Convention Essentials Guide For New York Comic Con and Beyond

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Greetings to the Metal Legions and my fellow fiends in the Pop Culture Geekdom. I’m taking a few moments from your day to revisit a topic that ran over on “The Chronicles of Piercing Ken” last year with a few updates and added editorial. I’m proud to announce that 2019 will mark the websites 10th Annual Attendance to the massive New York Comic Con in a professional capacity. Last year, I composed a series of hopefully helpful guidelines for the attending fan whether they be a curious newbie or a diehard with many years of experience at such an event and even the working professional. I compiled this lengthy missive because I was always finding myself asked by others how best to “do” this massive media event. Let’s face it, a newbie is going to panic enough at the sight of the enormous scope of humanity that they will encounter and with many of them dressed as Deadpool or Harley Quinn I felt having some kind of preparedness guide would make this an easy exploration. Don’t worry if you didn’t see that original post because this new one is going to add to the already mentioned stuff in some brand-new copy so sit down and enjoy a coffee or a snack and get a pad and paper so you know what to do when the time comes.

The In General Necessities:
1. Decent Sized Bag: You’ll want to be sporting a knapsack, school bag or a sizable messenger bag for the convention. You never know what you might purchase along the adventure or be given depending on your discussions as you explore the aisles. Sure a school bag might be a little clunky but I tend to prefer to have more room than less myself. I’ve seen duffel bags as well over the years but I feel that they are not functional in this crowded environment.
2. Empty Clear Sandwich Bags: There are always going to be booths that are giving away, stickers, patches and buttons as a part of their promotions. Having several small to medium sized bags on hand let you keep all of that stuff in one easy to find place post-convention. I began doing this after pricking myself in the fingers rummaging through a knapsack looking for stuff. You’ll also need these bags for some other things that will be discussed as we continue along.

3. Sustenance: This convention is a daunting one and you will get hungry so it makes sense to bring along a couple of energy bars or perhaps a peanut butter sandwich if you can eat peanuts. Yes the Javits Center has numerous concession stands but that can get expensive quick and you might prefer that your money goes to vendors and in the artist alley instead of those spots. I’ve also have taken small baggies of honey nut cheerios, unsalted Saltines or peanuts along with me and some Lifesaver peppermint candies. This is just to give you a quick energy boost and while a candy bar might be fine we don’t always need the empty sugar in our systems. The peppermints are twofold useful as they help keep your breath fresh and will settle an upset stomach. A single bottle of water or Energy drink will suffice because you can fill it up at assorted points during the convention. You can even bring along one of the water bottles that you might use at the gym or when exercising. Obviously there aren’t energy drink refill points but you get the point. I’d keep that in a plastic bag of its own to make sure no leaks onto anything else in the bag.
4. Toothbrush & Toothpaste: I’m someone who likes to brush after eating and especially after certain things. I talk to a lot of people so this is a good idea.
5. Hand Cleanser: Purell or something similar. It never hurts to be clean. Sometimes I’ve seen friends carrying a small packet of wipes. Those work too.
6. Aspirin: Just in case you get headaches easily or that the convention becomes too much for you.
7. Body Spray: Sometimes the heat of a place like Javits can find people feeling a little ripe. I mean no insult to say if this is you on a regular basis that you should bring along a spray of some kind to use just in case.
8. Technology: A fully charged mobile device. It doesn’t hurt to update it before you head into the convention because you will likely be using it and assorted apps all day. This same logic applies to your tablet or if you are bringing along a laptop. A laptop might be heavier so if you can get away with a tablet or one of those Windows Surface devices use that. The cords to charge said mobile device at one of the numerous spaces around the convention you can use should the juice run low. I also bring along an external battery which is wonderful since it lets me also charge up my camera on the fly. The model I use for the external battery is from Anker and I love it since it has two USB ports. Please remember that your mobile will charge faster if its off so if you can deal without communication for 10-15 minutes you will get more out of the charge. True story.
9. Camera: You don’t have to bring a big ole rig out with you but sometimes a small point and shoot will do the trick during the convention should you want to get more images and not have everything on your mobile device. Be sure to have this charged and with a clean SD card. Double check that you have the SD card in the device since the closest Best Buy is not too close at all in comparison.
10. Spare T-Shirt: As someone who tends to zip around conventions, there are times when I wished I had brought along a second t-shirt. Of course you can save yourself some packing and just purchase something along the way. You can do the costume change in a stall in the restrooms.
11. Money. Need I say more? Most vendors accept credit cards and digital payment mechanisms at this point so if you are points crazy like me just use that.
12. Umbrella: Hey if you have a schoolbag with you this is a non-issue and I always tend to carry one nowadays.
13. Comfortable Shoes: During the 2018 NYCC, my step counter showed that I had walked almost 49K steps and the distance that this tallied up to was just short of 30 miles across the four full days. If you plan on doing a lot of trekking inside and around the convention center you are going to want to do so in some comfortable sneakers so your feet do not hate you when all is said and done. So with that said you are going to want to be good to your feet.
14. Reading Material: A comic book, a magazine or a novel will all suffice. You might want to take a break from the madness and sit down somewhere. This kind of thing does not need to be brought in advance as you are a convention where they can be purchased at almost every step.

