San Diego Comic-Con 2018 Returning Registration Recap: Smooth Sailing

For better or worse, several thousand Comic-Con attendees have their badges for 2018 — and several thousand more don’t yet.

Returning Registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2018 — the badge sale for eligible returning general attendees — took place this morning. The process included use of the EXPO Logic Waiting Room, which has been in place since Comic-Con 2014, and despite lasting a bit longer than the last two years, it seemed to be one of the smoothest badge sales to date.

So just how did the sale go?

The Waiting Room

The EXPO Logic waiting room opened promptly at 8AM PT, giving attendees one hour in which to enter before the room would randomly sort attendees to buy their badge.

For the most part, this process went off without a hitch for most users. But any time you get a large number of attendees, there’s always going to be some issues — though this year’s seemed to be incredibly small. We saw very few instances of people being kicked out, and only a stray issue or two.

This was, in our minds, the smoothest badge buying process to date. EXPO Logic has clearly fine-tuned this process over the years to create a well-oiled, badge-buying machine. For most users, the hardest part about the 8AM-9AM time period was just the waiting.

The Sale

Shortly after 9AM, those in the waiting room were randomly assigned a placement in line. Just 8 minutes into this process, the sorting was done, and attendees were reporting getting through to the purchase page. That’s one minute longer than 2017’s 7 minutes, but shorter than 2015 and 2016’s 10 minutes.

There seemed to be a common theme among attendees — this process was going pretty fast, and pretty smooth.

Not everyone can be victorious, though. 23 minutes in — which is right on pace with 2017, when it took 24 minutes — Preview Night was gone. Saturday was next at 48 minutes, followed closely by Friday at 51 minutes. Thursday took a bit longer, clocking in at 65 minutes.

And finally, at 73 minutes in  — just a little above 2017’s 58 minutes, and about on par with 2016’s 77 minutes — badge sales for Returning Registration were over.

Overview & Next Steps

For the most part, this is what a badge sale is supposed to look like. Mostly error-free, with a quick sale. There are thousands of you who are doing cartwheels in your living room right now — and thousands more crying into a bottle of wine right about now — but that’s just supply/demand, and not due to glitches.

But all hope is not lost, if you weren’t able to get exactly what you wanted today. Open Registration — the badge sale available to anyone with a Member ID — will take place sometime in “late 2017”. During this sale, all badge types will be available (so just because a badge sold out today, doesn’t mean it’s gone forever). So long as you didn’t purchase all four days plus Preview Night, you’ll be able to participate to pick up any days you weren’t able to get today.

Badges will be mailed to the U.S. addresses in your Member ID. Make sure you verify your address by May 14, 2018.

As for all other badge types? General hotel sales should be sometime after Open Registration, and all other badge registration events (volunteer registration for those on the interest list, Trade Professionals, and more) will be “at a later date”.

Were you able to get what you wanted today? Let us know in the comments.

About Kerry Dixon

Kerry Dixon is Editor-in-Chief of The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog and the site's resident panel guru.