SDCC 2013 Pre-Registration, and What It Means For Open Registration

2013 SDCC badge registration kicked off in fine form this past Saturday, August 4, at 8AM PT/ 11AM ET. And if you blinked (or overslept, as we saw of some on our Twitter feed) it’s likely you missed your first chance at procuring a return to the con next year. Good thing there’s still more to come.

Many are confused about the badge registration process, so let us try to explain it, simply. The registration process is split into two phases, as it has been in subsequent years. The first phase is called the pre-registration, and is for people who attended the current year’s convention, which is what was held this past Saturday. The second phase is the open registration , which is registration to the general public, and will be held sometime early 2013. Generally pre-registration is held on-site during the con, but after last year’s mammoth lines, CCI opted for an online-only sale for 2012 attendees, with some additional restrictions on how many badges they could purchase and for whom.

When the online sale started Saturday morning, the queue started at 15,000 and eventually grew to nearly 30,000 people hoping for a chance at a repeat visit to SDCC. The line moved quickly, but so did the available badges. In less than 30 minutes, all Preview Night badges were accounted for. Minutes after that, attendees scooped up all 4-day badges. Within the hour, Friday and Saturday single-day badges were sold out.

All badges were accounted for less than an hour and a half from when they went on sale.

CCI didn’t release numbers on how many of each badge were available for 2013 attendees, but we can only estimate based on the Twitter timeline from our followers that a fair amount of 4-day and Preview Night badges will still be available for sale during open registration early next year.

People deep in the queue grabbed all that was still available, even if it meant getting an incomplete set of single-day badges. But for those hoping to score remaining badges during open registration, or possibly upgrade to a 4-day or Preview Night badge, there’s hope. With all the remaining badges still available, CCI specified this is allowed in their 2013 Attendee Registration Terms & Conditions page. Better yet, it looks as if they’ll take care of the badge swap for you:

If you use your Member ID to purchase a badge for a day for which you previously purchased a badge, the original badge you purchased will automatically be canceled and the amount paid will be refunded without contacting you.

For example, if you purchased a 4-day badge during pre-registration and you use your Member ID to purchase a second 4-day badge with Preview Night at a later date, the 4-day badge you purchased during pre-registration will be canceled and refunded. Likewise, if you purchase a 4-day badge during pre-registration and then purchase a single day badge at a later date, the 4-day badge will be canceled.

This policy does not apply to purchasing different single day badges. For example, if you purchased a Friday badge during pre-registration and you later use your Member ID to purchase a Saturday badge, your original Friday badge purchase will not be canceled. Only purchases of badges with overlapping dates will be subject to automatic cancellation and refund.

We’ll alert everyone as soon as the date for open registration is announced. Until then, what did you think of CCI’s changes to pre-registration? Let us know in the comments.

About Jeremy Rutz

  • Our recap of the #SDCC Pre-Reg and what it means for Open Registration in early 2013:

  • Avenged110

    I was impressed. Even though I missed out on Preview Night due to their process of “slowly opening the waiting rooms doors to reduce traffic,” but it went smoothly nonetheless and the new policy for ‘upgrading’ badges is a welcome change.

  • James Greig

    Considering we had two computers and phone up and ready as soon as we could log in, and we still only ended up with Thursday and Sunday, we weren’t real happy. Especially since this will be the 9th year we are going.

  • “@SD_Comic_Con: recap of SDCC PreReg & Open Registration in 2013:” @misstejota we can use ID to upgrade at open reg

  • Jim Watari

    Same thing happend to my cousin and I two computers phone line open between us Thursday and Sunday only. Others had similar experiences where one was 5000 & the other was 15000 in line. It seems like you need a crew of 4 to get a lower number 😀

  • Jesse Ontiveros

    Great article. I have 4 people online all over the country. Only needed 8 total and we all got it with preview night. We had two people who started at 400 or so, 1 in 6000, and another in 15000 even though we all pretty much clicked at the same time. After about 15 min all tickets purchased. For the most party, pretty smooth, but we were sweating until all tickets were purchased.

