What to do if you didn't get a badge yesterday

17 FEBRUARY 2013

Today is the day 700,000* people are breaking up with San Diego Comic Con. Probably waking up the angriest are the unbadged people who went ahead and booked hotel rooms in the Early Bird sale, the veterans who've attended every year since 1996, and the people who made it into the waiting room but froze, and obeyed CCI's instructions to call them for naught. Actually, probably everyone is equally pissed off.

If you didn't get a badge yesterday, you can do the following:

  • Wait for the resale - of which there could be one or two. There will definitely be a resale of all badges turned in (yes, people do cancel and seek refunds) around June, but CCI might also hold a small resale sooner than that, as they did last year.
  • Try to win a contest.
  • Ask any retailers you're close with if they'll have extra badges or need help at their booths. (You'd better be the best of friends, because everyone will ask them that.)
  • Look into other conventions. WonderCon is coming up in March in Anaheim and you can still buy tickets and book hotels. Phoenix Comic Con is Memorial Day Weekend and is becoming a really popular con. The second San Diego Comic Fest will be later this year. If you're on the East Coast, save your money for New York Comic Con in October. Or consider Dragoncon in Atlanta in late summer. The perceived superiority of SDCC is mostly hype and bombast at this point - just my opinion. Smaller cons may not have as loud and glitzy an Exhibit Hall, but they can be a lot more fun and a lot less aggravating.
  • Come anyhow and hang around the Gaslamp/convention center to participate in all of the offsite events. I actually wish people wouldn't do this, because it just makes an already crowded situation even worse, but I know this is a trend now.
  • Remind yourself that: most of the panels will go right up on YouTube, most of the exclusives will appear on Ebay, most of the lines are so long that you can't see everything you want anyhow, and all in all, you just saved a boatload of cash.

What not to do: apply for volunteering (it's already closed) or buy a badge off Craigslist. They're almost always fake. Some people will, it's true, pick up a badge, then sell it to you outside - but it's a risk.

For now, be good to yourself. I think the stress of yesterday wore out my adrenal glands, because I was completely exhausted last night. And I was one of the lucky ones.

*Not an actual figure. I have no idea how many people have Member IDs, although I would sell my grandmother to find out.

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