22 SEPTEMBER 2021
Happy Fall Equinox! CCI delivered its own harvest today in the form of badge sale links! These are going to play a huge role in everyone's fate, so let's talk about that right off. We've been waiting to see which of 2 possibilities was true:
- Everyone gets a generic link, which they and every colleague, family member and friend paste into a zillion browsers.
- Everyone gets a unique link, workable for one entry into the badge sale waiting room.
Now that we have our links (check your email and your Member ID account), what's the verdict? At a glance, the links are labelled the same. But in my group, the links point to different targets. And it makes sense they'd be unique, because CCI has promised that if we get ejected from the badge sale, we can just click our links and go right back to our spot in the waiting room. It also makes sense because CCI does not want to crash their badge sale with an astronomical number of entries. That said, we'll see on Saturday how it all plays out.
Onto other business.
Once again, review the different screens. The badge sale process has changed slightly. In my conversations over the last week, I am amazed at how many people did not realize this, or notice we were losing registration codes. Look, if there's one thing I've learned over the years - never take CCI for granted. They will always throw a monkey wrench into your assumptions when you least expect it.
Also - please log into your Member ID account pronto and make sure everything's working and accurate. I got locked out of mine, had to request a new password which didn't work, had to contact support, etc. The trouble started because of a weird nonsensical message that came up as soon as I typed in my Member ID name. Who knows what gremlins were at work there - but I'd make sure your information looks good, even though you have the link in your email.
There were also some troubles with the professional badge sale, which is another reason to play it safe.
Let's talk vaccines and testing.
I know this upsets many people, but you do need to be vaxxed or have a negative COVID-19 test result in the last 3 days. That's vaxxed as in fully vaccinated - 14 days from the last shot. If your last shot is 5 days before the Con, you'll need a negative test as well. You can do the math here; counting back two weeks from November 26, and a month between shots for that, you can see that you need to get vaccinated pretty damn quick.
Vaccination proof needs to be directly from the healthcare provider that vaccinated you and it needs to be on your phone or a physical copy. My own vaccine card looks super sketchy - it's handwritten and the clinic I went to has a bizarre, non-healthcare-sounding name, so I'm going to try to get something digital as proof. Consider doing the same for the sake of expediency. And yes, you'll need to show government-issued ID with a matching name.
For negative tests, they can be PCR or antigen, but they must be done by a certified lab, clinic or physician. In other words - your home test from Amazon won't cut it.
And yes, you'll be masked, even if it conflicts with your cosplay. If you're anti-mask or anti-vax, this is not the place for you. You need to provide your own masks - but you know vendors are going to be selling the most fun masks ever, so there's that.
Badges won't be shipped out - we'll have to pick them up.
This sounds burdensome, I can't lie. It'll happen in Halls G and H (see, you ARE getting into Hall H for once!) and it'll also involve the vax/test checking and ugh, I'm having flashbacks to the days of waiting in line for hours to get my badge. I'm hoping they open up on Thanksgiving night and let us come in and get situated - otherwise many of us will miss half of Friday.
This won't be "the large gathering reflective of the summer event."
Yeah, we know. There will be reduced attendance for a more "intimate gathering" - and something called Fannish Friday Shopping for Black Friday. All of this sounds like heaven to me. But I've never been into the gargantuan pageantry some attendees look for. If you crave long Hall H campouts and snapping selfies in huge outdoor activations, maybe this isn't for you. Those of us who fondly recall the old, more laidback, days will probably be smitten with this Con.
But we will get the Comic-Con Museum opening!
A "limited opening" will happen on Friday, 26 November, with the grand opening scheduled for next July. I'll go if I can, but "limited" in this case sounds extremely limited.
So there's where we are. I'll admit I'm surprised by how many people are blowing this event off, but hey, more badges for the rest of us. To me, this is about seeing friends, blowing money, enjoying some offbeat panels, and luxuriating in that convention center feeling. And of course, supporting CCI.
Good luck! I'll live blog the sale like always. I'm guessing it will go quite fast unless a storm brews up like with professional registration.