  • For any worried about #SDCC tickets for 2013, check out this post: by @SD_Comic_Con

  • only two computers in use, clicked at the same time, one was in the 8000s and one around 15000. Ended up getting 4-Day with no Preview Night, but life goes on. May try to upgrade during Open Registration, but we’ll see.

  • SDCC 2013 Pre-Registration, and What It Means For Open Registration.

  • Pingback: Comic Con For Twilight Fans in 2013 | Twilight Lexicon()

  • @OriginalScuba

    This year was my first time to attend (and thanks for the helpful info fellas) the Con and it couldnt have been more awesome! Now that being said….I completely understand the fustration from those who couldnt/didnt get in for this year or the pre reg. For years Ive been trying to come and it never panned out. Im from Texas and SD is pretty good haul. Especially this type of trip being financially important and all. But I saved and then saved some more then I planned and planned some more. Unless you have money dripping out your….whatever…..then you just have to. My thoughts on those feelings of being angry/sad/negative on not being able to attend….keep trying and it will pay off. I promise.

  • AlMiller

    Love the new system. My only problem is that I still need a badge for my grandson who turns 13 early next year. He can no longer get in free and not have to register. Hope he can join me when general open registration starts. Still love this pre-registration.

  • Steve Spero

    I was able to get my membership pretty easily. The same could not be said about others in my group, and a friend at work because of the slow or crashed servers. I never have though much of Epic and their history with Comic-Con has been much less than good.
    Before last year, the system for buying following year membership worked very well. You didn’t have the crush of everyone trying to get their memberships at one time. It’s much better than what we have now.

  • Shirley

    Hmm, a friend of mine emailed SDCC re the policy and received this response that makes it seem like CCI may not let folks who got any sort of passes during pre-reg participate in the open registration:

    Thank you for your email and feedback. We understand that you were not able to purchase your desired badge(s) during the preregistration event and would like an opportunity to purchase additional badges or upgrade your existing badge during open online registration in early 2013.

    At this time, Comic-Con International has not yet reached a decision regarding the eligibility of attendees that were able to purchase a badge during online preregistration to participate in open online registration.

    Please accept our apology for the delayed response as we discuss this matter internally with the hopes of reaching an outcome that will simultaneously meet the needs of our dedicated fans and our organization.

  • Thank You very much^__^

  • Brian Parrott

    I may be in the minority here but I was much more comfortable with standing in line for pre registration tickets as I felt this at least gave me a fighting chance. Once they stated they were going to an online system I knew that I was sunk. Simply put, there is always somebody out there with a faster connection or some sort of software that will bump them up in line. Sure enough, I was left out in the cold and I don’t have high hopes for open registration either. 2012 may have been my last San Diego Comic-Con and I have been going for ten years.

  • Jason

    That pre-registration is bullshit. They allow people who attended that year to get first dibs on getting tickets next year. What about the people who have been trying to get tickets just to go for their first time?

    The SDCC really needs to move to a larger building so they can have more tickets available.

    It really sucks they allow one person to buy a ton of tickets. That means a group of people join in taking up space in the que when they just need one from the group to get to the top to buy tickets for all of them. If your in the que by yourself, then you are really outnumbered as you can’t rely on someone else to get your ticket for you.

  • Steve753

    An expansion of the San Diego Convention Center has been approved, which will give
    Comic-Con a lot more needed space. The estimated completion will be in 2017.

  • Jason

    Does that mean they’ll sell more tickets? But really I think they need a larger building. That would be quicker and bigger space for panels so you don’t have to deal with the people who camp out all night for a panel. I really just want to go at least once.

  • Steve753

    The point is after they have the expansion, they will have a larger building. Yes, this probably means that they will be able to sell more memberships, bucause they won’t have the same Fire Marshall restrictions.