The annual Comic-Con gathering in San Diego draws massive crowds of comic book, video game and movie fans and insiders alike, all eager to see new industry offerings and meet celebrities and other enthusiasts. While Comic-Con itself is a massive event, the parties held after hours have become an attraction almost as large as the convention itself. You can easily get invited to Comic-Con afterparties held in open venues, but you need to know or meet the right people to get into celebrity-filled jams.
Look for Comic Con afterparties in the weeks leading up to the event. Local venues and corporate sponsors often hold parties with specific entrance requirements, such as signing up for the event, wearing a certain outfit or attending another show a week or two prior to the afterparty. Sign up or complete the necessary tasks to score an afterparty invite.
Hang out near hall entrances and other busy areas. People pass out fliers advertising afterparties in these crowded locations. Slip the fliers into your pocket, as many venues require them to gain admittance to the parties.
Visit the bars and restaurants near the convention center and in the Gaslamp district, which almost unanimously hold afterparties during Comic-Con.
Talk to people at the convention. Schmoozing with people in line and chatting up industry insiders is often the only way to score an invitation to exclusive, celebrity-filled events.
Stay at the nicer hotels near the convention center. Corporations often throw large, invite-only afterparties in the ballrooms of local hotels — Hotel Solamar hosted the Syfy and Entertainment Weekly party in 2010, according to the nightlife website The Mixster. Hang out around the lobby and act friendly to passersby to increase your odds of gaining access.
Getting invited to exclusive afterparties often involves a mixture of luck and charm. At Comic-Con, the person you're talking to at the bar may be the editor for a popular series of comics or a movie producer, so stay friendly to everybody if you're looking for afterparty invites.
- Kotaku: The Traveler's Guide to San Diego Comic-Con
- The Mixster: San Diego's Official Guide to the Best Comic-Con Parties 2010
- iFanboy: Attention First-Timers — What to Expect From San Diego Comic-Con
- The Los Angeles Times: Comic-Con 2010 — San Diego Insiders Share Their Survival Tips (and Ninja Tricks)