Yesterday on the Toucan Blog, Comic-Con International announced yet another significant change to this year’s San Diego Comic-Con badge registration system, and informed us that 2014 badge preregistration would not take place this weekend on February 1. Read on to find out all the details and to see what our thoughts are about this change.
We would first like to thank everyone for your patience while we conduct a lot of tests on the new registration system. We know how frustrating purchasing a badge for Comic-Con can be and while the sheer number of people who would like to attend far outnumber the badges available, we really do hope the new system will make the process less aggravating.
We have heard suggestions from many of you, as far ranging as utilizing a fee-heavy corporate ticket broker to returning to the old days of mailing in an order form. While all of the options considered had their own pros and cons, one thing was certain, the everyone-push-a-button-all-at-the-same-time model has been extremely problematic.
Working closely with the team at EPIC Registration, Comic-Con has decided to introduce a randomized waiting room. This decision was based on the number of suggestions we received and countless hours trying to find the fairest way to implement changes to what has been a problem plagued process. During 2014 badge preregistration, prospective attendees will be given a time frame in which they can log in to the EPIC waiting room prior to the badge sale. Once the badge sale begins, everyone who is inside the waiting room will be randomly assigned to a registration session. Your assigned registration session is not tied to the time you entered the waiting room. There is no advantage in arriving early.
Our hope in creating a randomized system is to alleviate the rush to purchase badges, which inevitably causes technical issues or prevents attendees from purchasing badges at all.
Again, thank you for your patience and for sticking with us! We are still in the process of load testing the system and preregistration for eligible attendees will not occur this weekend, February 1. Keep a close eye on this blog for additional tips and details in the following days.
To see if you are eligible to participate in badge preregistration, please click here to visit our 2014 Preregistration page.”
Our initial reaction to hearing about this change was negative. We did not like the fact that buying Comic-Con tickets had essentially turned into a lottery system. We preferred having more control over our own destiny, rather than being “randomly assigned to a registration session.” Our first thoughts were that people who were vigilant, and ready at the precise second, should be rewarded for that. But upon further reflection, we realized that the way things have been in the past (repeatedly refreshing, or trying to click on a link or copy and paste a link into a browser at precisely the right millisecond) was pretty much a lottery anyway, and that we just happened to get lucky and be on the positive end of that click. There must have been tens or even hundreds of thousands of people doing the same exact thing that we did, who just got unlucky and got the short end of the stick. What if we were one of those people? We would probably be thinking that this random registration idea was a good one. We only had the illusion of control before, whereas in reality, it’s always been random.
Our only hesitance with embracing this new system is the statement that “Your assigned registration session is not tied to the time you entered the waiting room. There is no advantage in arriving early.” We would like to think that by this they mean that if you arrive in the waiting room at say, 7:30am and the registration does not begin until 8:00am, you will not automatically be given an earlier registration session over someone who arrives in the waiting room at 7:55am just because you arrived earlier. What we hope this does not mean is that if you are already in the waiting room at 8:00am and someone else arrives at 8:05am, that they may be given an earlier registration session than you. Assuming that those who are in the waiting room on time are given priority over those who arrive late, then we’re okay with the change. If, in fact, that is not the case, and someone who arrives late can get in ahead of someone who was on time, then that is a very unfair change that we do not support. We hope that CCI will clarify this.
As long as everyone who is in the waiting room on time are given the same chance, then we believe this is a fair solution. It’s not exactly a lottery, which would be if CCI assigned a random number to everyone who has a member ID. The way CCI has decided to do it is still a system that rewards people for making the effort to clear their schedules and be in the waiting room at the specific time. Thinking about it that way, and assuming that the system works the way it’s supposed to, it relieves a little of the stress, and we feel a small weight has been lifted from our shoulders, knowing that we only have to be in the waiting room, and don’t have to worry about clicking at the precise moment. Of course, once you’re assigned that registration session, all the stress will return as you hope that your session will allow you to get all 4 days and Preview Night!
Now the question remains, when will 2014 badge preregistration take place? All we know is that it will not be this Saturday, February 1 (it’s always on a Saturday). Will it therefore be the following Saturday, February 8? Only time will tell!
What do you think about the new SDCC badge registration system? Share your thoughts in the comments below!