Author Topic: Hall H advice and tips  (Read 50384 times)

Offline stl_ben

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #315 on: January 09, 2020, 06:14:14 AM »
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I believe Saturday Hall H especially for the MCU panel.
Anyone know for sure.  MCU was the one day I thought might cause this, but wasn't sure.

Offline puppy

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #316 on: January 09, 2020, 08:51:12 AM »
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I didn't do Hall H at all this year, but that's an interesting read.  I'm not sure that the Indigo Ballroom issue was directly caused by Hall H reductions.  It seemed to me--from looking at the "popular" ranking on MySched--that some things were put into Indigo that should have been in either Hall H or Ballroom 20.  "The Good Place", for instance, was one of the ten most popular panels on MySched, putting it above many things that were in the larger rooms.

But, I don't know how SDCC can do a better job at assigning rooms.  Sometimes it's hard to predict interest.  Maybe they should throw some panel names out about a month before the con and do a "popularity" survey.

I think that the ultimate solution to Hall H may be what they did with the exclusives--lotteries.  If you combine a lottery system and splitting each day into two sessions where you clear the room in the middle of the day, you would go a long way toward solving the line issues.   So, when you enter the lottery, you choose Friday First Half vs. Friday Second Half.  It might actually be better for some people because if they only are interested in the last panel (e.g. Game of Thrones), they don't have to spend the whole day watching panels they aren't interested in.

I dunno. There are many things for which I prefer a lottery, but I find thrill in waiting in line for Hall H. I like that they stopped allowing people to camp for days, but overnight is okay. They just need to figure out how to prevent the line surge at the beginning of the line. I was farther back in line last year on Friday night. Where we were, people were behaving in a civil manner, though maybe a little upset with those people who came out of nowhere to grow the head of the line.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 12:37:16 PM by puppy »

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
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Offline debster

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #317 on: January 09, 2020, 11:14:26 AM »
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I dunno. There are many things for which I prefer a lottery, but I find thrill in waiting in line for Hall H. I like that they stopped allowing people to camp for days, but overnight is okay. They just need to figure out how to prevent the line surge at the beginning of the line. I was further back in line last year on Friday night. Where we were, people were behaving in a civil manner, though maybe a little upset with those people who came out of nowhere to grow the head of the line.


The forming of the line last year was very dangerous and very crazy. I almost got trampled, and I definitely got yelled at by a jerk who pushed himself to near the front of the line. It also doesn’t help that once the line is formed, one person is usually holding the space for about 20-30 people because line groups weren’t really allowed to spread out that much to put in their placeholders. The not announcing when and where the line was forming caused a stampede once that flag went down. If they were trying to prevent chaos, it didn’t work.

Offline perc2100

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #318 on: January 09, 2020, 02:52:46 PM »
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They are SO BAD at loading Hall H though. Or at least it seemed even worse than usual this year. I'd hate to see them clear it, if only because it would waste so much potential panel time.
Add to the fact that the lottery completely happens before the schedule drops, IIRC.  Having a "blind" scheduling lotto would cause a massive nightmare: I mean, imagine sorting 100k people all saying that want "Saturday back half" thinking/hoping Marvel Studios will be there, only to learn when the schedule comes out there's no Marvel.  Now, you have potentially a few thousand people who won the lotto who now have no interest of being cooped up in Hall H all afternoon who then bail and leave mass amounts of empty seats.
If they wait until early July, with two weeks left after the schedule is announced, then there's little time to organize everything last minute for CCI (which is a much smaller organization than I think most people think it is: remember it's a non-profit - while the event is huge and the work to produce the event is enormous, the amount of staff is incredibly small).

I think the current panel situation involves making the best of a never-perfect situation.  Clearing the rooms for each panel, even if done only once or twice a day, would take away from at least one panel.  Looking at last year's Saturday panel schedule, for example, there is nothing I would be OK with them dropping.  While I'm not a huge fan of everything every year, there are plenty of other fans: and some panels are a "must," such as the 'Women Who Kick Ass' panel.  It seems counter-productive IMO to lose programming to clear/refill Hall H when the situation currently is generally fine and will likely improve 2020 and beyond.

Offline marcia29

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #319 on: January 10, 2020, 10:05:17 AM »
As much as I like the idea of sitting in the same seat for several panels, I can see how it seems unfair to have "seat parkers" who don't even care about the panels before "their" panel, take away seats from those who desperately want to see the panel(s) for which they are just killing time. I am starting to lean toward clearing panel rooms.  Maybe just the bigger rooms, or if there are people waiting in line?  I do not have the answers on just how to do this though.   ???  SDCC is about making the tough choices sometimes.
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Offline perc2100

