You want to get in to see a panel in Hall H? First of all, you need to know that it’s not impossible. You do, however, need a plan and a bunch of other stuff if you want to make it to your favorite panel with your sanity intact. Here’s my guide to getting into Hall H. Let’s do it!
1. Plan it out Like I said, you first need a plan. Decide which panel and which day you’d like to attempt to get into Hall H. Here’s everything happening in Hall H. Know that if you wanna see something towards the end of the day, you’ll be spending pretty much your ENTIRE day in Hall H. That’s not the worst thing in the world, as long as you’re prepared.
2. Get a wristband Let’s say you chose Saturday, the HOLY GRAIL of Hall H programming days. Legendary Pictures’ panel will start at 2:30pm, where you’ll probably see more footage of Warcraft than ever before, which is pretty awesome. The first panel on Saturday starts at 10:30am, which means you need to be in line no later than 7:00am! Waiting in line is going to be an all-day event, but good news! Comic-Con has wristbands that you can collect the night before, and hold your place in line somewhat, as long as you don’t care about priority seating in Hall H. The wristbands are ONLY for the first panel of the day, gang.
You can get your Saturday wristbands the night before (Friday) starting at 9:45pm in front of the NDL (Next Day Line) outside Hall H. This won’t guarantee you a spot, and if you want good seating, you’ll want to immediately hop in line. But if seating’s no big deal, you can leave and come back by 7:30am the next morning to the wristband line. This is why it’s good to go with a group.
2.5 Bring the essentials. If you’re camping out, you can bring a sleeping bag. Bring something to read, maybe a comic book. Bring your favorite handheld device for games. And above all else, bring a portable charger for your phone. This one device is ESSENTIAL at every comic convention.
3. Go with a group. Not as easy as it sounds, I know, but try and go with at least one other person. It’s always good to have a buddy to hold your place in line, especially when you have to go to the bathroom while you’re waiting. When you get inside Hall H, you’ll have that friend watch your stuff and chair. If you can go with a bigger group, that’s ideal, but be forewarned. A larger group is great for holding your place in line to get in and for overall team morale. Once you’re inside, however, forget about them. It’s every pair of friends for themselves. Not really, but it’s just easier to move around with just two people in Hall H. At the end of every panel, you can try and move up closer and find a better seat with two people; one stays back while the other scouts for chairs. For a group of three or more, you probably aren’t sitting together inside.
4. Bring Snacks. This really is a no-brainer. Bring a bag full of snacks to keep you going. Energy bars, granola bars, pixie sticks; just the essentials. Don’t forget to grab a couple of bottles of water. It’s the stuff of life. Now, there will be food you can buy for an arm and a leg right outside Hall H. You’ll be allowed back in which is why you need A) a buddy to hold that seat and B) money to get that food. Hot dogs, pizzas, chips, sodas, and fruit are usually on sale. Bring stuff to keep you going throughout the day. It’s not about having a feast; it’s about survival. You can treat yourself when you get out.
4.5 Pace yourself. You made it into Hall H. Now relax. Don’t panic. Be cool to everybody around you. Make friends. Remember your basic etiquette. Also, bring deodorant. People will thank you. When I say pace yourself, I mean, if you need to take a nap for some much-needed energy, take shifts with your buddy. Pick a panel you’re not all the way stoked about. Catch up on some much needed rest, or use that as bathroom break time. Remember that between panels, the lines for the bathroom are nuts.
5. Treat yourself. When you finally leave Hall H; walk over the bridge, across the street, and head to Lolita’s to get a California Burrito. You’ve earned it. You conquered Hall H! Now rest up, because you either have to party all night, or get back in line for Hall H for the next day’s schedule.
cover image: Crave Online