Here's What You Need to Know Before Heading to Your First Comic-Con

If you're headed to your first-ever San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, chances are that you're super excited—and a little nervous—about what the four-day event might entail.

Need a few tips for the big adventure? Keep reading to find out how to prep for, and survive, Comic-Con.

Get Comfy

Comic-Con is a huge event and you'll need to do a ton of walking and waiting in lines—and sometimes frantic running—to get from place to place in time to see all of your faves. Wearing your comfiest pair of shoes is a must.

If you're going to attempt to make it into Hall H, that's a whole other situation. The line for this popular venue is outdoors and can stretch longer than a mile, with fans camping overnight to get wristbands to get in the next day. If you're planning on that journey, you'll definitely want to wear something cool, but bring something warm for night (and maybe even a sleeping bag, if that's your thing). And we know dressing your comfiest can be a challenge when you're cosplaying, but don't forget to bring a comfortable pair of shoes you can change into when your feet start aching.

 

Know How to Get There

Careful preparation will ensure that you get the most out of your Comic-Con experience. First, don't be left without parking. Reserve your parking through Comic-Con's official parking vendor, Ace Parking, HERE. The spaces are expensive, but the unofficial parking lots can fetch even higher prices.

Comic-Con also has a free shuttle, so figure out your stops to avoid extra miles of walking. You should definitely familiarize yourself with the area, and it's not a bad idea to print out a map, too.

 

Charge That Phone!

Obviously, your phone will be one of your most valuable Comic-Con assets. The convention has an excellent app for iPhone and Android that will allow you to create your own con schedule and easily group your favorites into one easy-to-view place.

But if you're going to be constantly checking your schedule, taking tons of photos, posting to social media and texting your friends during the event, your battery is going to drain fast. Make sure it's fully charged before you head out each morning, and if you can, also bring a fully charged power bank for your phone every day (we love these extra-cute ones from Buqu).

Watermelon and Creamsicle Buqu power bank

 

Know Your Schedule and Prepare for Lines

Like we mentioned, the Comic-Con app is awesome for coordinating your dream schedule—and it doesn't help double-checking on their schedule website to make sure you're not missing anyone critical.

To avoid disappointment, just don't think you'll be able to finish one event and hop right into another one starting at the same time. Everyone at Comic-Con is excited to see their favorites from the industry, and the lines are going to be longer than you think. Even if it's a seemingly low-key panel, plan to be in line for a couple of hours. That way, if it's shorter, you can be pleasantly surprised.

That means that if you're seeing big stars, you should plan to be in the line even longer. You may also need to make some decisions about whether it's worth four of five hours of your day waiting in line to see more high profile people. And if you're planning to tackle Hall H, don't be surprised to spend the entire time in line.

A post shared by Marvel Studios (@marvelstudios) on

Some of the events are also not at the convention center, so figure out where all of your events are. Or, if there's something you desperately need to see, don't be afraid to get into the room's line way early, get in and wait around until your big event.

Comic Con Map

(via Comic-Con)

 

Map It Out

Once you have your schedule written out and know the times and locations of your must-see panels, familiarize yourself with the convention floor so you know where all of your panels are. The app has a handy set of maps, and it's a good idea to screenshot them, or even print them out, for quick and easy reference.

 

Use the Lobby

Instead of always pushing your way through crowds on the convention floor, sometimes the best way to get where you're going is to head back out to the show's lobby to avoid the rush and re-enter the show closer to your destination. The lobby is also a great place to take a breather or take pics with friends where you're not going to get in everyone's way. On a related note, figure out where the restrooms are early on and use them whenever you're not dashing from point A to point B. Your bladder will thank you.

 

Food and Drinks

Don't forget to bring snacks on the first day, and definitely don't forget to bring a refillable bottle of water. It's easy to forget to stay hydrated during the hustle and bustle of a big event, so be cognizant of your water intake. Once you've figured out the food situation at the convention, you'll know how much you actually want to bring with you into the show.

 

Don't Stink!

Imagine finally meeting your favorite nerd icon at Comic-Con and you smell terrible. Don't let this happen! Bring one of those travel-sized deodorant sticks in your bag to freshen up when you've been sweating in the sun, and don't forget to pack some gum, mints, or both for sweet-smelling breath. You never know who you're going to run into at the convention, so make the moment count.

 

Be a Good Fan

Remember that everyone at Comic-Con is present because they're passionate about the stories being told there. Don't be afraid to bond with people who are willing to wait in the same four-hour line as you to see your favorite celeb, or who's cosplaying as a character you love. And most importantly, respect other people and their fandoms. The better everyone gets along, the better the convention will be for everyone.

 

We honestly can't wait for this weekend. Click HERE to check out some of our highlights from last year's show.