Tips On How Best To Prepare & Survive Comic Conventions

Given that we are midway through the comic convention season and with San Diego Comic Con officially underway. I thought it would be fun to post a guide for...

Given that we are midway through the comic convention season and with San Diego Comic Con officially underway.

I thought it would be fun to post a guide for how best to prepare and survive these amazingly fun events. This guide is really for the first timers that have never experienced a comics convention before. Or as they are now. A media & comics event.

Getting Comic Con Tickets And Booking Hotel

First and foremost. For your bigger events such as San Diego. Its probably best to book tickets well ahead of the event. Tickets sell out very quickly. So its best to keep an eye on the official websites of these events to insure you are not disappointed.

Once you have your tickets secured. You’d best get yourself organised with a place to stay. Now if you are attending a big event like San Diego. You’ll find that it is best to book accommodations at least six months in advance of going. More if possible. It’s also good to take note of the costs. It will not be cheap. So if you drive you might want to get somewhere to stay on the outskirts of the events location and commute to it each day. The more advance planning and preparation you can do. The better. Conventions can be hell if you haven’t planned things out properly.

Advance Planning For Signings

Okay. You’ve booked your tickets. You have to hotel place reserved. Now its time to check the event websites for persons of interest.

We’re all comic book fans or fans of some of the celebrity talent that usually guest at conventions. And as such. Its best to get a heads up on who will be attending in advance. Especially if you have some items that you’d like to get signed like action figures or comics.

So now is the time to look through your geek cave and see what comics by Geoff Johns or Paul Cornell you have that you’d like signed. Maybe even get your old ‘Star Wars’ poster off the wall in hopes of snagging an Ewok paw print or better still an actual cast members signature. Obviously they will be stuff to buy at the event. But it can be way cooler if you have some stuff already that you’d like to get signed.

Studying The Event Time Table

Now that you have all your stuff sorted out for signings. It is now time to plan out what panels you’d like to see.

Its true that at most events you can buy a VIP style ticket, which allows you to jump the lines and guarantees you a place on most panels, but not everyone can afford these. So learning what is on the event time table ahead of the event is a good thing to do because it allows you to know what you want to stand in line for and most importantly how early you’ll need to get there.

For most the big panels at San Diego. People have been known to be standing in line for over 4 or 5 hours. So if there is one panel that you really don’t want to miss. Then you’ll likely have to stand in a big line and sacrifice seeing other goings on at the event.

I personally usually just skip the big panels and check out the more niche stuff, but that’s just me.

Food, Drink & Comfortable Clothes

The weekend of your convention is near and its time to pack and get yourself sorted.

Now given that you are going in a big hall or several big halls with thousands or a few hundred thousand other people. Then it is probably a good idea to have several changes of comfortable clothes as well as a bag with plenty of room for your swag.

It’s also a good idea to have your own food and drink on you. At least for the first few hours you are there.

The reason being. Buying food and drink at the convention will be super expensive. So you can cut back on the cost of that by having some of your own food and drink on you. And going to the food courts at the events once your own stuff has run out.

Relax & Enjoy

Last but by no means least. Enjoy the convention. A lot of us maybe only get to do these things once or twice a year. So take it all in and enjoy.

If however you are an individual or group of individuals looking to organise an event. Then you cannot go far wrong by checking out Eventbrite’s Conference page. This is a great resource for both planning events as well as finding them.

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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