The ECCC site is down but don't panic


The Emerald City site has been down for a few hours now. I'm not sure if the Forbes traffic jacked it (doubt it since the article view count is low) or the team is regrouping or what. Probably the latter since their social is quiet as well. But last we knew, all 4 days of single day tickets were available, so hopefully that will be the case when the site comes up again. There's no need to panic.

There's been a fair amount of suspicion online about the speed of the sale, with people assuming scalpers have invaded en masse. I really don't think that's it. While there are no doubt some scalpers in the mix (there always are), I think it's mostly a combination of:

1) previous attendees getting more anxious, given this Con went from selling out full passes in 5 months to 7 weeks in 1 year;

2) a rush of first-time attendees, driven by the combination of the ReedPOP sale boosting ECCC's profile AND the staggering odds against getting into SDCC. I'm so willing to be wrong here. But I've talked to many SDCC attendees headed to ECCC this year, as well as East Coast comic nerds who "want to experience Emerald City now before it turns into San Diego." The SDCC attendees in particular are going to descend on any Con sale like a swarm of locusts, because that's how the brutality of our own badge sales has trained us. We're there the second the sale goes live, ready for battle.

(To put this in perspective, Salt Lake Comic Con - SDCC's arch foe - is happening right now and still has tickets available. The VIP pass is sold out but everything else is still available, both multipasses and single days. Yes, they have a bigger capacity but it still says a lot about the demand in both cases.)

If you've never been to San Diego Comic-Con, it's probably irritating to see me repeatedly linking it to ECCC. But I do see a strong connection. You've got the hundreds of thousands of attendees who try to get a SDCC badge and fail. (Yes, that many. Given that it seemed only 6-10% of people got badges last year, and 125-130K are up for sale, we may well be looking at over a million people who got shut out of San Diego this past summer.)

You've also got a huge number of ex-SDCC attendees who walked away of their own choice when it got more Hollywood, more crowded and less about comic books. Many of these people have been longing for another Comic Con that would replicate the magic of SDCC years ago. And that is the exact branding ECCC has acquired. I can't even count the number of comic book nerds who say to me, "I heard Emerald City is like San Diego used to be."

So that's my theory - I really think this is mostly Comic Con evolution. And I don't think it's that bad, given that all 4 days of single day tickets were still available this morning. If you really wanted to go to ECCC, you had the chance to do so. We all knew the sale was coming.

Okay, I'm done sounding heartless. When the site rises again, we'll see if ECCC has rejiggered the sale of the remaining badges or if everything is the same. My advice is the same as always - be vigilant. 

ETA: The site has been down for almost a full day now. My best guess is they're trying to figure out a way to distribute the remaining tickets fairly and to real attendees, not scalpers. It is odd that they're not communicating this via Tumblr or Facebook, though. Let's hope ReedPOP's influence isn't changing the team's traditional transparency, because that's always been one of the best things about ECCC.

No comments:

Post a Comment