It starts tomorrow.
That thing we've all been waiting for.
The Salt Lake Comic Con!!!
Coming from where I can now safely say is a place of veteran status when it comes to this thing, I want to share some of my infinite wisdom with those who are getting ready to head out this weekend. These tips and tricks have made my convention time more enjoyable and I hope they help you have a great time.
1. Bring a water bottle
This thing is expected to have 50,000 plus people, all packed into one convention center. It's going to get hot. As with any big event, they're will be bottled water available to buy, but as with any big event they will be marked up beyond all reason so it's best to have a bottle you can refill whenever you can. If you're going to stay for at least a day think of the whole thing like if you were to go camping: If you don't have to pee you aren't drinking enough.
2: Bring snacks
Again, they're will be food available, but my experience has been if you want something decent you're going to have to pay for it. Luckily, the Gateway food court is about two blocks west and the City Creek food court is about two blocks east, both have a great selection of stuff to grab, but oh no! You're waiting in line to see the Green Power Ranger and your tummy's rumbling! Good thing you've got snacks! I prefer beef jerky and trail mix, anything with high protein will keep me satiated until I can find something made of meat.
3. Plan your day
As soon as you get your paws on a master schedule, sit down and figure out what you want to see and when. Nothing is more disappointing than finding out you were an hour late to hear Kevin Conroy talk about the time he pantsed Mark Hamil during a voice taping for Batman: Arkham Asylum. Remember to read the descriptions carefully as some panels are the talent talking about their work while some are fans talking about the talent's work. Also, for smaller panels make sure to get in line about a half hour for the event while anything in the main hall make sure to be in line an hour before the event. Which brings me to my next tip:
4. Combat ADD. Bring stuff to do.
If you want to see a bunch of these awesome celebs, you're going to have to wait in line. That's just how it works. If you're a really outgoing person you could probably make friends in line and enjoy meeting new people, but if not I suggest having a few emergency projects on you just in case. A 3DS is my biggest recommendation since they're are people who go to this thing just for the street passes. A book is always a good idea, as is an iPod full of tunes. Fellow Mormon Geek Stephen and I always bring our sketch books to draw the Cosplayers. Whatever you're into it's a good idea to bring it, just in case.
5. Pick your souvenirs beforehand
The vendor floor is massive, and full of wonders and delights to spark the geek heart, and believe me it's really easy to drop $100 in one day. Without a plan you'll get home and find yourself with a Darth Vader helmet two sizes too small and a pair of Zelda briefs three sizes too big, and your bank account significantly smaller. Give yourself a target price, it helps if you keep in cash on you, and have an idea of what you want. Maybe you're looking for something from Legend of Korra, or maybe you're only going to pick up art, then keep to your plan. If you do see something you absolutely have to have, call someone who knows you and talk it out first, especially if it's over your target price. Sometimes a second opinion can help you make the best decision.
6. Bring your charger
By the end of this thing you're probably going to have to bring a Sherpa just to cart in all your stuff, but trust me all this stuff is for the best. They're is so much stuff to take pictures of at this place, from costumes to displays to stuff to buy to seeing your friend buying those Zelda briefs that were three sizes too small because they didn't read this blog... Your phone's going to run out of juice. Of course you may have an actual camera, in which case bring batteries. Either way you'll thank yourself when you do.
7. Don't be a jerk
Conventions like this is about the celebration of fandom, and that means all fandom. Those warm and inspired feelings you get from watching Dr. Who or Avatar the Last Airbender, someone else gets from Twilight or My Little Pony. So if you're not into someone else's fandom, don't knock it. They're here to have fun, not be teased. Your love of Firefly doesn't make you better than anyone else. If you really don't get why someone would invest money into creating a realistic Cogsworth cosplay outfit, ask them. You just might learn something.
8. HAVE FUN!!!