How to Survive Comic-Con

Navigating the ginormous annual convention Comic-Con isn't for the faint of heart. These tips from seasoned pros will help.

You will need

  • Schedule
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Carbs
  • Empty bag
  • Poster tube
  • Flexibility
  • Water bottles (optional)
  • Snacks (optional)

Step 1 Plan ahead Decide in advance what you most want to see because there’s no way to do it all. The complete schedule is posted on about 2 weeks prior to the convention. For the latest information, subscribe to the Comic-Con newsfeed, follow them on Twitter, “like” their Facebook page, or download their free mobile app.

Step 2 Prepare for battle Dress comfortably to survive Comic-Con, especially when it comes to footwear: Almost every attraction requires standing in line, and waits can be several hours. And consider carbo-loading the night before: Comic-Con isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon!

Step 3 Prepare to shop Bring cash; many vendors don’t accept credit cards and the ATM lines can be long. Carry a bag for swag — preferably one you can tote hands-free — and an empty poster tube for artwork.

Step 4 Head to your favorite spots Arrive early to browse the main floor, where the smaller booths are featured; that area gets unbearably crowded by midday. And no matter what the schedule says, stop by your favorite exhibitors in person; some signings and events aren’t announced in advance.

Step 5 Arrive early for popular panels If there’s a popular panel you really want to see, consider attending the previous one to ensure a seat; except for VIP sections, rooms aren’t cleared between panels.

Step 6 Go with the flow Be flexible. Though it’s smart to have a plan to survive Comic-Con, it’s even smarter to take advantage of the surprises you’ll inevitably encounter.