Yes it’s that time, people as this site and all remotely connected to pop culture begin to be obsessed with nothing but Comic-Con, the glitz, the glamour, the gallons of coffee we’ll need to get through it all. ONe of the best places for information on how to go and what to do is the official SDCC Toucan blog, and they’ve helpfully given tips and rules for lining up for Hall H. You won’t be able to officially line-up until Tuesday, but once you do get in line, you need to be orderly and plan bathroom breaks carefully. As always, safety is the primary concern. It’s not entirely clear what people will be lining up for as there is no Twilight, no Doctor Who, no Breaking Bad, but I guess Game of Thrones and Marvel and DC will do it. Or just in general sitting out for Hall H.
• Camping is not allowed.
• No tents, canopies, inflatables, cots, beds, furniture, large coolers, heaters, large fans, large umbrellas, chaise lounges, open flames, or anything of similar size of any kind as determined by the Convention Center.
• You are allowed to have one chair per person of relatively normal size. You may use a sleeping bag or blanket as well, provided it is only taking up the space of one person.
• No facilities or services will be available in Plaza Park, so plan accordingly.
• Restroom access will be available in Lobby G of the Convention Center from 9:00 PM to 7:00 AM each night starting Tuesday, July 22. No other access to facilities will be available.
• Please respect the grounds and dispose of trash in trash receptacles. Please do not leave any trash behind.
In Washington, DC, committee room seating is first-come…
So, of course, lobbyists pay college students to wait in line for them, then switch places before the room opens.
How soon before someone does that in San Diego?
And how soon before Hall H goes 24/7? Or at least expands outside the normal convention hours?
I’ve never understood why Hall H doesn’t become a ticketed event. I know it’s something CCI has tried to avoid but it’s got to be better than the weird pseudo-commune that sets up for an entire week each year.
It’s become such that you really do have to decide whether or not you want to go to Hall H or go to the convention for most people. Maybe this year will be better but it seems to be growing to the point where Hall H panels/events seem to almost be their own event.
Does anyone know if a ticketing system has ever been considered?
Hall H can just be a convention all on its own. It is ridiculous they allow people to sleep overnight or more just to see a panel.
Judging how you are unable to start lining up until Tuesday (previous SDCC’s you could line up as early as Monday; people tried to line up as early as Friday in some cases but the Port of San Diego would have none of it, given there was another business convention going on) and given no more tents and the likes are allowed anymore, it seems that CCI has FINALLY received the message that it was getting out of hand.
Christian: from what I have learned in the past, it has been often brought up during the SDCC feedback panel and has often been negatively received by convention goers. Many are actually “content” by the first come, first serve basis, which makes it as there is real no “easy” solution to the problem.
One idea that was purposed was to have multiple lines for each panel, and Hall H is cleared out after every panel. Once that line meets its seating quota, that is it and you are unable to stand in line for that particular panel. It gives others a chance to at least witness that one panel they want to see without having to stand in line overnight, at very least. This solution was overall well received, as it still gave you the “first come, first serve” advantage, and allowing others to see the panel they want to see without having to take up seating of panels they have no interest in. Obviously, for whatever reason, most likely due to the difficulty of emptying Hall H, it was never implemented.
2012 was the last SDCC for me, as it is way overcrowded for what it is now. Too much Hollywoodization and not enough comics. Artist Alley is nearly non-existent, and when Glee showed up, I finally had it. I’m sorry, but Glee, Discovery Dinosaurs, Mythbusters, etc do NOT belong at Comic-Con. It’s become Pop Con instead.
One thing that no one has noticed…
“Do you clear the rooms between panels and screenings?
For the first time we will be clearing the Main Stage after each Panel. Only the Main Stage will be cleared after each Panel. No other Panel Rooms will be cleared.”
It should be noted that Reed Exhibitions, the parent of ReedPOP, has been running ticketed events at BookExpo America for decades, both for ballroom events like author luncheons, as well as for autographing.
I’ll make the suggestion again:
Set up tables in the PetCo stadium parking lot at 6 AM each morning.
Each table is a specific Hall H panel (other big events can be included as well.)
People line up by event.
Badges are scanned, and a person gets ONE silicone wristband, inprinted with the event and color-coded.
At Ten AM (or whatever time), if wristbands remain, then attendees can get a second or third wristband if lines allow.
The colored wristbands are then double-checked by con security when people line up.
Rooms are cleared, except for attendees who possess the wristband for the next panel.
You say it takes to long to clear Hall H?
Then shut it down, because the Fire Marshall will not allow it to be used.
(Seriously… if there’s a fire, how long does it take to empty?)
