Countdown to Comic-Con: Exhibit Hall

Three months and counting until SDCC!We’re counting down the weeks leading up to Comic-Con by reposting some of our important SDCC tips which have appeared on the blog over the years, updated with current information. You can find all of our guides under the main menu, or by clicking here.

Navigating the Exhibit Hall an integral part of almost every attendee’s experience. Whether you’re looking for all the free stuff you can grab or a wildly expensive Con exclusive, the Exhibit Hall is the place to go. In this post we will cover tips on navigating and staying alive.

Navigating the Hall

  • Pace Yourself – Within 20 minutes of entering the Hall you’re probably going to feel a bit tired. Sit down somewhere (around the edges or out in the hallway), play a video game at a booth, or take a food break. Most people try to consolidate their time spent in the Hall by moving quickly but this strategy will leave you tired or burnt out. Splitting up your Hall time is a good way to avoid this.
  • Don’t Push – Yes, you want a free Iron Man flash-drive. That doesn’t make it okay to elbow people out of the way to get it. Be kind to your fellow attendees and try to keep things in a line. It’s a lot faster and more comfortable then fighting it out with your light-saber replicas.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Wait – Within minutes you’ll start to notice almost everything awesome in the Hall has a line. Don’t be afraid to stand in one if it’s for something you really want. Smaller booths can yield cool stuff without the line though, so be aware of that first time comic publisher with the free shirts.

Free Stuff

  • Be Grateful – Don’t just grab the stuff and run. Actually acknowledging the booth or the people giving it away is always the courteous thing to do.
  • Don’t Waste – Don’t pick up something if you know it will end up never used or in the trash. Hundreds of people waste valuable time standing in line or rearranging their schedule to grab something they’ll never use again.
  • Don’t Haggle – Just get something if it’s free. Don’t ask for 100 to bring back to your friends at home. Asking for one extra is usually fine, but be wary of demand.

Staying Alive

  • Avoid the Clumps – Whenever something free and hard to get is being given out, a clump will form in about half a second. Unless you really want whatever is in the center, it’s usually better to wait for it to dissipate a bit or just avoid it completely. Running under people’s legs might get you some cool swag, but it will also mean a lot of bruises in the morning.
  • Don’t Stand In The Center – There are a few main aisle. There are thousands of people constantly walking through these aisles. Take the picture from the sides of the aisle and avoid being trampled.
  • Strollers/Walkers/Wheelchairs/Children = Bad – Going head-on against any of these will probably end with bruised knee-caps. And we would like to add, as parents and folks who have disabled/handicapped family members – we know it’s hard to navigate around strollers and wheelchairs on such a crowded floor, but please be kind and courteous. It’s not fair to the kids or adults who are also trying to enjoy the convention with their limitations. They don’t need to deal with grief from fellow attendees along with the stress of the con.

What tactics have made you successful in navigating around in the Exhibit Hall? Let us know in the comments.

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