My advice on Open Registration

18 FEBRUARY 2015

We're just a few days away from our last chance to get a badge for SDCC 2015. Is your stomach in knots yet?

What to do now:

Review CCI's instructions.

Go into your Member ID account and click on the Registration tab. You’ll see your Registration code – copy it so it’s on hand for Saturday.

Have a good credit or debit card ready that can accommodate multiple Preview Night badges. (But if it fails, your registration will still be held for you while CCI contacts you and asks for a different card.)

Borrow a laptop if you need to. I'm not a fan of crowding multiple browsers on one device.

Get your friends’ Member IDs and last names now and map out your game plan - who's buying for who in what order. You'll need to track shifting priorities. My pick for managing this process is group texting – don’t ask people to have Facebook or yet another site visible. Let them focus on the waiting room.

Meditate, get your Zen mind on, be as chill as you can possibly get.

How it will go on Saturday:

Change your power save settings so that your computer doesn't go to sleep on you while you wait.

Use a Chrome, IE, Safari or Firefox browser, Javascript and cookies. Don’t operate in stealth mode or private browsing – the system won’t like it.

After 8 am PST and before 9 am, you'll log into the waiting room by clicking on the link CCI sent you in an email. You’ll enter that registration code you got from your Member ID account.

At 9 am PST, we’ll be randomly sorted into order. You won't know where you fall in that order. 

We'll all sit through the spinning blue circle, the updating yellow line.

Once you're selected for a session, you enter the number of people you're buying for (up to 3) and their last names and Member IDs. You cannot enter your own Member ID just to get into the system if it’s ineligible – say, because you already have a Preview Night badge or you already completed your session.

Once you get in, you have 15 minutes to get the badges. Click Preview Night and every day is clicked for you. Otherwise click the days you want or can get.

After paying, you'll get a confirmation page – and you should screenshot it. 

On managing the process:

Don’t get rattled by the passing minutes. Don't feel defeated if you fail to get picked right off. CCI says to not refresh or go back, no matter what. Fun fact: one year refreshing was the only thing that saved people who were stuck. I’ll post what I hear.

If you get kicked out of the waiting room after 9 am, or your Internet cuts out, your registration code is authorized for re-entry and will get you back to your original place in line.

If you think you might be stuck – say your spinning blue circle is frozen or your yellow bar is stuck:

1) Contact CCI pronto -  @Comic_Con or
2) screenshot everything
3) put some kind of timestamp via Tweet or email on them as evidence.

If one of the Member IDs doesn't validate during your session, don't freak out - just proceed with buying the badges for the others. You might be tempted to contact the person but honestly, that's not going to do any good. It's not like they can change the system or call CCI and have them fix something internally within those 15 minutes. Just screenshot the screen where it tells you that Member ID is ineligible and proceed with the sale the best you can. Mostly likely the person has already gotten a badge with another group.

If you find yourself in a session without the badges you wanted, go ahead and buy what you can. You can always ask for a refund. Don’t just flounce off because you failed to get Saturday. The surrounding non-Con attractions are worth a day out of the convention center.

While you can have multiple browsers on one device, I would not advocate – as the Toucan blog does – having 4 browsers open on one computer. Since they’ll be smaller, you’re in greater danger of accidentally shutting one down, and when one gets picked, you won’t be able to watch the other three.

As always, I’ll be on Twitter and posting updates here. However, my house is Command Central this Saturday for myself and several friends, so monitoring that and helping them is going to be my first priority.

Good luck, everyone. Try not to stress.


  1. What are the odds of one person getting a four day badge?

    1. I have no idea. There's no way to know how many people have Member IDs or participate in Open Reg.
      I said once that people contacted me in a 3:1 ratio in terms of who didn't get a badge/who did. However, I think that over the last few years, the number of Member ID accounts has swelled significantly while of course the number of attendees allowed has stayed the same.
      Sorry for that depressing answer.

    2. Last year on pre reg I got nothing and during open registration I got 4 days and preview night.
      Don't give up. You still have chances. Good luck ;)

    3. I love that story! Thanks for the encouragement.