So now that you have your emails with your barcodes, what is your next step. That would depend on how far away you are from San Diego. If you have to fly in from somewhere, making a hotel reservation should have been at the top of your list. People start making reservations a year in advance. Checking to see what the cancellation policy is might be a good idea if you are not sure you will have badges. That way if you don’t get badges and decide not to play outside the convention center you can get your deposit back. Be prepared for the hotels to set you back a good chunk, they seem to be quite a bit more expensive during Comic Con than other times of the year. If you are close enough to drive, then getting a parking pass online before you get there makes things much easier. Again, be prepared to pay extra for parking. It is not unusual to pay $30 a day. When Comic Con closes at 7:00 pm PST, the Comic Con partner events continue, so everything just moves out to the partner areas. Since so many people cannot get badges, there is just as much going on outside the convention center as inside. These festivities keep on going long after the convention center has closed for the day. Take this into account when you decide if you want to stay in San Diego or not.
Turning in your emails for badges is very well organized and easy. There are a multitude of people working to make everything run smooth. The majority of them are volunteers. Hint here, volunteer applications are on the Comic Con website, that might be an option but there is also more interest in volunteering than space available for volunteers. The exhibit hall is easy to navigate. The panels however go back to, wait for it, luck of the draw and a major amount of patience. The panels are held in Hall H. To get into Hall H, you must queue up in a line that makes a Disney line seem short. People queue up early, early meaning 3 or 4 in the morning, you can still get into line as late as 6 and probably get in but that is not a guarantee. If you are lucky, you will end up in the queue with a fun group of people. That can make the time pass much more quickly. Also they will probably be your neighbors once you get into Hall H. Obviously you will have a lot in common since they went thru the same trials and tribulations you did to get Comic Con badges. They, like you, are willing to hang out in the queue for hours on end to get into Hall H. So if they are fun on top of all that, the time will fly by. Once in Hall H, there are no in and out privileges, with the exception of going to the bathroom. So the people that are in the room typically stay all day. There are plenty of less popular educational type panels going on all over the convention center. The type that give Comic Con its educational non-profit status. Those aren’t as popular and very easy to get into. Some of them are very interesting, some not so much. There is definitely something for everyone when it comes to panels. The bottom line when it comes to panels is there are so many and they are so diversified that you cannot and probably won’t want to see them all. As far as the Hall H panels, if you are willing to stand in the queue from 0 dark thirty, go into the room and stay there all day, you will get to see the most popular panels. Along with a whole lot of other panels and possibly get some outstanding swag.
Next up the exhibition floor.