By: Nic Jacobs Founder & Managing Partner @ GEEK4GEEK
If you have ever been to comic con before you know that it can break the bank if you let it. However in the current economy it would be wise to not let that happen. The following is a guide to how to attend comic con on a budget.
Note: These are just suggestions to help people on a budget be able to get great stuff and a great time!
- Create a maximum spending limit
The first step for any budget is to create a spending limit. In regards to comic con you should create two spending limits: a maximum for the whole con and a daily limit. This part of the plan may be a bit tricky as there are many booths and celebrities that may grab your attention. Fortunately for attendees the official websites for comic con list which celebrities will be attending and how much they charge for an autograph and/or photo ops.
If you want to get even more in-depth with your spending limit you can also visit their exhibitor page and see what vendors are attending. From their you can visit the store pages to see the type of products they sell and their approximate prices. It is important to note that many vendors offer special pricing for comic cons. There will undoubtedly be sales everywhere you turn, this may help you stay well within your budget.
- Hit up the ATM for you daily amount
The key for the budget is to stay on track! Don’t take out all the money the first day. That will only get you into trouble. It is a fact that you will see a lot of items that “float your boat”. If you take out your whole budget when you first arrive it is almost guaranteed that you will spend it all the first day.
Take out the amount you already determined for the day. This is help you avoid spending your whole budget before the con is over. It will force you to really consider going to the ATM again and getting out more money. Being that most of the ATMs are not conveniently placed throughout the con. If you have to stop what you are doing and have to find one it may make you consider just enjoying your time rather then spending your time looking for more money.
- Utilize the floor map
Ahhh, the floor map. Probably one of the most important and under utilized tool of the con. Every con provides a map of the floor for the attendees. It shows where all of the vendors, celebrities, panels, etc are. I will agree that part of the beauty of comic con is walking around and exploring and by all means please do. If you do not then you are missing out.
However while you are exploring it is important to keep your map accessible. It is very easy to get lost and not remember where a certain something is. If you find something that you would like to purchase but don’t have the money, or want to try to find it for a lower price it is suggested that you mark where you found it on the map. This way if you need to return you have a better chance of finding the booth again.
As a retailer and a geek who frequently attends comic con I can personally say that it is awesome; and very difficult to stay within a budget. Impulse shopping is a must at places like these because who really needs the awesome loot that can be found at cons.
I think the biggest suggestion that I can give and I think many would agree is to save up for comic con. If you know that you are going to attend put a some money aside in a special Comic Con fun. If you do that hopefully by the time you go you will have a nice chunk of change to blow at one of the coolest geeky places EVER!