Comic-Con can be a daunting event to prepare for – trust me I’ve gone to well over 25 (I stopped counting a few years back) and it still makes me a bit nervous. But there’s a few things you should always have if you want it to be as enjoyable an experience as possible. Here’s our list:
1. Food and drink
This is super important, whether you’re at the convention as a visitor or there as an exhibitor, always bring a days worth of food and drink. There will be places to buy food in the exhibition centre, but they will almost definitely be expensive and in small portions. So make sure you pack some sandwiches or even cold pizza (a personal favourite) and snacks. Conventions are typically packed full of people and machinery, both of which contribute to high temperatures, so be sure to have a drink with you.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a lot of things you want to buy and not being able to buy it, so decide how much money you’re willing to spend and maybe even plan how you’ll spend it e.g. 30% on comics, 20% on figurines, 10% on artwork, 20% on clothes, 20% on miscellaneous weird stuff. That way you’ll leave with no regrets. Bring both cash and your card, you never know whether you’ll need one of the other.
3. A Large Bag
You’re probably going to be buying quite a lot of things, and some might be quite large, so bring a bag to accommodate all those things as well as your lunch. Some con-goers bring folders or sleeves in preparation of the posters they will buy so that there is absolutely no possibility of them creasing. Other con-goers come with no bags, but with the expectation that they’ll buy a unique anime/comic themed bag at the convention and fill it with goodies.
4. A Plan
Have a look at the show-guide before the event. This way you can plan which celebrities you want to see, what games you want to play, what theatre events/shows you want to see and at what time they’ll be. It also allows you to plot your way around the convention – a very useful thing to plan if you are very easily side-tracked and want to make sure you see everything.
5. Phone and Power Pack
Bring your phone and power pack. You’ll need your camera to take pictures of cosplayers, artists and the convention in general, and you’ll also need the data and battery to continuously upload to social media or contact that friend you forgot back in the comic village.
6. Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and standing in crowded areas, so be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes that breathe. If you’re cosplaying, bring those clothes with you in a bag or suitcase that you can change into for when you’re done posing for pictures and just want to have a look around.
7. A good night’s rest
This can sometimes be overlooked, but a good night’s rest will give you the energy and patience you’ll need to deal with everything that goes on at a convention. Long lines? Your energy will allow you to speak to the person in line next to you. Walking through the exhibitors looking for merchandise? You’ll be able to spot great deals way faster if you're alert. Meeting your favourite actor in person? You’ll be more likely to have the concentration to speak more coherently and say the things you want to say. It may sound silly, but it makes a huge difference.
So there are our 7 must-haves for Comic-cons. Stick to them and you should have a amazing time. Is there something you feel we could add to the list to make each convention an even better experience? Share it with us in the comments below.