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