Show Guides

There's so much to do at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo! Whether you’re looking for something specific, or seeking a little guidance ahead of the event, look at our handy show guides below. They’re designed to help you get the most out of your time at C2E2!

Attending with Children | Cosplaying | Feeling Overwhelmed | Meeting Celebs | Your First Convention

If You’re Attending With Children...

C2E2 is the perfect way to spend the day geeking out as a family; there’s plenty for kids big and small to see across the Show Floor and the best part is…kids ages 5 and under go to C2E2 for free with an adult ticket holder!  

With so much to see and do across three days, we all can get tired as we cross off our C2E2 bucket list. Rest, relax and reset on Level 1 in our Family Room N130 or Quiet Room N131.

See them marvel at cosplayers sporting their favorite character’s attire, join in the fun with a super cool costume of their own, or take part in one of our many interactive sessions…they won’t be bored!

What is there for kids and families at C2E2?

Family HQ at C2E2 is the place for superheroes of all ages, all weekend long! Join us at McCormick Place for a family day out and bring along the whole family.  

Making your day run as smoothly as possible…

We understand navigating the busy Show Floor with little heroes in tow isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, so here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help you on your way. We’d also recommend downloading the C2E2 Mobile App, which contains a helpful map and schedule of everything happening across the weekend. 

Kids 3-Day tickets are for fans ages 6-12. Similar to other tickets, Kids 3-Day tickets can sell out, so be sure to get yours early. Please be prepared to show proof of age onsite (a copy of a birth certificate or ID card is plenty). Once all Kids 3-Day tickets are allocated, no more will be released. If Kids tickets sell out, you can purchase a regular day ticket to attend the show.

Kids 5 and under go to C2E2 for FREE, so bring all the little superheroes and enjoy your day out!

Find a C2E2 staff member or security guard and we will help you locate your missing party member. We strongly recommend that when you arrive at C2E2, you and your party pick a location to meet in case anyone does get lost (psst..outside one of our Info Booths is an excellent choice). 

REMEMBER: If you have a Kids ticket, you can write your phone number right on the ticket so in case someone gets lost, we can call you directly.

All minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent and/or guardian.

Sorry, C2E2 does not provide childcare services on site. We do, however, have an amazing line-up for your whole family to enjoy.

If You’re Cosplaying…

Whether you’re a cosplay veteran, dress-up newbie, or just need a refresher on the best way to manage a convention in your costumed splendor (hey, it’s been a while for some of us!), here’s a checklist of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when preparing for your time at C2E2.


  • Try it out before the show 
  • Walk around at home a little so you can be sure it’s comfortable and make tweaks if there’s anything wrong with the fit. Can you sit down, walk easily, and (most importantly!) can you remove it easily to go to the bathroom? 
  • Be cosplay conscious 
  • Cultural appropriation and/or changing your natural skin tone to that of another realistic race is not cosplay. It’s also important to keep in mind that C2E2 is a family event, so please make sure your costume is suitable for all age groups. No accidental exposure or costumes of an inflammatory/offensive nature please! 
  • Stay cool and comfy 
  • It can get hot and tiring walking around a convention all day! Wear comfy shoes, stay fed and hydrated, and bring some spare clothes to change into just in case you want a break from your cosplay - you can always just leave them in coat check. 


  • Stress about it 
  • It’s all meant to be fun! Don’t lose sleep over finishing your costume in time for the con; those tiny little finishing touches won’t make a memory but enjoying the show definitely will. 
  • Forget to read the rules 
  • Our Costume, Weapons and Prop Rules are there to keep everyone safe - be sure to give them a read to make sure your cosplay complies. There would be nothing worse than pain-stakingly creating a bespoke weapon or prop only to realize it won’t be allowed in the building! 

Remember the Cosplay Central team is here to help!

Cosplay Central will be your go-to for cosplay needs during your time at the show and the place to head to for information on all costume showcases and competitions across C2E2 weekend. 

Need a place to change or make some adjustments? Utilize one of our changing areas. Got an emergency costume crisis? Speak to the Cosplay Repair team who will be on hand to glue gun, sew or tape your ‘fit back together; all free of charge!

Not sure where to start?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that cosplay is for EVERYONE. ‘Accuracy’ is only relevant for cosplay competitions…and even then, it’s about craftsmanship of the costume itself, not the physical traits of the cosplayer wearing it. You can cosplay ANY character you love! 

Once you know who you’d like to cosplay, look up some pictures of the character and make a list of the different pieces, top to bottom, so you can gather or make all the pieces e.g. wig, dress, shoes, accessories. Not confident about making it from scratch? You can buy whole costumes, get bits from ready-made clothes, or even make custom pieces by altering existing clothing; the possibilities are truly endless. 

