In life there are tax returns, Saturn returns, and the inevitable return of your most evil ex. And even more stressful than those events is the annual return of the San Diego Comic-Con badge sale. But now we SDCC regulars who've been awaiting Pre-reg have been dubbed a return ourselves. Specifically, returning attendees who have our own badge sale called Returning Registration.
Why did they change the name from Pre-registration? Honestly, who can fathom the CCI mind. I think most of us know they've had some administrative and vendor changes. But really, Pre-reg hasn't fit as a name since the days - let's all sigh together with nostalgia - that you could buy next year's badge up in the Sails Pavilion. Since it moved online (I'm ignoring the hellish year it was in the Hyatt with that farce of a scoreboard) it's been more like Registration Part I.
Here's what we all really want to know: will the ratio of badges shift between sales? It's a bit ominous that CCI's post opens with "Out with the old, in with the new" but that isn't what concerns me. Nor do I dislike waiting until "early 2017" for the sale - I appreciate not having to endure the election and Pre-reg in the same month. However, I have a hotel booked already for SDCC 2017. Attendees who were waiting to get a badge before booking a room now have to wait another 2 months.
What I think could be tough mentally is having the 2 sales - Returning and Open - in quick succession. Open Reg will allegedly occur "shortly" after Returning. So if you come up short in the first sale, you won't have much time to come to terms with it before rolling the dice a second - and final - time.
Since we have at least 3 months of SDCC nothingness ahead of us, this might be a good time to check out other Cons. Recent conversations have taught me that more and more attendees are already doing this, either because they've gone off the SDCC madness, they're worried about not getting a badge, or they're just thirsty for new Con horizons. So remember that the ECCC sale is 19 October (and I know you want to hang out with me in Seattle) and you can think about WonderCon and Silicon Valley Comic Con and other spring events too.
Plus ca change, nerds. Be ready for Returning Reg, but try to also enjoy having a few months' reprieve from this craziness.