2022 marks my first time attending the historic San Diego Comic-Con and I am beyond excited. Being a lifelong fan of comic books, pop culture, and gaming, I have dreamed of attending SDCC for years. Luckily, our Chief Editor is a veteran and has been an invaluable guide through the process. Dreaming of attending and then actually looking at going is vastly different and there are several things to consider should this be your first-year trek.
One of the first considerations for SDCC, outside of your ticket, is housing and parking. Due to high volumes, both are handled with a lottery-style draw. Signing up is easy enough but be quick to get your name in and your choices for hotels and rooms desired. The lottery does not guarantee getting either room or parking, keep a sharp eye out on your email as a possible room availability may come up while they are processing the rounds. Folks who get an email regarding room accessibility have an option to not lock it in, which means it cycles back into the pool. Be aware that to lock in a room you will need to put money down, so prepare to have funds available should you receive a notification. There are also a few Facebook groups where folks communicate with one another as to availabilities and drops due to plan changes and not being able to attend. I have found the groups San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) Attendees and San Diego Comic-Con 2022 !!! useful for not only housing and parking discussions, but for overall tips, tricks, and advice for how to prepare and thrive at the convention.
Food when at a convention is always something that we consider. Everyone has food interests or dietary restrictions, so being prepared is a must. Taking snacks and water is an imperative should you be in long lines or waiting out for a seminar or panel. With other conventions, I have found that packs of nuts, jerky, and gum do wonders for my hangry moments and for also handing out to friends and acquaintances who may not be feeling their best. To level up your game, instead of bringing pre-bottled water, invest or bring a refillable water bottle. You can fill it with ice at the hotel and then refill it at water stations. I have been told that Hospitality usually has a water station available.
As for meal eating, there are several restaurants around the convention center, but you may need to be mindful of timing, as you will be contending with other attendees. The YouTube channel Parks And Cons has a pretty good video of some available options during the convention. The other option might be, depending on the situation, preparing food, and having it available in your hotel room. I have been informed in years prior there was a bag check at the convention center for a nominal fee, so packing a small cooler with ice packs could also be an option. Ralph’s grocery store is not far from the convention center and is a great place to pick up needed supplies.
On to one of the biggest topics and reasons folks look to attend SDCC – the autographs, exclusives, and events! I have read in countless posts to prepare for disappointment and not set my heart on getting any of the exclusives hitting the 2022 convention. I have been keeping a close eye on the Unofficial SDCC Blog for information on exclusives and autograph opportunities that will be available, but something that I learned cruising the Facebook groups is that a number of these are also handled with a lottery system. Makes sense given how many folks are looking to pick up items for themselves or loved ones who cannot make the convention. Personally, I haven’t investigated any of these, I know there were a few Funko Pops that I would love to get my hands on, but I resolved myself to focusing on my first year attending and trying to score interviews and first looks rather than swag. To those looking to take on such quests, I salute your dedication and hope that you are successful. There have been a few posts on the Facebook groups regarding the lotteries and folks looking for a ticket.
As for events, check out the Unofficial Blog, they are great about compiling information the convention has released, as well as any rumors or hints for events. They break it down by day and the type of panel (television, movie, comic, and other). If you are a fan of artists as I am, many of my favorites have posted on Twitter about their attendance.
The SDCC Survival Kit – I have compiled this list from my experience at other conventions (mostly gaming and LARP) as well as absorbing the wisdom of other goers who generously post on Facebook sharing their insights. This is in no way an exhaustive list, only what I personally will be looking to take with me at to Convention. I hope this helps you to organize your own list as we near the awesome experience San Diego Comic-Con 2022 will be!