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.
When the schedule is released, you’ll undoubtedly go through the descriptions for each panel and give an enthusiastic “yes!” to attend each one. The problem with this, as you will soon find, is that you’ll look at your schedule and find you’re triple and quadruple-booked for almost the entirety of the weekend. Even after a third and fourth elimination round, you’ll still find yourself having to be in more places at once than humanly possible. Wait, this is SDCC we’re talking about – dare we say you need to be Superman?
First, prioritize. Identify the panels you absolutely can’t miss. You’ll still have some schedule conflicts, because there’s just so much going on during the weekend, so you’re going to have to make some tough choices.
Second, adjacent panels in the same room are a smart bet, because they don’t clear out the audience between panels. That means once you get a seat, you can squat as long as you want. Look at your schedule and make sure you save time before an important panel to get there as early as you can. This is advised for some of the bigger panels in Ballroom 20 and Hall H – for the really popular ones, you’ll need to get in line at least a couple hours in advance for a better chance for a seat.
Third, we recommend to always have a backup to the most popular panels. Instead of waiting two or three hours in line without knowing if we’d ever get in, we bailed and went to several smaller but just as enjoyable panels. And remember, the bigger panels always get the coverage from the blogs, so you can always catch up on all the headlines online or from conversations with others while waiting in lines, which brings use to our fourth tip – expect waiting around in a lot of lines. Be flexible and don’t stress out about getting into everything. You’re going to have to sacrifice more than a few times when it comes to the schedule, but SDCC is just as much about the experience as it is the panels, so you’ll be blown away at whatever you do!
Fourth, we recommend you plan most of your time on the show floor on Thursday. The crowds really fill up Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along with the big panels you’ll most likely want to attend. Hit your favorite booths and gather your swag early.
Lastly, we when the programming schedule is announced two weeks before the convention, our team of experts breaks down all the big panels, when and where you need to be, highlights some of the top backup choices and even gives their picks on some of the smaller panels that might not otherwise get the attention they deserve. You can check out 2013’s breakdowns below, so you get an idea of what to expect for this year.
What have you done in the past to make the best out of your panel-going experience? Let us know in the comments.