There is just two days before this years San Diego Comic Con and if you missed the previous post click on the links below to catch up.
There are still s few things left to go over to help you get ready for the big trip and help you prepare to have a better experience at SDCC this year and with just a few days left it’s crunch time to get things ready.
While there is nothing like getting sick on a trip because I have been there and done that, there are some things that you should pack just incase you get sick or small heath issues. Here is a list of things that you should not only pack but carry with you all the time at the convention.
Aspirin: There is nothing worse than getting a headache during the day. Unless you are allergic to aspirin it’s one of the best things to take for it. My choice is Excedrin but buy the store brand that will work just as well and cost a lot less.
Band-Aids: This is a must have if you get a small cut on your hand and you are in the giant petri dish that is SDCC. Make sure that you wash your hands before putting it on. Also get a small tube of neosporin or store brand version to have on hand also.
Pepto Bismol: This is for an upset stomach after you have mistakenly eaten the food at the convention center. They have a pill version that is better for carrying with you. There are also store brands of this one.
Advil or Tylenol: While aspirin is great for a headache if your body and feet are sore then these are a lot better for that. Make sure that you pop one before you go to bed and it will help your body feel better in the morning.
Allergy Medicine: Nothing worse than allergies kicking up during the day and driving you crazy. These will really help with that runny nose and other fun things that go along with allergies. I take a daily generic Zyrtec that you can get at Costco for about $15.00 for a years supply. With the ever changing weather in San Diego it would be wise to make sure you take a couple of extras just in case.
Eye Drops: Long days and nights are a staple of SDCC and your eyes take the brunt of that. Regular eye drops are OK but spring for ones like Systane that are lubricant ones that can be used as often as needed. Another tip is to take a travel size baby shampoo that is a no tears formula and wash your eyes with it at least a few times a day. This will help with both dry and sore eyes.
Imodium D: Nothing worse than getting the squirts during SDCC. While Pepto Bismol will also work on this problem if you just have diarrhea then this is better for this problem.
Blister pads: Getting blisters suck. Getting blisters during SDCC is nearly fatal. While sometimes a band-aid can work fine for friction areas, if you get an actual blister then make sure that you put these on. They are made expecially for blisters and you can wear them for a few days. If you are prone to blisters in a specific area you can put them on the area ahead of time to help prevent them.
Q-Tips: This is great for lots of things but obviously cleaning your ears is one of the best.
Hand Sanitizer: This will be your best friend at SDCC. It the first line of defense against con crud. My personal choice is Everyone Hand Sanitizer Spray from EO You can get it at Whole Foods and I like it better than the gel because it has peppermint oil in it that will not dry your hands out like the gels do.
Baby wipes: These are great for sticky and greasy hands. They are also great for cooling off when you wipe off you face with them.
Gas Pills: Let’s be honest we all fart and if you eat certain foods then you can clear a room with ease. But when you are sitting in a panel you don’t want to be the person that smells like you pooped your pants. Make sure that for everyone’s sake bring this with you.
Gum: Nothing is worse than when you meet that celebrity or creator and you have bad breath. Brushing your teeth after eating is great but that is pretty unrealistic at SDCC a lot of the time. So make sure that you pack some gum or pick up some Colgate Wisps that you can brush your teeth on the go without water.
Lip Balm: Having dry lips during the day drives me crazy so I always carry around some lip balm. My choice is Burt’s Bees because it’s natural and works really well. Another choice is EOS that is really good but doesn’t fit into your pocket well because of the size. They do have a lemon one that is SPF 15 and if you are standing in line for Hall H this is a really good idea to have with you.
Vitamins: There is always debate about vitamins but because of the crappy food and the lack of rest will test your immunity system. Popping some vitamins is certainly not going to hurt you. There are even some great immunity support tablets that cover most of the bases that might help out you from getting con crud. Along with a good multivitamin I would take some extra zinc that can help your immune system.
Vaseline and Baby Powder: When walking around SDCC all day there is a good chance that you may have some skin chafing and wetness in certain areas of your body that you may not be used too. There are two remedies for this. One is baby powder that you can use in areas of the body that need it. The other thing that it’s good for is sweating feet. You can put some on before you put you socks on and it will help keep your feet cool and dry. The second is vaseline. If you are developing a rash or chafing then liberally spread some vaseline in the area. This will greatly reduce the friction on your skin. You can even carry a travel size with you so you can re-apply to the affected areas during the day.
