11 JANUARY 2014
Now that we've recovered from the single day badge shock, let's review what we know about Pre-Registration - the date of which will probably be announced soon.
Who's eligible: anyone who attended San Diego Comic-Con last summer with an attendee badge. If you stayed home, or if you attended as a pro, exhibitor, etc, you can't participate.
How many people you can register: 3 - yourself and 2 others. Your friends have to be eligible per the above definition.
What you should do now: check your Member ID account, make sure you remember your password, note any last name misspellings and duplicate them during pre-reg, and change your status (Senior, Military) if applicable. Also make sure your status says you're eligible for Pre-reg - and if it doesn't, contact CCI immediately.
How much the single day badge policy will disrupt everything: probably not a whole lot, since the main change seems to be in name only.
How it'll all go:
You'll hit the link and probably be rebuffed at first, and eventually become either a bitter failure statistic or one of the lucky few to get in. If the latter, you'll wait to reach the front of the room, experiencing unbearable anxiety all the while about whether or not your preferred badges will be available. Finally you'll get up to bat and it'll look like this:
If you want to attend every day, you'll click Preview Night and voila, all days are checked. Otherwise you'll pick the days you want, then repeat the process for your other 2 people. Then you'll go directly to check out, pay with a credit card, and congratulate yourself on becoming one of the most envied geeks in the world.
What's new that's good: a shopping cart to hold available badges for all members of your party during registration. You might think "who cares, the whole thing takes 30 seconds" - but it only takes a nanosecond for your dream badge to go extinct. You also don't have to start the whole shebang over for each person; this year, you make one purchase and that wraps it all up.
What's new that's bad: to keep out non-eligible people, you'll have to enter a unique registration code prior to getting at the landing page. I realize the code's purpose is to our benefit, but it's yet another opportunity to make a major flub and lose crucial moments.
On badge codes: if you dimly remember the warning to save last summer's badge for the code, never mind. The code has been entered for you. However, if your kid was 12 last summer and turned 13 by 1 November, they do need their physical badge and the code on it.
On problems: take screen shots of any issues. Do not give up, even if ten minutes have gone by and you figure all badges are gone. You have no idea what new errors and malfunctions will rise up this year (and there will be some) and their effect on the process. It's not over until you see it blasted repeatedly from official sources that all badges are sold out.
On social media: I said "official" above because social media will be rampant with misinformation. Do NOT listen to all the fear-mongering and "All Preview Night sold out!" hysteria that goes on. A lot of times it isn't true.
On usury: Decide now what kind of mark-up you're willing to pay for a badge. On Twitter you will see offers from people already in the waiting room who will get you your badge for a profit. Think about it now, while you're relatively calm, and decide if you're willing to go this route, should you be blocked from the waiting room.
I think you know the rest. Approach as a team, with all friends on all devices. Don't drop out even if your friend is in line ahead of you; see it through until the deal is done. Have your credit cards ready, your laptops and phones charged, your nerves steeled.
And remember - if you wind up one of the unlucky many who can't even get close to a badge on Pre-Registration Day, this is only round one. You can try again on regular Registration Day when a greater number of badges go up for sale.