conventions and VIP packages: are they worth it or nah

With comic and anime conventions becoming more and more mainstream, new conventions are popping up every year. That makes for a lot of competition, (or partnerships and a lot of chances to make friends!) so that also means conventions are striving to put out more for their fans, and making a little more money probably doesn’t hurt them, either. A growing trend I’ve noticed with smaller conventions is VIP packages. VIP packages are usually a bit more than the price of a regular con ticket, and they usually come with cool bonuses. But is it worth it, my dudes? Well I guess you really have to ask yourself what you’re going to the con for. Are you there to shop? Collect exclusive stuff? Or just to chill and make friends?

To be totally honest, I’m not sure if I like VIP packages. I’ve seen a few that I think are worth it, but also I liked the days when each con experience was equal for everyone. It really depends on what the bonuses are. To compare some and for examples, I looked up various VIP packages for upcoming local cons ~ let’s see:

10/22/16 – 10/23/16 Chase Con’s Saratoga Comic Con:

The regular weekend ticket price for both days is $30, and that includes access to the after party. Chase Con has two VIP packages, we’ll start with the regular one. The regular VIP package is $55, so only $15 more than the weekend price. It comes with 4 exclusive prints. Usually artist prints run between $10-$20 depending on the artist, so that sounds like a pretty good deal if you’re into art. The regular VIP package also comes with admission to the con, the after party, early entrance (which is super great if you’re not good with crowded rooms) and prizes donated by Epic TV Saga, Comic Depot, Cooper’s Cave and more. The second VIP package, the Ultimate VIP is $75, it comes with all of that and four more prints, so that makes 8 exclusive prints total. Not a bad deal at all.

10/30/16 Albany Comic Con:

Albany Comic Con is a one day convention in a small hotel, so it’s really low priced at $8 online or $10 at the door. This convention is better for people who are looking to go shopping for collectibles. Their VIP Package is $65, which is quite a bit more than their regular ticket. It comes with one print, a goodie bag and the VIP dinner. The VIP dinner does sound like a cool thing, it’s a dinner with the guests and the food is included in the price. I gotta’ be honest, I don’t like to spend a lot on food unless it’s like, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant or something, so I would only be into this VIP package if I was really into the guests. The single day ticket is a way better deal.

11/5/16 – 11/6/16 Retro Game Con:

Retro Game Con is in Syracuse, NY, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a retro game con. Their weekend tickets are surprisingly only $20 for a 2 day con, and their VIP is so worth it. It’s $60, it comes with one hour early access, a shirt, a tote bag, access to the after party, 5 raffle tickets, assorted swag and the chance at a golden ticket, which reveals a mystery prize. Sounds like a KILLER good deal, the only thing missing is art prints. But I’m always a slut for t-shirts and tote bags.

Now obviously these aren’t the *only* conventions that have VIP packages, there are tons of others, some are worth it, some aren’t. It can be a good way to get a lil’ extra out of the con, or it can be a total rip off. YOU DECIDE.


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