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Important Notes About Attending Programs and Events at Comic-Con
Comic-Con International once again features a massive schedule of programming events—the largest of any comics or pop culture convention in the country. This is the most extensive Comic-Con International programming schedule to date. It spans all four days and includes 19 separate rooms in the Convention Center, ranging from 256 seats to the massive 6,500-seat Hall H.
On Saturday night, the Sails Pavilion is turned into “Party Central” for the gala annual Masquerade party, where you can watch the show on the big screen while listening to music played by a DJ.
Beyond the Convention Center, you will find Comic-Con programming at six other locations in or close to downtown: the San Diego Central Library, the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, the Horton Grand Theatre, the Marriott Marquis, and new this year: BarrioHaus and at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
Programs at the Central Library are located in the Shiley Special Events Suite and The Neil Morgan Auditorium. The library is in downtown across the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at 330 Park Blvd. Programs at the Hilton Bayfront, just south of the Convention Center, are in the Indigo Ballroom. The Horton Grand Theatre is on 4th Avenue, two blocks east of the Convention Center.
The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel has opened their new meeting space to us. The facility is located on the Harbor Drive side of the hotel, adjacent to the Convention Center on the Hall A side. Programs are in Grand Ballroom 6, Grand Ballroom 10 & 11, Grand Ballroom 12 & 13, and the Santa Rosa Room. The Marriott Marquis serves as the headquarters hotel for anime, films, nighttime games, the Hospitality Suite, and the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. The Comic Creator Connection is still in the Santa Rosa Room
This year for Comic-Con 50, in order to give back to the wonderful and supportive San Diego community, Comic-Con International has decided to add two new locations to run panels this year: The Comic-Con Museum and the Artists’ Loft at BarrioHaus. Comic-Con is calling these tracks “Community Programming.” The programming at these new locations will be free to the public. That’s right, you do not need a badge to attend any of the panels at the Comic-Con Museum or BarrioHaus.
The Comic-Con Museum is located in Balboa Park at 2131 Pan American Plaza. Over the past year, the Museum has opened its doors for several pop culture events to allow fans to meet, learn, and share their love of fandoms. With a bit of sampling of the types of panels offered at San Diego Comic-Con, the Museum’s programming is an excellent idea for anyone who couldn’t get badges to the show!
The newest venue for Comic-Con programming is the Artists’ Loft at BarrioHaus, located at 1616 National Avenue. The lineup at BarrioHaus is intended to bring the cultural enrichment and educational aspects of Comic-Con panels to the public, with a focus on Latinx culture and contributions to popular arts.
As attendance at Comic-Con has grown, so has the number of people attending the programs. To make everyone’s programming experience as pleasant as possible, please follow these guidelines. While they apply to all events and rooms at Comic-Con, including anime, film screenings, and games, they are particularly important in the larger programming venues: Rooms 6A, 6BCF, 6DE, Ballroom 20, Hall H, and the Indigo Ballroom. These procedures are for safety purposes and to help ease line and crowd control issues. They include:
In the primary programming room area (Rooms 2 through 11 on the top level of the Convention Center), the four hallways leading into these rooms have been designated as either entrance only or exit only. Please see the map on page 10 in the Quick Guide and look for the signage over each of the programming room hallways upstairs.
In addition, each room has a definite entrance and exit, and some of the larger rooms have specific areas for lining up. When you’re in a room, please watch the presentations on the screens that occur between events for directions for leaving once a program is over. The various maps in the Quick Guide show the locations of specific room entrances, exits, and lines. Also, look for signage that will help you locate the correct line for each programming room.
Comic-Con has a break between programs in the five largest programming rooms (6A, 6BCF, 6DE, Ballroom 20, Hall H, and the Indigo Ballroom). This break is to help get attendees in and out in a timely manner. Rooms will not be cleared during these breaks. (The programs in the other rooms—2, 4, 5AB, 7AB, 8, 9, 11, 23ABC, 24ABC, 25ABC, 26AB, 28DE, 29AB, and 32AB—will still run back-to-back without breaks.)
Please keep in mind . . .
