Meet and greet a generous selection of actors, mix with like-minded peers, enjoy incredible cosplay and check out all the best gadgets and collectables.

Pop culture conventions are literally a hall of happiness.

But sometimes they can also be a bit costly. Some of us (*coughs* me) have walked away at the end of the weekend having spent hundreds on souvenirs, signatures and photos.

With Oz Comic-Con Sydney coming up next weekend followed by Brisbane the weekend after, we thought we’d help you guys (and me, my bank account actually won’t let me overspend this year), by doing a little research into how you can get the full pop culture convention experience (on Saturday and Sunday) for under $150 per day:


1. Weekend entry pass – $52.50

Booking online doesn’t just save you time, it can also save you $10. You can pre-purchase your weekend ticket online for $52.50 or buy it in person on the day for $62.50.


2. Ask your favourite celebrity a question – free

Have you been yearning to ask one of the attending celebrities a question? Both Oz Comic-Con and Supanova hold Q&A sessions for the majority of their guests. These sessions are free to attend and can go for up to an hour.

Earlier this year, we attended one of these Q&As to ask Tyler Hoechlin how he planned to prepare for his role as Superman in Supergirl.

However, depending on the popularity of the guest, these sessions can fill up quickly. So make sure to plan your day and line up for entry at least 15 minutes before it’s scheduled to start. Also if you have a question for the guest, be sure to raise your hand as early as possible.

Click here to check out the speaker schedule.


3. Watch new anime – free

Oz Comic-Con has a Screening Room inside the Anime Station. Attendees can check out some new shows as well as a few popular ones.


4. Read a little Manga – free

The Anime Station also has a Manga Library where fans can pick up a title, get comfortable on a bean bag and have a good read.


5. Show off your artistic skills – free

Fancy yourself a bit of an artist or simply want to check out other people’s skills? Then head to the Scribble Wall, which Oz Comic-Con has set up for attendees to leave their mark or a quick message.


6. Cosplay, Cosplay, Cosplay – free

The Oz Comic-Con floor is generally full of attendees dressed as their favourite comic, film and anime characters, but there’s also plenty of opportunities to check out professional cosplayers doing their thing on stage.

Cosplay Active, held on Saturday, lets those new to cosplay build their confidence by either performing a skit or revealing details of their costume to the audience.

There’s also Champions of Cosplay on Sunday, which invites cosplayers to compete for the best costume design in the country. The winner then represents Australia in the C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay held in Chicago next year.

The Cosplay Parade on Saturday invites everyone to get up on stage and ‘strut their stuff’, while the Kids Cosplay on Sunday is probably the cutest thing you’ll see all weekend.

Click here for more on Oz Comic-Con’s cosplay.


7. Lunch + 2 bottles of water – $15 per day (so $30 for Sat + Sun)

You can BYO a few snacks and water, but you might also want to put around $15 aside per day for food and at least two bottles of water – insider tip: you’re walking around a lot so be sure to stay hydrated.


8. Meet your favourite celebrity – up to $50 for signatures

As much as you’d like to meet them all, a budget will force you to limit your celebrity choices to around one per day. So, check out the list of guests, pick two (one for Saturday and one for Sunday) and then purchase the signature tokens online.

This year, Oz Comic-Con has some awesome guests, so we understand how hard it will be to cull it down to just a couple. Click here to check out the list for Sydney or click here for Brisbane.

You can also get your photo taken with guests, that will cost extra.


9. Learn to make chainmail tops or how to draw graphic novel architecture – free

Oz Comic-Con has some awesome workshops available at the Workshop Stage where attendees can pick up some cool arts and craft tips. So far, we’re enticed to attend the ‘chain maille’ workshop on Sunday at midday and the face casting demonstration with ODDBOD silicone on Sunday at 1.00pm.


10. Or learn about new products – free

Stage 4 is reserved for content created by every day folk. There you can learn about new products or cool new things created by fellow Oz Comic-Coners.


11. Play games, a lot of them – free

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Game on! Our gaming zone is going off! #ozcomiccon

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If you love your games then you’ll want to head straight to the Gaming Zone where you’ll have access to a variety of games.


12. Keep an eye out for other freebies

Exhibitors always have fun stuff going on and you don’t necessarily need to pay for it. For example, earlier this year Roadshow Entertainment set up a Harley Quinn Tattoo Parlour to celebrate the release of Suicide Squad where attendees could get free temporary tattoos.


13. Buy yourself a little souvenir

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Tiny Groot! @littlelandsmelbourne

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So far, you’ve only spent around $132.50 on the Saturday and even less on the Sunday (because you don’t need to fork over $52.50 on Sunday for entry), so why not pick yourself up a few souvenirs or use the extra cash to add a couple of extra celebrity autographs and photos.

FEATURED IMAGE: Oz Comic-Con/Facebook

What are your tips for getting the full pop culture convention experience without breaking the bank?

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