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #320 on: January 10, 2020, 12:10:05 PM »
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As much as I like the idea of sitting in the same seat for several panels, I can see how it seems unfair to have "seat parkers" who don't even care about the panels before "their" panel, take away seats from those who desperately want to see the panel(s) for which they are just killing time. I am starting to lean toward clearing panel rooms.  Maybe just the bigger rooms, or if there are people waiting in line?  I do not have the answers on just how to do this though.   ???  SDCC is about making the tough choices sometimes.
SDCC is about making the tough choices ALL the time, I think!
As far as camping out in a hall all day, I've been doing that since almost literally the year Hall H opened (when you could walk right into a LotR panel), and it's a huge pleasure for me: mostly because I often "discover" something new.  For example, one year KICK-ASS had a panel, and I knew absolutely nothing about the comics.  I can't remember what panels I was most interested in, but that panel wasn't on my radar.  After they screened footage, I immediately fell in love.  The director basically said screw the 'family friendly' vibe, this was R-rated, and closed his pre-sizzle reel screening hype by encouraging us to video the footage, put it on YouTube, and rave about it so he could secure studio distribution (a bidding war between studios happened almost immediately after the panel).  I fell in love with the property, bought the books in the Exhibit Hall before the end of the weekend, and the rest is history.

A more recent example:
a few years ago, my son and I wanted to see "The Good Place" panel, and 'camped out' in Indigo Ballroom for the morning/early afternoon.  There was a panel for "Steven Universe," something I had heard of but never seen, & something my son was only vaguely familiar with.  They screened the first episode of the upcoming season (which was massive spoilers/revelations that went way over our heads at the time), and we both fell in love with the series.  My son now would likely consider it his favorite show on TV & my whole family is WAY into the show (VERY rare occurrence in our household).  I don't think we'd have ever 'stumbled upon' "Steven Universe" otherwise.

If pressed I could probably think of a dozen shows or movies this has happened in the 20 years of me going to Comic-Con panels, and it's something I truly love about the event: discovering something new I likely wouldn't have noticed.  I suspect plenty of studios count on that type of thing happening, since they're not going to Comic-Con purely to preach to the already-consuming choir.  I would hate the thought of only attending panels of stuff I already enjoy, and not 'accidentally' discovering something just because I saw the panel while waiting for something else.

Offline kmy

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #321 on: January 10, 2020, 02:23:44 PM »
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it's a huge pleasure for me: mostly because I often "discover" something new.
Me too. In fact I now often pop into a room that isn't full early just to see what the previous panel is about since I've discovered such cool things while waiting for a panel I really wanted to see. (I, too, stumbled onto Steven Universe that day.)

Offline puppy

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #322 on: January 12, 2020, 10:13:42 AM »
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SDCC is about making the tough choices ALL the time, I think!
As far as camping out in a hall all day, I've been doing that since almost literally the year Hall H opened (when you could walk right into a LotR panel), and it's a huge pleasure for me: mostly because I often "discover" something new.  For example, one year KICK-ASS had a panel, and I knew absolutely nothing about the comics.  I can't remember what panels I was most interested in, but that panel wasn't on my radar.  After they screened footage, I immediately fell in love.  The director basically said screw the 'family friendly' vibe, this was R-rated, and closed his pre-sizzle reel screening hype by encouraging us to video the footage, put it on YouTube, and rave about it so he could secure studio distribution (a bidding war between studios happened almost immediately after the panel).  I fell in love with the property, bought the books in the Exhibit Hall before the end of the weekend, and the rest is history.

A more recent example:
a few years ago, my son and I wanted to see "The Good Place" panel, and 'camped out' in Indigo Ballroom for the morning/early afternoon.  There was a panel for "Steven Universe," something I had heard of but never seen, & something my son was only vaguely familiar with.  They screened the first episode of the upcoming season (which was massive spoilers/revelations that went way over our heads at the time), and we both fell in love with the series.  My son now would likely consider it his favorite show on TV & my whole family is WAY into the show (VERY rare occurrence in our household).  I don't think we'd have ever 'stumbled upon' "Steven Universe" otherwise.

If pressed I could probably think of a dozen shows or movies this has happened in the 20 years of me going to Comic-Con panels, and it's something I truly love about the event: discovering something new I likely wouldn't have noticed.  I suspect plenty of studios count on that type of thing happening, since they're not going to Comic-Con purely to preach to the already-consuming choir.  I would hate the thought of only attending panels of stuff I already enjoy, and not 'accidentally' discovering something just because I saw the panel while waiting for something else.

I agree. I have made quite a few pleasant discoveries whilst "seat packing." I wouldn't have it any other way, and other diehards who want that seat are perfectly free to seat pack like I do to watch the panel they want. It's the joy of Comic Con. Yes, I have to pick and choose, and lose out on some panels just to seat pack a more favored panel. It is the way.

Offline marcia29

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #323 on: January 13, 2020, 11:36:22 AM »
I, too, make it a point to pop into at least 1 panel that has seats open---and have discovered some pretty cool stuff.   Yet, I am still pressed with brainstorming for packed rooms such as Hall H.  This is brainstorming now... Here is another idea:

How about clearing PART of  Hall H or Ballroom 20?  Hear me out.  What if there was a section that was CLEARLY designated and publicized and marked as the section that will be cleared after every panel.  How big would this section be?  Hmmm...maybe a quarter of the room.  Where would it be?  Maybe somewhere in the first third of the room?  If you enter and sit in these seats, you know that you will have to vacate at the end of the panel.

