The Beginners Guide to Attending a Convention

So you’re interested in attending your first comic convention? It doesn’t matter if it’s Phoenix Comic Con or San Diego Comic Con, it helps going in to have a few tips to make your first convention even more enjoyable. These tips and suggestions will hopefully help no matter the size of the convention.

Wear Comfortable Shoes
If you’re going to a convention for one day or three, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking in that span so it goes without saying that your feet are a priority. If you don’t own a pair that can do the job and don’t want to shell out the money, an alternative is to look into some gel pads for your shoes.

Bring That Backpack
Chances are you’re going to find something really cool to purchase and then what? You gotta carry around a plastic bag unless you wanna trek back to your car every time you make a purchase. Solution? Bring a backpack! It doesn’t have to be a crazy expensive backpack (but let me tell you if that you like your first convention experience and want to go to more then it’s worth the investment) but just something to store your purchases and to keep your hands free to take pictures. It’s also useful for our next tip…

Beverages: Bring Your Own
Just about every single convention I’ve been to over the past six years allows for attendees to bring their own drink. Bring a bottle or two of water, keep it in your backpack and avoid paying $4 a bottle, that money can be used toward that signed copy of Batman you’re eyeballing.

Cables and Chargers are You’re Best Friend
You’ve got your phone, you’re taking all these cool pictures of a group of Sailor Scouts, you’re uploading those pictures to Facebook using the free wifi and you’re texting your friends about how much fun you’re having.

You’re phone has lost it’s charge 2 hours into the day because you forgot to fully charge it before you left and you still wanna take pictures at the cosplay masquerade later that night.

Trust me, bring your wall outlet charger for your phone or your camera. I guarantee at some point in the day you’ll see plenty of people sitting against a wall charging the most important device in their life at the moment. It’s ok, everyone does it.

Plan for that Panel Accordingly
One of the first things I learned before going to my first convention was that if you want to see a panel, plan your time accordingly. Don’t wait 10 minutes before it starts because even if you do get into the panel, you won’t be in a good seat. This is especially true for larger conventions like Emerald City Comic Con, C2E2 and obviously San Diego CC where you have to give yourself an hour or more to get into the room. Most conventions don’t clear the room in between panels.

I just recently went to a panel featuring Rob Liefeld of Deadpool and X-Force fame. Got to the room 30 minutes early but by the time the panel started the entire room was packed.

And Finally…

Have Fun
Yeah, conventions at time can get stressful, you’re in a long line for a signing featuring Robert Kirkman, you missed a photo opportunity with Jim Lee or you keep getting bumped into walking the exhibit floor but just keep a cool head and have fun.

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