Fan Fest Chicago takes place April 7th and 8th, and the actors and vendors are ready for you to burst through the doors of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to meet them and have an unforgettable experience.
We want all who attend to have the best time possible, so we compiled a list of what we think are the top ten things you need to know in order to put your best fan foot forward to accomplish your main goals for the weekend.
10. The Floorplan
The floorplan of events often becomes its own beast. It’s helpful to be familiar with the floor before you arrive. You can study it beforehand, or you can take a few minutes when you arrive to familiarize yourself. This will definitely give you a leg up when you arrive on the floor. You can find the floor plan HERE, or on the Fan Fest App.
9. The Food Situation
We all know that food is essential to having a successful convention weekend, and Fan Fest Chicago is no exception. Are you looking for lunch or your next energy booster, you don’t need to look far-or you can. The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center contains multiple concession options, including an on-site restaurant.
Come and Go!
If you are looking for something specific, you can exit the convention building to eat off-site. You can then re-enter with the simple show of your badge! Freedom is a beautiful thing!
8. How Will Call Will Work
You can find specific information about how to get your credentials at all VIP levels AND General Admission HERE.
The process is specific for your badge type so it will be helpful if you know where to go ahead of time. There are specific and marked maps if you click that link!
7. Photo Op Tips & Tricks
In order to use your photo op, you must redeem them in the Photo Ops area.
This can be done all at one time-even if they are scheduled for a different day.
You can buy photo ops on site as well-but they are Cash Only.
Please arrive to your Op 15-30 minutes before its scheduled time. You will be able to find your specific Op on boards at the front of the lines.
TIP: Don’t bring gifts here. Because of time constraints and the nature of the photo ops, your gifts will not be given and most likely left behind.
Be prepared with any poses you have in mind, as photo ops happen VERY quickly.
When you are done, you can pick up your photo immediately and get the download code as well.
6. Autograph Tips and Tricks
Autograph prices are set by each guest’s agent, and an array of 8×10 photos will be provided for you to choose from! You can also bring an object and request it be signed instead. Autographs cost between $20 and $100.
Some guests offer selfies for purchase, so be sure to check with their agents about their selfie policy.
Actors each have schedules on their tables that specify when they will be there signing, so be sure to check those out.
Gifts are a lovely gesture and will be accepted at autograph tables only, but food items are NOT advised. Many guests have dietary restraints and won’t be able to enjoy your treats.
Panels are not only an incredible way to get talking time from your favorite celebrity, they are a great way to take a seat, and take a rest. If you wanted to, you could potentially sit all day long and just watch panels. (We don’t think that’s what you want to do, but it’s always a great fallback plan.) The panel schedule can be found HERE:
4. Live Stage
The live stage at Fan Fest Chicago is a secondary “panel stage”. Here, you can stand and watch live intimate interviews with many celebrity guests on a smaller stage. This Live Stage is a bittersweet one, as its usual host Dave Solo will be making his final appearance on the stage. Be sure to check it out at some point while you are on the floor.
Lines are a big part of the event. As with any popular attraction, some guests have substantial lines and those wait times may be several hours. (Many times the waits are much shorter.) Be sure to check Actor schedules to plan around them being at their tables so you get your chance for an autograph.
If you’re a shopper, chances are you will find something you’ll want to bring home with you from Fan Fest Chicago. Custom art pieces, Walking Dead themed baby clothes and souvenirs, Funko POP!, Super hero T’s, and more unique gifts can be found at the various vendors set up on the convention floor.
1. Download the Fan Fest App!
The Fan Fest App has everything you need to know to have the best possible weekend at Fan Fest Chicago. There you will find schedules, floor maps, celebrity booth locations and more. The app makes you able to quickly pull up information if you need it fast. The app is available for iOS and Android, and you can download it HERE!
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo