Fan Expo Boston used to be known as the Boston Comic Con, and it is a big multi genre convention which is held every year in Boston, much as the name suggests.
The Expo focuses primarily on comic books, but it also has guests and stalls dedicated to other things, such as films and television, cosplayers, video games, tabletop games, and more!
Basically, it’s a convention for fans of comic cons and other geeky things to come together and share in their interests, with all sorts of celebrity guests, merchandise stalls, activities, events, and more.
It is one of the biggest comic con conventions in the world, with thousands and thousands of fans attending, and some pretty big names on the guest celebrity list.
But if you’ve never been to the Fan Expo Boston before, you might be wondering what exactly to expect and what to do to prepare.
Hosted over three days, there is a lot to do and see, and you need to know all of the basics beforehand so that you can schedule yourself and have everything you need ready. That way, when you’re actually there, you can simply enjoy the experience.
We can tell you everything important in this ultimate guide, so let’s get right into it!
Buying your ticket/badge for Fan Expo Boston:
Before you attend Fan Expo Boston, you need to get a ticket, and these are put on sale in advance on the official website.
You should make sure to get your ticket with plenty of time, because the convention is very popular, and some of the VIP or pass tickets tend to be sold out before the event takes place!
If, in the end, it turns out you can’t attend the event, for whatever reason, then you can get a refund. However, in order for a refund to be approved, you have to request it no later than 14 days before the event.
And specially ticketed events will not be refunded.
In regards to the tickets themselves, there are a few different options:
- Single-day pass:
This is a ticket for a single adult person, and it is for the date you have chosen. So you basically have to pick one of the three days the convention is up and running for.
- Three-day pass:
This is a ticket for a single adult person, and it is valid for the duration of the three entire days the convention is up and running.
- Youth pass:
This is a ticket for those ages between 13 and 17, and it is valid for one of the three days of the convention. It is a bit cheaper than the normal adult single day, but with this ticket, there is no possible upgrade to VIP or premium lines.
- Child pass:
This is a ticket for children under the age of 13, and with it, the child can accompany the guardian to any area of the convention.
Children aged 5 and under are completely free and do not require a ticket, but proof of age might be required.
- Premium package:
The premium package is a three-day pass that comes with a few extra perks. It comes with a premium badge for you to display, and all of the following:
- Access to a special preview on a Friday before the event
- An exclusive pick up counter for the ticket
- Separate entrance to the show floor (less queuing)
- A 24hour purchase guarantee for celebrity photos and specially ticketed events
- A limited-edition Fan Expo Boston bag
- An exclusive comic from a major publisher
- And exclusive collectible
- An exclusive lithograph
- Limited edition water bottle
- A 10% discount coupon for the Fan Expo Boston store
- A free single-day pass for a future Fan Expo event
- VIP package:
The VIP package is the top one, and it includes a three-day pass plus plenty of other perks:
- Access to a special preview on a Friday before the event
- Early access to the 9:30 am show floor on Saturday and Sunday
- Priority entrance
- Separate entrance to the show floor
- Complimentary express shipping of the passes
- Exclusive VIP lounge
- Complimentary bag and coat check-in
- VIP express access to celebrity photos and autographs
- VIP priority access to the main theater presentations
- A 48-hour purchase guarantee of celebrity photos and specially ticketed events
- A VIP virtual concierge
- A limited-edition Fan Expo Boston lanyard, t-shirt, bag, and water bottle
- Two exclusive comics from a major publisher
- An exclusive collectible
- An exclusive lithograph
- A 20% discount coupon for the Fan Expo Boston store
- Free general admission to all future Fan Expo events
- First right to renew the VIP package for the following year
What to bring to Fan Expo Boston:
Fan Expo Boston is huge, and there is a lot to see and do. In order for you to enjoy the experience and not stress, you need to make sure you have everything you need on the day.
But as it’s easy to forget, here are some of the necessary basics you should take with you:
- Clothing attire and shoes:
A lot of people go to the Fan Expo Boston for cosplay. But if you wear normal clothes make sure they’re comfortable! Plus you absolutely need comfy shoes for all the walking.
- Your tickets!
No ticket, no entry. Pretty straightforward right? But you also need to wear your ticket while inside the convention, so that it is visible on you. So make sure you can wear your ticket, even if you’re in cosplay.
Geek life is expensive. You don’t have to spend money once you’re inside the convention, but you’ll definitely want to as there will be lots of items on offer and plenty of activities.
- A well-charged phone:
You should make the most of the event by being there all day, from start to finish. There are charging stations around, but you should make sure your phone is well-charged from the start. Maybe have a power bank on you!
- Autograph book or notebook:
If you’re planning on getting an autograph from a celebrity guest you will need an autograph book or notebook! Plus, these come in handy for writing down social media handles from cosplayers and other guests.
- Snacks and drinks:
You can buy food and drink inside the Fan Expo, but you should also take a small snack and some water with you so that you have something to survive on while waiting in line!
- A spacious bag:
You need a comfortable and practical bag not only to carry all of the above but to carry all of the stuff you will almost certainly buy while wandering around the stalls!
What to wear to Fan Expo Boston:
You can attend the Fan Expo Boston either in cosplay or in normal clothing.
If you wear cosplay, make sure that it’s comfortable enough to be worn for long hours, and you might want to have a change of clothes with you just in case you get overwhelmed or tired.
Also, one of the best tips for cosplayers is to have an emergency kit for fixing up the cosplay, just in case something happens to it!
If you wear normal clothing that’s also completely fine. Make sure it’s comfortable and that you can take off layers, as it gets pretty hot inside the convention, especially with all the people around!
And bear in mind that you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so comfy shoes are a must!
