#16: Important Notes About Attending Programs and Events at Comic-Con
The moment is almost upon us: The big reveal of the Comic-Con International 2018 Program Schedule begins tomorrow with the schedules for Wednesday night and all day Thursday! In order to get you ready for that, here’s some information about attending programs and events at the show.
Comic-Con International once again features a massive schedule of programming events—the largest of any comics or pop culture convention in the country, if not the world! This is the largest and 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.
Beyond the Convention Center, you will find Comic-Con programming at four other locations in downtown: the San Diego Central Library, the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, the Horton Grand Theatre, and the Marriott Marquis.
Programs at the Central Library are located in the Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor) and The Neil Morgan Auditorium (ground floor, opposite the library). The library is across the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at 330 Park Blvd. (you can also enter at 11th Ave. and K St.). Programs at the Hilton Bayfront, just south of the Convention Center, are in the Indigo Ballroom. The Horton Grand Theatre is at 444 4th Avenue, two blocks east of the Convention Center.
The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel meeting facility is located on the Harbor Drive of the hotel, adjacent to the Convention Center on the Hall A side. Programs are in Grand Ballroom 1 & 2, Grand Ballroom 9, and Marina Ballroom DE. 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 on Friday and Sunday, along with Game Creator Connection on Saturday only, while the Panel Playback room is in Marriott Marina Ballroom DE.
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 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. 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 larger room, please watch the presentations on the screens that are presented between events for the 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 six 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 or live streaming 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 again this year. Wristbands will be given out for the first panel of each day in Hall H. (Look for a Toucan Tip next Monday that fully explains the wristbands.)
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.
Comic-Con International has the best attendees in the world, and comics publishers, Hollywood studios, and everyone in the pop culture industries knows this. 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!
More Things to Do on Preview Night!
Preview Night at Comic-Con just got even better with exciting programming taking place in the Convention Center and additional events happening around the downtown area!
Continuing our Wednesday night tradition, Ballroom 20 will be home to some exclusive Warner Bros. TV content. Don’t miss out on the world premiere screening of the new series Manifest, as well as special sneak peeks at fan favorites The 100 and Gotham, plus brand-new episodes of Freedom Fighters: The Ray, all starting at 6:00 PM.
Once the Exhibit Hall closes at 9:00 PM, the bravest of you may want to venture outside the Convention Center and dare to enter New Line Cinema’s “Scarediego” presentation in the Horton Grand Theatre starting at 9:30 PM. You’ll be among the first people to see footage from the company’s upcoming 2018–2019 horror film releases and hear from the filmmakers. This event is free for attendees, but space is limited, so be sure to pick up tickets for it from the Sails Pavilion, Desk AA-9, starting at 2:00 PM on Wednesday.
For our educator attendees, we’re happy to bring back the Teaching with Comics Interactive Workshop taking place in the San Diego Central Library Shiley Special Events Suite (9th floor) starting at 4:00 PM. You’ll learn about key strategies and theories regarding comics pedagogy and get hands-on training to integrate comic books into your classroom. You don’t even need a Comic-Con badge to attend this if you sign up in advance at https://www.sandiego.gov/ccel.