For Those Who Are Working The Show
If you’re one of the folks that might be working the show as a member of the media/press or as a photographer, these next few points are rather paramount and a few relevant ones to this status have been copied from the general area.
1. Business Cards: As many as you can muster up to carry along with you. Nowadays I only give these to reps and talent because at this point the general populace can find the outlet on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube if they seek us out (all of these will be linked below for your ease of connecting too). Encountering any people of note or the celebrity cosplayers is a given and this is to continue the engagement post-convention.
2. Empty Sandwich Bags: Not only will you need a baggie for your own supply of business cards but you’ll need this to secure any of the business cards that you might get at the convention and believe me the chance to get a few dozen can happen at any time. You sure don’t want to lose anything from the people you engaged with during the convention. I know I wouldn’t want to lose.
3. Pad and Paper. Yes some of us still write stuff down. Believe it or not and this is a good thing to have in your bag.
4. Technology Part 1: A fully charged mobile device. It doesn’t hurt to update it before you head into the convention either. The cords to charge said mobile device at one of the numerous spaces around the convention you can use should the juice run low. I also bring along an external battery which is wonderful since it let’s me also charge up my camera on the fly.
5. Camera: You don’t have to bring a big ole rig out with you but sometimes a small point and shoot will do the trick during the convention should you want to get more images and not have everything on your mobile device. Be sure to have this charged and with a clean SD card. Double check that you have the SD card in the device since the closest Best Buy is not too close at all in comparison.

For The Diehard Collectors:
1. Comic Protective Sleeves (aka “bags”)/Backing Boards: There have been times when I purchased an issue and there weren’t any bags or boards to go along with it or the vendor didn’t bring enough. Since you never know the availability of such things around the convention, or when you get a signed freebie at a booth, it doesn’t hurt to bring along a dozen or so of the comic bags and boards that are ready to house your new possessions.
2. Several Rubber Bands. I don’t know about you, but the posters do not fit cozy in my pack and some I want to keep in good order. Having a few rubber bands to tighten them up for the journey ahead is a good idea. They do sell poster tubes around the convention but for me that is something else that is cumbersome to carry around.
3. Plastic Sandwich Bags: These will be perfect for your collection of buttons and pins that you might secure along the way but we’ve discussed this already in the above section.
4. Funko Pop collectors would be wise to find the folks selling the protective cases for these things and especially if they get one signed.
5. Empty Cereal Box: Don’t laugh at this because there was one year when I saw a comic book collector was using this to keep keeping his new acquisitions secure. I think that an expanding envelope like you find in Staples or any office supply store will help serve the purpose as well. There is nothing worse than dinged up comic books or original art and this idea should help you with that.

Now for the most important of the things to bring along with you to the convention. Your ACTIVATED New York Comic Con badge. Whether you be attending fan, industry or working press. You need your badge to get in and it must be activated since you have to scan it when you come in and when you exit the Javits Center. This process began a couple of years ago and while some don’t like it that is where we are today so that’s that. This brings me to the end of the modified original narrative and I hope that you all enjoy the convention should you be heading there with us over the coming four days. My plan is to attend for all four days because I like to get the most out of it but let’s see wAs it stands I am going all four days but let’s see how I feel as this gets underway. See you next time but before we go please remember to follow PiercingMetal on the Social Networks of Facebook, Twitter and our Instagram (seen below) and YouTube. I plan on maximizing my use of “The Gram” during the convention since it seems to be a thing nowadays. Okay, I hope you liked our list.

Editor’s Note: You can apply almost all of these notes to any large event since you will need similar things at each of them. Please be sure to check back on THIS TAG or bookmark it to follow along with our NYCC adventuring and it also doesn’t hurt to follow the PiercingMetal Official Instagram (linked above) since I will be loading up a considerable amount of images to that profile as well. Bear in mind that I do tend to go overboard at the Con and with this being my 10th Annual visit I don’t see anything less from happening.

Official Website: http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com
Official Website: http://www.reedpop.com

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