It's here! After a long winter of uncertainty, spring has almost sprung and with it comes our first San Diego Comic-Con badge sale. 10 more days: that's when Returning Registration will shake up our lives on 11 March, and that's how long you have to prepare.
Except, of course, there isn't a whole lot you can do to game the system. You can be organized, wily and collaborative - and all of those things help - but ultimately you can't strategize your way into becoming the Bobby Fischer of badge sales.
If you are a returning attendee, you presumably know your way around a badge sale. You may not know your way around this one, because it may be slightly different, but so far it sounds like it will be what we know: you'll log into the waiting room, wait to get picked, then swing back and forth between social media and the queue as you read with despair about all the other people announcing their Preview Night badges. Then your screen changes and your blood pressure shoots into the stratosphere as you pick whatever badges you can, all the while praying there's no glitch. (Friday sold out before my eyes one year after I was in; it happens.)
What you can do now:
- make sure you have money/credit card space to cover as many Preview Night badges as you'd like to buy
- clear your schedule, or find someone to assist you in the sale if you absolutely have to work
- visit your Member ID profile and make sure everything looks good
- make sure your buying group consists of people you trust
- make sure whatever tech you're using is reliable and fast
And be as philosophical as you can. Remember that no matter what, you'll make this work somehow. Two years ago I was sitting in my Sheraton room at ECCC reading an email telling me I hadn't gotten a hotel room for SDCC. Within minutes, someone emailed me and offered me his extra room at the Hard Rock, which I gratefully accepted, and he's now one of my Comic-Con friends. Tonight I'm in another Sheraton room on ECCC Eve and I read the SDCC email announcing Returning Reg with relief, because 11 March avoids the disaster that would be this weekend for me and a jillion other ECCC attendees. Call it the wheel of Comic-Con fortune.
Stressful as this whole journey is, there's usually some way to make it work, and there's no point in losing your religion over it. We're all going to feel many feelings a week from Saturday but no matter how we win or lose, we'll all find a great Con to go to and friends to enjoy it with.
I'll live blog the sale and offer whatever help I can. If you're looking for a buying group email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think you should be eligible for Returning Reg but your Member ID says otherwise, contact CCI.
Stay positive, nerds.