So, Saturday’s nearly here – shortly, the links that you have received in your inbox for the Open Online Badge Registration will go live and you will join the thousands that are prepared to brave the madness and mayhem that is San Diego Comic-Con! Let’s get those badges!
It’s always good to have as much preparation under your belt for such an occasion but you have to remember: so much is out of your control. There’s a lot of fate, a lot of luck and a lot of determination that goes into taking part in these Badge Sales. Sure, you can tip the odds a little in your favour by taking part in a Badge Team – a small collective of like-minded con buddies, all with each others details and buying for the team – but the randomness of the system, introduced by CCI and EPIC back in 2013, means that it’s probably best to adopt somewhat of a Zen attitude to the whole affair.
Ohmmmmmmmmmm. Now… breathe.
A little more relaxed? Probably not but, look, we had to try! Let’s go through the essentials that it’s best to cover before the whole thing gets under way…
1. Familiarize yourselves with the Process.
A couple years back, Comic-Con International released a really handy video that walked you through the Pre-Registration badge buying process – when it was first uploaded, we hoped there to be a follow-up for Open-Online Registration. However, considering the usual shitstorm of bile and bluster that accompanies vids like this (usually comments decrying that long-time attendees don’t get preference/there are less and less comics at Comic-Con/you make it too difficult/organisers and their families should die in a horrible car crash… y’know, the usual constructive stuff), it’s not surprising that they haven’t exactly rushed to make another one.
The good news is, with only a couple of slight differences, the process that you’ll go through on Saturday will look remarkably like the one shown in this video. So, sit back, grab some popcorn and listen to the dulcet tones of Comic-Con Voiceover Man as he guides you through the process. Watch it a couple of times so there’s no big surprises when the Registration Sessions open.
2. Have your Registration Code ready.
The description of the Badge Sale process, as described by Comic-Con International in their Toucan Blog, rings incredibly like the system introduced in 2013 with a couple of minor changes – it worked (for them) so why change it too much? One thing they have altered this year for returning attendees is a method of making sure that only actual 2014 attendees can take part with the verification of a code, assigned to each Member ID that can take part in Saturday’s badge sale.
The Registration Code is something you will need to enter the Waiting Room, it has not been emailed to you with the link, so do head to your Member ID page and you’ll find it in the Registration Info tab. Copy and paste that into your Notepad doc. What, you don’t have a Notepad doc open? Well, that’s checklist point No. 3…!
3. Have ALL your details to hand.
Member ID. Registration Code. Your credit card details. (Surname? Maybe, if your name is rather convoluted and there’s a little too much stress blood in your head right now.) If you’re taking part in a Badge Team (more on this in a bit), have the details of your compatriots to hand, too, such as their Surnames and Member ID’s. It’s good to have this in a doc you can easily refer to on screen, even copy-and-paste to make sure to don’t mistype a stray number. “But, how can I easily have these to hand if I’m using a mobile device?”, I hear you cry. And then you feel me clip you round the ear because CCI have advised that you use a laptop/desktop browser, instead of a tablet or phone. That’s leads us to the ideal choice of browser for you to use…
4. Check your browser is up to scratch.
5. Badge Teaming – get it together.
‘Get it together.’ Get it? Because you’re coming together and you’re going to get badges – together. Go Team! But, to make the team work well, you need to have everything in place, such a credit card with available funds for all the rest of your teammates, along with all of theire details (and that’s where that Notepad doc comes in handy). Also, communication is key – either set up a Facebook Messenger Chat or a conference chat on mobile text. When a member gets in to the Badge Sale process, the rest of the team needs to know so that, if they get in too, they’re not going to put in your details for a second time, invalidating the form. And you don’t want that to happen, right? Keep everyone on the same page and things will run so much smoothly.
7. Keep your eyes open. You’re not alone.
Comic-Con are going to be updating their Twitter feed regularly over the next couple of hours. They’re going to be refreshing their ‘yellow box’ of info in the Waiting Room. There’s going to be plenty of people, doing their best to keep you up to date with our Twitters – including us! There’s the #SDCCOpenOnline hashtag to keep an eye on. Hell, if you’re confident with your bandwidth wherever you are, you can even check in with The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog’s live hangout which will run live during the whole she-bang (probably best to watch that on a different device than the one you’re doing your badge purchase on, yeah…? Yeah…!)
The point is: you’re not the only one going through this today and, while there isn’t a way to keep a track on how everyone’s doing in the ‘queue’ any more, you can still find out how everything’s progressing, in real time. God knows, there’s going to be enough people talking about how things are going! Don’t forget: #BeTheCheerio!
8. Don’t rush – you’ll only trip up over yourself.
You know when you’re at the airport check-in and everyone is crowding around the desk, jostling for position, kicking, punching, biting? Maybe that is what happened with the Badge Sales, back when it was ‘first-come, first-in’. But now, with the random drawing and selection of groups into the Sale process, that’s all out of the window. So, relax: the last thing you need to do is panic. No need to enter the Waiting Room bang on 9am – you’ve got an hour to do so and nobody gets preference to when you click on that link. Get a cup of tea. Toast some crumpets. Take a breath, until you’re entered into the badge buying process, after 9am PT/12 Midday ET/5pm GMT. Speaking of which…
9. You’re in! Now… Relax.
Once you’re in the Badge Registration process, you have FIFTEEN MINUTES to get through all the forms and finish everything up. Don’t worry, the badges that are available when you entered the Session are locked in, you’re not going to lose them. So, hey, think of it this way: what else can you do? Slow down, take a breath – there’s no need to rush through the forms any more, thinking the badges are going to vanish in front of your very eyes. Even if you are the slowest typist on the planet, fifteen minutes should prove plenty of time for you to enter your details, check and double-check – hey, even triple-check if you’re impressively anal. Best get it right, yeah? Well, chill out for a spell – you have the time to do that.
10. An-nnnnnnnnnnd done – for better or worse.
By the time all the dust has settled, you’ll either have badges under your belt – or, regrettably, not. If it’s the latter, don’t throw yourself from the nearest bridge just yet – I’d even recommend hitting San Diego anyway. The way that Comic-Con has evolved in recent years has meant that the entire city has become a full convention in its own right, there’s simply no way for you not to discover something exciting and fascinating to entice you in every corner of San Diego. Take a trip, have a blast.
Yeah, you not buying that last one either, right? Well, I tried!
Best of luck, everybody.
This post is an edited version of the one we posted prior to the Pre-Registration Badge Sale, back in November. Hey, nothing like recycling good material.