25 Tips from the Pros for Surviving a Comic Con

Oh my kryptonite, it’s that time again where everyone calls in sick to work to attend the Indiana Comic Con. Don’t act like you haven’t done it before… ICC is back and this year it’s bringing some big guns with top celebs and comic book artists.

Now if this is your first ICC, welcome. There’s a few things you’ll want to know before you go so you can con like a pro. I met with ICC (also TBCC) Co-Owner Stephen Solomon, the infamous Mickey Flint (Cosplayer and Steampunk fashion designer), Josh Duart (Cosplayer and costumer with a degree in fashion), Steve Fitch (Editor of Legendarium Media), and Kareem Ali (Comic book reviewer at The Hulking Reviewer) to find out the best tips for surviving ICC. Then of course there’s me, the Q&A expert. From Cosplay to Q&A’s, these are the deets on bringing your A game.

How to Survive a Comic Con like a Pro

For All You Cosplayers Out There

From Cosplay Pro Mickey Flint you can follow his fan page here

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

Another great lineup. Cosplayer Mickey Flint and friends!

1. Bring extras!

Bring extra batteries, glue, makeup touch up always. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where only 95% of you looks amazing and the other 5% of you is falling apart.

2. Make hidden pockets in all your cosplays

This is perfect for stashing said extras and some small items to snack on during the day. You’d be surprised how tired and hungry you can get from taking pictures all day.

3. Eat a BIG breakfast

And try to eat small non perishable snacks (see tip 2). This will keep you fueled and make your evening less of a crash and more of a party. Con food can get pricey and it’s not usually amazing. You may be better off getting a late lunch somewhere you actually want to spend your dinero.

4. Use alcohol based makeup

Cream or water based makeup rubs and gets messed up. The alcohol based makeup lasts for days and will not rub off on your cosplay.

5. Have business cards

You’ll want to network with other cosplayers. Always have something with your contact info to give out to fellow cosplayers and fans.

For All the Cosplay Spectators

 

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

There’s no shortage of creative here.

6. BE PATIENT

Remember this is the picture YOU want to take, not the cosplayer. You may have to wait your turn. You can always pass them by if you don’t want to wait… but you know you want that pic with Chewbacca who you kidding!

7. Don’t ask for specific poses

And don’t take 5 minutes to take 50 photos. You’re not the only person who wants the picture. Be mindful of others who are waiting.

8. Be respectful of the other people

Don’t just walk in front of others taking pictures. You will see a lot of picture taking. Be mindful of where you’re walking.

 

From Cosplayer and costumer Josh Duart you can follow him here

Josh Duart as Thranduil

Photo by Lomelindi Productions

9. Make plans with trusty friends

Don’t get stuck in a mess. Bring friends you know are trustworthy and reliable. You don’t want to find yourself up [expletive] creek if they back out last minute due to poor planning!

10. It’s okay to take a break

If you’re a cosplayer and like getting your photo taken, remember that it’s OK to say “I need a break” or “I’m busy” or “I’m eating”. A lot of times people don’t realize that you’ve been on your feet for 2 hours solid walking around. They just found you. So you’re new to them. But to you, it’s like the 200th person asking to take your picture. Being polite but firm is the way to go if you just need a break.

11. HAVE FUN

I know I mentioned planning ahead, but there’s something to be said for going with the flow. If you have a few things you must do, do them. Otherwise, there’s a lot of fun that can be had by just walking around! And if your friends want to do something you don’t, remember you can probably manage the con floor on your own and make new discoveries yourself. Which can be totally awesome. Meet up with your friends later and you can all chat about your different experiences. Follow Josh on Instagram here!

Comic Book Junkies

From Comic Blogger The Hulking Reviewer, Kareem Ali

Brandon Peterson Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014

Brandon Peterson doing some line work at his table.

12. Approach with respect 

Artists can be there all day long and may be tired and may have dealt with an irritable fan already and they want to be able to enjoy themselves too.

13. Don’t be ashamed to show enthusiasm

Artists spend hours working on their craft and stories and it can feel good to have their work acknowledged and receive positive feedback. It may make them open up about certain story lines and characters because they know the fans care and as a result will be received well.

14. Be yourself

Ultimately it is about having a good time and one never knows what kind of impression one will make by being oneself. It is not necessary to pretend to know more or less just to impress. Besides any artist would love to have a new fan who appreciates their work.

Q&A Sessions 

From me yours truly, I hope you’re already following me

Evan Peters Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014

Evan Peters was hilarious. He answered the Q&A with a sense of humor, despite the myriad of innuendos made right in front of his mother.

15. Don’t ask stupid questions (you know what I mean)

There’s nothing more annoying to a high paid celebrity than hearing questions about their underwear. Beyond the fact that it’s borderline inappropriate, it’s just bad form. Give them a good fan experience and ask them about their work, their plans, and what it takes to get where they are. They are far more likely to come back to future cons if they have fond memories of their fans.

16. Get in the Q&A line early!

If you are looking for good seats you’ll want to get in that line early. It’s best to buddy up so you can take breaks and do other things while waiting in line. When they open the mic line, get in that line asap so you can ask a question!

