CCI Offers Insight Into Preregistration Waiting Room Process [UPDATE 2]

In Badge/Hotel News by Kerry Dixon23 Comments

line exhibit floor booth floor spaceWhile today’s Professional registration process could have gone smoother, CCI seems to have a plan to help curb those problems from happening in the Preregistration sale. Attendees have had a lot of questions about how the new process — which includes a randomized waiting room and a unique registration code to access the sale — and thanks to a Toucan Blog update, some of those questions have been answered.

While we may not know what day the sale will take place on yet, we now know a time: 9AM PT. Attendees will be able to access the waiting room starting at 7AM PT, but so long as they are in the room by 9AM, they have the same chance as anyone else. Once attendees have clicked the link to access the waiting room, they will have to login with a “personal registration code” that is unique to each user, and can only be used once. This code will be e-mailed out at least 24 hours prior to the sale. This means that attendees won’t have the option of using multiple devices to try to score a better place in line, and they won’t have the option of using friends who aren’t already eligible and have their own unique code to help them in the sale.

Starting at 9AM, EPIC will randomly re-order attendees in the order in which they can check-out. Anyone who arrives after 9AM, or who refreshes, will be kicked to the back of that line. According to the Toucan Blog:

When the sale begins after 9:00 AM PT, EPIC will take everyone who is already in the waiting room and sort them in line randomly for their registration session. You can enter the waiting room two hours before the sale begins, or 10 minutes before the sale begins, and your chances are the same. Your wait time is up to you!

While the new system means that it’s mostly a luck of the draw, there is still one strategy left: badge-buying buddies. CCI had previously stated that each attendee could buy three badges during the sale, including their own — but they’ve clarified that you can purchase those badges for people in line behind you. If you buy their badges, they can stay in line, and purchase an additional three badges for other people. Here’s CCI’s description of how the process will work:

If someone purchases a badge for you while you are still in line, you will still get an opportunity to purchase badges for three other eligible people should you reach the front of the line as well.

CCI also states that they will be utilizing an instructional video about how the process will work, to be posted later. From the Toucan Blog, here’s the full update:

Over the next few days we’ll be posting additional information on how the new EPIC Registration system will work for preregistration. We know change can be a little unnerving, but we really do believe this new system is a better solution that solves many of the issues we’ve had in the past.

To log in to the EPIC Registration waiting room, every eligible attendee will need their own personal registration code. This helps keep out members who are not eligible and block those pesky bots that want to crash the system! Your personal registration code will be sent to you via email with a link to the registration landing page. This email will go out at least 24 hours prior to the sale. If you do not receive your email, don’t fret. You will be able to access your personal registration code by logging in to your Member ID account and selecting the “Registration Info” tab.

At 7:00 AM Pacific Time on the day of the sale, the EPIC landing page will open for registration code entry. There is no need to rush to the landing page at 7:00 AM! Eligible attendees will have two full hours to enter their registration codes and access the waiting room. There is no advantage in arriving at the waiting room early, so sleep in a little later or enjoy your morning cup o’ Joe. Just be sure to log in with your registration code before the sale begins at the designated time.

When the sale begins after 9:00 AM PT, EPIC will take everyone who is already in the waiting room and sort them in line randomly for their registration session. You can enter the waiting room two hours before the sale begins, or 10 minutes before the sale begins, and your chances are the same. Your wait time is up to you!

Once everyone has been assigned a spot in line, badge sales will begin and anyone who enters the waiting room after this point will be sent to the back of the line. A member cannot enter the waiting room 15 minutes after the sale starts and get a better spot in line than those who were there when the sale began.

There are a few important points to consider:

• Your personal registration code will only allow you one entry into the waiting room. You may not enter the waiting room multiple times on multiple devices or browsers.

• It is very important that you do not refresh while you are in the waiting room, especially right when the badge sale begins. If you refresh during the sorting period, you will be sent to the back of the line.

• Everyone may still purchase badges for up to three people during your registration session. When you get to the front of the line, you may make purchases for people who are still in line, if desired.

• If someone purchases a badge for you while you are still in line, you will still get an opportunity to purchase badges for three other eligible people should you reach the front of the line as well.

We hope that we have been able to address some of your concerns. For those who prefer to see it, rather than read it, we will be posting an instructional video on our website prior to the badge preregistration. This video will be a step-by-step tutorial of the entire process from start to finish and we hope that you take a few minutes of your day to check it out.

[UPDATE 1] The Member ID site is now closed, as promised, to prepare for the impending badge preregistration sale. No changes will be allowed to Member IDs until further notice. New IDs can still be created, but attendees can only confirm their email addresses until the site is back up.

Also, more information incoming from CCI on the upcoming preregistration process, this time from the 2014 Badge Preregistration page. Here are the highlights.

  • Only one credit card per transaction is allowed. Multiple credit cards are not allowed, so if you’re going to be purchasing badges for others, you’ll need to foot the bill at purchase.
  • Recommended browsers for the system are Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari. You must have JavaScript and cookies enabled for the waiting room to function correctly.
  • Mobile devices are not supported on the new registration system. Per the page:

The EPIC online badge registration system is not formatted for mobile devices. Although mobile devices can be used to purchase a badge during preregistration, Comic-Con is unable to guarantee that the registration system will behave as expected using a mobile device.

  • More on that personal registration code, and what will happen if you try to use it on more than one device:

If you attempt to enter your registration code on a different device and/or browser, your registration code will authorize the NEW device and your old device and/or browser session will expire.

  • Multiple browser sessions are not allowed.
  • CCI explicitly states that getting in the waiting room does not guarantee that you’ll get a badge. We don’t know if that’s to protect them from any technical issues, or if they are limiting badges for preregistration. We’ve asked CCI for clarification and will update as soon as we get a response. [UPDATE 2] We did receive a response, and it is just a standard disclaimer. Nothing to see here!
  • Here’s the complete details on the checkout process direct from the Preregistration page. Because it’s that important:

To begin your registration session, you will need to enter an eligible Member ID and last name. You will also be prompted to select the number of people you are purchasing badges for during the sale; 1, 2, or 3.

When you reach the badge selection page, all available badge inventory will be shown. This inventory will be held for you while you validate all of the members you are purchasing for. Please keep in mind that badge inventory will not refresh while you are on this page.  If your desired badge type is sold out, select another category or close your registration session.

You will have 15 minutes to complete your entire registration session and purchase! There is no countdown timer, so please be aware that your session will expire within 15 minutes of your initial Member ID login. We strongly recommend that you have your credit card information ready and all of the Member IDs and last names of the people you are purchasing badges for. A delay in inputting this information may cause your session to expire.

If one of the Member IDs you are purchasing for does not validate during the badge selection step, you will still have the option to proceed to checkout for the other members who are validated. Do not use your back button to return to the member selection prompt!

  • In other words, make sure you have a stopwatch handy and start it when you begin the registration session. We would hate to hear you lost out on a badge by default!
  • Lastly, don’t hit the back button on your browser. Ever. Bad things might happen.

Does this make you feel better about your chances at getting a badge? Or more worried? Let us know in the comments.