Fanboy (and Fangirl) Funk
Going to the biggest geek convention on the planet multiplies one thing, Body Oder! Nothing is worse than bad personal hygine when you are in a crowd of 130,000 other people. Bathing during SDCC is a must for everyone. There is no excuse for not making personal hygiene your top priority during the convention. It’s one thing to not shave or put a hat on to cover you messed up hair, but not cleaning yourself everyday is just embarrassing. And guys spraying Axe on you instead of taking a shower is like spraying it on a pile of shit and expecting some miracle to happen, guess what it doesn’t. For the most part girl are better at this issue than guys but I have encountered them and they can be just as bad. The other thing that you need to make sure that you do is make sure that you are changing all of your clothing every day. Yes EVERYTHING!
Once again using Febreze is not like washing your clothing, it’s only covers the smell. Change your underwear, socks, shirt and pants or shorts everyday of the convention. Now you might be able to get away with the shorts or pants as long as you have not been sweating like a pig. If you can smell it then other people can smell it too. The other thing is to buy and use a good deodorant or anti-persperant. Not the cheap stuff either. If you insist on wearing body spray or perfume dumping the whole thing on you is like leaving a sent trail for miles. When you shower make sure that you wash your ENTIRE BODY with a good soap not just hosing yourself off. Standing in line all day can task the best deodorant or anti-persperant if you are a person who has some issues with that then bring along a travel size and use it during the day. So do everyone a favor and make sure that you are washed and wearing clean clothing every day of the convention. Who know that is maybe why you have not had any luck in the dating pool also.
Try and Get Some Sleep
One of the hardest things to do at SDCC is getting enough sleep. For the money that you are spending on a hotel you should at least try to use it at night to sleep. While sometimes it’s hard to get enough rest during the convention taking a break during the day can really recharge your internal batteries for the rest of the day. If you are going to be out parting all night. Head out of the convention early and go back to the hotel and take a quick nap. You would be surprised how much it can help you survive the convention.
Backpacks and Totes
For a long day at the convention you should bring something to store all of the swag, exclusives and personal stuff you will collect or need to bring with you. While some people like backpacks I am not one of the biggest fans of those. First off they are not really designed to get stuff in and out quickly. The other thing is that it kind of turns into a giant black hole because the main compartment is so big. The other thing is that when carrying it you will hit other people and they will bump into it a lot. It’s like driving with a trailer and most people don’t know how to drive with a trailer. My choice is the Timbuk2 messenger bag that have lots of storage and are built to last. Most backpacks fall apart but the Timbuk2 are really well made and come in many choices. They are not a cumbersome as a backpack and are easy to get into and have lots of storage compartments. I would suggest getting the better Deluxe Strap Pad because its better on your shoulder when you carry it all day long. The other thing is to get a good shopping tote. They are better than plastic bag and they are easier to carry around on your hands all day.
The Hero Initiative makes a great tote and is a great deal at $5 bucks you are donating to a great cause. They had them last year and hopefully they will still have some left this year. They will be at booth 5003 so stop by there early to get some extra ones for the show and to use after in your everyday shopping.
One thing that you should bring with you is supplies for the swag and exclusive comics that you might pick up. Most of the publishers do not have comic bags and boards so make sure that you bring some along so the comics won’t get damaged while you are carrying them around. Another thing is to bring a poster tube. While FOX always give some away the odds of actually getting one is slim at best. There are dealer at the convention that have supplies for item that you get at the show but if you can bring some with you can save some cash. One vendor that you want to visit is Bill Cole Enterprises at booth 1600. They have mylar supplies and many other great items that will help preserve your newly purchased art or comics.