 

Celeb Autographs and Pictures

From Legendarium nerd news Editor Steve Fitch

17. Research the celeb!

Have a few questions ready for when it’s your turn to get a pic or autograph. Try and think of questions outside of the usual (million times asked that day) about the show or movie they are in – ie: About their charities, new baby, sports team, etc. This will likely engage them more. You only have a few seconds to “hook em”.

Spending

From me

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

Dredmor’s Plunder.

18. Know before you go!

Make sure if you’re on a budget you stick to it. There are loads of swag, great art and cool toys at ICC. Trust me, you’re going to want everything. Plan before hand how much mula you have to throw around and then do a walkthrough. Get an idea on what you want then make some executive decisions.

Logistics

From ICC and TBCC Co-Owner Stephen Solomon

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

There’s lots of swag here!

19. Plan ahead!

Sometimes it can be tough to see and do EVERYTHING at a large comic convention, so it pays to know what your priorities are. If you’re looking for a sketch from your favorite artist, get to that artist ASAP and get on his/her sketch list. If you really want an autograph or photo-op with an attending celebrity, get that right away! Make a shortlist of priorities.

20. Park smart

Unless you’re leggin it, you’ll need somewhere to park your wheels. Check out this map for Indiana Comic Con to find all of the nearby parking garages for the Indiana Convention Center.

21. Take advantage of your pre-registration!

If you pre-registered through Eventbrite, take advantage of some of the Will Call times that will be available. Lots of people think that just because they pre-registered means that they are immune from having to wait in a line. That’s of course a silly notion. If 20,000 pre-registered attendees all show up at the same time, you’ll be in a line sweetums. SO, get your Eventbrite printouts scanned and receive your credentials when there’s probably not going to be much of a line! Will Call is located outside Hall I at the corner of hallways, Capital and Hoosier. Here are the ICC Will Call hours:

Thursday, March 12th: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM (take advantage of this if you’re in the area!)

Friday, March 13th: 11:00 AM – close

Saturday, March 14th: 8:30 AM – close

Sunday, March 15th: 8:30 AM – close

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

22. Get your celebrity autograph & photo-ops tickets ASAP!

While you can purchase celebrity autographs and photo-ops tickets throughout the day (while supplies last), the ICC will feature some early bird offerings. Remember that these are cash only. Star Signing and Star Photo-Ops are in Hall I.

Friday, March 13th: 12:00 PM

Saturday, March 14th: 8:30 AM

Sunday, March 15th: 8:30 AM

23. Patience is a virtue (this comes up twice)! 

Remember that the ICC is a LIVE event. That means that things are happening on the fly. Things can and will happen, unexpectedly. No plan is error-free. Weddings with 50 people have issues—imagine an event with 30,000 or more. So, just keep all of that in mind. Be kind and courteous, for we’re all friends here.

24. Don’t be a glutton 

By all means, enjoy meeting your favorite artist, writer or celebrity. It is one of the many great things about attending the ICC. However, don’t monopolize their time unreasonably. Be aware of your surroundings and take notice if there is a line of attendees behind you waiting to meet the same person. If there is, please be considerate.

25. Cash is king

If you’re looking to do some spending in the vendor hall remember that folks like the greenbacks. Sure, a significant number of vendors these days can accept credit cards, but not all of them do. Don’t be afraid to haggle. Nothing says, “take my offer” like a fist full of dollars.

26. Wear comfortable shoes (a bonus just because I love you)

In a convention the size of the Indiana Comic Con, you’ll be doing a significant amount of walking. It’s amazing, but comfortable footwear can make a big difference in the condition of your footsies at the end of the day. Bring a backpack. If you’re going to be making purchases, you’ll probably want something to hall them around. Noting beats a good ol’ rucksack.

Indiana Comic Con Presents:

Indiana comic Con Artists

Indiana Comic Con jenna coleman

The Indiana Comic Con Deets: Over 400,000 square feet and 150 booths of Comics, Cosplay, Videos, Toys, Action Figures, Anime, Video Games, Star Wars, Artwork, Trading Cards & Fun! Of course you can visit the site here.

The Damage: 1-Day Adult = $30.00 – $35.00 / 3-Day Adult = $60.00 (1-day FREE!) / Kids (12 and under) are FREE

NOT GOING TO MAKE IT? COME TO SUNNY FLORIDA FOR TAMPA BAY COMIC CON deets here JULY 31-AUG 2, 2015

 

Get Your Free Indiana Comic Con Poster Created by Adam Pollina! 

Indiana Comic Con

 

Do you have awesome tips or just want to get your face in front of 45 thousand nerds? Leave me a comment, get a load off, let’s have a unicorn high five!

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About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

5 Comments on this post

  1. So, can I confess I’ve never been to a comic con before…? But totally saving these tips just in case.

    Sandra / Reply
  2. I’m originally from a little farm town outside Indy and I can unequivocally say that you will have an AMAZETACULAR time there for ComicCon! And if bringing the pint sized comic fans…trek on over to the nearby Children’s Museum..ranked one of the nation’s best! The nearby zoo and canal are fun too! And if you have a sports fan in your group…well it doesn’t get much better than being in Indy! Lots to see! Have a fantabulous time! LOVE the post – well done and great tips!!!

    Kimberly Roberts / Reply
  3. […] interests, some tangentially linked to the fantasy genre, and other less so. I attend a lot of comic cons and always found a lot of the cosplay costumes interesting. In trying to figure out a lot of the […]

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