Learn something new!

Be sure to check out the Cosplay Central stage schedule for a plethora of creative costuming sessions, prop building inspiration, dedicated workshops and much more running throughout the weekend. 

Get Involved!

From casual competitions to crown championships, whether you’re strutting your stuff on stage or cheering supportively from the crowd, you’re a part of what makes cosplay at C2E2 so incredible, and we can’t wait to welcome you! 

See you at the show! 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed…

While conventions are the perfect place to meet new people and dive into your favorite fandom, we know they can also be A LOT. If you’re feeling anxious about attending C2E2, here’s a handy guide for how to manage this on the day, along with some less hectic spots on the Show Floor you can head to when you need a breather. 

Before The Show…

There are several things you can do before you even arrive at the venue to make your day run as smoothly as possible:

Have a look at all the information on our website or download the official C2E2 app to plan for your time at the show. Which panels do you want to watch? Which guests do you want to meet? There will be a lot to take in on the day, so making a priority list you can check off will help things work for you. Be sure to consider queueing time and give yourself lunch and bathroom breaks! 

You can also take the time to familiarize yourself with the venue layout, so you have a good understanding of where the panel rooms, show features, and everything in between are located. Visit the McCormick Place website or see our maps for further details. 

At The Show…

First (and most importantly) do not put too much pressure on yourself; you’re there to make memories and have fun, after all! 

If you feel like things are getting a little too much, don’t hesitate to take a second away from the crowds until you’re feeling comfortable enough to carry on with your day. 

Here are a few areas around the event to head to when you’re looking to catch a break… 

Watch a Panel

Panels: like podcasts, but live! Give yourself a minute (or 45) to take a seat and hear from pros, discover your new favorite author, or catch a screening in one of our many scheduled panel sessions. 


Level up your C2E2 by checking out an old favorite from our console gaming library, or try your hand at something new in the tabletop gaming area. We’ve got titles to play alone, or get your guild together and try out our of our multiplayer titles - the choice is yours. 

Pop Asia

Are you a lover of Anime, Manga, K-Pop, Japanese culture, and all things kawaii? Then Naruto run to Pop Asia to take part in our hands-on activities and things to do! From a Maid and Butler Café that’s included in your ticket admission, to K-Pop Dance covers, and the Japanese Culture Center, there’s something for Otaku of every level.

Whether you’re feeling anxious, overstimulated, or just need a moment by yourself, find some calm in the Quiet Room located on Level 1 in Room N131. The Quiet Room is a community space open to anyone looking to break from the comic con buzz. Most importantly, remember you’re in a room full of people celebrating the things they love – just like you! If you need assistance or just someone to talk to, find the nearest C2E2 staff or crew member and let us help. We can’t wait to geek out with you all weekend! 

If you’re meeting celebs…

One of the main attractions at C2E2 is the unique opportunity to meet your heroes face-to-face. Here’s our quick guide to making your celebrity encounter one to remember… 

How does it all work?

For Autographs… 

When you arrive in the Autograph area, a helpful member of staff will direct you to the relevant line and answer any questions you may have. Once it’s your turn, they’ll scan your ticket and you’ll be able to choose from the available talent photos or present a bought item for the guest to sign. Simple! 

If you didn’t buy your Autograph during the presale, no sweat Boba Fett. As long as a celebrity or voice actors Autographs did not sell out online, you can still purchase them in cash by walking into their Autograph line. We suggest having cash on you as not all celebrities take credit or debit card. Feel free to head over to their table in advance to find out for sure, though!

For Photo Ops… 

As with Autographs, once you arrive in the photo area, you’ll be directed to the correct line for your chosen guest. Once it’s your turn, step up to the photo backdrop, say hello, strike a pose and then head round to the photo collection table. You’ll receive a high quality, glossy 8x10 photograph of yourself and the talent of your choice, taken by one of our professional photographers. Read more in Epic’s Photo Op FAQs here. 

Photo Ops and Autograph opportunities are separately ticketed additions; you will need a C2E2 admission ticket too. Head to our website to purchase them today.

In the Queue...

You may have a bit of a wait before meeting some of the more popular guests. This is a great opportunity to gather your thoughts and try to plan what you’re going to say when you meet them. Pick a question you’d like to ask or have a greeting straight in your head so you can cut to the chase when it’s your turn. 

Most importantly, if you feel overwhelmed or anxious at any point, remember there are people there to help you. Please alert a Staff or Crew member who will be able to assist.

