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#17 Get Ready for the Programming Schedule!

Comic-Con 2016 Toucan Tip of the Day

We know you’re just rarin’ to go for this year’s program schedule, and we’re just one short day away from launching our day-by-day rollout of all four days of listings. But before we do that, let’s run through some guidelines about attending programs in general for this year’s event.

Comic-Con International once again features a massive schedule of programming events—the largest of any comics or pop culture convention in the country. The schedule spans all four days and includes 19 separate rooms in the Convention Center, ranging from 319 seats to the massive 6,500-seat Hall H. This year we are once again featuring programs at the San Diego Central Public Library in both the Shiley Special Events Suite (Wednesday through Saturday) and The Neil Morgan Auditorium (Thursday through Saturday). In addition to the Library, Comic-Con branches outside the Convention Center with three other dedicated programming rooms: the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, Pacific 24 at the Marriott Hotel (featuring the Fan Culture panels), and the Horton Grand Theatre on 4th Avenue, two blocks from the Convention Center. All of these venues will feature programs Thursday through Saturday (the Horton Grand requires a separate ticket, along with your Comic-Con badge).

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, 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 9 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 in the onsite Quick Guide and look for the signs over each of the programming room hallways upstairs.(An online version of the Quick Guide will be posted on this website later next week!)

• In addition, each room has a definite entrance and exit, and some of the larger rooms have specific areas for lining up. The various maps in the Quick Guide show the locations of specific entrances, exits, and lines for most rooms. Also, look for signage that will help you locate the correct line for each programming room.

• In the five largest programming rooms (6A, 6BCF, 6DE, Ballroom 20, and Hall H), there is a break between programs. 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, 23ABC, 24ABC, 25ABC, 26AB, 28DE, 29AB, 30CDE, 32AB, and the Indigo Ballroom—will still run back-to-back without breaks).

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 to the largest. 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).

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. If you are caught recording a panel or event, you will be asked to leave the panel and may have your badge revoked.

Live streaming of any event in any programming room is strictly prohibited. This includes rooms onsite at the Convention Center and the offsite programming rooms, too. If you are caught streaming a panel or event, you will be asked to leave the panel and may have your badge revoked. 

Photography: Each program has its own set of rules, and sometimes photography is allowed. When taking pictures, please keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Avoid using flash photography.
  • Take photographs from your seat.
  • 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.
  • Selfie sticks, Go Pro poles, stilts, and other devices that extend your camera or phone from your hand are prohibited.

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. The celebrities visiting Comic-Con are taking time out of their busy schedules to see you. Please treat them with respect. Because of time constraints, not everyone who gets in line will be able to ask a question. In the bigger rooms (Rooms 6A, 6BCF, 6DE, 20, Hall H, and the Indigo Ballroom), your question will be screened before you can ask it.

Cell phones: 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 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. We will post further information about the wristbands as a Toucan Tip next week.

• 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.

• Food is available in the Hall H Lobby, but if you leave the lobby you will have to go outside and get back in line again to get back into Hall H.

Check back for another Toucan Tip tomorrow here on Toucan, the only OFFICIAL SDCC blog! Bookmark Toucan and the Comic-Con Front Page for the latest updates for Comic-Con International 2016!