How people get badges for San Diego Comic-Con

13 JULY 2013

This might seem a weird time to address the  masses who've never been to San Diego Comic-Con but really want to go some day. But I have been getting one frustrated email after another from people who are getting bitter over all the coverage because they think attending is an impossible quest. Most of them don't even understand how one gets a badge.

(And yes, it is impossible now to attend this year's Con, people who've emailed me to ask me where they can get a badge for next week. I love your innocence.)

Here's how people get Comic Con badges.

  1. There's no secret system. You sign up for a Member ID on CCI's site. Then CCI (Comic Con International) hosts an online registration day where people with Member IDs fight to the death for a badge. Badges sell out almost immediately and there is always a group of people who get ejected from the system due to some kind of glitch. To be fair, this year CCI held a secret badge resale for them - but on the whole, Registration Day is a very frustrating lottery-like experience. There are just too many people who want to go.
  2. If you don't manage to register then, you have to wait until summer when CCI puts up for sale all the badges that were turned in for refunds. There aren't many of these.
  3. If you know retailers or industry people, you can see if they have badges. You can also try to buy a badge off a scalper, though I don't recommend it.

My overarching advice, though, is to not get too hung up on SDCC. Take a look at other Cons, like Emerald City, Phoenix Comicon, Dragon*Con or New York. Obviously San Diego does have something special or it wouldn't be so wildly popular, but it is not the only show in town. Plenty of people come away on Sunday thinking, "that's it?" Go ahead and try to attend, but if you don't get a badge, it's not the end of the world. 

Oh, and if you're going to be in San Diego this week - don't forget about Nerd HQ, Trickster or Wootstock.  You don't have to be inside the convention center to bask in the geeky glory.


  1. In your article, item 2 reads "If you don't manage to register then, you have to wait until summer when CCI puts up for sale all the badges that were turned in for refunds." How do I find/get them, please?

    I have been desperately searching through Gruel...I mean Google. Please don't suggest that, unless you have some specific site. Many thanks! Suze

    1. Hi Suze, unfortunately CCI has stopped holding badge resales. There wasn't one last year or this year.

      I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear. Sorry.