Registration Advice

24 FEBRUARY 2012

CCI has released a four-page PDF called Comic-Con 2012 Helpful Hints and Tips for Online Badge Registration. They advise that "downloading and reading this document may give you an advantage in buying a badge over people who choose not to read it." You think? I strongly advise reading it yourself but here are the salient highlights - I'm quoting directly in some cases so you don't think I'm exaggerating.

- First of all, when registration goes live, you will access the site through a link sent to you by email. At the site, you will enter a waiting room which tells you your place in line. That won't be frustrating at all, I'm sure. There are the usual caveats about not refreshing your screen and trust me, they mean it.

- You can register up to 6 people total but you must have their Member IDs and last names. Remember that you can't duplicate badges, so if you want to have multiple people trying their hand at getting in, the first one to successfully buy the badges needs to immediately notify the others.

- "Please be prepared to wait up to 3–4 hours in line before entering the online registration session to purchase your badges." I'm not kidding. It actually says that. Right, that won't be inconvenient at all for people at work when this goes live.

- Now we get into metrics. "Please be aware that when the site first opens, many people will enter the waiting room at the same time.  It is possible that you and a friend who enter the waiting room at the exact same moment could be several thousand places away from each other in line. If your place in line is over 40,000, it is possible that you will not get a badge. If your place in line is under 40,000, it is possible that you still may not get a badge because buyers are allowed to register up to 6 people per registration session."

-  More fun with numbers: "The waiting room will close when it reaches a capacity of 60,000. To limit the pressure on the EPIC registration system, the EPIC waiting room will close once 60,000 people are in line. You will be returned to the Comic‐Con website after you click the registration link if the waiting room is full. You may click the link again to try to reenter the waiting room as people complete their purchases."  See the above advice on what happens when you're after 40,000 and you'll understand what this means.

- They also remind you that badges can sell out as you're mid-registration - that you can buy a 4 day badge for yourself and then when you try to register your brother, only Saturday and Thursday badges are left. 

- Contrary to what we were told last summer - that anyone who pre-registered was stuck with the badge they bought then - you can get a new kind of badge. Say that you really want a badge with Preview Night but by the time you got up to bat last summer summer at pre-reg, only single day badges were left so you bought them. You can still try for a Preview Night badge now and if you get one, it cancels out whatever you bought last summer. BUT if you bought a Sunday badge last summer and now buy a Thursday badge, your Sunday badge is still valid. Only overlapping dates are subject to cancellations and refunds.

- Technical advice: Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome are the preferred web browsers. Don't use an AOL or Yahoo email address for this. Have your credit card available, know that Paypal is not accepted, and add to your e‐mail’s safe sender file.

There are also defensive warnings that things go wrong and San Diego Comic Con is not responsible for any technical meltdowns, bad luck, glitches and such. And of course, no dates are provided. I think it's pretty clear that this is going to be sprung last minute.


  1. do you have to use the link on your email or can you go on the comic con website to purchase the tickets?

  2. It sounds like you have to use the link on your email. I certainly wouldn't risk the delay of trying the website.

    They haven't exactly spelled it out but I'm guessing they are trying to control demand on the servers by routing controlled numbers of people to each "waiting room." I say this because they've made a point of saying that this won't be posted on Facebook or Twitter in time, and that they've taken the staggered email batches into account when it comes to timing. If this was going to be announced well in advance, or posted on the website for anyone to see, none of that would matter and there would be no point to mailing out links.

    That's just my best guess. The PDF says to take the expected 3-4 hour waiting time into account and structure your day accordingly, which suggests we will get at least some advance notice.