You got your tickets and your hotel? How exciting! Now what? Your homework isn’t quite done yet! There are a lot of different options to choose from on how to spend your time at the convention. To start, figure out what you like that’s going to be at the con. Do you want a signature from your favorite TV star? Perhaps it’s a limited edition comic book or toy? Or maybe it’s a special event that’s off site? Some people want to be busy the entire time they’re at the con, others want to have downtime and spend a little time away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd. As boring as it sounds, making a list with your crew will help you guys decide what you’ll want to stay together for and what you’ll want to split up for.
– Now, this post is more of an overview than a master plan, so keep in mind that we’ll be skimming over things in this post and going deeper into detail later on. –
I recommend at a minimum using the official website and app. Through this, SDCC will let you know where all the official panels and events are going to be located and when. Having the app downloaded will allow you to also check any changes that may occur in terms of start times and locations. You can create a Sched account to look up and save your preferred panels and official events, and you can even port them over to the calendar app of your choice. There are also unofficial blogs, vlogs, and social media accounts that will tell you more about what certain events and panels are anticipated to be, so you can also use those as a great resource and help you plan out your trip. These videos and posts are a great way to not only get a feel for the city, but also to prepare yourself for how long it’ll likely take you to walk around town with all the fun going on.
Companies that are going to be at the convention will also post about their exclusives, both through the official convention sources and through their own. Keep an eye out for exclusives you can get at the convention ahead of time so you can plan out where you need to head to first thing once you’re finally in town and the floor is open. There may also be some offsite events going on, as well. Some of these are going to be officially sanctioned, so SDCC will talk about them. Others are not, so you might not hear about them by only listening to the official convention communication channels.
Once you and your group have gone through and figured out what you want to do, write it out in a schedule. You can see where your group overlaps, where they may need to split up, and what events may allow some flexibility because they may be occuring over the course of multiple days. You can also pick out some backup plans in the case that you may not be able to so a particular event.
Please keep in mind, there’s so much to see and do at this convention that you can’t possibly fit it all in. Don’t let this ruin the trip for you. There’s still tons of amazing things to do around the city and the convention, so make a Plan B just in case. Didn’t make it to your dream panel? While it’s very disheartening, don’t let it set the mood for the rest of the day. You’re at Comic Con! You didn’t spend all that time and money getting there because you only like one thing. Every fandom is represented at SDCC, no matter how niche. While it’s good to always have a plan b for your day, you don’t realistically always make one. Didn’t get into a panel with Benedict Cumberbatch?Take a breather and have some crab cakes Benedict instead. While you’re enjoying a breather, you can also use that time to come up with a new game plan for the day.