Home The Blue Diary Retrospectives Recap: SDCC Pre-Registration 2014 and The Yellow Update Bar Comedy Hour

logo - comic-con thumbnail (distressed)On Saturday 8th November 2014, tens of thousands of eager and expectant San Diego Comic-Con fans, all of them attendees of the 2014 event, huddled around their desktops and laptops to brave the random selection process of the Pre-Registration Badge Sale. Ooh, the excitement was palpable!

With rising interest in comic and pop culture taking place across the globe, and San Diego Comic-Con being the worldwide highlight of the geek culture calendar, CCI had suffered years of crashed websites, botched applications and thousands of disappointed attendees. Facilitated by third party company EPIC Registration, it wasn’t ever their – or CCI’s – fault, to be completely fair. The previous process was always fighting under the sheer weight of numbers, like a tanker load of Volvo’s all simultaneously trying drive down a rabbit hole!

And so, the Waiting Room system was introduced in 2013, ahead of the 2014 event, in attempt to stem that tide – a website, accessed by a link sent out by email a week before the Sale, which allowed registered potential attendees to be sorted randomly into Badge Registration sessions in a nice, orderly fashion. The email link was activated at 8am Pacific Time, an hour before the sorting sessions began…

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8am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

On the Holding page of the Waiting Room, applicants were presented with a list of useful tips and hints – not to refresh the page once they were there, not to open multiple tabs, etc. – mainly, for everyone just to sit patiently and wait for the sessions to open. There was also a yellow Updates Bar, refreshing every couple of minutes, providing those who had entered the Room nice and early with information on how things were progressing. And this is where the operators on the other side of the server decided to have a little fun – an opportunity to reference a certain Marvel fan favourite was a perfect way to break the ice…

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8.03am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

This second message absolutely set the tone for the updates that would roll round for the next hour. And it soon become apparent that comics fans weren’t going to be the only ones to be let in on the fun.

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8.07am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

Still, San Diego Comic-Con does have ‘Comic’ in the title and one of the favourites up for continued glory and fame at the 2014 Eisner Industry Awards got its moment in the sun…

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8.09am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

Okay. Time to put a enthusiastic fandom on the spot. Which did YOU choose?

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8.11am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

Next up came one  of the most embarrassing moments in my entire nerd life – I cannot believe that this reference passed me by. I have no excuses…

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8.15am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

How didn’t I recognise an Indiana Jones nod? I nearly packed in the whole thing, there and then – hang up my spurs in shame! Still, no time to dwell: another update on the way… And this one appealed to the DC Comics fans in the Room.

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8.20am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

Ready for an earworm? You know how this one goes…

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8.32am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

This next one was absolute torture! Star Wars fans were hanging on every word that news that a panel for Episode VII would be making an appearance at SDCC 2014 – this just wound us up even further!

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8.37am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

Twenty one years?! Death Star 2 didn’t take that long to put together – maybe they had Imperial contractors working double time. But those leather seats – you can’t scrimp on the details. Speaking of details, when it comes to getting all the Comic-Con details from the horse’s mouth, there’s only one place to turn.

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8.43am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

What is it with CCI and cerials?? The organisation has a fetish for the things, with an infamous Toucan Blog update reminding people of the randomness of the Registration Session selection: “Think of the waiting room as a giant bowl of Cheerios. We’re all floating together in a big bowl of milk until a spoon comes in and randomly selects the next spoonful. It is impossible to predict which individual Cheerio will be gobbled up next!”

Remember, everyone: to succeed in Badge Registration, you have to #BeTheCheerio!

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8.45am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

That one was a bit dark. But fun for all the Avengers fans in the house (and boy, would they have their faith rewarded once July rolled round…!). By this point, mind, the clock was ticking – and 9am was getting closer and closer. And, as the clock clicked round to 9am, the fun and games faded away – understandable. The last thing Comic-Con International wanted was to be cracking wise if the whole thing fell apart around their ears. Back to serious business…

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8.53am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

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8.57am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

Seconds away, now – keep calm, everybody, keep calm. Just one last reference for non-Muggles to steady the nerves…

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8.59am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

 

And, in our best Heath Ledger voice, we all uttered the same mantra: “And here… we… go.”

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9.03am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

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9.09am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

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9.11am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

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9.15am Pacific Time, Saturday 8th November 2014

The updates then continued to roll round and let everyone still waiting on the outside how things were progressing – the chuckles were over. But, I think you’ll agree – they were fun while they lasted. Here’s hoping that whoever is manning the Yellow Update Bar this Saturday will have a similar sense of humour, it certainly made the hour pass so much more interestingly!

What do we think? Superman vs Batman and Secret Wars references this time round? I’d also love there to be a Funko nod shoe-horned in there somehow…!

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