12 FEBRUARY 2016
Did your stomach clench when you read the Toucan blog this morning? Open Registration is here, a week from tomorrow actually, which means that your 2016 Comic-Con fate will be decided very soon.
I'd tell you not to get anxious, that you'll be okay no matter what, and try to feed you some kind of philosophical palliative that says San Diego Comic-Con doesn't matter - but I can't do any of that because we all know that getting a badge is the best.
I'll post actual advice on the sale as we get closer. For now, review the official instructions and start making your game plan. If you're a complete babe in the woods, be aware that you can buy for 3 people in each session and that each of those people must have a Member ID, and you must pay for your badges via card all at once. No Paypal. If you're part of a buying group, figure out who's buying for who and whose card is being used and so on. Make whatever financial transfers are necessary. Open Registration is stressful enough without worrying about maxed-out cards and buying group misfires.
And one more thing - despite what I said above, you will be okay if you don't get a badge. Yes, San Diego Comic-Con is incredible but there are other Cons afoot. Try to be calm and positive as we prepare for the sale ahead.
ETA: I decided to mention the following not to be a doomsayer, but to make sure you first-timers really prepare. I got an email a few days ago from one of my favorite attendees who had heard from first-timers that "all the doom and gloom that surrounds Open Reg seems like a conspiracy to scare people away from participating to keep the numbers low."
That is so not true. First of all, it wouldn't work; secondly, the doom and gloom is as on point as you can imagine. The overwhelming majority of people who try for a badge do not get one. Last year in Open Reg, only 1 out of 9 people I tracked got a badge. Not necessarily a 4-day badge, but anything.
I am NOT saying this to ruin your Valentine's Day weekend and fill you with despair over the coming week, but to help you adopt a mindset where you don't get your hopes too high and are willing to consider alternatives. And where you realize that you can't just waltz through this. You need to study up on the process, collaborate and prepare.
The Comic-Con community is great. We're not trying to shut out newcomers at all. We just want them to know what they're getting into. I currently have a 4-day badge from Pre-reg and even I got that flutter in my stomach when I saw today's registration email in my inbox. It's Pavlovian at this point: say "badge sale" and my stomach does a cartwheel. If you become a devoted San Diego Comic-Con attendee, in the future yours will too.