How To: Survive (Salt Lake) Comic Con
If you follow me on twitter or instagram you may know that I spent three days at Salt Lake Comic Con at the end of September. This was my 5th Con and I now feel like somewhat of a pro so I thought I'd share some of my tips and tricks.
#1. Buy your tickets as soon as they go on sale! I don't know about other Con's but SLCC has deals for early tickets. They are usually 30-50% off.
Even if you're not sure you're going, buy them anyway and you can always sell them to a friend if you end up not going.
#2. If you're going to cosplay plan ahead! Order what you need online, check Pinterest for DIY's and make sure you have everything you need the week before.
You don't want to wake up the day of and realize you're missing your elf ears or your cape.
#3. Pre-register! I don't know about other Con's but SLCC allows you to pre-register your wrist band. It takes all of two seconds once your receive your bands in the mail and it saves you SO MUCH TIME!
Trust me, you don't want to spend hours in line to register when you could be buying your first Harry Potter wand or stalking a very realistic Batman.
#4. Pack. Pack. Pack.
Pack your wristband (duh!). Pack hand sanitizer, an empty water bottle (to fill once you're inside) snacks, protein bars and cash.
Hand sanitizer doesn't really need an explanation.
As for the water bottle and snacks, even nerds get dehydrated.
And even if you're not planning on buying things at the event you'll need cash for parking.
Which brings us to tip #5. Weigh your options for parking. This is going to sound stupid but make the decision before you go downtown whether or not you're going to pay a ton for parking and walk right in or if you're going to book it 12 blocks to save some cash.
Personally I would rather spend as much time as possible inside the venue and I park right next to it. Granted it's more expensive but when I pay to spend three days there I don't want to waste half of it walking to and from the venue.
#6. Plan out your days. Know what time you're leaving, what time you'll get there, which panels you're going to and when you'll have free time.
If you go in blind you're going to miss a lot.
SLCC always releases their panel schedule a couple days early and I go through and make sure I know where and when all my panels are. Sometime you'll have to leave a little early to get to a different panel or you might be lucky and have three panels in a row all in the same room. Either way, plan ahead.
#7. Have a seat.
All of the big panels are in the main ballroom, if you want to see a panel at 5 get in line for the 4 o'clock panel. They don't clear the ballroom in between panels so you can save time standing in line by sitting through an extra panel. Plus you can move up quite a bit when the people for the 4 o'clock panel leave.
I always have my sister with me so she'll save our seats in the back while I try to find a closer one. Then I wave her up or text her where I am. It works like a charm. Last year we got first row seats for Paul Weasley, Tom Fleton and Felicia Day.
8. Going along with the last tip, go to panels you wouldn't normally go to.
This past con me and my sister were sitting in line waiting for the Robbie Ammell panel to start when the volunteer at the front of the line told us there was still seating inside for the current panel.
That panel turned out to be the panel for the new MTV show based on the books by Terry Brooks. I had never heard of The Shannara Chronicles before I stepped into that panel room but the second I saw Manu Bennett sitting next to Terry I knew I was hooked.
Don't miss out on amazing panels just because you didn't take the time to read who the panelists were.
I had NO IDEA Manu Bennett was two feet away while I was trying to kill 40 minutes on twitter. I'm so glad I got to see this panel and it turned out to be one of my favorites!
#9. Manage your time!
If one person in your group has to pee, you all pee. Trust me on this one, you don't want to be, say, in the middle of the Weasley twins panel thinking about how embarrassing it's going to be when you pee your pants.
Eat during the panels.
Don't waste time standing in the long lines for food inside and don't waste time leaving the event to eat elsewhere.
Have a big breakfast at home, eat a protein bar for lunch during whatever panel you're in and then stop somewhere on the way home for a late dinner.
Also. Fruit snacks are a lifesaver at Comic Con! I get the big box at Target of all strawberry ones.
#10. Have realistic expectations.
This past Con Chris Evans was the main star. Because he is such a big deal they closed his panel to the public and instead entered all the ticket holders in a lottery to see who would get in.
Sadly I was not a lucky winner.
I'm coping.. Thanks for asking...
On the other hand some panels you get into won't be worth it.
Two examples, the first being Scott Wilson's panel... While I adored him as Hershel on The Walking Dead... Lets just say his panel was a one way ticket to snoozeville.
Don't be afraid to walk out of a panel if you're not enjoying yourself. You only have so much time and there's a lot to do!
The other example being Ian Somerhalder.
I used to LOVE Ian. I mean, have you seen him?
I love Damon Salvatore and I was ecstatic to find out he would be attending.
Me and my sis got up hours earlier than we needed to in order to get downtown and get in line for his panel.
We got there two and a half hours early.
We stood in line for two hours, once we finally got in and found seats we had about five minutes before the panel started.
We were... For lack of a better word, giddy.
But the great thing about Comic Con is you're never the only one fangirling!
We waited... And waited... And waited...
The panel started 35 minutes late.
Since this had never happened before I had no idea what to expect.
I assumed he would still do a 50 minute panel and I wasn't too upset about the wait.
Until he started talking.
He answered two maybe three questions about the Vampire Diaries and spent his remaining 10 minutes talking about his stupid flight and global warming.
He never once acknowledged the fact that he was late or that the panel was less than 20 minutes long.
Needless to say I wasn't the only one in the crowd of 5,000 who was a little pissed off.
Manage your expectations. Sometimes the panel you're looking forward too the most will blow and sometimes the panel you stumble into on accident will blow your mind.
Lastly #11. If you're going to shop the floor do it on Thursday. SLCC runs Thursday-Saturday and if you don't want to find yourself in the middle of a nerd sandwich (hold the deodorant) do most of your shopping/browsing on the first day. Saturday is going to be ten times as crowded and you'll likely miss out on some great deals.
And there you have it! It's extremely long and filled with gif's but hopefully it'll help you out!
Until next time,