WAUWATOSA, WI – NOVEMBER 06: A voter looks at a map while waiting to cast a midterm ballot on November 6, 2018 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Voters are turning out in historic numbers to cast ballots while considering national issues including immigration, a strong economy and President Trump’s overall performance. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)
Tips No. 3: Plan ahead
Planning ahead doesn’t just mean for what panels you want to go to or what you want to buy – although that is certainly a consideration.
It’s a good idea to plan as much as possible in as many aspects of your trip that you can. This is especially true if you need help or have limitations that may require special entrances or pick-up locations.
Start by learning your way around Chicago. Will mass transit be helpful or will you rely on Uber or Lyfts? If you’re going the route of a car service, be sure to plan your budget accordingly because that will take more money out of your wallet that you may have planned for cool Star Wars items or even food.
From there, take a look at the panel schedule and see which panels you want to hit. Some will require a lottery to enter and be sure that you know all the rules ahead of time.
If you’re getting autographs or photo-ops, your tickets for those should have a time on them. It’s important to adhere to that time and give an extra 30 minutes on either side of it to make sure your time with the Star Wars actor goes smoothly.
If your photo is at 11:30 a.m., don’t plan on trying to rush to a panel at noon and vice versa. If a panel ends at 2 p.m., and your photo-op is at 2:15, don’t risk it. You’ll have to decide what’s higher on the priority list – is it the autograph or photo-op – and put that in your schedule first.
Get familiar with the exits and any assigned pick-up and drop-off locations the convention center may have. Map out your routes to and from the hotel now so you’re not spending your time searching Google Maps for the best and quickest way to the show.