San Diego Comic-con 2023 First Lessons
So out of a stroke of luck, I managed to get to go to the famous San Diego Comic-con. As this convention was different from anything I had ever been to before, I decided to write down a few lessons I learned for other first-time Comic-con goers to learn from me. This convention is nothing like what you think it will be. Only those who have gone to it can understand the meaning behind this. So without further ado, here is the first lesson. This convention is long.
I know this is a nebulous term, "LONG", but I have no real other way of describing it. It is long because, well, it is very long. For over a decade, my conventions started Friday evening and generally ended on Sunday afternoon early event. Not San Diego Comic con. This one started on Wednesday evening, although I did not pay for the preview this time, and it ends on Sunday evening. You need to keep this in mind when planning your trip. I got there Wednesday afternoon because I had to pick up my badge. However, we walked around town and decided to see the sites. So it felt like a Friday evening sort of thing. Which meant by FRIDAY afternoon, I felt like it was time to go home. I know that was mostly mental, but I could not help but feel that way. It was rough at times, but I managed to power on through it. Just know that if you are not mentally prepared for it, you will burn yourself out before you know it. Then there was the scale of the whole thing.
Holy god, this convention is way more massive than I can describe. It takes over everything around the convention center, including the entire convention center itself. So you have the massive convention center, the dock, several hotels, a few other buildings, not to mention outside exhibits. The fact is this a lesson I learned to plan your trip. I am used to conventions where there is a lot to do, but I can accomplish everything I want to. In this convention, you will have to choose what you want to see and do. There is not enough time, and you will have to sprint to get from panel to panel in some cases. Based on maps alone, which takes you from the official address, some events were half a mile away. So depending on where you were in the convention center, that could be 1.5 miles of walking between events. I could barely run an eight-minute mile, much less walk one. So there is that as well. This leads to another strategy, stake your claim.
Here is one thing that I really like about this convention: you can stake a claim, as I call it. The convention does not force you to leave at the end of a panel. So let's say that there is a, oh, I do not know, world premiere movie you want to see at 20:15, and there are two panels before it. You are allowed to go to the panels before the world premiere, and you do not have to give up your seats. In fact, you can get better seats as time goes on if you play your cards right. Now personally, I think that you should be polite and not just show up halfway through the panel just to stake your claim. Show up at the beginning and invest yourself and pay enough attention to look like you are not just there to see the next panel. That is at least the polite thing to do.
So there is the first set of lessons that I have learned from this convention. I have learned a lot that I need to document now that I am going to have a good chance of being able to go again. That is for sure. So I guess I will just manage to go as often as needed. Having a regular vacation is a good thing, you know.