Just a couple of weeks ago, my brother and I endeavored on a journey from New York to California to attend our first ever Comic-Con, or convention of any kind for that matter. Overall, I had a blast and I’m so glad that I went, but I learned a lot and there are definitely a few things I would do differently if I go again.
First, I would buy my tickets sooner. We waited until January (a full 6 months prior to the convention) before buying our tickets. It meant that we were able to get tickets for each day, but weren’t able to get 4 day passes. That meant that we paid a little more and had to make time (about 5 minutes) to pickup the next day’s badge. Neither was a big deal, but getting the 4 day passes just makes it that much easier.
Second, I would try to book a hotel really, really early…like by December at the latest. We looked into hotels at the same time we got our badges and found all of the reasonably priced or nearby hotels booked up for the weekend. We ended waiting to put our name in for the reserved hotel rooms through Comic-Con’s web site, which ended up being a minor disaster. Comic-Con got so many requests that they had to book rooms at a bunch more hotels, most of which were a little farther away in the Mission Valley area.
About two months after putting in my name, I got an email from Travel Planners that they could get us a room for a very reasonable rate so we jumped on it. Unfortunately, it had been so long that we had called off the trip and I had already asked for my tickets to be refunded. Fortunately, I was able to get the tickets reinstated with a phone call and several emails.
Third, I would stock up on snacks and water. We brought some snacks with us, but not water. It just meant that we were forced to pay too much money for bottled water most of the time and ran out of snacks pretty quickly.
Fourth, I would make sure I have Internet access. Our hotel charged a fee for wireless access so we opted not to pay for it. We barely spent any time in the room so, at the time it didn’t seem like a big deal. But after seeing all of the blog posts and tweets after the fact, I think it would have been a lot of fun reading them during the convention.
Really, in the end, none of that stuff mattered too much. We still had a great time, but, knowing what I know now, I think I’ll have an even better experience next time around.