SDCC Essentials

July 16, 2011 Conventions, Geek Girl Life 1

San Diego Comic Con is less than a week away, and holy crap, am I just now making a post about it? Yikes! In my defense, I’ve been on like, three vacations this summer with various family and friends, and I need a vacation from all of these vacations.

But the last group of vacationers is leaving tomorrow, and on Monday, my guy and I are driving from Oregon to San Diego for the comic con to end all comic cons. This will be my third year going to SDCC, so I thought I’d share my list of essential things to bring and to keep in mind. I hope these will help you out, whether you’re a Comic Con vet or a newbie going for the first time!

What To Bring:

  • Hand sanitizer & take a prophylactic course of vitamin C
    • Avoid the con crud! The last two years at SDCC, I came down with the mother of all colds on Saturday. I guess it’s a good thing I haven’t had four day passes, eh? This year, I’m going to wash/sanitize my hands often, and I’m going to try to bulk up my immune system as much as I can so I won’t get sick this year.
  • Good shoes
    • I can’t stress the importance of this enough, especially if you’re like me and are prone to aches and pains. You’re going to be walking a lot. You’ll also be standing in lines. If you wear crap shoes, your feet (and probably everything else) will hurt like a bastard by the end of Thursday. Wear sturdy shoes that support your feet and ankles. I’ll be spending this year in hiking boots, thanks to my stupid feet and their stupid tendonitis.
  • Backpack
    • I know, I know. You’ll get at least one of those giant swag bags handed to you the second you walk into the con. But trust me, those bags are nearly useless for actually carrying swag around. They’re HUGE. I’m 5’3″, and I can’t actually carry one of those bags on my shoulder. It drags the ground and trips me and everyone around me. A backpack is a much better way to tote your purchases around the exhibit hall. And you can carry…
  • Food!
    • Con food is overpriced & pretty sucky. Be prepared to pay $6 or $7 for a slice of greasy pizza. Bring sandwiches, snacks, and a water bottle in that aforementioned backpack. You can refill your bottle at the water fountains, and that’ll save you a few bucks on bottled water.
  • Cash
    • Most vendors in the exhibit hall accept credit cards, but there are some who can’t, and there’s always the possibility of card readers screwing up. Bring some cash, and keep it in your pocket, just in case.
  • Art carrier
    • If you’re planning on buying prints from the awesome artists, bring some kind of carrier so it won’t get damaged. You can get paperboard carriers from art supply stores, or if you’re serious about this sort of thing, you can also buy heavier fabric cases. You can get poster tubes also, but the artists might have a heart attack if you start rolling up their beautiful prints.
  • Camera
    • This seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve nearly forgotten my camera before a con, so I thought a reminder would be helpful. Bring a camera! Heck, even the camera on your phone will work. But in case you see Mark Hamill coming out of the men’s room, you’ll want something to commemorate that moment. (Truefax: I did see Mark Hamill coming out of the men’s room in 2009, and I tried to use my 1st gen iPhone camera to snap a shot. Sadly, it didn’t work, and I just had photos of blurs. I felt like it would be rude to ambush the guy with my big DSLR when he’s coming out of the can. I regret this now.)
  • Chargers
    • You’re probably going to bring your phone, your camera, and maybe even some other gadgets with which to entertain yourself while you wait in line. Tuck your charger into your backpack. I’ll be tweeting my way through SDCC (be sure to follow the #ubersdcc hashtag!), and I know I’m going to blast through my phone’s battery life. I’m bringing my charger along with a Mophie Juice Pack Plus battery case for my iPhone 4 and a SANYO eneloop Mobile Booster and Charger. The Eneloop booster can charge anything that uses a USB cable, which makes it super useful. Both chargers will give you at least four hours of extra charge, and between that and time snagged at a power outlet somewhere in the convention center, you’ll be able to use your devices all day long.
  • Sunscreen
    • Whether you plan to or not, you’ll probably end up standing in lines outside. And even if it’s foggy/cloudy, you can still get sunburned. Bring sunscreen and maybe even a hat for those times when you’re stuck in the great outdoors. (suggested by Kylee Lane, thanks!)

Things To Remember

Be prepared to stand in line. You can chat up your fellow geeks! This is advice for myself, too, because I’m pretty shy and get nervous when talking to new people. So I’m going to try to talk to people this year. This is my plea for you to talk to me, too. ;)

And more advice for myself: try not to get grumpy. This is my big problem at cons since I don’t like crowds. I know. But the potential for geeky awesomeness outweighs my hatred of giant groups of people crammed into small spaces. Just remember that everyone else is fighting the same crowd as you and keep your zen-like calm.

HAVE FUN. That’s what this con is for, after all. If you get a chance, check out San Diego, too, and try to go to some parties after the con is over. I’ll be at the Geek Girls Network’s 2nd Annual SDCC Geek-Out and the League of Extraordinary Ladies’ party, as well, and I’m going to try to make it to Action Chick’s Blazin’ Hot Party, too. If you’re going to the con or any of these parties, say hi to me!

I’ll see you guys at Comic Con!