Badges went on sale for the San Diego Comic Con International (SDCCI or SDCC or just comic-con to most of us). This was for general admissions. All the badges were gone in about an hour.
The only comic convention I’ve ever been to has been SDCC. It’s much more than a comic book convention now. It has been much more than a comic convention when I went the first time. Toys, movies, games, and sci-fi shows all live side-by-side with comics. It can make for a muddled experience.
I’m a fan of the convention, but I won’t go again for a long time. Not unless ComixTribe is going as a team. The reason for this is simple: it’s too crowded, too expensive, too loud, too everything, to really get to the work of selling comics and meeting your peers and contemporaries.
Everyone is trying to sell what they have, be it wares or their talent, and they have to compete with everyone else. And if a publisher is having a booth review, it’s worse. They’ll look at art because even though it takes the longest to create, it’s also the fastest to critique, but they won’t look at writers. Very often, writers are told to pair up with an artist in order to be seen.
So, the hard-core attendees, those who go every year, are the ones causing the crush of people trying to get badges. This is why they’re gone in a ridiculous amount of time. When you have limited space because of the convention center itself, as well as a high number of those who want to attend, then you have sell-outs in an hour. Last year wasn’t much better, because badges sold out in 90 minutes.
Oh, but attendance badges are only half the story! The other half is getting a room to sleep in. Hotels will be upping their prices from San Diego all the way up to Escondido, and they’ll all be sold out in a matter of minutes. Then, you’re going to hear about people asking if they can sleep on the floor in your hotel room. Some are strangers, some are friends of friends—and they want a little bit of the floor in the corner in your room.
Of course, these people will pay. There’s no question about that. While I don’t keep my ear to the ground all that much, I don’t hear too many reports of these people causing trouble in the rooms or stealing. And that’s always a good thing.
While I’ve been lucky enough to go a few times, the past few years would probably leave me extremely frustrated because of the changes implemented in how to get badges for general admission. (Not that I’d go under a general admission badge, anyway. I’d go as a creator. Access to badges before the general public, as well as access to hotels before the general public. Although, I’ve never had to stay in a hotel during my forays to the convention. My wife has friends in the area, and we stay with them.)
Is it worth it, going to the convention as a pro? I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you this: it’s more of a challenge to make a profit. Because the tables are more expensive, as is the food and the lodging, and all of that has to be taken into account when talking about profit. Profit is what you make in sales after all of the expenses are taken care of. SDCC is the largest convention in North America. While there’s a lot more foot traffic, you also have to pay the expense of attending the largest comic show on the continent.
And only you can decide if its worth your while.
I suggest attempting to attend as a regular attendee first. See what the convention can be like. Or, attempt to go as a pro, but without a table. Don’t try to sell anything, you’re just going to see what the convention is like. That one experience, if taken and studied, should be able to tell you if you think it’s worth it or not.
You just have to do your homework first.