I have been going to New York Comic Con to cover it since 2012 and each year since then it has got more bigger than the previous years. No other convention besides SDCC has this much of an explosion of fans and celebrity guests and comic artists and creators than NYCC. My experience with each convention is different each time but there are ways to survive the Con days and today i will tell you how to survive New York Comic Con.
1. Arrive to the Javits Center early
If you are living in the New York City area, then it should be very easy now to get to the Javits Center by the 7 train (before the new path opened, you had to either take a bus or get off at 34th Street and walk there). Even if it is a little cold outside, waiting on the line to get in builds the anticipation of what you are going to see on the show floor. Trust me, you do not want to arrive 30 minutes before the venue opens or else you will be far behind on the line.
2. Always bring a bottle of water with you along with food and snacks
The food and water at the Javits Center is expensive. Even the vendors and food trucks are expensive too. If you want to, i recommend that you make food at home or at your hotel and bring it with you along with a very large bottle of water. You would not want to stand in lines with an empty stomach and i have done it and it was not pleasant at all .
3. Have comfortable shoes to be prepared for standing on the lines
Never and i mean Never walk the entire floor with boots (unless you are a cosplayer or it is raining) or heels. Your legs and feet will hurt within 20 minutes. Always wear sneakers to any Comic Con especially in New York since you will do a lot of walking. They don’t call it “the city that never sleeps” for no reason.
4. Make a great pose when you are about to go for a photo op
I myself love meeting celebrities and actors and all it takes is one pose or smile for your photo to come out great. I know for a fact that anybody can be nervous when they are meeting their favorite actor/actress for the first time. But you will be fine as long as you look directly to the camera to pose for a photo or act out a scene with the actor before the photo flashes. I have heard stories of photos being retaken because of a botched pose or if their eyes were shut. You only get one chance so make the best out of it.
5. Use the official NYCC App for maps
Ever since the NYCC App has been released a few years ago, it became a very useful App for you to use the map to see where you are going and which room you are heading to for panels and signings. No more looking at a tall poster to check which spot you are currently on and no more walking up to one of those posters while there is a sea of a crowd that is walking. Download the App and use it. You will love it.
6. Do not take pictures of, or touch cosplayers without their consent.
One of the great things about this specific convention is that they have a strict no-harassment policy. There were posters everywhere that said cosplay does not mean consent. It felt like a safe space. Plus, every cosplayer that I encountered had no problem with stopping to take a picture after they were asked.
7. Bring as much money if you can
If you are going to buy that rare comic or even a stack of them or just exclusives and figures, be prepared to bring as much money as you can. I sometimes hear stories of people bringing up to $2000 with them for NYCC. I only bring about up to $400 with me but i do not spend all of it. It is also best for you to manage on what you will spend on that weekend.
8. Make new friends at their social gatherings
I have only went to a social gathering once in my entire 6 years of going to NYCC as a press member and that was back in 2013. But i have made a ton of new friends and met a ton of people at the press lounge area such as Mick Foley, Greg Miller (then IGN, Now Kinda Funny Games), Sheamus, Tara Strong and much more. But going to social gatherings especially the themed ones of your favorite TV Show or Video Game is worth it for the simple fact that you will hang out with many different people with the same interest as yours.
9. Make sure to have a portable battery charger
This is very needed especially if you have to sit through more than one panel. Battery chargers for your phone or cameras is a must have since you may want to take pictures or record footage of a panel or of cosplayers. Make sure that the battery is charged up before you use it.
10. Arrive to the panel line at least one hour and a half before the panel begins
So you want to make it to the Mark Hamill or The Walking Dead panel this year? Good luck because even trying to get a spot is just a hassle. If you are planning to go to one of the major panels, be sure to arrive at least up to two hours before it begins because if you arrive 30 minutes before it begins, you will not and i mean NOT get in.
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