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San Diego Comic Con Should Be On Your Bucket List!

by Annie Por | 1 year ago

Last week, I went to my 8th ever San Diego Comic Con. Since I’ve been working in the gaming industry, I’ve had the privilege to go to a bunch of really awesome gaming and entertainment expos and conventions. One of my all-time favorite conventions is Comic Con, which was founded in 1970. Back then, the convention showcased mostly, as you would guess from the name, comic books! However, over the past 45+ years, it’s evolved into one of the largest pop culture and entertainment conventions in the world!

Getting a ticket to comic con is no easy feat, but you can follow directions here if you’re interested in attending! You’ll have to sign up for a Member ID so you can register for the event during enrollment.

I think one of the most common misconceptions is that comic con is geeky. Is it geeky? I mean, yes, it can be. But geeky is COOL! My company Imgur conducted a survey a few years ago with a millennial research company called YPulse, and found that geek culture has shifted into the mainstream. Geek is now chic! To read more about this study, you can download it here! So why exactly is SDCC so cool?

It’s a celebration of all the shows I love!
Pretty much all the big networks set up these crazy elaborate experiences for their shows that are currently on air, or going to be on air again. Last year, I was able to be immersed in the world of Stranger Things through an activation they held outside the convention center. My coworkers and I had a blast posing and taking pictures with props from the show and even getting pop quizzed at the end to have a chance to win a Stranger Things chotchkie (I won an Eleven keychain… ohhh yeahhhhh!)

You’ll see more celebs here than you would in LA!!
A lot of celebrities go out to SDCC to take part in the various panels that happen throughout comic con week. When the celebrities aren’t at the panels, they are usually roaming the show floor (in disguise), taking part in autograph signings, or eating lunch at Nobu (I swear, celebs love it here!!). This year, I was lucky enough to snap a pic with Sofia Vergara at the Bait party. In the past, I’ve taken selfies with Michael Rooker (NICEST guy ever), Steven Yuen, Kelly Hu (who is suuuuper gorgeous! #goals), Nolan Gould (from Modern Family), to name a few.

You can still enjoy the show without having an actual badge to the convention!
There is soooo much to do even outside the convention! A lot of movie, entertainment, tech, and gaming companies all rent out space around downtown San Diego to set up a fun activation or experience for folks, regardless if they have a badge or not!

These activations and experiences range from having the opportunity to go through an obstacle course by showcasing your parkour skills (Ubisoft did this for their game called Assassin’s Creed in 2014), jumping off a 25 foot building, zip lining, getting fake tattoos, various photo opportunities, sneak peek at behind the scenes of shows, etc. This year, I was lucky enough to be able to go to Square Enix’s Ultimate Tomb Raider Experience– an activation Square Enix set up to promote the upcoming launch of their video game called Shadow of the Tomb Raider. They created an immersive world where people could eat bugs for a chance to spin the wheel and win cool prizing, hold a boa constrictor, take a picture in a pit of skulls, and play the hands on demo of the game.

I’m always super amazed by how thoughtful these companies are with putting together these experiences for people. It’s so cool to also geek out with friends who also enjoy the same TV shows, movies, and video games.

There is creativity all around you!
It’s hard not to be inspired or be in awe of some of the things you’ll see at SDCC. Tons of people get dressed up and cosplay as their favorite characters. If you’re not familiar with the word cosplay, it’s the act of dressing up as a character from a show, movie, anime, or video game. A ton of people actually hand make their costumes which takes an extremely long time because of all the detail that goes behind it. I’m always amazed at the dedication of some of these people because they walk around in the heat and amongst hundreds of thousands of people, just to showcase their passion and love for their favorite character!

There are also a ton of artists there who you can commission to make a custom art piece for you. I used to buy a ton of toys at the convention, but the past few years started buying art pieces to frame and put up around the house. These artists are suuuuper talented so it’s also just cool to walk around and look at everyones’ artwork.

Are you excited and ready to attend Comic Con next year? If so, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout the years of going!

  1. Make sure to register for a badge, otherwise you’ll be SOL! No worries though, because like I said, you can still enjoy everything outside the convention if you don’t end up getting one!
  2. Make sure to book your hotel early! 130,000+ plus people come from all over the world to be there so definitely book your accommodations early. If you’re going with a group of people, I would highly recommend getting an AirBnB because there is a premium on hotel prices that week!
  3. If you’re looking to buy comic con exclusive toys or goodies, be prepared to wait in line!
  4. If you’re looking to attend a panel, do your research on what to expect and what to prepare. You’ll likely have to sleep outside and wait in line for a very very long time!
  5. It’s also smart to make any restaurant reservations early in advance if you’re going with a big group to avoid wasting more time waiting in lines!

Hope you guys will have a chance to visit San Diego for Comic Con one day! I know you’ll LOVE the whole experience!