- Not all panels are held in the Javits Convention Center. There are three off-site panel locations: the Theater at Madison Square Garden, BookCon at 500 W 36th Street, and the Hammerstein Ballroom at 311 W 34th Street. These locations can be seen on the map below, which is also available as a PDF from NYCC. Remember, moving between these locations for panels means you need to account for the extra travel time!
- Unlike SDCC, some rooms are cleared between panels. Panels will be cleared in the Main Stage at the Javits Center and at BookCon. Take this into consideration if you want to attend multiple panels in those locations!
- The Main Stage panels in the Javits Center are also using the RFID badges as a line "reservation" system - you line up for the panel you want to attend that day and a staff member scans your badge, essentially reserving your presence in that line. Then you can either stay in that line, jump in another Main Stage line that isn't already capped, or head to the exhibit hall. If you leave the panel line you can return 35 minutes before the panel starts and basically be guaranteed a seat; your badge is scanned again when you return for the panel, confirming that you were present in the line earlier that day.
This is all explained on the NYCC website and is an attempt on their part to help keep people from standing in one line all day. I think it's pretty neat, and am curious if SDCC will ever adopt something similar with their own RFID badges. This method does not, however, reserve your actual spot in line and I have a feeling we'll still be seeing some people camp in line all day to get the front seats.
Twitter is a fantastic convention tool. It can help you stay in touch with online friends, learn about events and parties, and it's a great way to find spur-of-the-moment giveaways and celebrity encounters. Honestly, the only reason I made the switch to a smart phone in 2014 was so I could access Twitter at SDCC!
A few Twitter accounts I will be following during NYCC include:
- @NY_Comic_Con - the official NYCC account
- @NYCCLines - an official account, they will be tweeting info about the lines throughout the convention
- @AllGeek2MeRadio - Cate and EM are NYCC veterans, and their enthusiasm is contagious. They recently had a podcast devoted to navigating NYCC.
- @FriendsofCCI - I learned about this community through SDCC, but they also share info about NYCC.
- Any official accounts for your various fandoms, to learn about giveaways and booth events. For example, I am following @DelRayStarWars, the publisher of the new Star Wars novels. Other accounts I am keeping an eye on are @LootCrate, @WeLoveFine, and a few independent artists with tables in Artist Alley this year.
Around the Convention:
As someone who likes to be prepared, I think it is important to look at the convention center map ahead of time. To access the Javits Center map, you can download a PDF from the NYCC website or access it through the NYCC app.
The map pictured here is just an overview of the entire convention center - there are also detailed maps of the different convention areas, like the show floor and Artist Alley. These maps can also be found in the NYCC mobile app, available for iOS and Android.
The NYCC app will also let you keep track of panels and other events - it cannot be linked with your MyShow login, though. The MyShow login is attached to your Fan Verified email address and can be used on the desktop site... so if you saved favorite panels in the app, they won't show up on the website, and vice versa. This is a disappointment, especially since NYCC likes to emphasize how large the convention is. The app is still worth the download, though, because of its accessibility during the convention. It even shows the weather!
Something interesting I just learned about is NYCC XP. If you've been to Nerd HQ in San Diego during the past few years, you might remember scanning your wristband on different stations. You were then sent product information and files of your Nerd HQ photos, and it interacted with your social media.
NYCC XP sounds like it is similar. Located throughout the convention center are NYCC XP stations, which will link with "your own custom website" through your RFID badge. The website needs a special app to access, and you can share the photos with your friends. I want to learn a little more about this before I decide if I'm going to use it, but it sounds like a neat idea.
And, of course, all the standard large con tips apply - wear comfortable shoes, look at the schedule so you have some idea of when things are happening, stay hydrated, don't be rude, take a shower, etc.
That's it for now! If you're interested in learning about autographs and photo ops, I wrote a post about my experience with that earlier this summer. And if you have any tips for me, or questions I can try to help with, definitely leave a comment!