Make A Plan
Planning both the panel schedule and the exhibit floor is one of the biggest things that you will need to do. First make sure that you have downloaded the official SDCC app on your smartphone (iPhone) (Android) this will help with your plan of attack. There are a lot of busy booths but the worst ones are Hasbro, Mattel, Funko, Peanuts and Graphitti Design are some of the busiest ones for the entire convention. Preview night is both good and bad for exclusives. The reason is that there is limited programming so that means everyone is on the exhibit floor. The Hasbro line was capped at 30 seconds on last years preview night so I would avoid that one. Most of the comic company exclusives are pretty easy to get but they can get busy also. The best thing is to go to the booths that you want specific exclusives from first. If one is busy head to the next one. With the app you can put a list of your favorite booths so you can easily look them up while you are on the floor. Most exclusive have limits so make sure that you know in advance so you are not disappointed. Some of the studio booths have signing and some require special tickets. They are given out at specific times upstairs under the sails and have posted times on when they are given away. They are mostly in the morning and a number of them know are lottery drawings. So getting there early doesn’t guarantee that you will go to the signing. Some of the events this year are off site and require a ticket. Check the program schedule for those events and where to get the tickets. A lot of the studios giveaway free swag during the convention and that always turns into a 3 ring circus. A lot of the time the staff is just unable to cope with the massive rush of people at a booth and while they try there best communication is not always in place. There are a lot of times that you could be in the dreaded line to nowhere. Remember that there are a lot of volunteers that are not always super informed when chaos breaks out. This also goes the same for the security staff that SDCC hires for the convention. If you do have an issue with security remember that YOU need to keep your cool in the situation. If you think that a security staff person was unprofessional make sure that you take their name down and talk to someone who works for SDCC and not the security company. If someone has stepped over their bounds you have the right to complain. The most important thing is that getting free swag is not worth getting hurt or upset about. Remember one thing that your life will go on if you don’t get that free thing or exclusive.
While taking picture is a great way to remember SDCC there are a few tips to keep in mind while you are there. Make sure that you do not take pictures or video during the studio footage being screened. It’s great that they show the footage to you and for the most part they will release the footage on their website soon afterwards. If you are taking photos and are in the back of a large room, turn off your damn flash. The flash is only good for about 15 feet and if you are in the back of Hall H it will add nothing to the photo that you are taking. The only thing that will do is annoy everyone around you. One thing that you might want to invest in is a monopod for two reasons. A tripod takes up too much floor space and while you are sitting during a panel you want to be courteous to people sitting around you. By having your camera on the monopod will help stabilize your pictures. Try and be careful when taking photos to make sure that you are not blocking someone else’s view. While everyone is taking photos when the guest first hit the stage and there is constant flashing after that has passed make sure that you use common sense. Mute both your phone and camera so that everyone around you can hear the panel. The one thing that I always try for is to get an aisle seat so that I can lean out a little to get better pictures. The other thing to remember is to carry an extra camera battery. They can be expensive but you will make sure that your camera is ready at all times. Cosplay at SDCC is awesome. But you know what is not awesome blocking the isles in the exhibit hall and taking pictures of cosplayers. I love taking pictures of great cosplay but you need to have some common sense people. If you are on the exhibit floor and you see a great outfit ask the person to go to a less crowded area so people can walk down the isles. A lot of cosplayers are in the front main lobby but alway make sure that you are not blocking people being able to walk through. This goes for both the cosplayer and the photographer.
Cell Phone Etiquette
Are you a doctor. If the answer is no then mute your phone because nobody wants to hear your phone going off or talking on the phone during a panel. If you get a call during a panel then text the person back. If you absolutely have to take the call get up from your seat and step out of the room if possible to take the call. If you can not step out of the room then go to the back and whisper the conversation. Cell phones have become both a good and bad thing at SDCC. The one good thing is that if you are using your cell phone during a video presentation you will be asked to turn it off. If you are repeatedly told to turn it off, security can and will take your phone away from you. The same goes for cameras during the videos.
Have fun during SDCC. While I alway hear people bitching and moaning about this and that, there is still nothing like it in the world. I made peace with SDCC years ago and have had better experiences since then. Remember you won’t get into every panel that you want to go to. You won’t be able to get every exclusive that you want. You won’t be able to meet all the creators or celebrities that you want to. Guess what you are not going to die if you do not get all of the things that you want. Just make the best of the time that you have at the convention. There are over 130,000 people descending on San Diego for the convention and as always it’s a zoo. But take a deep breath and enter the belly of the beast and go with the flow. You will have a better experience coming out of the convention.