As you might have guess, seconds after Blizzard announced that Blizzcon 2013 would be taking place on November 8-9, people lost their minds. They were already dropping big bucks to book a room right next door to the Anaheim Convention Center. Yes, that’s right – people have already started booking rooms eight months before the ‘Con. Ticket prices haven’t even been announced yet.
On the one hand, it’s good strategy. Book the room, and if you can’t get a ticket you can either sell the room or just cancel it. It’s good if you have the disposable income to drop 300-400 bucks on a room for the weekend.
But for the majority of people, they are not going to have that luxury. They will hold off on booking a room until they have a Blizzcon ticket which, as we all know, is as elusive as Lindsay Lohan’s sobriety. Allow me to offer a few tidbits of advice that might help take the sting out of the economic anxiety that Blizzcon can cause.
1) Book early. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned that already. But if you’re serious about finding a place to stay, don’t wait until you have a ticket before you start making arrangements. Are you planning on sharing a room? Are you going with a group to help split the cost? Is there anything limiting the distance you are willing to walk to find a hotel? You don’t have to book anything right now, but you can start doing the research. That way, as soon as you have a ticket you can immediately open another browser tab/window and book the room(s). The fastest thing to sell out will be Blizzcon Tickets. The second fastest will be nearby rooms. Be ready with a plan, so that when the time comes you’re not wasting precious minutes trying to figure out where you’re going to stay or who is sharing a room with Snoring Guy.
2) Get off your ass. The first year I went to Blizzcon, I booked a room at damn near last minute. I ended up staying at the Extended Stay America, over half a mile from the Convention Center. It cost about sixty bucks a night, and it was a suite with a fridge, stove, and microwave. It also came with dishes. I saved money by buying food and drink from the nearby convenience stores and nuking up snacks and meals rather than forking over big bucks at a restaurant every time I wanted to eat. If you’re looking to save money, don’t focus on the Convention Center area. You’ve got eight months to drag your ass out of the house and get walking. Train, if you feel the need to label something that you should be doing every day anyway. But if you can manage to drag yourself more than a few hundred feet without collapsing, you open up a whole bunch of cost-saving options.
The old excuses for “needing” somewhere close are coming up bullshit. To cut down on vendor lines, Blizzard has online pre-sales on many of the items that they’ll have for sale right in Bizzcon. Buy your swag early so you don’t need to haul it around at Blizzcon. Got a nervous bladder? Poo at Denny’s if you can’t get yourself to pinch one off at the ‘Con (is there even a bathroom there?) Everybody thinks they need somewhere close. Don’t be lazy and you’ll save money. Goodness knows there’s going to be plenty of other things for you to spend your money on while you’re down there.
It all boils down to planning ahead. Either develop a strategy for finding a room, or develop your body to handle walking a little further than your softer counterparts. You’ll need every edge you can get if you want to win the Blizzcon Wars.