San Diego Comic-Con 2018 Open Registration Recap: It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like…

You can officially answer the question: Am I going to San Diego Comic-Con next year?

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

Open Registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2018 — the badge sale for anyone, regardless of whether they attended SDCC in 2017 or not — took place this morning. The process included use of the EXPO Logic Registration Waiting Room, which has been in place since Comic-Con 2014, and it was, well, pretty smooth.

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. The process has become pretty streamlined over the years — with folks having a good idea of what to expect, and issues kept at a minimum. If anything, the main issue was just passing the time and trying not to freak out.

However, as with anything of this size, there were a few errors and glitches. The Member ID system (which houses each person’s person Registration Code and the link to the EPIC Registration waiting room, for those who didn’t receive an e-mail for whatever reason) went down intermittently. A few individuals received various error messages as well, like being told that their devices weren’t authorized, being kicked out of the room, and more.

The Sale

Shortly after 9AM, those in the waiting room were randomly assigned a placement in line. Just like for 2018 Returning Registration, this process took about 5-10 minutes, and once the sorting was done, attendees were already getting through to the purchase page, with no issues.

From here on out, it was a slow, steady march towards being sold out. Everything was just a little faster this year (64 minutes for 2018 compared to 72 minutes for 2017).

At 23 minutes into the process, Preview Night sold out. But after that, it was 14 minutes later before Saturday badges sold out at 37 minutes into the process. Friday followed shortly after, at 42 minutes.

There was another stretch of frenzied badge buying, followed by Thursday selling out 59 minutes into the process, and finally Sunday selling out at 64 minutes into the sale.

Overview & Next Steps

The badge buying process has become very streamlined over the years, with minimal issues. For those who unfortunately didn’t walk away with a badge, it’s all down to luck and supply/demand, rather than skill or technical issues — which can be a very small comfort. If you did have issues, hopefully you took screenshots, and you can contact Comic-Con International by using the “Contact Us” feature in your Member ID.

If you weren’t able to score a badge today, the Returned Badge Sale (for refunded badges) hasn’t happened in several years, and likely won’t be happening again this year either. Which means, unfortunately, that you probably won’t be getting a badge. But remember, there’s tons to do around the convention even without a San Diego Comic-Con badge, and there’s also always next year. We know those aren’t going to soothe your broken heart, but you will live to fight another badge sale.

As we’ve been saying for years, it really is just that hard to get a badge in Open Registration, because there’s so many more people trying to get a badge than there are badges available. And the convention center isn’t the real issue — we estimate that only 6.11% of all attendees who tried today got a badge, which means you’d need to find space for another 93.89% people. You would basically need an entire city to fit everyone who wants to go.

You can also probably take some comfort in the knowledge that you don’t have to participate in the General Hotel Sale, which we anticipate will happen likely sometime in late April, though nothing official has been announced.

Badges will be mailed to U.S. shipping addresses in your Member ID. It’s a good idea to verify your address is correct ahead of the May 14 deadline. Those who enter an international shipping address, as always, will still pick-up on site.

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.
  • Bill Mackintosh

    I got Thurs, Fri & Sun for myself and my two boys and Thurs & Sun for my wife. Is there any hope of getting a Sat badge?

  • thebrain1234

    They haven’t had resales since 2013. I can’t remember where I read it, but press and pro badges were decreased to allow for more attendees. I think any refunds go back to that pool or for those who had glitches while purchasing (and have the screenshots to prove it).

  • Jamie

    The badges are all sold out now. You can use Saturday as a day to do off-site stuff though, there is TONS to do outside of the convention center.

  • Charlotte

    I’m from the UK, and my friend and I desperately wanted a ticket to one or more of the days of the convention as part of our university graduation road trip- its the main reason we were inspired to make it happen. We didn’t get any tickets and are pretty glum, but already have accommodation in San Diego- what sort of things can we do outside the convention that are associated with it/if there are any spare badges floating around SDCC HQ, keep us in mind 😛

  • Ashley Bartlett

    6.11%?! Wow. Luckily, I’ve gotten mine two years now in open reg and scored an additional one for my boyfriend this year, probably all of five minutes before Sat badges ran out too. So lucky. Only had our two computers open, each running our registration waiting room. Feel so lucky because if I had only gotten two days, I wouldn’t have been able to go (coming from Brasil, so need to make it worth it).

  • Rebecca Smith

    There is so much to do outside the convention center — don’t worry — you will have a great time. As it gets closer to the event, keep an eye out for listings of what is happening this year (many of the outside events are free, but some are paid.) Even if all you end up doing is people watching — that is still tons of fun.

  • Carl Hossli

    After 19 consecutive years of attending, I will not be going in 2018 – did not get a badge. Fortunately, I realized back in 2014 that this day would eventually come. Get some new blood to the event and I have some angles to work for next year. Worst case – I have extra days to tour Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Taos and Santa Fe. So, to all those who got tickets – congratulations. For the first timers, it will blow your mind. As for me, there is still Wondercon and L.A. Comic-con(vention) -the advantage of being in the OC.