1 JULY 2016
Every year CCI politely reminds us of their rules for Comic-Con - which used to have to do with photography and normal Con-going behavior. But these are modern times and now we have rules about hoverboards and boa constrictors and funding hustles.
I suggest reading their Toucan post in full, because it is important to know what you can and can't do. And if your response to these is "duh," remember that you're talking about a huge and eclectic crowd who don't always grasp basic etiquette. I love SDCC attendees and I truly believe you won't find a more helpful and friendly group of people - but we don't always think like other people.
No selfie sticks. No hoverboards. There isn't anything about drones, but they were forbidden last year.
No pets unless they're designated service animals. If you do have a service animal, get him or her a sticker at Disabled Services in Lobby A.
You can't sell anything unless you're an approved vendor. And that includes - and this was highlighted in yellow so you know it's been an issue - "no solicitation of tips, fees or donations of any reason, unless you have a booth, table or official space allocated by Comic-Con." Your Go Fund Me page will have to wait.
No market research, surveys, data collecting, etc. They don't include the caveat "unless official" but the reality is that many booths WILL collect your data by swiping your badge in turn for a freebie. So unless SDCC has stopped that (which I doubt) this is just for attendees and outsiders.
No handouts, unless you got approval for the free table. So if you have promotional postcards to pass out, back away from the convention center.
Onto the important rules.
You cannot bring a "functional prop or weapon" to Comic-Con. No actual swords, rifles, knives or anything projectile. They must be simulated AND they must be inspected and tagged at the Costume Props Desk in Hall E. This includes stilts. Oh, and if you're wearing an "oversized costume" you might be asked to leave the Exhibit Hall.
Don't roll your eyes at the above and think it'll be too crowded for security to notice your untagged weapon. These are times when massive crowds have massive security issues, and we all want to feel safe at Comic-Con. If you stroll around with an uninspected weapon, especially if it looks real, you'll be frogmarched out.
Okay - onto our RFID badges. Yes, you will tap in but just as importantly you will tap out. Fail to do that and you could be denied re-entry. Oh, and if you have any kind of badge issue you'll have to go to the RFID badge desk and show your photo ID, scalping customers.
I know you're all wondering about the lines involved in this badge tapping business. Ideally it shouldn't take much longer than the badge flashing we've always done to security guards. But I won't deny there's possibility for a machine to malfunction, or someone to have some kind of validation issue, holding up everyone behind them. We'll just have to see.