How to Prepare for San Diego Comic-Con
What to Expect
How to prepare for San Diego Comic-con? Is it your first con? Things can be a little overwhelming. In this post we will go over everything you need to know. On my last post, I briefly went over my own experience and history with the San Diego Comic-Con. This installment will be…
What Can You Expect at the San Diego Comic-Con?
As previously noted by this May 2013 article by Film School Rejects, the San Diego Comic-Con has about 130,000 attendees at a convention center with a square footage of 615,700 (an area larger than 10 football fields). What does that all mean? It means you can expect that there will be a lot of people, there will be a lot of walking, there will be a lot of waiting in line to get into places to check things out, and it will be hella crowded. But you are going to have a lot of fun while you’re there.
Oh, and you can expect to see some cosplay.
Lots of cosplay:
Make sure you have your camera ready. Lots of people cosplay, and everyone wants to show off. Just be polite and ask if you can take their picture. Unless the cosplayers need to get somewhere, they are always willing to oblige for a picture or three.
Besides, you never know who might be under that Spider-Man mask.
The Days Of Comic Con
Comic-Con takes place over the course of 5 days.: Wednesday night to Sunday.
Wednesday night is Preview Night.
Not everyone can go to Preview Night. It used to be that there was no price difference between a 4-day pass and a 4-day pass with Preview Night. With the growing popularity of the show, Preview Night costs a little extra. Preview Night was meant to be where you could check out the Exhibit Hall the night before the show opens. It was never too hectic or too crowded and you could get freebies from many booths as well as having the opportunity to buy some Exclusives from places like Mattel or Hasbro.
Those days are now a thing of the past. Preview Night is now all about getting Exclusives and watching Screenings, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Despite Preview Night turning into a day all on its own, Thursday is still considered the first day of Comic-Con.
You can expect lighter programming on Thursday than the other days, but when the Twilight movies were a thing, Thursdays at Comic-Con became as busy and as hectic as Saturday Hall H programming.
Friday is Star Wars Day!
Friday is considered Star Wars day at Comic-Con because of the bevy of Star Wars related programming that day. Also, the first slides of the first Star Wars was shown in Comic-Con, so there will always be a deep connection between the film franchise and the show. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming out later this year, it is almost a sure bet that there will be a Star Wars panel in 2015.
In the last few years, Friday has also hosted panels for AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones in Hall H, a room that fits 6500 people. Having been to those panels, I can tell you that you have to line up early and no one leaves until at least those two panels are over.
The Will Eisner Awards are also held on Friday. The Eisners are the comic book equivalent of the Oscars. They are held at Indigo Ballroom of the Hilton Bayfront and they are open to anyone with a four-day badge or a Friday badge in How to Prepare for San Diego Comic-Con.
Saturday is the big “Hollywood” day!
Saturday is what I like to call “movie panel day” as Hall H typically hosts the Warner Bros panel to start the day with Marvel Studios ending the day. With Marvel Studios potentially not coming to Comic-Con this year, there’ll be a Hulk-sized programming hole that will need to be filled. There will be plenty of studios that will be clamoring for just that spot in the programming schedule. When people say that Hollywood has taken over Comic-Con, they are typically talking about the stuff that happens in Hall H on Saturday.
On other programming news, the second biggest room in the San Diego Convention Center is Ballroom 20 which seats about 2000 people. That room on Saturday hosts the Comic-Con Masquerade Ball. The Masquerade Ball is arguably the biggest event of Comic-Con. Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, dedicated a huge portion to the Masquerade Ball and what people have to go through to make that magic happen.
Sunday is Kids Day!
You can expect a lot of family friendly programming on Sunday. Sunday is not as hectic as the other days, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to stay in the Exhibit Hall to the very end. The rush to get out of the convention center rivals any mass crowd scene I’ve experienced.
Everything I’ve already mentioned does not even scratch the surface of all of the events at Comic-Con. There are off-site events like Nerd HQ, the the Nerdist, Walker Stalker Fan Fest and The Walking Dead Escape just to name a few.
As you can see, there is a lot to do at Comic-Con. This post was my attempt at showing what one can expect at the Comic-Con. On my next post, I will actually go over what you need to do to prepare for the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con. There is a lot to do with so little time. You will need to prepare and plan accordingly so that you can get the most out of your Comic-Con experience.