After months of counting down, San Diego Comic Con is only days away! Anyone who has been to Comic Con can tell you it is an amazing, whirlwind experience full of meeting new people, exciting reveals about your favorite shows and movies, and spending way too much money on the convention floor. However, in all that excitement it is easy to forget about safety. Here are some tips to make your con the best it can be!
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Comic Con is overwhelming. There is so much going on and so much to see and do that it is easy to get distracted. Just be aware of who and what is around you. When entering a panel, make note of where the exits are- just in case. Same thing on the convention floor.
This also means not playing Pokemon Go in the middle of the hall or stopping to take a picture in the middle of a crowded aisle. Yes I know that was the greatest cosplay ever/the writer of your favorite comic book/a really Pokemon, but by stopping you’ve created a traffic jam that now affects a whole bunch of other people. Look at where you are going.
2. Use the Buddy System
Comic Con doesn’t end when the convention hall closes, there are tons of things to do that can keep you up into the wee hours of the night. When venturing out to these parties and meetups, be sure to bring a friend. It’s not only more fun, but there is safety in numbers especially if you don’t have super strength.
Also, the app Glympse (available for both iOS and Android), lets you share your location in real time. You can choose who gets to see where you are and for how long. It’s great for meeting up with people or letting your friends know your location if you do end up having to walk back to your hotel alone at night.
3. Set a Meeting Point
Making a meeting point in case you get separated or lost from your group is always a good idea. Conventions tend to have unreliable cell service that tends so it is good to plan ahead of time on a solid place to meet up should anything happen. It’s also easier than wandering the floor for hours playing where’s Waldo.
4. Keep Track of Your Belongings
The most important thing to keep track of is your badge! Your badge is your life at SDCC, make sure you have it on you at all times. Also, be careful posting pictures of your badge online because scammers can steal those images and try to sell them.
If you are planning on buying things (which is going to happen, trust me), take care where you put your items down. Same goes for any purses or bags you may bring, make sure they are closed and stored safely during panels or any time they are not directly on your person.
5. Look for the Orange Prop Tag on Weapons
Watching cosplayers is one of the best parts of any convention, but it is good to be informed. Everyone in costume with a prop weapon should have an orange tag from weapons check-in proving that it is indeed, a fake. Some of these props can look VERY realistic and it is good to know what to look for.
6. BE NICE
This is not just a safety tip, this is a life tip.
Be nice. To everyone. To the waiters and the bartenders and baristas and police officers and food truck workers and hotel staff. EVERY.ONE. Comic Con is fun, but it is also stressful and crowded and hot and exhausting. There are so many things you are going to want to do, sometimes it gets frustrating when there is a line and only one poster left and OMG you want it but there are three people in front of you and you think it might be easier just to push your way through.
No. Wait your turn, be nice to the people working the booths and tables. Know there are going to be lines for everything including and especially the bathroom. It’s all part of the experience. Have patience and make friends complaining about whether or not the line has moved in the past hour and you will do just fine. (I also recommend bringing snacks and things to do while you wait, coloring books are great.)
I have never felt unsafe at a convention, but sometimes it is good to be reminded of the little things you can do to have the best time possible!