Seating in all event rooms at Comic-Con is on a first-come, first-served basis. Because of the sheer number of attendees, simply having a badge does not guarantee a seat in programs and events or an autograph from a specific celebrity. If there is a specific program or presentation you would like to see, it’s always a good idea to plan accordingly and arrive early.
Seating is limited in each room, from the smallest (256 seats) to the largest (6,500). To help everyone, please:
Do not put your bags, food, or other items on the seat next to you.
Please do not save seats.
Don’t leave gaps in seating. Please fill in all seats.
If you are standing in a room, you may be asked to move or to find a seat. This request is for safety reasons and is under the jurisdiction of the Fire Marshal. Standing in any programming room at any time is not recommended.
There is no reserved seating for press. Press badges do not guarantee entry to any event.
Comic-Con does not clear rooms between events. You are permitted to stay in the same room for multiple programs (with certain exceptions; if a room is to be cleared, it will be announced).
Full rooms: Rooms filled to capacity will be closed, and no additional attendees will be admitted. This policy is under the jurisdiction of the Fire Marshal.
Recording of any of the video footage or images projected onto the screens in any of the rooms is strictly prohibited. Hollywood movie and television studios go to great lengths and expense to bring these special presentations for Comic-Con. In many cases they are exclusive, specifically for you, the Comic-Con attendees. Recording of any of these presentations, by any means, including cameras and camera phones, is a violation of copyright law. Please don’t ruin it for everyone! If any of these special presentations appear on the Internet, the studios may stop bringing the footage and exclusive content we all love so much. Comic-Con has an exemplary record in this regard, and that’s why you’ll continue to see exclusive material only at our events, but only you can make sure that continues.
Photography: Each program has its own set of rules, and sometimes photography is allowed. When taking pictures, please keep these guidelines in mind:
- Keep flash photography to a minimum.
- Take photographs from your seat.
- Selfie sticks, GoPro poles, or any device that extends your camera or phone away from your hand are not allowed.
- Follow the rules of each particular panel. Some events will not allow photography of any kind. An announcement will be made if that is the case.
Q&A: When asking questions of the people on stage, please be courteous. For example, please don’t ask for a kiss, a hug, an autograph, a baby, a prom date, or the chance to give speakers a copy of your script, résumé, or movie. Such requests stop a program in its tracks. These celebrities are taking time out of their busy schedules to see you. Please treat them with respect. Because of time constraints, sometimes not everyone who gets in line will be able to ask a question. In the bigger rooms (Rooms 6A, 6BCF, 6DE, Ballroom 20, Hall H, and the Indigo Ballroom), your question will be screened before you can ask it.
Cell phones: Just like in a movie theater, please silence all cell phones when you enter any programming room. If you must take a call, please leave the room to do so, but be advised that if the room is full and closed, you may not get back in. At all times, please be courteous to your neighbors.
Trash: Please take your trash with you. Remember that other people will also be attending events in the room following you. Do not leave trash on the chairs or in the area around your seat.
Cancellations: In rare instances, a panel will have to be cancelled because of a situation out of Comic-Con’s control. Keep in mind that all programs, events, and listed appearances are subject to change.
In Hall H . . .
Comic-Con is once again using the massive 6,500-seat hall known as Hall H. This hall is so huge that in addition to the notes above, it has some specific guidelines:
• The line for Hall H starts outside the building in Plaza Park. Look for the sign that reads “Hall H line begins here.”
• The Toucan Tracker wristband policy returns for its fourth year. Wristbands will be given out for the first panel of each day in Hall H. See page 9 of the Quick Guide for details.
• Please remain seated once an event starts, and leave only after the event finishes.
• There are restrooms in Hall H. When you are facing the stage, the restrooms are to your right. If you leave the hall—for any reason—you may not be allowed back in or you may have to get in line to get back in. Again, because of Fire Marshal rules, this policy will be strictly enforced, with no exceptions.
Comics publishers, Hollywood studios, and everyone in the pop culture industries knows that Comic-Con International has the best attendees in the world. That’s why Comic-Con has the most incredible guests and programs of any convention. We know you’re here because you love this stuff as much as we do. We are all fans. Please keep the above guidelines in mind at all times, and everyone will have a safe, courteous, and fun time at the show!