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.
  • IlDavo

    Very sad that neither my daughter nor I were admitted to the “Returning Registration” sale — despite returning reg eligibility. As San Diego locals who’ve only begun attending 2016 and 2017, we’re hopelessly-addicted. All hopes now pinned on Open Registration. Congrats to those who were able to purchase, already!

  • David

    This will be my 12th year straight. Got my iPhoneX and 4 days with PN all within 24 hours. I’m happy.

  • Jerry Knowles

    sending you my luck!

  • Jerry Knowles

    charity auction @ $3000 now. Beware of other auctions and read the fine print.
    https://www.comic-con.org/toucan/badge-auctions-unicef-usa

  • Andre

    I was fortunate to get 4 days and preview night again! I think SDCC fatigue was a factor this year. I believe that is why it took longer to sale out this year. We literally
    just returned from SDCC 2017 3 months ago.

  • thebrain1234

    I you are right And not only did SDCC end recently, NYCC was less than a month ago, LA Comic Con is this weekend and BlizzCon is next weekend. Wallets must still be hurting.

  • IlDavo

    Thank you, Jerry! You are most generous!

  • LB42

    You may want to consider joining a buying group to increase your chances in Open Reg.

  • Carl Hossli

    No love this year. No ticket, So maybe in the general sale. And if not, I have had a 19 year run of going and I always figured there would come a day I did not get to go, so while disappointing, it is not the end of the world. Worst case scenario is that I have three extra vacation days to roll over and add to a long European vacation.

    Side note – I talked to a few people from San Diego this weekend and they are absolutely gob-smacked and the idiocy of the city council vis-a-vis expanding the convention center, disgusted with idiot voters (stopping a hotel tax increase to pay for a convention center expansion) and the usual PITA NIMBYs and attorneys who seeming like to file suit because they can, or because they don’t like something.

    For the record, I have no problem with SDCC moving to Las Vegas. Think about it, a larger venue, but you do not have to have more vendors, but the aisles can be wider………I can dream.

  • maxhdrm

    I was able to get in for the second year. have to put away excitement though because the fam still needs more days out of open registration. Still find it odd that the Tucan blog states that open reg will be held “late 2017″….we ARE in late 2017. Looking forward to all the deluge of information on exclusives and video walk-through of outdoor activity from Ublog. On the up side, I already got my hotel from last-year that is only 30mins away. Not 5 star but not the worst either. Quiet, comfy, continental breakfast and dirt cheap. $400 for 5-days pre-reserved last year after coming home from 2017 SDCC. The only down side is we have to wait until april/may before the first news of artists/exclusive start rolling out. That’s ok….penny saving time. The more we save the more we can spend right? So if they are selling badges so much earlier this year compared to next, will we see parking lotteries do it earlier this year too?

  • maxhdrm

    I would welcome it as well but I think Vegas would have to entice them by building a brand new building twice the size of San Diego. CCI limits badges due to Fire Marshall restrictions and/or code enforcement so a bigger convention center would allow for more attendees not to mention that there is already a CCI convention down south a few months prior. I thinks it’s time for them to share but I don’t see SD letting go of a million dollar revenue stream event. I also have to say that many natives don’t really care for the event. While traversing the streets during the event, I overhead many natives angered by the crowds “in their backyard”. Maybe it would have more badges if it ceased being “international” and kept it domestic only?

  • maxhdrm

    I was blessed to take my girls for the first time since my youngest was first born last year and she just turned 12. Just in time to get in for free before deciding if she liked it. It took us 11-12 years to get back in since our last time. When last my wife and I went, there were NO outdoor activities, no epic logic room just first come first serve ticket purchase online. It was convention only and no lottery for anything. First come first serve for lines. I hope you get in at open registration. as a father with two daughters I would love to connect with you at the convention.

  • maxhdrm

    according to CCI, it’s totally random whether anyone gets in at all. In other words they “randomly” choose user ID’s and place them in line to purchase badges. Joining “sitting” groups hoping at least one person gets in is still a 50/50 shot. The single user on one computer has the same odds as a group of 20 people sharing the same wireless bandwidth. It truly is a lottery, the only difference is that we aren’t the ones scratching the ticket off, the system is. Not to mention that each user can only purchase tickets for two additional CCI ID’s besides their own.

  • maxhdrm

    Then depending on where you live there is still the Hero Villain Con (12/2 in San Jose) and Wizard World. So many Cons so little time (and money…ouch!)

  • Investigatin Detective

    It is random but having 20 people trying for badges beats having 1 person trying. Buying groups are definitely helpful.

  • TK421

    Agreed my group had 3 of us online…only 1 got in but that’s all that mattered.

  • Carl Hossli

    San Diego has about 620,000 square feet of main floor space, while Las Vegas has about 2 million – just type X convention center square footage into your search engine, where X = the city. In 2012 San Diego was 18th in size, Las Vegas 3rd with The Sands Expo Center at about the same size as San Diego. http://www.comicsbeat.com/which-us-convention-center-is-biggest/