San Diego Comic-Con Tips From a Newbie: Who to Follow on Twitter (Tip #2)

In my last post, I focused on What to Bring With You Everyday to Comic-Con, which included your phone charger or extra battery. It’s very likely that you will be constantly on your phone, checking social media and posting to it in addition to the dozens of other activities smartphones can do nowadays. One of the best uses of your phone checking time during Comic-Con is to follow Comic-Con activity on Twitter through the hashtags #SDCC, #SDCC15, and #ComicCon2015. All of the companies who have booths or tables have a Twitter account and will be posting throughout the convention about giveaways, signings, special surprises, sales, and other announcements. This is your way to gain an advantage over other people who may not realize how to find out about these things. Aside from companies posting from their booths, however, you will also find information on the activities going on outside of Comic-Con in the surrounding areas. There are hundreds of simultaneous events happening during Comic-Con and there is always something to do. Additionally, many die-hard fans and convention veterans will also post their own tips or leads on things they’ve found out about, which can be infinitely useful. There are sometimes secret parties that pop-up last minute or random giveaways outside too. Last year I got a sweet Transformers fanny-pack when I was walking towards the Gaslamp District.

But, you may ask, how am I to know who to follow on Twitter to be in the know? Well my dear geeks, I have done most of the work for you already. I created a Twitter list under my account @LianaRosePhoto, with 80+ accounts you should check out during the con to stay in the know. I will be adding to it in the days and weeks to come as we get closer and closer to the week of Comic-Con. Please feel free to subscribe to it, share it with your friends, and tweet me with suggestions. Here’s the list in all it’s glory: https://twitter.com/LianaRosePhoto/lists/comic-con. I’d also love to know who will be there in July so please add me and I will add you back!

Check back next week for another useful tip for navigating Comic-Con as a newbie.

21 Days til Comic-Con!

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San Diego Comic-Con Tips From a Newbie – What to Bring With You Everyday (Tip #1)

I cannot believe it, but we’re already only 29 days out from San Diego Comic-Con! This will be my 2nd year attending and I am beyond excited! Last year was pretty intense for me as a newbie and I admit being a little overwhelmed by everything, especially because I was there by myself for the first two days. This year I am taking a more relaxed approach, but will still prepare as much as I can. I am putting together a series of tips that will help if you’re a newbie or a seasoned vet who is open to ways you can improve your experience! Here’s tip #1:

What To Bring With You Everyday

  • A backpack – This should be a pretty good size, but not too bulky especially if your car isn’t nearby or you’re not staying within walking distance from the convention center. Make sure it’s comfortable on your back and has adjustable straps. I made the mistake of using the bag they give you on the floor, and my back was in pain by the second day.
  • Earplugs – Ok, you may not realize it, but the convention floor is noisy! There are thousands of people walking around talking to each other, music blaring, booths playing video clips or doing some sort of demo, announcements, etc. It can be really overwhelming especially if you’re an anxious person already. Earplugs can cancel out most of that noise and allow you to focus on yourself and your breathing so you don’t freak out like I did, lol. Earplugs are also great at night in the hotels when you’re trying to sleep!
  • A plastic water bottle – Ok believe me, I am all for reducing water bottle waste in landfills, but this is one time when I refuse to use a refillable water bottle from the store. Last year I brought my metal water bottle with me and it added so much weight to my backpack. You’ll be much better off just buying a normal sized water from the store and refilling it at a water fountain throughout the day because it hardly weighs anything even with 16 oz of water in it.
  • A good camera – Unless you’re a cosplay photographer or photojournalist, I don’t really recommend carrying around a heavy DSLR with multiple lenses everywhere. However, whatever comes to mind when I say “good camera,” bring it. It can be your iPhone or a consumer grade DSLR or a small point and shoot. There is just so much happening that you are going to want a good camera, especially if you plan to blog about your experience. A good camera is great too for those random celebrity sitings (I saw Kyle Gass from Tenacious D last year!). Don’t forget your charger, extra batteries, and memory cards too!
  • Business cards – Comic-Con is great for networking if you’re in the biz or want to be. You never know who you might meet! Last year I met a cameraman for IGN at a bar in the Gaslamp District, many bloggers and cosplayers, and a wide variety of people from all over the world. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and promote yourself a bit!
  • Snacks – OK this one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how little time you have to gather snacks together during a con. Buy all your snacks the day of preview night so you’re all stocked up for the week. Be sure to bring stuff high in protein and complex carbs. The best snacks are fruit, cut up veggies (with dip if you have a container to keep it in), protein or granola bars, nuts, sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, and beef jerky. These will keep you feeling full and give you the energy you need to walk multiple miles every day during the convention.
  • Your badge – Duh! But seriously don’t forget it! You’ll need it to get into special outside events as well as the actual convention center.
  • Phone charger or extra battery – Chances are you’ll be checking your phone a lot at Comic-Con. Using the official Comic-Con app, following the #SDCC tag on Twitter, posting photos to Instagram and status updates to Facebook, texting your friends, listening to music while you wait in 2+ hour lines. Your phone will most likely die before the end of the day so make sure you have a way to charge it.
  • Sharpie  or pen – To jot down notes, doodle while you’re bored, or for spur of the moment celebrity encounters or sightings.
  • Sunglasses – Cause July in San Diego is hot and sunny (for the most part) and some of the panel lines start outdoors.
  • Poster Tube – This is something I was lacking last year and really wish I had. There are so many free posters during conventions and the best way to keep them looking good is in a poster tube. The Nerdy Girlie mentioned she made one out of a wrapping paper tube. The FOX booth also usually gives them away at the start of each day.
  • Handheld mirror – Especially useful if you’re cosplaying. For checking your hair and makeup before a photo is taken, and there will be lots of photos taken!
  • Light sweater or hoodie – The convention center can get cold and the weather does get cooler at night in San Diego because it’s right on the water. Layering is a good idea so you can take off and put on as needed.
  • Comfy shoes – Cannot stress this one enough. You’ll be doing so much walking. The convention center has 2.6 million sq. ft. of facilities and outside events extend a couple miles from that in every direction.

What else am I missing? What are your must haves for Comic-Con this year?