4 APRIL 2016
Apparently CCI isn't, because many of us still haven't received our emails with the link that was going to go out "48 hours" in advance. Considering that should be the simplest part of the sale, it doesn't bode well for the sale. Maybe they're trying to restrict the waiting room to attendees and pros like it should be? Wishful thinking, probably.
Onto your strategy. By now you've probably picked out your 6 hotels and maybe made a few trade deals with your SDCC comrades. But assuming you're just a baby in the SDCC hotel woods, here's what you need to know.
This is the final day of the Early Bird sale.
If you can make peace with staying somewhere involving a shuttle ride, book your hotel today and don't look back. You can spare yourself the anxiety the rest of us will go through this week.
Weigh the odds in your hotel selection.
If you pick the "best" downtown hotels only, you've radically reduced your odds. I'd throw in some mid-list hotels too. Remember: staying at a hotel deep in the Gaslamp doesn't actually increase your walking, because you'll be right next to all the restaurants and bars you'd walk to that night anyhow. You can just hop the shuttle to the Con.
And if you think Mission Valley or airport hotels are okay with you, then just do the Early Bird today.
Even though it's a lottery, practice your hotel selection and information anyhow.
There will probably still be a first come first serve aspect in submitting your info. And nanoseconds make the difference here.
Remember that this is just Phase I.
After the dust settles and we find out what we got, this will happen: people will start trading reservations online. Previously this has been a simple situation where Person A provides the reservation number and last name and Person B calls Travel Planners (now On Peak) and says they are taking over the room. I don't know if that's how it will go this year but let's assume we can all trade rooms easily.
You'll also have the ability to go back into the system when it opens up and pick a room from what's left. There won't be 4 nights at the Hard Rock available but you will find something, somewhere.
I'll post more when we get some clarity on our missing emails.
ETA: Emails are going out. If you're wondering if it's better to call the line rather than do the lottery, it's a safe bet that most people will do both. In other words, I don't see it as an advantage.
ETA: And Early Bird is sold out. I've never seen that before, but it was a wise choice on behalf of whoever chose it.