Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fangirl Summer: SDCC Tips: Add More Zen To your Convention Days

Fiction State of Mind-03


Next Week is one of the highlights of my summer: 

San Diego Comic Con!
I have been very fortunate to attend the convention consistently for the last 7 years, which is a lot considering how difficult ticket sales have been in the last few years. Now that the event is mere days away I’m feeling a combination of anticipation and a little stress. So I’m slipping back into tried and true tips that have helped me have a successful and enjoyable con. Here are some tools to help make any convention more enjoyable:

I say this a lot every year but it’s definitely worth repeating! When we are excited or anxious our muscles tighten, adrenalin floods our system, and we take frequent shallow breathes. Being in this zone is what can cause people to be pushy and even has the potential to lead to crowds rioting. Also by breathing deeply you are more alert and can move through crowds quickly yet calmly.

Be a Defensive Con Attendee

Like in driving, being alert to your surroundings, can help you navigate better and thus be less stressed. Line up early for the exhibit hall or panel rooms so you have a better chance at attending/buying the things you want.

Make a list of the booths you want to visit. Group the booth numbers in numerical order so you aren't rushing from one side of the exhibit hall to the other.If the booth you want is full , or has a long line accept it or move onto the next booth.

Make a list of panels you want to see. Also  with a back up panel (I have two backups for every panel I want to see) for each. Also list signings and offsite events going on during that time. Getting into something on your list will boost your mood and be more accepting of what you missed out on.

Avoid High Traffic Areas/ Hug The Walls. There is an area I call the “four corners of death”  at SDCC that I visit only at the beginning or end or the day. You will know it when you see it. Usually its around the Fox, Mattel, Hasbro and Summit entertainment booths. It’s a nightmare. The best way to move around con floors is on the edges, so hug those walls! Especially on Saturdays.

Do Your Best, Then Let It Go

Every year there is one panel or exclusive that burns in each con goers heart. A few years ago for me it was getting some exclusives from the Funko Booth and getting the Black Series Boba Fett.

 I was able to get the Pop figures and the Boba Fett, which made me very happy! But I had to work to make it happen. I got up super, super early for the Hasbro line and scored a ticket. The time I was slotted to shop (2 Pm) caused me to shift my entire day, including missing a Nerd HQ panel I had paid for.

So it’s important to decide what you are willing to sacrifice for a panel or exclusive and go for it! However if you truly have done all you can you have to be willing to move on. It’s difficult. Especially with social media showing you others who succeeded where you might have failed, but the important thing is to focus on what you can achieve vs what you cant. If not disappointment, coupled with crowds, lack of sleep and sore feet can cause you to be let down.

Avoid Con Bashing
Maybe I’m naive but I always assumed people wouldn't pay for something they didn’t enjoy. Yet every year, usually by midday Thursday it begins: “Comic Con should ….” , “OMG the line” , “It gets worse every year”. It shouldn't be a surprise that attendance at conventions is on the rise. SDCC is one of the biggest,  has been sold out for months! For the first time in many years they didn't have a badge resale because few badges were returned. So it shouldn't be a shock that the convention will be crowded.

Does  SDCC have room for improvement? Yes it does! Do you have a right to complain? Again Yes! But I always think of that Obi-Wan line to Han Solo when, Han calls him a fool “Whose worse? The fool or the one who follows him?”

If your experiences are so bad every year, maybe this Convention isn’t for you. Try be part of the solution: Give feedback to SDCC at their talk back panels after the con.  Send  SDCC constructive criticisms in the form of e-mails or blog posts. In the end You aren’t changing anything by complaining. I also suggest finding some online support to make your con easier. This year I joined a SDCC Facebook group and a Funko Pop group. We are sharing convention tips, making plans to be line buddies and helping each other with exclusive purchases.

So I hope these few tips help you get a lot more Zen out of your SDCC experience!

1 comment:

Michelle Miller said...

I know you look forward to it every year. Have fun! I can't wait to hear who you got to see. :)