Torsten – can you just take over planning Comic Con? I love that idea. Although I will admit, contemplating SDCC’s disaster preparedness is enough to trigger a panic attack. I can’t be alone there.
Gary – I used to love the idea of first come, first serve at Comic Con. It set a rather egalitarian playing field where if you were dedicated (or crazy) enough you could see/do whatever you wanted. But now almost every other aspect of SDCC is raffle/chance based: Vouchers to Buy Things, Access to Signings, Hotel rooms, even the tickets themselves are basically up to fate. I don’t understand CCI’s reluctance to apply this to what is one of their biggest (if not the biggest) problem areas of the Con.
Torsten: The idea for the waistband is sound, and I could live with that. I’m sure the majority could live with it as well at the end of the day.
Regarding the issue to clear out Hall H; it was just speculation on my part of what could be the primary reason, although I vaguely remember hearing this reason in passing, been a while.
I believe fire codes state that the room MUST be cleared out within a minute. So the issue is not the number of doors to clear out Hall H, but it is how CCI is utilizing them. If I recall correctly, they were only using one entrance (I believe 4 to 6 doors) for attendees to enter, then the same set of doors to exit. I believe there are a total of 6 entrances/exit to Hall H, 3 sets located on the Bay (west) side, one facing downtown (east) side and two sets (including one 30′ door) on the southeast face of the convention center. The 2 sets on the west side are out; those immediately go into the loading dock and therefore is unsafe. The 3rd set goes down a set of stairs on the backside of the center into the street, so safety hazard could be there. But for the other 3 including the 30′ door, I have no idea why they don’t utilize them.
Floor plan can be found here:
So far I haven’t noticed a single comment from anyone who was in the Hall H line this, or last, year. I was. Slept on the sidewalk Thursday night to get in for Friday’s Hall H.
Spent most of Friday morning waiting to see if I’d be able to get in before Marvel’s panel at 4 pm. (nope) If you will, allow me to speak as an experienced, and recent, Hall H attendee. The only problem is that over 10 thousand people want to get into Hall H each day, and I believe that is due to Marvel, Game of Thrones, and WB. Last year it was Dr Who, Marvel, WB, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. You see the common factor? Game of Thrones, and Marvel. The highest grossing movie of all time? The Marvel movie Avengers. The consistent most incredible surprise of Hall H? A Marvel movie actor being in character in Hall H, in 2012 it was Robert Downey Jr dancing down the aisle to the stage, in 2013 it was Tom Hiddleston as Loki on stage. The fans can not get enough of those two talents, and that rare moment of experiencing them in character, live in front of you? That’s bucket list material, friends.
To address the problem of advising people on how to line up for Hall H, early, and with the intent to stay all day and all night, making friends with the people immediately in front and behind you. The new wrist band idea was dual in nature, it let all the people in line KNOW they were going to get in by midnight, and so GO AWAY if you didn’t get a wristband, as the Hall H on Saturday only had 50 people leave from 10am to 3pm. So the wristbands were a good idea from the perspective of informing all the Hall H line of the likelyhood of getting in. As to clearing the Hall, never going to happen.
My forecast for future solutions? Marvel having it’s own convention. The many Marvel panels this year, Women of Marvel, Marvel Next Big Things, Marvel anniversaries 75th of Marvel and 30th of Daredevil… were all packed. They had waiting lines outside the small halls that didn’t get in. You likely know that Marvel was bought by Disney, and that Disney has the D23 Con every even odd numbered year, and that it’s held at the Anaheim Convention Center… but you might not have heard that the lines are only 4 hours long, no overnight sleepovers have happened yet, and all the same stars, celebs, previews, and pageantry happen there for Marvel… well, more celebs actually for the D23 of 2013 than the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) 2013, as I was at both… and the D23 was better for seating, viewing, and more celebs. The Thor cast was at both, and Anthony Hopkins went to the D23 event.
If you see what I’m saying, it’s that Marvel already has the ability to make a full presentation of a convention, as it’s already overwhelming the room capacities of the San Diego convention center, and SDCC. It has vast unused spaces in the Anaheim Convention Center (ACC) during D23, and it’s parent company, Disney, knows how to please the fans. SDCC is overwhelmed by just staying within the lines of the Firemarshall rules, and keeping the amazing amount of organization in check, needed to throw the SDCC each year.
For what it’s worth, I’ve just created two sites to celebrate and share the most fun and entertaining aspects of Comic Con, http://isurvivedthehallhline.blogspot.com/ and http://isurvivedthehallhline.tumblr.com/ enjoy !
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