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Countdown to Comic-Con: Your Phone Is Your Best Friend

shutterstock_155089625We’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.

Your smartphone is going to be your best friend while attending the show. From following attendees’ timeline updates, to monitoring exhibitor announcements, to catching the can’t-miss surprises of the show, your phone needs to stay on and by your side at all times. We’ve already recommended the Twitter accounts you should be following during Comic-Con (both inside and outside the Convention Center), and you can check the mobile MySchedule site for updates to the programming schedule. For True Believers, Marvel and DC both have events apps, which will alert you on booth signings, giveaways and other announcements throughout the convention.

Network coverage is going to be spotty. It’s a given that you have more than 130,000 people jammed within a few city blocks all simultaneously calling, texting or tweeting. Expect frequent outages and poor signal strength. Also, beware of any WiFi networks broadcasting as “Free Public WiFi” – you run the risk of connecting to a computer broadcasting a signal only to steal login information and other data from your connection. There is usually free WiFi offered by the con, just ask a staffer what the network name is – and be prepared for it to be slow and sporadic based on time of day, number of users and location.

Also, make sure you carry your charger at all times. Not only is constantly searching for a 3G network taxing on your phone’s battery, but so is the endless hours of playing Where’s My Mickey or constantly refreshing your Twitter timeline while waiting for that next panel to begin. You’ll be stationary long enough to plug in for a few minutes at a time, and sometimes that’s all that’s needed to stay charged throughout the day, but the hardest part of this is actually finding an outlet that is close and unoccupied. That’s why an extra charging source, like an external battery, is one of the best investments you can make for the con. We’ve used the New Trent iCarrier IMP120D 12000mAh Heavy Duty Power Pack in years past and highly recommend it, and have switched this year to the Jackery Giant+ High-capacity Portable Charger 12000mAh Dual-Port with Ultra-fast Charging Speed External Battery Backup Power Bank (what a mouthful!).

But we found the best use for our phone in years past was to stay in touch with of all the great people we’ve met at the con. You’ll never be surrounded by so many who share the same interests as you, and everyone is generally as friendly as they come. Twitter and Facebook are good tools for meeting up with new-found friends throughout the weekend, and hopefully well past the last panel on Sunday.

How has technology helped you during the con, and what’s your best way of keeping it working throughout the weekend? We’d love to hear what you have to say about this – please leave a comment below.

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