Working out your Pre-reg nerves through preparation

13 NOVEMBER 2015

Happy Friday the 13th. It'll all be over with 24 hours from now; our anxiety, our misplaced confidence, our inability to focus on anything else. If your stomach is in knots and a premonitory chill creeps down your spine whenever you look at your CCI email, you're in good company.

There's nothing worse than pre-badge sale jitters (okay, the actual badge sale is probably worse) and one solid way to cope with that is by checking your system and running through the whole process. Even if you've done every online Pre-registration before this (it was onsite until a few years ago) you might still benefit from reviewing their handy tutorial. The Toucan blog also published a reminder of all the tech specs to keep in mind, such as:

  • Use mobile devices at your own risk. (I've known them to work for people and I did access a waiting room on my iPad last Open Reg. But I generally stick to laptops.)
  • Adjust your power save settings.
  • Use a separate browser for each session and make sure it's Safari, Chrome, Firefox, IE or Edge.
  • No refreshing or back button-ing.
  • You have Javascript and cookies enabled. "Of course I do, this isn't my first badge sale," you say. Test your device anyhow.

Remember that if you get bounced out of the system, you can log back in via your registration number and be placed again with your original group.

Also remember if you're in a buying group, don't shut your waiting room when you hear someone got you a badge. Stay in the system so you can buy for other people.

I'll repeat my advice on buying Sunday and the Thursday-Sunday split: just go for it, even if you're feeling bitter about not getting all 4 days. See my earlier posts for reasons why.

The sale will probably go very fast. CCI's example shows someone getting a Preview Night badge after waiting for 20 minutes, but in last year's actual Pre-reg, PN was almost sold out by 9:20. As I noted, I got in right as they said Saturday was running low and yet somehow both Saturday and Friday vanished in the seconds it took to select my days. It went that fast. The whole sale was done in less than an hour. This can feel extremely unfair if you don't get anything, but I think the days of two hour sales were more nerve-wracking.

Given the changes in the badge distribution process, make sure you're ready to mail out badges to strangers - and not just by stuffing it in an envelope and sticking a bunch of stamps on it. Most people I've talked to are willing to pay for certified mail, Priority mail, anything with tracking, and that's probably the best idea for people on both ends of the transaction. That way everyone has proof of the mailing and transparency into the badge's journey.

I'll be live-blogging the sale as always. Stay strong.

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