You'll want to check out the Exhibit Hall map and other lists

 2 JULY 2024

It's that time of year when you're anxiously jonesing for big Comic-Con news - will your favorite actor be there, which Hall H day is the best, and so on. The Exhibit Hall details can seem trivial since the whole thing is experiential: the ultimate in-person activity, immersive, bombastic, and dazzling.

But CCI released those very details today and they are worth studying, especially if you're a tender SDCC fledgling. I know, I know, you're spontaneous, you're sick of being told to make a plan, it sucks all the mystery out of the Con. But it really doesn't - and doing some basic footwork is the best way to ensure you get everything you want.

Here's why looking at the Exhibit Hall information will benefit you:

You'll forget what you wanted to buy. There are just too many distractions. You'll want to keep a list on your phone with booth numbers of where you need to go. 

The aisles are too crowded to notice everything. It's frustrating to make what you think is a thorough pass through the entire Exhibit Hall, only to read about some amazing booth/item that you completely missed. Sometimes there's just too much to take in, sometimes it's too crowded to see everything, or an author's line or group cosplay is blocking something important.

You can discover great new artists and work. SDCC is not the comic nerd's paradise it was once, and - let's be frank - walking through the Exhibit Hall can feel like walking through a spacious Barnes and Noble. But there are still some interesting creators and weird little booths afoot. 

You can close in on your prey much faster. The Exhibit Hall, like most of the Con, is a killing field. You have to be fast, cunning, and organized to land your quarry. Knowing where to go can mean getting your hands on the last item or getting in a line before it's capped.   

It's reassuring. Okay, this is for veteran attendees, not first-timers. But after the fade of so many beloved booths from the floor - favorite destinations, indie publishers, friendly artists - it's always comforting to look and see who's still there.

So. Take a look at the Small Press, Artists' Alley, Fan Tables, and Exhibitors - and at least decide if there's a strategy to be had there. Because there probably is.

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