If it’s your first time at Comic-Con, you should learn these simple rules about phone etiquette ahead of time. That way, you can be confident that you’ll have a problem-free convention.
Bring the Right Accessories
You’re going to be exploring the convention all day long, so you’re going to want your smartphone to stay in top condition. You’re going to need it for checking schedules, messaging friends, taking pictures and passing the time when you’re waiting in line.
Start by getting a portable power bank like the Anker PowerCore 20100 or Poweradd Slim 2 to keep your phone’s battery charged up. You might not find a free charging station or an outlet to charge your device anywhere.
Make sure your phone is equipped with a high-quality vinyl skin. It will keep the surface clear of thumbprints and smears. When you keep asking strangers to take pictures of you using your phone, the surface can get messy in a hurry.
If you’re cosplaying, you can find a skin that doesn’t ruin the illusion of your costume. Going as the Joker? Get a purple skin. Dressing as a Sailor Scout? Use a gold one. You’re an Ent? Then, pick a mahogany one. You can click here to see other bold patterns and designs that will work with any outfit you come up with.
Leave the Wrong Accessories at Home
In 2015, Comic-Con imposed a selfie-stick ban so that attendees couldn’t use the accessory in the convention center, the outside grounds and the other hosting venues. The main reason behind the ban is that it gets into other people’s personal space, and it can potentially cause injuries. Keep the selfie-stick at home for this event.
Put It Away at Panels
It’s easy to get swept up in the moment, but you should never pull out your phone during a panel. For one, Comic-Con policy prohibits audio and video recording during these events and states that security personnel will stop attendees from violating the important rule. Attendees caught recording can get kicked out of the event.
If you’re thinking, you won’t record video or audio of the event, just snap a few photos, think again. Security could assume that you’re attempting to record the event and come over to investigate.
Another reason to keep your phone out of sight is that it blocks the view for people standing or sitting behind you. You’d hate to see a row of glowing touchscreens instead of the panelists on stage, so don’t ruin the experience for anyone else.
It’s best to turn your smartphone off in these moments. Take in the experience happening right in front of you.
Be Nice to Cosplayers
It’s exciting to walk through a crowd and see a bunch of people dressed as your favorite characters, but you can’t pull out your phone and snap a photo without their permission. The best way to interact with cosplayers at Comic-Con is to politely ask them if you could take a photo of them or with them. Timing is important. Don’t ask them when they are clearly taking a break, lining up for the bathroom or busy accommodating other attendees.
If they say no, accept the rejection and move on. You’re sure to find lots of cosplayers who agree to photos down the line.
If the cosplayer says yes, be considerate. Ask them how they want to take the picture. Be mindful of their costume — one wrong move could tug at their wig, smudge their makeup or wreck their prop. They’ve put a lot of money and effort into creating their outfit.
Don’t touch a cosplayer without their permission. It doesn’t matter how they are dressed. Conventions across the country have had problems with the sexual harassment and abuse of cosplayers, particularly female cosplayers. Cosplay is not consent. Do not pressure them into doing a provocative pose or allowing you to touch them inappropriately for the sake of a memorable photo.
What you can take away from this guide to Comic-Con phone etiquette is to be respectful and polite to others when it comes to viewing panels, taking photos and even walking around the venue. And be prepared when it comes to your phone’s battery — otherwise, you might be out of luck until the day is over and you’re back in your hotel room.