My first con! EVER! Tips / advice?

Posts: 2,590
So I found a really nice person who sold me their ticket for face value, with the goodie bag included! Its a done deal, I'll be heading to Blizzcon for the first time ever! Been a Blizzard fan since Warcraft 3 and the original Diablo game. Have always wanted to go to a Blizzcon, especially since I live 15min away from the event. And For the first time, Im finally going. :D

To be clear, this will be my first time ever going to a convention of any kind. I've always wanted to go to comic-con, and all those other fun events but have never been able to get tickets - until now! So, as a first time goer to a con, I have some questions to those of you who have attended big events like these before. (Doesn't have to be a past Blizzcon, anything similar is okay with me.)

- Referring specifically to Blizzcon on this one, but what else is there to see / do other than big panels where the developers talk about the future of the games and the direction they want to go in? I've watch the virtual ticket plenty of times in the past, but I know for a fact they don't show everything.

- Will I be able to exit the convention and re-enter throughout the day?

- How much extra money should I bring for souvenirs? I love anything collectible with the exception of t-shirts. I don't care for those that much. I like anything plush, small figures etc.

- Is it uncommon for people to attend by themselves? I'll be going by myself. None of my friends are really interested in this event, and the person I bought it off only had 1 ticket. Should I expect to meet lots of people?

Thats about the gist of it. Feel free to post any advice, tips or stories from you past con experiences. Im really excited to attend Blizzcon. Not sure what to expect, but Im excited. :D
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Posts: 19
I've never been to any con besides NYCC which isn't anywhere near as big as this one. However, I do know about at least two or three things you've asked.

1) Other than the panels, there are the stages for the Riads/Hearthstone/HoTS(SCII)/HoTS(Weird having two HoTS LOL) so you can watch pro's and invited members of the respective communities play and talk. There's also smaller booths where VA's and Writers and other people from Blizzard gather and talk about their work. Then ther'es the games. you get to sit down and actually play all the games that are being released, so If Warcraft 4 were to be announced, you'd be bale to sit down and play War4. same thing goes with Diablo SCII Heroes, and Hearthstone. I'm pretty much expecting LoTV(Legacy of the Void, the final expansion to SCII trilogy) to be announced, and debuted here at Blizzcon considering last year they had a single 1 hour panel dedicated to SCII and that was it. So if it happens, you'll be able to play that too. On top of ALL of this there's a shop for goodies, a meeting stone where you can meet in game people and obviously other people to see and talk to during the con.

2)Not sure but I assume so. You only get 1 lanyard on the day you pick it up. So when you get there on Thursday at 9 am, they will start to allow people to line up and get their lanyard. This is your ticket into and out of the con. You only get one they say they won't issue a second one. You also pick up your goodie bag here too. With this lanyard to get access to both days of the con so I assume you're free to leave and re-enter at anytime so long as you don't lose your lanyard.

3) A fair bit. I'm going to shoot for $600 who know how much food will be inside, and drinks. on toip of all the goodies you'll be purchasing. They have T's toy's plushies, towels, mugs, poker sets, and a whole host of other collectibles that are sometimes exclusive to the con. I wouldn't be surprised if they have a Cute but Deadly set of 3 there as an exclusive item. If you've seen any of the SDCC 14 photos there's a slide of a "cute but deadly " trio It has Thrall, Deathwing and some pally looking dude( sorry don't know his name not a huge Warcraft fan) I assume this will be released as a con exclusive goodie, or included with the goodie bag( remember you get an exclusive toy in the bag too) because nobody has said a word about it and they haven't been announced or anything yet. So look forward to some nice goodies.

4) Not sure on this one. I assume people do go in alone, I am. I also assume people go and meet up with people they know from in game or what-not. It's up tot he individual. You'll probably enjoy it more with a group of people you're comfortable with rather than people you aren't or solo.

It shouldn't be that big of a problem though, just go and see what you're interested in. make a layout of what you want to do and see. The schedule is posted weeks in advance so you'll have enough time to plan. If you want the exclusive toys though (the ones with limited quantities) note that you might jst have to forego the opening ceremony. Remember seats are limited to events so you're pretty much in or out. I do believe they clear the room before the next panel though so you always have a chance to get into the panels. And if you wanna see the opening ceremony, people are probably going to bee-line for it. I'm not sure if they show the opening ceremony on the other stages (there's 4 as of 2013) though. In which case it might not be so bad if you miss out of actually being in the main stage for that.

Just have fun with it. Should be an exciting experience for all of us first-timers.
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Posts: 693
Enty hit most of the points pretty well. Just a couple additions.

