Today was your last opportunity to get a badge for San Diego Comic-Con 2017. And if you're like most people, you didn't get one.
Open Registration seemed more futile than ever today. I was working with a sizeable group of people and none of us got picked as the first minutes ticked by. We watched our screens in disbelief as Preview Night sold out and all the while my phone was buzzing with the same text from friend after friend: None of us are getting in. Are you?
Eventually some of us got picked and one of the 6 sessions I was handling came up in time to nab a few Sunday badges - but the overwhelming majority were never selected. While CCI doesn't release the number of people in the sale, it does seem demand was record high today. And that's not good news for any of us. Even those of us with 2017 badges can't count on going next year.
Let's go over your options.
You can show up in late July, photograph the cosplayers, lose yourself in the crowd and go to the outside attractions. (Some of them. Some require a badge to get in.) Would I recommend you do this? Not unless you already have friends who will be there, and you can make solid worthwhile non-Con plans. Misguided people often think they'll be tripping over celebrities and strolling into A-list parties as long as they reach the area. This is incorrect. You'll just be suffering through a lot of crowds and long wait times for restaurants.
See if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone.
People do occasionally luck out and find a studio, publisher, retail or industry contact with a badge to spare. If you live in LA, this isn't a Herculean feat. Otherwise it's hard to pull off, but go ahead and try.
Stoically prep for next year.
This is the most sensible option. Make friends in the SDCC digital community and get their advice, then work with a reputable group next Open Reg. If you don't trust online people, put some effort into building a local nerd-fan network. Comic shops, film clubs, cosplay organizations and gaming clubs are all places to meet people who would be interested in going to San Diego Comic-Con. You don't have to be best friends with them - just keep in touch.
Start researching other Cons.
The other sensible option. NYCC, DragonCon, Silicon Valley, Denver, Gen Con, Boston - there are so many options out there for you. Don't assume they're all some kind second-rate geek carnival offering a subpar experience. While most of them don't have the same Hollywood starpower as SDCC, they will have some and the experience is usually smoother and more productive than San Diego, where you spend half the time in line.
Keep an eye out for Comic-Con jobs.
The pay usually isn't great, but some places will need help setting up and tearing down, manning a booth, passing out swag and promotions, or being a glorified gopher for busy talent and executives. Sometimes you'll have to send in a headshot and look pretty, and sometimes not. Before you commit to anything, see if you actually get badges and access. If you don't, or you only get 45 minutes a day to roam the convention center, it may not be worth it.
I was more stunned than anything else when I found out most of my friends didn't get a badge at all. Texts were flying back and forth! And in the end, I was simply stunned. But as you mentioned, there are other comicons out there mainly WonderCon. It's driving distance from San Diego, much, much cheaper, and I feel less crazy and hectic. The few times I've gone in the past were fun and even relaxing in a weird sort of way. As for Comicon here in San Diego, I'm not sure if I want to go. Three years running and no badge! The only way I received one was through a friend who was a professional. He let me use a guest pass. But this year the guest passes were eliminated. So do I want to go another round of open registration for next year? My answer now and after that disappointing time yesterday would be no. Most of the people I know feel that same way. I guess Comicon here in San Diego has gotten so big that most of the people who want to go can't. It's a shame.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear you're giving up on SDCC. However, you have the right attitude - it's way smarter to go have a good time (without the anxiety) at another Comic-Con than pine away after SDCC to no positive end. I don't know what your interests are but Silicon Valley still has tickets and it's in 2 weeks. (I might go, haven't decided yet.) And you should definitely NYCC this fall or Emerald City next year.Delete
Hi Valerie...can you be my friend. I think I trust you. I need a buying group REAL BAD. My chances would increase right?ReplyDelete
Yes, your chances would increase - though nothing is guaranteed! It's obviously too late for this year but email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk.Delete
So you only got a Sunday badge? Still going?ReplyDelete
I got a Preview Night badge in Returning Reg.Delete
That's so cool! You're the second person I know who got Preview Night. I went last year and actually had a nice time. The convention center wasn't too crowded at all. I reminded me of the good old days years ago.ReplyDelete
Yes, I remember the Good Old Days (TM.) I used to constantly run into people I knew on PN - and the aisles were so spacious. 5 people waiting to buy an exclusive was considered a line. How times have changed.Delete
Thank you for all of the effort you put into your blog! It is one of the most friendliest out there. I've been going to SDCC for 10 years, and my friend basically since its inception (he knew Shel Dorf personally). This year, we both got shut out when trying for passes during both pre-reg and open-reg. Last year, we made a concerted effort to make it a special con as we knew it could be our last for awhile. And so it has come to pass--it is okay though because we can do WonderCon instead and with a little luck, we may get a badge once more during open reg. I think the only thing that I am really sad about is that I was hoping to attend the 50th anniversary coming up in a couple of years and unfortunately, that looks a bit dicey right now. I am looking forward to staying in touch with what's going on through your blog. Thanks again for a wonderful, friendly resource on SDCC and other cons--you're doing a GREAT job.ReplyDelete
Thank you! That's so nice of you to say. I'm so sorry you didn't get a badge - you have a great attitude about it but I know it stings. I hope you're luckier next year. I haven't even thought about the 50th anniversary yet - I hope to see you there.Delete