This may be a bit belated on All Con’s Eve (that’s what we all call the day before Comic-Con, right?), but i’m writing this under the assumption that we can never be too prepared. And because I’ll feel better after listing everything out, and figure you readers might feel better after seeing everything listed out.

So first thing’s first: this is the biggest con on the planet, and you will be surrounded by thousands of people, so if anxiety meds are necessary, don’t leave home without them. Us nerdily inclined tend to be more prone to the panic attack, so remember to breathe!

Ok, aerated? Let’s talk about what to expect after you’ve surfed your way through the sea of people. You’re going to notice long lines and people rapidly coming to make it longer. What you need to do is figure out which room you want to be in and get into one of those monster lines as quickly as possible, as early as possible. The moment you’re allowed into the building is about the time you need to be getting into the line. Maybe earlier. I suppose it depends on whether or not you want to get into Hall H.

Now, since I can’t know what each of you will want to bring personally, I’m going to share my own checklist of essentials.

  • iPhoneEvernote, audio recorder, twitter, email, shameless selfies, and I guess I can also make calls.
  • Kindlewhile waiting in line and between panels, there’s waiting. Which I like to fill with reading.
  • business cardsyou know what’s annoying? Having to spell out your name and/or find a piece of paper to write your details down. You know what’s really easy? Handing over a business card.
  • Canon RebelI need to also have a real camera. Sorry iPhone.
  • phone chargernothing’s sadder than a dead smart phone. And who lugs around change for a payphone anymore?
  • ice waterhydration, hydration, hydration! Fill a bottle with ice in the morning and you’ll have cold water all day.
  • a sammichif you pack your lunch, you don’t have to pay astronomical prices in the convention center or venture outside, thereby losing your place in line or in a room.
  • cashsome booths don’t take cards. Nowhere I’ve bought from, but I hear they exist.
  • pen and note padnotes, doodles, novel chapters, emergency autograph, ya never know.
  • backpack/ messenger bagto put all this stuff in, obviously. ;P

I’ll also be bringing my laptop, but unless you need to upload videos or make a blog update on the fly, you probably can leave your lappy in your hotel room.

Other than make sure to wear comfortable shoes, I can’t think of anything else to tell you. Besides that you should end things right by going to the Once More with Feeling sing-a-long, but I think it’s fair to say that I have some bias there. (I thought Comic-Con was just about comic books until I heard about the sing-a-long, and then I had to come. Poor ignorant fool, I was.)

Have fun! And remember that Whedonopolis will be live tweeting during the whole con. My tweets will be signed CIRL (for ChelseaIRL). And if you see me, say hi!

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