Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Monday, February 13, 2012

#SDCC – The project – Initiate phase

The 5 phases – Initiate , Plan, Execute, Monitor and Control, Close Down
If you haven’t gone to San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) before, you need to realize this is a big event.
Not only does it cover an incredible amount of floor space, it also has 25,000 people a day attending; hence the claims of 125,000 people over the weekend.  On top of that, add the fact that this is the industry’s big event of the year.  Every year, the TV and Movie studios spend a lot of money at SDCC to get the public to watch their movies and shows.  The publishing and gaming industries aren’t just sitting by either. They are presenting and wooing the SDCC attendees too.
Over the last 10 years SDCC has been mainstreamed.  While everyone hasn’t heard of it, more and more non geeks/nerds are aware it exists.  Entertainment news shows are present to interview the top actors as they promote their movies and programs. So as Grandmom sits at home and catches up on her celebrity gossip with E!, she is watching video from SDCC.
Many people just get their tickets and show up. They have an idea of the schedule and wing it. For some that method works for them. Others are very disappointed and end up not having a good time. At the end of the weekend they talk about the coulda’s and the shoulda’s.
SDCC isn’t cheap.
SDCC takes committing and planning.
As with any project, you need to ask yourself several questions before you begin.  Based on those answers you’ll determine if you want to start the project.
1)      Is SDCC really for you?
a.       Can you endure large crowds from sunup to sundown?
b.      Are you up to walking several miles a day?
c.       Are you comfortable spending hours in lines every day?
                       i.      Are you comfortable spending that time in line and then being told you won’t get in to see the panel of your favorite show or won’t get your autograph?
2)      How much hype have you heard?
a.       Can SDCC live up to it?
b.      The sources of the hype – are they reliable or do they exaggerate?
c.       Can you distinguish propaganda from the truth and get the facts you need?
3)      What are your expectations?
a.       List the things you want to accomplish – is it reasonable?  Go back to your sources and see if they agree
b.      Are you physically able to accomplish your goals?
4)      How will this make you a better person? In other words – what ‘need’ does this satisfy?
a.       Will it help with your career (acting, writing, drawing, custom design, etc)?
b.      Will it help with your blog/website? (Interviews, photos, general content)
c.       Give you product to sell on eBay? (swag, exclusives)
d.      Will it help with bragging rights among friends? (name dropping, show spoilers)
e.      Cosplay?
f.        Is this a chance to socialize with others geeks?
g.       Is this your chance to preview the new games and talk to the programmers?
h.      Is this a bucket list item? (You’ve always wanted to go…)
5)      How will you manage your expectations throughout the project?
a.       Can you scale up or down the trip based on finances?
b.      Can you change focus as you realize some planning was impractical?
c.       Can you change your agenda as content is added/removed to SDCC?
d.      Can you design you customs in time?
6)      What lessons learned from others that you can use for yourself?
a.       As you talk to others, ask them what went right?  What went wrong? What was okay but could be better?
b.      What tips do they have to share?
                       i.      Good tips like, I should  have done ‘this’ first thing of the day
                       ii.      Bad tips like , I should NOT have done ‘this’ first thing in the morning
7)      Iteration – Now that you’ve gone through this exercise – start from the top and do it again. You will find things you missed or didn’t think of before.
Now is a good time to talk to people and gather your information. You still have time to raise money and make plans and decide what you want to during that weekend.
Preparation is only worth what you put into it and what you get out of it. Don’t over plan.

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