Planning Your Kansas City Comic Con Experience

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KCCC is less than two weeks away which means it’s time to start planning!  Conventions can be hectic, especially if you are traveling from out of town and only have a day or two to take it all in.  Luckily in crunch times such as these Kansas City Comic Con has been updating it’s panel times and guest lists.  Here are basic tips for getting everything out of your convention experience.

Some Basic Info

The inaugural year of KCCC is boasting such comic and media guests as Manu Bennett, Sean Astin, Neal Adams, Mike Zeck, Jason Aaron, Phil Hester, Tony Moore, James O’Barr, Ande Parks and many more.  It will be held at Bartle Hall August 7-9th.

Know When Panels Are

Panels include media guests discussing their careers, and comic creators and cosplay guests discussing their creative process.  Be sure to check out the schedule in order to plan which panels to attend.  You can get a slice of pizza in the food court at any time, panels only happen once!  Look for specialty panels at KCCC this year on Secret Wars, Lost Girl, Star Wars, and Image Comics, among others.

Be Prepared to Meet Your Heroes

The other thing you should plan for is meeting guests.  If you are wanting books signed, commissions illustrated or photo ops taken, check out the lists of guests and the photo op and panel schedules (a lot of creators won’t always be at their tables, they have panels to do as well!) and get your ducks in a row.  When you’re not at any panels, it’s ideal to be meeting the creators and buying new books.

Get Your Books Ready

When it comes to getting your books signed, I suggest storing your comic collection in a League of Comic Geeks account.  Once you’ve got your collection entered you can search through your collection by creator name.  Instead of digging through your collection by hand, book by book, LoCG will find all the appropriate issues for you in a split second.  Initially entering your collection can be time consuming, but it is easy to maintain and is very handy if you go to several cons a year, like I do.

Leave Time to Browse

Once you’ve met all your heroes and you’re not at a panel, it’s time to do one of the best things about any con; browse.  Check out the vendors, look into new authors, scope out some cosplay and marvel at the movie props.  In addition to all the things you already love that brought you to convention in the first place, there’s a thousand new things to be discovered and loved.  A lot of my favorite books and authors I came across at conventions.

Find a Map

This may be the most important, time saving tip.  Most conventions will print them, publish them on their website ahead of time, or have some kind of app you can download to help you find your way around the showroom floor and panels.  Know where your panels will be, know where your favorite creator and media guests’ booths are.  If you can get a hold of a map ahead of time, mark where you will be heading, this will save you time standing in the middle of a busy thoroughfare, disrupting the flow of traffic while you scratch your head in confusion.

Sometimes its fun to just roll in and fly by the seat of your pants, but for the truly best convention experience it’s best to plan ahead so you don’t miss something you specifically came for (it’s happened to me).  Once you’ve got your to-do list taken care of, then it’s time to sit back and enjoy.

See you at KCCC 2015!

 

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