(This idea came to me in the middle of the night, sooooooo.... ::) ::)
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Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #324 on: January 13, 2020, 11:40:31 AM »
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I, too, make it a point to pop into at least 1 panel that has seats open---and have discovered some pretty cool stuff.   Yet, I am still pressed with brainstorming for packed rooms such as Hall H.  This is brainstorming now... Here is another idea:

How about clearing PART of  Hall H or Ballroom 20?  Hear me out.  What if there was a section that was CLEARLY designated and publicized and marked as the section that will be cleared after every panel.  How big would this section be?  Hmmm...maybe a quarter of the room.  Where would it be?  Maybe somewhere in the first third of the room?  If you enter and sit in these seats, you know that you will have to vacate at the end of the panel.

(This idea came to me in the middle of the night, sooooooo.... ::) ::)

The big issue I see with this is the people waiting outside to be let into Hall H 'normally'. The people in the cleared section will be forced out at the end of a panel. But where will they go? Many of them will take any available (recently evacuated) seats in the 'regular' section. This prevents people who have been legitimately lined up for these seats from getting them, and creates a 'shortcut' way to get into Hall H. The only way to do this would be to create a 'fenced' off section with a completely separate entrance and exit... and that section likely wouldn't have access to bathrooms either. This would end up being a lot of trouble for CCI to implement.

Offline NCDS

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #325 on: January 14, 2020, 07:37:18 AM »
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The big issue I see with this is the people waiting outside to be let into Hall H 'normally'. The people in the cleared section will be forced out at the end of a panel. But where will they go? Many of them will take any available (recently evacuated) seats in the 'regular' section. This prevents people who have been legitimately lined up for these seats from getting them, and creates a 'shortcut' way to get into Hall H. The only way to do this would be to create a 'fenced' off section with a completely separate entrance and exit... and that section likely wouldn't have access to bathrooms either. This would end up being a lot of trouble for CCI to implement.

I have to agree.  New York has a reserved section they clear and everyone just leaves there and starts searching for a seat.  For packed panels, it makes it so that those waiting outside don't really get a chance.

Clearing the panels, in general, is a pain if your area isn't set up right.  I have noticed a lot of cons moving away from this practice.  The key to making it successful is having a separate entrance from the exit.  Hall H just isn't set up to do that.  Ballroom 20 could do it, but it would have an issue with people wanting to line up for individual panels.  They don't have room for 12 lines.  Sure they could say you can't line up until an hour before but policing that would be impossible and cause chaos.
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Offline perc2100

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #326 on: January 14, 2020, 08:47:06 AM »
The real solution is to live stream the panels somehow, so folks not in the room can see everything (including the footage).  For the most part, few studios don't release their sizzle reel/trailer during or immediately following the panel anyway (Marvel still keeps their panel footage special: anyone else know of a studio that has panel-only footage?).  Studios have realized the best marketing strategy is to release the teaser right after the panel, so the footage isn't so "Top Secret" the way it used to be for the most part.  They could utilize, say, Petco Park (when there aren't a plethora of huge concerts in there like 2020  :-[ ) and stream the entire panel w/footage.  I suspect that would 1) make the lines significantly shorter for panels (maybe mostly non-existent as we'd be talking about maybe a couple thousand die-hards for Hall H).
Petco is obviously problematic, but if CCI utilized some sort of overflow room to show ALL of the panels (questions, footage, etc) I think a lot of line problems would be solved.  I suspect studios like the hype up the "waited in line for 30+ hours for our panel!" stuff so they probably wouldn't go for that anyway.  I think the solution isn't clearing rooms arbitrarily, or lotto or whatnot: it's accommodating everyone.

Offline sessionka

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #327 on: January 14, 2020, 10:04:07 AM »
I'm actually in favor of not changing the process at all.  I attended the NYCC where they had a lottery for panels.  I didn't win for the panel I wanted to get into, but I got on line anyway, and got in.  Logistically, they have to have a large area for those people that are on line.

Planning your panel schedule is part of the experience, and of course hard decisions have to be made. 

I do love discovering new fandoms as a result of sitting thru panels before the panel I planned to attend.  Those experiences have enriched my entertainment viewing, and are some of the reasons I come back every year. 

I recommend the SDCC Unofficial Blog.  They do a review of the schedule before the Con, with an assessment of your chances of getting into a room.  I always tune in.
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Offline marcia29

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #328 on: January 14, 2020, 04:06:39 PM »
Appreciating this discussion! :)
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Offline kmy

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Re: Hall H advice and tips
« Reply #329 on: January 14, 2020, 04:37:28 PM »
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I attended the NYCC where they had a lottery for panels.
I recommend the SDCC Unofficial Blog.  They do a review of the schedule before the Con, with an assessment of your chances of getting into a room.  I always tune in.

Does NYCC lottery all their panels or just the big ones?
SDCC Unofficial Blog does do such a great job with their pre-Con coverage.