I try to go to conventions – obviously I’d like to do more, but the day job and family make that difficult.
I’ve managed to attend MCM London, Kapow, London Super Comic Con and Thought Bubble and the are all excellent in there own way. There are differences of course, MCM has a lot of other things going with it, and it’s massive! Movies, TV, Managa, Anime and of course comics. Where as LSCC is a large comic convention. Kapow was an interesting experiment too – and it was an interesting experiment. Thought Bubble was by far my favourite. I loved the layout and the people there. This was pure comics and there was so much to see!
How do I choose a convention? I usually look at the guest list and exhibitors list. This gives me a good idea of the scope and size of the convention – most of the conventions also have a map – so you can plan where you are.
I’m not big on queuing for signings – unless I’m lucky I would rather talk and walk!
Usually I try to meet up/catch up or introduce myself to the various people I’m interested in – Big Punch Studios, T-Pub and Mad Robot Comics are usually about. I tend to shy away from the big tables and enjoy the comics village. Usually as well I am with my family – especially my daughter, who loves to meet the artists and writers.
Before I go, I make sure I’ve got a good idea of who will be there, and what they do – even I forget sometimes – I try to catch up on their latest work and what they have announced. It’s a busy time for the exhibitors and for many it is a labour of love for them!
As a side note, I would recommend comfy shoes – the floors in most of these exhibition halls can be quite unforgiving!
Making sure you have the cash is also a good pointer, although many are now adding card readers to there tables! Additionally, I find that having a good bag to carry all your swag is a good idea!
Travel – for the ones in London (at the Excel) I tend to drive up – I could get the train, but as I usually have my family with me, they all tend to fall asleep or read on the way home (the timing of getting there and the parking charges don’t make much difference too) Another advantage of driving is that you can take a packed lunch with you, leave it in the car and snack when you want.
for Thought Bubble, we caught the train and stayed overnight in Leeds – the central location and access made this really easy (we even had a free water taxi laid on last year!
Although I don’t go for costuuming/cosplay, my daughter and son have and we get that ready waaay in advance – in one case we had Princess Bubblegum and Finn from Adventure Time! The advantage we had with these costumes where they were practical, light and easy to pack away!
Most events are orginised through EventBrite – who I’ve had no problem with, through them you can orginise your own events as well as book tickets for others. you can print off the tickets, or even use their phone app, which saves all your tickets on your account!
Check them out here to register online for events
Comic search on EventBrite – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom/comics/?crt=regular&sort=best
I’d be interested to hear of any conventions coming, (especially more local ones to me in the South East)