Next time, I’m bringing a guide

July 27, 2009 5 By archshrk

The idea of hiring a guide seemed ludicrous. Why did I want to spend extra money to follow a tour guide waving an umbrella or other silly-looking wand around, like a well-coifed shepherd herding his sheep? As I traveled more, however, I learned that while you don’t need a guide for everything, hiring one, even if only for a few hours, can mean the difference between really understanding a place and having a visually interesting but ultimately superficial travel experience.Molly Feltner

San Diego Convention Center

Truer words were never said, especially when referring to Comic-Con.

Let’s be honest, I had no business being there and most of what makes Comic-Con great was wasted on me. That said, I’d go again in a heartbeat.

I arrived around 10:30 Friday morning to find hundreds of people milling about the streets leading to the San Diego Convention Center. Much like a Mardi Gras parade or outside a concert venue, there were people handing out promotional fliers and dressed in various costumes, all trying to tap into the excitement that is Comic-Con.

One of the nice things about the San Diego Convention Center (here after referred to as SDCC) is that it is separated from the rest of Downtown by the Trolley Lines. That means all cars and pedestrians have to funnel down to designated crossing points to get to the SDCC. This makes finding your way much easier since wayfinding signage is focused at these crossing points.

Once there, I simply followed the signs and verbal instructions to the place where I picked up my badge. Arriving after 10:30 was a huge help since the morning lines have all but disappeared by then and I didn’t have to arrive at 3am just to get a spot in line.

Badge pick-up is upstairs so once you get your badge, you navigate your way back downstairs to the convention hall floor. From there, you’re lost in a sea of freaks and geeks and everything in between. Just remember where you started so you can navigate the hundreds of booths and avoid going in circles. This is key to getting the most out of your visit and to finding your way back out.