Outside of the convention center is a whole world of activities. There are partner sites that you need your Comic Con badge to get in and there are partner sites that anyone can get it. There is so much more to do. There are numerous websites that have lists of the extra stuff going on. Those list are long. There is more than enough to do to keep you busy all 4 days if you don’t have a badge. The outside activities are excellent and not a waste of time. They run the gamut from popular culture to games and upcoming movies. They have everything from adult swim to zombie runs. Some of them are out there because there is no room inside the convention center for them. Some are out there because they prefer it, not only do they get the badge holders but they also get those who missed the getting a badge. Even the businesses around the area get in on it. All of downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp district join in. They give themselves a makeover to get in the Comic Con spirit. Outside activities are definitely something you want to do when you attend Comic Con. Not all outside activities are free and some of the costs are substantial. Even though Comic Con is a nonprofit, it would not exist if it wasn’t self sufficient so it has to be a business. The outside activities are businesses. They are there to make money both at the convention and ultimately when whatever it is they are exhibiting hits the game console, the TV or the movie screen. Comic Con is a very profitable week for San Diego, Comic Con International, the business in San Diego and even a some of the badge holders who come to buy collectibles to flip on eBay.
I guess the most important part of Comic Con is to enjoy yourself. I don’t plan it out and I see what I see and do whatever strikes me at the time. I do not have unlimited patience so I don’t always get to see the best panels, get the best collectibles, or get the special tickets. But my reason for going isn’t to see all and do all but to have a good time doing what I happen to do. I take a look at the events both inside and outside the convention center so I have an idea of what looks interesting to do. I buy what I like and not necessarily what I can flip on eBay. I watch the people, enjoy the cosplay and go to those panels where you actually learn things. Bottom line, there is no way to see and do everything so don’t even try. The only thing you absolutely need to do is enjoy yourself.