Star Wars book panel and visit the Del Rey booth to meet The Rise of Skywalker author, Rae Carson. Be at panels early. For larger Cons like E2E2, thirty to sixty minutes is not too early.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Take a comfortable backpack or crossbody with room for souvenirs.
  • As it is flu season (and in general), we packed our hand sanitizer and made sure to wash our hands throughout the day. Gotta fight germs as if they are Stormtroopers and the First Order.

Room to Grow:

  • Bring snacks and a refillable water bottle. Both are great for the Earth, the pocketbook, and your stomach! There’s not always downtime to eat and rest.  Double-check the policy to ensure that you are able to bring in your own.  If you are able to, I highly recommend it.
  • Sometimes lessons hurt. In this case, several friends were in pain after a day of walking. Prepare your body ahead of time! Jedi train! Stormtroopers train, and so should we! Exercise, stretch, go to the gym, or take a good walk weeks ahead of time to prepare your body and mind. Your body will thank you. Wear comfortable clothes/shoes and carry pain relievers just in case you do have pain.
  • If you are attending on a busier day and not traveling in by taxi, give yourself plenty of lead time and plan to be early. Traffic can be a bear, and parking lots do fill up.
  • Set alarms for panels! We had missed a panel because time got away from us. Thankfully, it wasn’t the Star Wars book panel. Next time, I’m setting my phone reminders, so I don’t miss out.
  • Take cash as well as card. Sometimes vendors will negotiate prices or will bring down a price because you paid cash versus using a card. Sometimes, on the last day of Comic-Con, vendors might be giving out discounts, as they are looking to sell, not haul merchandise home.
  • Set a budget! Stick to it. Grab a business card to follow your favorite vendors and artists so you can purchase from them again, or at a later date if your budget for the trip has been reached
  • Please be kind. If you purchase a book, please don’t spoil it by sharing its contents ahead of time. If you share artwork that you purchased on social media, give credit to the artist. Kindness matters.

My first Comic-Con was a blast and exceeded my expectations! I attended my first Star Wars book panel, met a terrific author in Rae Carson, and made many treasured memories. I’m looking forward to my next Comic-Con.  I’m smarter and wiser now that I have one under my belt.  What’s next for you?

Start the discussion on our forum and chat room. May the Force be with you!

Nicole Marhenke
"This is a new day, a new beginning." — Ahsoka Tano

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