When it comes to San Diego Comic-Con, there are a lot of myths out there surrounding various aspects on the convention. These myths, whether unfounded or true, can contribute to a negative perception people have of SDCC, or help create an unrealistic expectation for first time attendees. We are here to look into some of those myths are provide some clarity.
Myth: Getting a hotel downtown is impossible.
Can you get a downtown hotel? Literally thousands of people do every year, through a myriad of ways. So let’s break this myth down by each method of securing a downtown hotel. 1.) Trying to get a downtown hotel through normal means, by yourself, via the hotel lottery: This is the toughest way to secure a downtown hotel. You’ve got one shot and you’re relying on luck more than anything. 2.) Putting together a hotel group with other SDCC attendees dramatically increase your odds. You’d be sharing a room but odds have improved. 3) OnPeak, the official partner of hotels for SDCC, will put hotels, including downtown hotels, back up for booking after the hotel lottery is over when people cancel rooms they were awarded during the lottery. This method does take some dedication and some luck but every year we see attendees on Twitter get a downtown hotel with this method. 4.) Booking outside of the hotel lottery for a downtown hotel is possible but you’re going to need to be baller status. There are usually rooms available at every downtown hotel that can be booked but again, it is pricey!
Myth: SDCC isn’t about comic books anymore.
This is one of most common myths out there, and its usually made by people explaining why they won’t attend SDCC. In 2018, there were over 300 (THREE HUNDRED) comic book panels. Yes, the Hollywood panels get all the headlines but you’ll be hard pressed to find another comic convention outside of New York Comic Con that can match the comic book presence that SDCC has. Factor in all of the comic book artists that attend as well as the vendors selling comic books from various decades, and you have a GREAT convention for comic book enthusiasts to attend. Plus, have you even looked at the actual Comic-Con Special Guest list?
Myth: You have to camp overnight to get into Hall H.
The holy grail of panel rooms for many, Hall H gives attendees the first look at film trailers, interviews with A-list celebrities, and memorable convention moments. However, it takes real dedication to get into Hall H some days (especially if there’s Marvel Studios or Game of Thrones in town). While there have been certain days in the past several years where people could just walk right into Hall H without waiting, Friday and Saturday in Hall H often do require camping to get in. It all just depends on the schedule.
Myth: Everyone at SDCC smells and has bad hygiene.
This is one that we see brought up every now and then. People who don’t attend the convention assume that because there are 120,000 “nerd” attendees crammed into the convention center each day, or because people are sleeping outside, that people are sweating and not taking care of themselves. I’ve been attending SDCC for 10 years and never remember a time where I came across someone who smelled so bad that it ruined my day. Honestly, I don’t remember coming across anyone at any time during SDCC where I said to myself, “They need a shower”. Now, I would be foolish to think everyone has perfect hygiene during the four and half days of SDCC but to say “everyone” smells? Nope.
Myth: I have a good chance of running into a celebrity.
One of the unique aspects that makes SDCC so appealing is the amount of celebrities that attend the convention to promote their latest work. It’s natural to think with so many that you are bound to run into one outside of the convention. Well, it can and does happen, often. Just about every attendee has a story about running into someone well known outside of the convention center. It might take you all weekend, or even a second or third year of attending, but it will happen.
Myth: There is free swag everywhere.
People love free stuff, and it’s even better when that free stuff is actually something cool and useful. Companies spend big money to give away free stuff during SDCC (we do too!), and a lot of it makes for pretty cool collectors items. You technically don’t even have to be inside the convention center to get some of that free swag, with companies promoting their stuff in the Gaslamp district across the street from the convention center. If you leave the convention without getting something for free, you may have been doing it wrong. So yes, there is always a healthy amount of free swag being given out.