We're in the middle of Comic-Con announcement season. Exclusives and events have been flashed around to admiring eyes, and programming and offsite details wait tantalizingly in the future. But there's one mantra attendees are repeating over and over and over: CONAN.
You might be a ConanCon veteran, or someone who's never snagged a ticket - or a first-timer who isn't even sure what it is. For those of you in the last group, Conan O'Brien takes over the Spreckels Theatre in San Diego during Comic-Con and his guests are casts from visiting shows. SDCC attendees are prioritized for tickets, and everyone gets a free Conan Funko Pop at the end.
Let's review the basics and how you can maximize your chances of going to a taping.
When will tickets go live?
No idea. In the first years, they went live in June but last year was quite late - just a week or so before the Con. At this point, I would guess it would either have to be next week (unlikely) or July 1-2 (possible but unlikely) or the 2nd week in July (most likely) - again, right before SDCC. But I'm prepared to be surprised.
How do I get a ticket?
Create a 1iota account. The more complete your account is (and they'll tell you how you rank), with cosplay or other "I'm so much fun" photos, the better your chances are of scoring tickets.
You need to pounce as soon as the tickets go live - and you'll buy through your 1iota account. Usually there's a special promo code for attendees. (One year, we got the codes after the tickets went live.)
Don't expect a lot of advance notice. Yes, it works like a lot of SDCC events and lotteries where you might completely miss out due to other obligations; teamwork is your friend.
Is it hard to get a ticket?
Oh god yes. It's always been hard but last year was extra tough; I think the lack of NerdHQ has a lot to do with that.
To increase your odds, apply for every show - but you'll be lucky to get tickets to one.
What if I don't get picked?
You can join the waitlist and you can ask around to see who has extra tickets. These people do exist and I've been one of them. People get more interested in a panel or other event and don't want to make the time commitment for Conan. On one memorable occasion, I was frantically texting everyone I knew to claim 2 tickets when friends had to bail. I've also been the idiot sitting in Ballroom 20 when friends were waiting for me at Spreckels.
So you'll want to be vigilant during the Con. Don't be afraid to let people know you're interested in available tickets. Most attendees are more than willing to help out a stranger.
Finally, remember there's Team Coco House.
What is it like to go?
This matters. People who've never been often assume the tapings are at night, and they'll just duck in before it starts, take their seat, and walk out an hour later. That isn't how it works at all.
How it does: you'll need to line up early the morning of the taping to get your wristband. Some people sleep out for this, others roll up at dawn. The person who bought the tickets needs to be there and show their ID, which can make swapping difficult (though not impossible.)
Later you'll return to the theatre in the afternoon, wait in line again, and eventually make your way in with the crowd. If you're super colorful or visually interesting, you may be seated up front, regardless of what your ticket says.
Eventually someone will try to get everyone excited and screaming, people will leap in the air for t-shirts, other people will go on stage in an informal dance-off, and then finally Conan will appear. There will be skits, the cast of a movie or show will come out and talk to Conan briefly, and then it's over. You'll be handed a Funko Pop as you leave and immediately be confronted with creepy collectors and flippers who want to buy it.
Just in case you missed it - you will need to visit Spreckels twice in one day. For most attendees, it's worth it and they build their day and night around Conan. As the offsite presence at Comic-Con has dimmed slightly in the last few years, ConanCon has become the favorite highlight for many attendees.
Who and what should I follow/join?
Make sure your CCI Member ID account is set up for third-party emails and promotions.
Create a 1iota profile if you don't have one already .
Visit Team Coco House for updates.
Follow Conan on Instagram.
Download the apps for Apple or Google.
I'll post more when I know more!