Warning: this post is only for people at the dawn of their Comic-Con existence.
Next weekend is the San Diego Comic-Con badge sale. If you're just catching wind of it over social, and you've made the understandable but misguided decision to join the sale too, you'll probably be chagrined to realize you can't. If you didn't create a Member ID account by the March 24 cut-off (it wasn't announced, so don't feel bad) then you can't participate in the sale. Short of winning a contest or finding a well-connected friend, you won't be going to SDCC 2017.
I know that's harsh, but I wanted to give it to you straight. The good news: you can greatly increase your chances of going next year. If that's too far in the future for you to think about, then let go of any plans ever for Comic-Con: it may only last 4 days, but the required maneuvering is all year round, on and off. You have to be patient, wily and tenacious to go. Or just lucky.
Here's what you need to do:
Sign up for a Member ID. Have all your prospective Con companions do the same. Everyone who goes to SDCC as an attendee must have a Member ID.
Start reading the blogs and hanging out in online Con circles so you can:
- Pick up a ton of tips on booking hotels, getting badges and navigating the whole mad circus.
- Make cool friends who may one day share event tickets, invite you into their buying group, tell you about parties and generally make your Con more fun.
- Find out which other Cons are making the grade with veteran attendees.
- Grasp the vivid difference between the SDCC image you probably have and the reality - which can help you decide if you really want to go.
Look into going to a more accessible Con. Non-attendees see all the SDCC celebrities on TV and think that no other Con will do. Those days are over; other Cons can offer a great experience (sometimes better) and help you figure out if Con life is even your scene or not. It's best to find out you're in the "not" camp before investing a small fortune on plane airfare and hotel rooms. Traits like not being able to handle crowds or waiting in line can disqualify you fast, so start with something local.
Set realistic expectations. SDCC badges are sold through a lottery. Demand is so high that your chances are less than 1 in 10 of getting one. If you do get a badge and need to book a hotel room, that's another lottery that leaves many disappointed. You'll be notified of these sales through emails that go to everyone with a Member ID - typically in the spring before the Con.
Did I just suck all the joy out of your Comic-Con anticipation? I didn't mean to. If anything, you can only validly get excited about SDCC once you've committed to the journey. Put the wheels in motion now and next year you'll be glad you did.