Is getting a VIP badge worth it?
Perks of VIP badges generally tend to include:
- Exclusive lounge(s)
- Guaranteed Panel Access (early entry/not having to wait in line)
- More opportunities to meet con guests
- Exclusive con merchandise (tees, art, etc.)
- Free food
These perks can be especially useful depending on the con you are attending. At sarge cons, in particular they can be especially useful, as often it is crowded with minimal places to sit, and bathrooms with huge lines. A VIP pass that gets you to a not-so-busy lounge, that may even have food is a definite plus. Sometimes, con guests have access to/will share the VIP lounge.
Cons that are more celebrity-focused give way more incentive to purchase a VIP pass because you can get primary access to panels hosted by guests, and sometimes even signings. No more waiting in line for hours only to have the doors closed when you finally get to the front!
Most smaller cons however, make the decision to get a VIP badge more difficult. Do you really wanna pay $40 extra for that free shirt and to jump to the front of a line that isn't that long? Perhaps if there is a big name celeb that you are a fan of appearing at your local con, or if you simply have the cash to spare and want to throw extra support to your con runners.
Overall, most attendees agree that a VIP pass is always a good idea if you can swing it, because you are supporting your con community. If you're tight for cash, however, you may want to hold off until you're at a larger con.