Comic-Con Survey Includes Question About Possible “Early Access” to Badge Sales

Yesterday, Comic-Con International sent out a survey to a handful of individuals (so don’t panic if you didn’t receive it) about the upcoming museum they’re building in Balboa Park.

For the most part, the survey asked very mundane questions – for you to rate your interest in various categories of fandom (film, comics, cosplay, etc.), what you’d like to see at the museum, ideas for a name for the center, and more – “to gather input from the Comic-Con community, to help shape the vision for this facility”.

But there was one question included in the survey which has a lot of attendees rightfully raising their eyebrows. The question, “We are considering a membership program for the year-round Comic-Con visitor attraction. How important might the following factors be in your decision to join?” included the answer, “Early access privileges for Comic-Con badge sales”.

Say what?

Obviously, just because Comic-Con is taking a survey about various potential opportunities, doesn’t mean that any will actually come to fruition. But the idea of granting early access privileges for Comic-Con badge sales seems especially odd given that no attendee in their right mind would say “no” to the chance of getting any kind of leg up on the competitive odds of trying to score a badge.

Which would mean that attendees – especially out-of-area ones who can’t visit the museum frequently, would essentially be paying more money just for the early access, and possibly a single visit during their normal Comic-Con trip, if they had time (and let’s be honest here: Many would pay for the membership and likely still not visit, though that’s certainly not what we’re advocating for). But the idea of adding price hikes for a membership that grants “special privileges” for San Diego Comic-Con to those who can pay more seems very out-of-line with Comic-Con International’s stance as a non-profit, who has always prided itself on keeping access to the convention as open, fair, and cheap as they can.

Plus, if everyone signs up – it’s not early access anymore, is it? It’s just a potential third badge sale, and another day of stress of attendees.

All of that is just speculation, though – though obviously someone at Comic-Con International has floated the idea, for it to appear on the survey. We’re fully in favor of several of the other suggestions, including special activities for members during Comic-Con, early and late visiting hours, and more.

What do you think of the idea of early access to Comic-Con badge sales? 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.