Easy Fan Expo Boston costume ideas:
Fan Expo Boston mainly focuses on comics, so costumes from comic book characters will be the most popular and the most recognizable within the event.
However, there will be people in costumes from all areas of geek culture, from video games to anime to movies and more.
The easiest kind of cosplay you can wear to the convention is just a costest of your favorite character. This means that you will try to recreate the character’s look by wearing items you already own within your wardrobe.
Can you go to Fan Expo Boston without a costume?
A lot of people will be wearing a costume when attending Fan Expo Boston because it’s fun! However, this is not a requirement, and there will also be plenty of people in normal clothing.
Choose whatever works best for you, and just make sure you’re comfortable.
What to do when nobody gets your costume:
…Okay no that’s not the answer. Most of the time, if nobody gets your costume it’s because it’s hard to identify an obscure character, so it’s not your fault.
Just think that by having to explain who you’re dressed up as you are essentially spreading the word and helping the character be better known! And from that day forward, the people that interact with you will be able to identify that costume as what it is.
But if you want to try and get more people to guess your costume right, then it’s a good idea to have some extra elements that work as hints or clues. Maybe something that gives away the universe, to narrow down the guesses.
Guide to Fan Expo Boston lines and crowds:
Fan Expo Boston is huge and insanely popular. This means that you can expect thousands and thousands of people to attend, which in turn means that the crowds will be big. However, the convention is pretty well organized, and they are prepared for this.
The entrance queue will be pretty long, so try to get there as early as possible. That is, unless you have the premium or VIP package, as that will allow you to use a different entrance.
The main rooms and lounges will also be pretty crowded, so be aware of this. Especially during peak times, which is late morning and early afternoon, and on Saturday, which is always the busiest of the three days.
However, there will be plenty of members of staff to help usher things along and to keep the lines properly organized, the trick is to just get to places early!
Fan Expo Boston also has a lot of great accessibility services, and you can get in contact with them beforehand to ask questions or request specific help.
Getting your comics signed:
You can get your comics signed by your favorite guest celebrity in the autographs, guests, and photo op section of the convention.
Throughout the year, Fan Expo Boston releases a list of all the guest celebrities that will attend.
When you’re at the event, you can queue up at the booth of your guest of choice, and autographs are given on a first come first serve basis. So it’s important to get into the line as soon as possible!
Autographs will cost a fee, which will be displayed on the booth.
Photo Ops, on the other hand, can be booked beforehand.
How much money do you need?
The Geek life can get pretty expensive. Once you have purchased your tickets, you technically don’t need to spend any more money.
However, if you want to get autographs, food, or you want to purchase merchandise and different products…then you’re going to have to spend money.
The thing with Fan Expo Boston is that there are so many things to buy, that it’s vital to give yourself a max limit or a budget, to make sure that you don’t bankrupt yourself.
Trust us, the temptation can be huge sometimes, especially when you start seeing all the limited-edition items on offer.
Bring a set amount of cash for spending, within a budget of your choosing. However, most stalls within the convention will also accept card payments, and there will be a withdrawal machine for you to obtain more cash if needed.
Don’t forget to bargain:
Following up on the money question, you need to remember that bargaining is an option for some stalls within the convention.
You can try and lower the price of an item or get a better deal, plus some stalls will throw in some freebies if you’re nice enough or show interest in the owners.
However, some prices, such as autograph feed and specially ticketed events, are set, and no bargaining is going to work.
Other tips for Fan Expo Boston goers:
If you’re going to the Fan Expo Boston for the first time, we hope you’re ready for an amazing experience. But just so you feel even more prepared, here are some of our top tips:
- Taking photos:
At the Fan Expo Boston, you will see many people in cosplayers, and some cosplayers will be wearing impressive photos. Before taking a photo, make sure to ask permission, and the same goes for touching.
Cosplayers are still people. Do not invade their personal space or take pictures without asking, it’s rude. And if you ask, the cosplayers will very much appreciate the respect, and they’ll usually be more than happy to pose with you.
- Check the cosplay and props regulations:
There are a few rules about cosplay costumes and props. For example, metal props that are dangerous will not be allowed into the event, for safety reasons. Make sure to check these rules beforehand, or you’ll be stuck outside, day ruined.
- Get there as early as possible:
The earlier you get there, the earlier you’re in line, and the sooner you get into the convention. There’s a lot to do, so schedule yourself and prioritize activities and events.
- Check the map!
Fan Expo Boston is pretty big, and there are lots of different rooms. It is 100% worth it to take some time at the very beginning to get a map of the whole place and figure out where everything is. Getting lost can be super frustrating and wastes a lot of time.
The Fan Expo Boston takes place in Boston, within the Boston Exhibit and Convention Center, near the waterfront but pretty central within the city.
There are plenty of nearby hotels to choose from, but some of the most popular are the Seaport Hotel, the Element Boston Hotel, and the Westin Boston Hotel.
Car rental nearby:
There are plenty of car rentals within the city of Boston, and as the Boston Exhibit and Convention Centre at which the Fan Expo is held is pretty central, they will all be pretty nearby. Just choose the one most convenient for your needs!
Parking at the event:
The Boston Exhibit and Convention Center, where the Fan Expo Boston is held, has a parking lot to the South where you can leave your car for $15.
If it’s full up, then there are plenty of other parking lots nearby, which might be cheaper or more expensive. There are maps of the city that show all of the available parking places, and the fee they cost, so it’s worth looking this up beforehand!
Public transport to the event:
The Fan Expo Boston official website has a lot of information on how to get to the convention, as well as information on the best public transport to use if you are traveling there from anywhere within Boston city.