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Published on June 1st, 2016 | by Gaby Colageo

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Gabby’s top 10 tips for Phoenix ComicCon!

With convention season just starting up, the Southwest’s largest comic con is just two days away. Which usually means all those eager convention attendees are finishing up their cosplays and making last minute plans with friends. I should know I’ve been one of those attendee’s since I was 16 years old making this year my 7th Phoenix Comic Con, and every year I have gone it has gotten bigger and better. Although throughout my seven years of being an attendee I have learned a couple things that I feel would be helpful to beginning con goers, or even people looking for something different to do this year. Hence this top ten list for Phoenix Comic Con; since there is so much to do at the convention, here are a couple tips to help guide your convention adventure!

 Plan out some of the panels you want to go to! Just don’t get bummed out if you miss a few.

When I first started going to conventions I tried planning out my whole day, which I found out doesn’t really work out. Which is ok since there is so much to do; meeting friends, and the vendors hall sometimes gets in the way! A great tip I learned was find the handful of panels you are dying to see. It be the big spotlight panels with your favorite actors, or fandom based discussions; mark your must attends first so you can build around your favorites. It makes life just a little easier so you don’t get overwhelmed. (Using the Con App or the paper schedule helps with this big time.)  Also if I may recommend a few panels: P.U.G.S- Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smack down is always a favorite of mine, if you haven’t been its amazing! You won’t be disappointed. Also check out both of Skewed N’ Reviewed’s panels: Upcoming Movies, and Upcoming Games. Both are packed every year and you just might learn something new!  

 

Don’t be afraid to Cosplay!!!
I have been cosplaying since the first convention I’ve gone too and I have to tell you it is like have Halloween for an entire weekend but better. You get to meet so many people who like the same things you do by going to PCC and dressing up in my experience just makes it better. Also don’t worry if your costume isn’t perfect, everyone has started somewhere and someone is going to appreciate the effort you took into making your costume debut. So just have fun and flaunt your hard work!

HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE.
It’s going to be hot outside! Which is a given since it is Arizona in the summer time, but when getting wrapped up with everything sometimes we forget to drink water. Also for all those people in heavy or not summer safe costumes, please make sure to hydrate and chill in the AC for a bit. I’ve made this mistake before and nothing ruins a convention weekend more than heat exhaustion.

 

There will be lines.
Word of the wise, there will be lines to get into the popular panels so plan accordingly for that, but don’t stress out just get there early and you should be ok. Also there will sometimes be lines for photo ops; which are worth it in the long run. My recommendation: download some apps, bring something to read, or even look at the con schedule to see what’s next on your to do list. Keeping busy makes it go by faster! Also a big kudos to the PCC staff for making lines easier every year and adjusting to the increase in size of the convention; they do a stellar job.

There are a ton of food options!
Don’t be restricted to just the convention center. There are food trucks outside and some good eats just a couple minutes’ walk away from the con. Also this options are usually cheaper then then food court inside the convention center, so don’t be afraid to travel down the street you might just find something good! Also some places have discounts for con goers so look into that.

 

Be prepared to see anything and everything.

When going to a convention for the first time or the 8th time you will see pretty much any costume and panel imaginable. It can sometimes get overwhelming so remember to take some me time wither it be grabbing a bite to eat or just sitting with friends in between panels. Just soak in the experience, and remember to take a few photos!

 

Make a stop to the vendor’s hall.

The vendor’s hall is one of the key stops at any convention. However, PCC’s vendor’s hall grows almost every year and any attendee can find something that catches their eye. I know this for a fact because my bank account always takes a serious hit; plus side I get some awesome artwork. Taking a walk or three around the vendor’s hall is fun to pass the time but is also a cool opportunity to talk to some of your favorite artists and authors since they have booths set up throughout the hall. You also need to stop by the ‘Hall of Heroes’ as it is called, they have some cool set up’s for fun photo opportunities in costume or with friends! It’s also where you go for photo ops!

Transportation is key.

There are a couple of ways to get downtown. The most common forms of transportation that use is driving, or just staying in a hotel (Which is a great option, would recommend from experience). For driving, parking is sometimes a struggle but PCC offers some great parking discounts! Also the Valley metro light rail is a great alternative! You can park at one of the locations, then for about 4 dollars you get an all-day pass which is great for moving around downtown. I’ve done both these options, and they are great.

 

Explore outside.

This year PCC is blocking off two streets! Which mean there is tons to do outside, from seeing geeked out cars to local bands preform. The food trucks are also located outside too for when you need a snack. Just remember it’s going to be hot this weekend so remember to keep cool!

 

The most important tip: Have fun!!!

Most importantly just have fun. Going to a convention is supposed to be a fun experience, so just be yourself and let your geek flag fly. Also stop by the Skewed n’ Reviewed’s panels and booth to say hi!

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