Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Sunday, June 5, 2011

SDCC letter of the day M for Manage

A lot of the previous posts are really about managing.
Manage your time.
Manage your money.
Manage your attitude.
If you were shooting Red Bulls all day long you could do SDCC activities 24 hours a day for the full 5 days.  Whether you were in the convention center or not far off you have a lot of activates to occupy your time.
Previous conventions had anime and kung fu screenings going on around the clock.
Theaters all over San Diego are doing late night screenings of movies.
The evenings at the convention center have the masquerade on Saturday night. It’s really something to see. I would recommend doing it at least once. Many of the costumes are amazingly complex. Expect to be up until after midnight if you are waiting for the results.
Often the Star Wars Awards are being presented on Friday Night. The presentation is always entertaining and you often get announced surprise guests. You are seeing the best of the best short films and they are very well done.
Your program book will have all of the details of the night and late night events.  Hang out by the entrance of the Gas Lamp and you will find out about the various movie screenings around town.   Surf the net and you’ll find listings of parties with celebs and without. Private parties and public abound during the week of SDCC.  And let’s give a nod to WOOtstock with Wil Wheaton and Adam Savage.
Manage your time well and you will do more than you thought possible.
Money is always a concern at SDCC. The admission badge is surprisingly affordable. WorldCon or the National Sport Collector’s Conventions are far more expensive. Just comparing the length of days and hours of operation to those other conventions makes SDCC even more of a bargain.
The rest of the SDCC experience is where you need to think about your finances.  A flight into San Diego needs to be done early (December?) to get a seat using your miles. Without a free seat you need to search for a cheap rate.  The seats into SD fill up fast.
Hotels are the bane of SDCC.  There are a plethora of rooms around the convention center but not enough. The rooms are booked through a travel agency and for most of us it’s a black box experience we have no control over. As the stomach acid rises, you hope one of the hotel choices you gave the agency will actually match their magic formula.  The rooms are expensive even with SDCC putting pressure on the hotels to lower the rates.  $200/night is a starting point. Then add in taxes and fees.
Many people rent a car. Something really not needed for the convention itself. But if you want to take a day and explore, think about parking fees and gas.
There are lots of restaurants that are easy to find around town. They are at all kinds of price points and quality.
The convention floor is where the money is spent for most fanboys/girls.  It’s a candy store for geeks. You will most likely find what you are looking for but it may not be at the price you want. The siren song of limited edition exclusives call many and crash their budgets.
Many people manage their budget by sharing rooms so they have more for the convention floor. 4 or more in a room is very common.   If your friends can’t make it, then you can look for the want ads and find someone easily enough.
I would start saving for next year’s convention now.  
Some math 5 night at $200 = $1000. Yuck. But if you are splitting the room between 2 or more…think of the savings!
Say you get a good deal on airfare $500.
How much do you eat?  Will $20 do? $30? $20 x 5 =$100
$125 for you badge.
That’s $1625 without buying a single thing on the convention floor.
Is $2K enough for you?  $3K?
Like I said – start saving now for next year. Or move to SD and save the airfare and hotel costs.
Manage your attitude.
My wife is laughing at me regarding this.  Really.  She thinks I’m a hypocrite.
I’m horrible about my attitude. I let my emotions control me all of the time. In fac,t today I was impossible to be with.
But not at SDCC.  I am the leaf on the wind.  I get knocked down but I get up again. (Who sings that?)
I’m told I can’t stand here…I go there.
I’m told the line is closed. Ok, I’ll try back later.
I missed out on the panel…I’ll pout for a few minutes but I’m checking my spreadsheet for my plan B or C while my bottom lips is sticking out.
While I’m at the show I manage my attitude.  My attitude may be horrid while I’m on the trolley or in the hotel room as I’m waking up and it’s still dark outside. When I get to the show regardless of how tired or grumpy I am I seem to manage my attitude pretty well. Will you see me down? Possibly but not for long.  That is the secret of my love of SDCC. I’m a better person there.
So mange your attitude and be a better person there too.

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