2) You have the ability to come and go as you please. But like was already mentioned you must not lose your badge.

3) In previous years they have had a virtual store for those who are attending. It offers the majority of the items found at the convention store online. If they do it again this year you should be able to buy most of your souvenirs from home well before the con even starts. You'll still want to bring some cash along for the new items that didn't make it onto the online store though.

3b) Food can get expensive inside however there are places nearby to get some food for a slightly better price. As an example bottles of water can go for 3.50 or so inside. Things like hotdogs can cost around $4.00. Roughly the same price if you want nachos, or a burger.

4) It's not uncommon at all for people to go solo. I went in 2010 solo and had a blast. There are also groups that form from solo attendees. There's the loners pug that consists entirely of people there alone. There should be a post on these forums somewhere for it. You could also just find some people and hang with them, we don't bite :).

A piece of advice is to get your badge on Thursday if you aren't already planning to. The badges can be picked up on Friday however the line to get into the convention center starts forming well before the badge pickup time. If you wait until Friday to get your badge you may find yourself way in the back when it's time to go in.

The opening ceremony is broadcast to all other stages so if you aren't able to go there first you can watch from any other hall. You might even get a better seat and see the screens better in the other halls.
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90 Tauren Druid
Posts: 107
You don't really have to bring money for souvenirs since you can order everything in advance on the online store. Just bring enough for snacks. If for some reason you see something you want, you can always go to an ATM.

Besides listening to developer panels, you can also play upcoming beta versions of games, watch pros compete (top prize for the Starcraft tournament is $100,000 and those players are frighteningly good), visit exhibitor booths, enter various contests, watch the cosplay competition and watch the closing concert, among other things.

It's very common to attend by yourself. I've been doing that for years. Usually this forum has a loner PUG thread for people who are traveling to BlizzCon alone and want to group up when they arrive.

You can enter or leave the convention site whenever you like provided you have your badge with you. Pick up your badge Thursday evening so you won't have to waste time getting it Friday morning when the Con is up and running.
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Posts: 670
08/03/2014 01:45 AMPosted by Enty
I've never been to any con besides NYCC which isn't anywhere near as big as this one.

NYCC 2013 had 130,000 attendees, and I saw Blizzcon's quoted attendee count as 26,000 in 2011. What am I missing?
Edited by Mieu on 8/21/2014 5:17 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Warlock
Posts: 2,234
This is something I recommend for everyone.
Vitamin C.
Get some Halls Defense or some Airborne. While the convention hall is well air conditioned, there are a lot of people in the same building, and all that body heat being cooled by the AC makes it rather humid. Humidity is the devil when it comes to germs! And with that many people in the Hall touching the merchandise, the keyboards, sharing chairs and air... germs spread fast. Pop your halls like candy and make use of the hand sanitizer stations posted around the hall.
I learned this the hard way last year and had to call out sick from work because I had no voice at all and felt like I was dying. Con plague is the worst.

EDIT: Also, DO for the BO! Always pack deodorant. Don't be that one nerd.

EDIT 2: To help answer your other questions,

1. Check out the program before the convention starts so you can get an idea of what you want to see. Last year they handed out loot cards so we got our in game stuffs, but it also came with a virtual ticket so you can catch up on anything you missed. Remember, what ever you do miss, you can always see on youtube later!

2. Yes, you can come and go as often as you'd like so long as you wear your badge. Don't lose it! I taped my opening closed after I put my badge in it's sleeve so it wouldn't fall out.

3. That depends on how much you usually spend on merchandise in general... I don't tend to buy things, really, unless it's limited edition so I won't carry more than $200ish on me. There are ATMs, though, if you need to pull more cash, but I believe they accept plastic as well. Food is expensive around the place, but there are plenty of fast food in walking distance from the convention center.

4. Lots of people go by themselves! Myself included last year and this year. You'll make lots of friends, especially if you go in costume because people will stop you to ask questions and/or take pictures, but there's always the after parties in the hotel lobbies. Hilton is usually more packed, but everyone goes back and forth between the parties.
Edited by Pai on 8/22/2014 12:04 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
Posts: 388
I've never been to any con besides NYCC which isn't anywhere near as big as this one. .

I went to both Blizzcon and NYCC last year, NYCC's sales floor 1 holds more than the Anaheim Convention Center holds total.
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90 Undead Rogue
Posts: 149
Yeah Blizzcon has basically as many people as Anaheim Convention Center holds but that's nowhere near as much as some venues could.
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