#01: Get Ready for Comic-Con 2016!
Comic-Con International 2016 launches Wednesday, July 20 at 6:00 PM with the start of Preview Night and continues Thursday through Sunday, July 21–24 at the San Diego Convention Center. Our annual series of Toucan Tips is designed with YOU in mind, offering information that will help you plan for the big event. We’ll be coming your way each morning (weekends included!) over the next 30 days—all the way up until the day before Preview Night—with a tip, reminder, or bit of info that will help pave the way for your visit to Comic-Con 2016. This is our fourth year of Toucan Tips, and all of them still exist on this website; just click on the “Tip of the Day” link in our Categories list on the top right sidebar and go all the way to the end of the last page to start from the very beginning way back in 2013 (WonderCon Toucan Tips are also there). Some of this year’s tips may seem similar to previous tips, but only because it’s important information that bears repeating.
So let’s talk planning! Whether you’re a local resident or coming in from somewhere around the country—or the world (we’re not called “International” for nothing!)—there are some basic things you should plan on bringing. Some of these are givens, but we’ll mention them anyway, for the sake of completion (you know how us collectors are!). Here’s our list of the top 21 things to consider bringing along; your list may vary.
- Autograph materials (Get the things you’d like to get signed ready, plus special pens, etc.)
- Backpack or tote bag (Remember: no rolling carts, luggage, dollies, etc., are allowed in the Exhibit Hall.)
- Batteries (Extra batteries for cameras, etc.)
- Business Cards (If you’re doing business at Comic-Con, remember those cards!)
- Camera (You’ll want to capture that perfect moment, either on your phone or camera … but don’t bring a Selfie Stick! Selfie Sticks are NOT allowed at Comic-Con!)
- Cash (There are ATMs at the Convention Center, but sometimes the lines are long)
- Comfortable shoes (You’re going to be doing a LOT of walking.)
- Hotel info (If you’re staying in a hotel, print out your reservation info and bring it with you.)
- ID (You’ll need your ID—driver’s license, passport, state-issued ID card—in case you’re asked to show it with your badge.)
- Maps (Bookmark a map on your phone or tablet that shows the area around the Center and/or your hotel. Our updated Official Comic-Con app will include Convention Center maps!)
- Refillable water bottle (Stay hydrated!)
- Phone chargers (Carry this with you onsite to power up if need be.)
- Poster tubes, sturdy folders or art sleeves (You can purchase these onsite, if need be, but be prepared for any purchases and freebie items you might score.)
- Shipping materials (Boxes, tape, labels to ship stuff home if you’re traveling and you buy a lot!)
- Sketchbooks (Many artists who do sketches prefer to do them in a book.)
- Snacks (There are plenty of food choices at the Convention Center, but bring snacks to power up!)
- Sweatshirt, hoodie, sweater, or jacket (San Diego in July is sunny and warm, but cool nights and an even cooler Convention Center make this a must-have item.)
- Travel info (If you’re flying, taking a train, and/or renting a car—some of you may be doing all three!—print out all of your reservation info and put it one place with your hotel and Comic-Con badge info.)
- Want lists (Update your want lists and put them on your smart phone for easy access.)
And most importantly: BRING YOUR BADGE OR BARCODE CONFIRMATION!
If you haven’t gotten them yet, don’t worry, they will be emailed or sent to you soon! Be sure to bring it with you.