Things to bring…

  • Your confirmation email as proof of purchase if you purchased in advance. 
  • The item(s) you want signed - you’re welcome to select one of the show-ready photos we’ll have at the signing booth on the day of or bring along something special to be signed.


  • Be friendly! Introduce yourself, strike up conversation, ask a question or how their day is going. Guests are happy to chat and love hearing how much you love their work. 
  • Make the most of your slot…but respect their time and others’ in the queue line. It’s better to keep things short and sweet! 
  • Respect personal boundaries. Especially in current times, everyone will have different levels when it comes to interacting with fans; wait for them to initiate a handshake or hug.


  • Be inappropriate or harass the guests. They are people too, just like you; and are trying to enjoy the convention just as much as you are! 
  • Bring large gifts - celebrities have baggage allowance too! 
  • We hope you have a great time meeting the guests at C2E2 and can’t wait to see your amazing photos! Excited to share? Don’t forget to tag us on social media and use the hashtag #C2E2!

Your First Convention

Calling all convention newbies! We can’t wait for you to experience your first C2E2 and join in all the fun! Here’s everything you need to know for your first foray into geekdom…

What should you expect?

Entertainment Expos and Comic Conventions are a rush on the senses, that’s for sure! Expect crowds, colorful cosplays, and a huge array of things to see and do.  

The best thing about C2E2 is that you’ll be in the same room as thousands of people who all love the same things that you do. Be open to chat - friends for life have been formed in the lines at C2E2! 

What should you wear?

Comfy Shoes 

McCormick Place is an immense venue, and you’ll definitely be getting those miles in. (No. Seriously, check your Apple Watch or phone steps after just one day.) 


Whether you’re a seasoned costume creator or looking to ‘don your favorite character’s ensemble for the first time, C2E2 is the perfect place to do it! Where else will you see Spider-man sitting next to Eren Yeager on your morning commute?  

Geeky Gear 

Not sure if you want to cosplay yet, NO WORRIES. Cosplay is encouraged (because it’s a kickass time), but this is a no judgement zone. Feel free to show up in your everyday geeky wardrobe to walk the halls of McCormick Place if that’s more your v i b e. If you’re not up for cosplaying, be sure to break out that nerdy merch. This is a sure-fire way to meet folk that love the same fandoms as you! 


Forgive us for stating the obvious here, but conventions can be a sweaty place! Have some consideration for your fellow fans; a little bit of deodorant can go a long way. 

What should you bring?


If you’ve already received your physical tickets for the weekend (We’re talking about those beautiful badges that came in the mail or that you purchased from your local retailer), don’t forget to bring them with you! And if you’ve opted to collect at the venue, bring a copy of your confirmation email (either printed or on your phone). You’ll bring that confirmation email right up to the Will Call line to pick up your tickets. 

Refillable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is key to surviving the long days at C2E2. McCormick Place will have plenty of water fountains where you can refill your water bottle for free throughout the day, just remember to bring a bottle! 


There will be plenty of catering outlets around the venue to grab lunch, but we’d advise bringing a snack or two to munch on in case you get the urge for some noms. 

Battery Pack

You wouldn’t want to run into your favorite celebrity or cosplayer and miss the chance to snap a photo, would you?! Bring a mobile power bank and make sure your devices are charged for the duration of the show.

We’ve Got An App For That!

Don’t forget to download the C2E2 app ahead of attending so you can check out the latest schedules, find your way on the map, and make sure you don’t miss all the fun! We do not have any physical program guides at the show, so the Official C2E2 Mobile App, presented by Ultrasaber, will be your absolute best friend. 


  • Make a plan for your time at the show. Check the online program and study the Show Floor map when you arrive to create a schedule for the day. It helps, trust us!

  • Going it alone? Visit our Discord Channel ahead of the show or the Facebook Official Group, and post a call out for a con-buddy, or head to one of the many Fan Meet Ups happening throughout the weekend to find your people!

  • Set alarms on your phone for the most important panels and activities to make sure you’re in the right spot at the right time.

  • Only sit in designated areas, and definitely not in front of doorways/aisles - you don’t want to block the flow of people!

  • Ask before you take photos of cosplayers. Yes, they look fabulous, but please remember to respect personal boundaries and the investment that went into their costumes. Most people will be more than happy to strike a pose with you if you simply ask them first.

  • Let’s not forget the biggest pro-tip of all…enjoy yourself! 

Oh, and remember - if you have any questions that you can’t find the answer to on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service Superheroes, or ask a Staff or Crew Member at the show.