5 New York Comic Con Survival Tips For Newbies

Lucas DeRuyter

New York Comic Con is finally here and it is amazing! With more than a hundred thousand attendees, more pop-culture goodness than you can possibly imagine, and more events than one person could ever possibly see, it’s truly an experience that every pop-culture enthusiast deserves to attend at least once. However, an event of this scale can be intimidating for first-timers and convention veterans alike. So, these five convention tips will make your New York Comic Con experience transform from good to great.

Talk to People

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The vast majority of NYCC attendees are exceptionally nice and polite. If you accidentally bump into someone or vice versa, you’re likely to hear a chorus of apologies. Lines and crowds are also much more chill than they are a mad-dash for the latest news or exclusive merchandise. You owe it to yourself to try talking with your fellow fans.

People are more than happy to talk about their fandoms, what cosplay they’re wearing, or the panel or event that you’re about to attend with them. Strike up a conversation with the guy ahead of you in line playing Golf Story on Switch. He’ll tell you why you should play it and share any rumors he’s heard about unannounced guests or surprise trailers.

NYCC can be pretty draining, and striking up a conversation about your favorite show, movie, video game, or anime is a great way to get in the convention spirit.

Bring Snacks and Water

They really are a difference maker.

You’re more than likely going to be walking around and on your feet all day and it can really wear on you after a couple of hours. That’s why it’s important to regularly rest, refuel, and hydrate.

While concession stands are available, they’re pretty pricey and tucked away in less than convenient locations. As security allows you to bring in water and snacks, you should definitely pack a few things beforehand. A couple of bottles of water and a half dozen granola bars could literally be the difference between you having a great time or sleeping through the panel you were most excited for.

Photos Are Fun, But Not in Aisles

While you should always ask permission first, most people attending NYCC are more than happy to stop and take a quick picture with you. Just don’t ask them to do this in the middle of an aisle on the convention floor. An absurd number of people are attending New York Comic Con and even stopping for 30 seconds to strike a pose can jam everything up.

If you absolutely need to take a picture with someone cosplaying as your favorite character, politely ask them to move to the side or a lower traffic area at the end of the aisle.

Pro Tip: Fist-bumps are the Best Greeting


Con Crud is real and staying healthy is a big part of getting the most out of this experience. Fist bumps instead of handshakes are a great way to reduce the transferral of germs and keeping all involved in fighting form. It’s also a great idea to keep hand sanitizer in your bag as well as wet naps to keep everything as sanitary as reasonably possible.

Healthy eating is also important in fighting off illness but can be difficult while attending a convention. Every little bit really does help, though. Try having a piece of fruit or some OJ with breakfast and do what you can to catch up on veggies when grabbing dinner after you leave the Con for the day.

Plan Ahead and Be Early for Everything

The official NYCC app lets you plan your trip, notifies you about any venue changes, and reminds you when and where the panels you care the most about are happening. Download this app. It’s free, utterly invaluable, and will come in handy more times than you realize. It also comes with a map of the Javits convention center and information on where to find your favorite IPs and creators.

The sad truth is you won’t be able to see everything you want over the course of the four-day event. However, a little bit of scheduling beforehand can go a long way in making sure you are the first in line for whatever events and panels you absolutely have to see. While simply exploring the convention floor can be a fun experience by itself, taking note of when and where your must-see events are happening is recommended.

Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.