Saturday, July 21, 2012

What I Did: 10 Things I Learned from my First SDCC

I'm still reeling from my exciting adventure at San Diego Comic Con last week! It was so much fun and I had a wonderful time. I can't believe how nice everyone was, how unstressful waiting in line after line ended up being, and how many cool celebrities and actors I either met or saw. Now that I have been, I feel like I'll definitely be more prepared for next year. I wanted to share a few things I learned from my experience, as well as some photos! If you want to view more photos, they'll be up on my Flickr account

Free Lumpy Space Princess button from SDCC 2012

Instagram Highlights: Adventure Time freebies, a signed Homestuck print, and cupcakes!

  1. Schedule, but don’t overschedule. Pick out the things you most want to do and schedule the con around them. Don’t try to fill every single second with something to do, or have a strict timetable – a lot of the time, lines will make everything take longer than you schedule! Our first day was mainly filled with walking around and looking at everything. Throughout the con, we had large blocks of time where we didn’t have any specific plans, and we still managed to do everything we wanted to by the end of the con.
  2. Always decide what you want to do first thing in the morning. That being said, deciding what to do right when you arrive is a good idea! Since lots of giveaways, con exclusive sales, and panels require you to be there early, make the decision the night before. That way you know when to arrive int he morning and you can plan other, less pressing things for later on in the day.
  3. Spring for the 4-Day Pass. If at all possible, get a 4-day pass. This gave us plenty of time to check out everything, wait in lines, and see (almost) every panel we wanted to. If we couldn’t get to something one day, we always knew we had more time. This took a lot of pressure off!
  4. Look at panels before AND after yours. We made this mistake for the Legend of Korra panel, which we both REALLY wanted to go to! Since SDCC doesn’t clear rooms between panels, you often have to get there super early.We had seen people the night before camping out for the Firefly panel. Although we got to the con and got in line early, we were disappointed to find out that the Firefly panel was immediately AFTER Korra, so all the late-night campers had been in line for hours and hours already. D'oh!
  5. Open a Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare account. Even if you never use them again, having these accounts already set up will make your life easier throughout the con. Many booths use Twitter to announce giveaways, or ask you to check in on Foursquare or Instagram a photo in order to get something free. It saves tons of time to already have these rather than trying to make an account inside the convention center.
  6. SDCC collage
    Only one of these things was inside the convention center!
  7. Enjoy the Gaslamp District. Restaurants and shops alike are redesigned for the show. Skip the dry, unhealthy Convention Center food and go somewhere more exciting, from Heavenly Cupcakes to the Hub-redesigned Broken Yolk CafĂ©. Don’t forget to explore the area at night, too. I met another hooper in a drum circle, and that was one of my favorite moments from the convention!
  8. External events. Not everything to do at SDCC is actually within the Convention Center! Google a list of outside events before your trip to make sure you don’t miss anything and definitely walk around once you are there. One of my favorite things this year, the Adventure Time Keyper Seeker exhibit, was a couple blocks away at the Children’s Museum.
  9. Don’t worry if plans change. When we didn’t get into the Legend of Korra panel, we were pretty disappointed, but because we were still at the con early, we were first in line for Legend of Korra Autograph Session tickets! There is still so much to do at and around the show, so don’t be upset if one thing doesn’t work out.
  10. Make friends. With your line buddies, your fellow cosplayers, convention center staff, anyone! Not only does it make standing in line for hours a little more enjoyable, but you never know who has stuff to give away, who will let you cut in line, or who has a hook up to something cool. I ended up giving away a ticket to play Resident Evil 6 to someone who was nice, since it turned out I didn’t need it anyway.
  11. Invest in a poster tube. I purchased a hard plastic one with a strap for around $15, and it was probably the best investment I made all convention. With the amount of super cool free posters we were getting, it definitely proved to be useful. I didn’t buy much merchandise at the convention, but I really think that the poster tube was a great idea. Some booths give them out for free, but only right when the expo hall opens! 
Some of my favorite SDCC 2012 cosplays!
Some of my favorite costumes. It was so hard to choose!

I hope you've enjoyed my recap. I had lots of fun and really hope to go back next year.

Did your favorite show, movie, author, artist, etc. go to Comic Con this year? Did you keep up with it? Let me know in the comments! 

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