4 days from now, you'll know if you're going to San Diego Comic-Con or not. But of course it's not that simple - you can break down that going/not going dichotomy into a variety of disappointing situations. So here are some scenarios to contemplate now before you bail on what seems like a negative outcome.
You only get a Sunday badge. I realize this is not at all ideal for most of you, especially if you were planning on flying in from another corner of the planet. But if travel isn’t a huge bugaboo, you should go ahead and nab that Sunday badge. Here’s why: even a one-day badge will make you eligible for Pre-Registration, thereby doubling your chances of getting a badge for 2016. Also, the Exhibit Hall offers major markdowns on Sunday, and tends to be less (slightly less, mind you) crowded than the other days. Finally, if you’re bringing your offspring, Sunday is Kids’ Day and you’ll be able to take your bambino to tons of fun panels.
You land in the Thursday-Sunday split. I tackled this a few months back. My overall verdict: worth it, even if you don't feel like paying for 4 hotel nights for 2 days. You will find plenty to do on Friday and Saturday – Gam3rCon, Nerd HQ, the various outside promotions, actually sitting down for a good meal with friends.
People in your group score different types of badges. This can sting, even when it’s just down to bad luck. My advice here is to go ahead and buy what you can – don’t make the misguidedly noble gesture of not getting a Saturday badge because it looks like your other friends won’t make the cut. If you’re the one who got left out, don’t blame your friends. Comic-Con badge sales are brutal and everyone needs to cowboy up and accept the hand they get dealt. Again, there are lots of outside activities to keep everyone busy and happy. Maybe you won’t get to see Marvel’s Saturday panel – but that just means you get to skip the Hall H line and go see a Walking Dead panel at Nerd HQ. There’s always something going on.
You and your partner get radically different badges, or one and none. This is where many people will feel obligated to sit out the entire Con. Your best friend forgot to get their Member ID in time, your significant other got bumped out of the system, or some other horrible strike of destiny has separated your Comic-Con fates. Again, my advice is to still go. You can control your level of SDCC immersion – maybe you just do the Exhibit Hall and a few panels, and spend the rest of the time outside with your partner in crime. You can still do all the other nerd stuff around the Con, or treat it more like a real vacation and go to the beach in the day and party at night. You can definitely still spend time together.
Finally, I’ll say this. I realize it’s fun to share SDCC with friends. But you can also have fun doing it alone. There’s a natural camaraderie amongst SDCC attendees that makes everyone automatic friends. Whether you’re in the Exhibit Hall, camping out on the grass or sitting next to someone in a panel, even your most introverted self will often wind up bonding with the people around you. Attendees are almost always down to help each other out and answer questions too. So if you wind up with a badge that none of your friends have, don’t think you’ll be moving through the Con in an isolated bubble – you will very much be part of a community.