San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Open Registration Visual Guide & Tips [Update]

In Badge/Hotel News by Kerry Dixon67 Comments

badgesComic-Con International announced today that Open Registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2015 will take place next Saturday, February 21, at 9AM PT. Are you prepared?

Just in case you’re not, we’ve put together a guide and tips on making sure you are ready for this weekend.

You can also join us, whether you’re buying a badge or just wanting to see what the process is like for next year, at the SDConCast’s Open Registration Live Coverage. We’ll be kicking things off at 8:30AM PT, 30 minutes before the sale officially starts, and we’ll be updating on any issues we see users having, badge inventory, and more. Plus, it’s a great way to celebrate getting a badge.

What You Need

Above all else, you need to actually be eligible for Open Registration for 2015 (rocket science, right?). This is actually much easier than Preregistration (the sale that happened in November, for those eligible attendees who attended in 2014). Instead, all you need to be eligible for Open Registration is a Member ID (you must have already created one — any Member IDs created after February 13 at 2:30PM PT are ineligible for Open Registration), and to not have already purchased all four days with Preview Night during Preregistration. Easy, right?

If you’ve still got questions about whether or not you’re eligible, you can login to your Member ID to see:

eligible

Assuming that you’re eligible, you’ll need to gather a few things:

  • Credit card information
  • How many badges you are buying (you can buy up to 3, including one for yourself)
  • The last name and Member ID of anyone you are buying a badge for
  • Your personal Registration Code

Your personal Registration Code is what will get you into the EPIC Registration waiting room to participate in the same, and all eligible attendees will be e-mailed that code starting Tuesday, February 17. The code can also be found by logging into your Member ID account and clicking the “Registration Info” tab.

Here’s what that code looks like when you log in:

member id

Price & Payment

Be familiar with the cost of a badge. Single day badges will run $50 for a Thursday-Saturday badge, with $35 for a Sunday badge or $35 for a Wednesday Preview Night badge (only available if you’ve purchased all four days). We have confirmed with Comic-Con International that just like in previous years, if you purchase all four days ($185) or four days with Preview Night ($220), the badges will be consolidated into a single badge during on-site preregistration.

Here’s the breakdown of prices:

2015 prices

If you purchased any combination of badges in Preregistration, so long as you didn’t purchase all four days and Preview Night, you’ll be able to purchase any additional days you need a badge for during Open Registration. If you did already purchase all four days and Preview Night – you’ve already won the golden ticket to Comic-Con, what are you still doing hanging around here? Shoo!

When paying, credit cards and payment can’t be split. Meaning that if you are purchasing badges for multiple people, it all has to go on a single credit card. This is the only downside to using large groups to purchase, as you may not be comfortable “spotting” someone upwards of $200. Again, we recommend only forming groups with people that you feel comfortable being in a financial situation with. If you’re not comfortable, don’t share payment information.

The Process

Although the instructions for Open Registration don’t delve into how you’ll gain access to the waiting room, in the past, CCI has e-mailed all eligible attendees a link to enter the EPIC Registration waiting room prior to the sale. Attendees will be able to enter as early as 8AM, but the sale won’t officially start until just after 9AM PT.

Beginning just after 9AM, EPIC Registration will randomly assign everyone in the waiting room a place in line to purchase badges. This is a completely random process – and those who arrived at 8AM on the dot have as much chance of getting a “good” spot in line as those who entered at 8:59AM. There is no advantage to arriving early. However, there is a disadvantage to arriving late, as those who try to enter after 9AM will not be allowed back in, and the room will be closed to new entrants. For this reason, it might be good to arrive a little early, to test that everything is working properly prior to 9AM.

Once the sale kicks off, in the past, CCI and EPIC have kept people informed with various messages. Here’s a look at one of last year’s messages:random_start_1204

New for this year (but also similar to Preregistration), Comic-Con International has announced that if “at any time you are disconnected from the EPIC waiting room, simply return to the landing page and enter your personal registration code again. You will be put back in the same random group you were assigned. This only applies to registration codes that were authorized prior to 9:00 AM PT.”

When it is your turn to purchase a badge, you will see all of the available badge types. Those badge types are held for you for 15 minutes, while you complete the purchasing process. Again, you may purchase up to three badges, including one for yourself, but you can only pay with one card, each person you are purchasing for must be eligible for Open Registration on their own, and you must have their Member ID and last name.

You should then be e-mailed a confirmation e-mail.

Last year during Open Registration it took one hour and 12 minutes for all badges to completely sell out, compared to less than 50 minutes in the fall for Preregistration — so make sure you’re planning enough time in your day on Saturday for the sale.

The Technical Side

As you may recall from Preregistration, there were a few glitches in the system for several people trying to buy badges. Although technology often can and will have issues, the only steps you can take to try to avoid these issues are to make sure you’re following the technical advice provided by Comic-Con International.

Our first suggestion is to make sure your browser will works correctly in EPIC Registration’s Waiting Room. You can test it here, and assuming that it passes, you should see this screen:

precheck

You can read the complete list of requirements on the Toucan Blog from Preregistration, but here is a quick overview:

  • No mobile devices or iPads. Get to a desktop. Seriously. Although some users reported being able to make it work last year, if this isn’t a risk you have to take, don’t.
  • Only try to log into the waiting room once, and do not share your Badge ID. If you have other people trying to log in for you, logging in again will kick off the other sessions. If the waiting room logs you out prior to the sale starting, which happened to some users last year, you should be able to re-enter without it affecting you.
  • No multiple browser tabs. If you are a family with multiple eligible attendees using the same computer, use a different browser for each Member ID.
  • Don’t refresh. The waiting room will automatically refresh every 120 seconds. The blue spinning circle is your friend, even if you think it is your enemy.
  • Don’t use the back button. This could remove you from the waiting room completely.

You can read the entire list of technical specs on the Toucan Blog from Preregistration.

Tips

Although the randomized waiting room theoretically “evened the playing field” for all attendees at having the same chance at scoring a badge, there is still at least one tactic that might give you an advantage: Buddying up.

Theoretically, the larger the circle of people you are working with to try to score badges, the better chance you have at getting one. After all, if you’re working with nine people, there is a better chance at three of those people will be placed in a “good” spot in line and be able to purchase badges for all nine team members, than there is a chance that on their own, all nine individuals will be given a “good” spot in line. The larger the group, the better the odds.

Only work with people that you trust and feel comfortable sharing money with.

It’s also important to be prepared prior to the sale. The new system leaves most of the badge buying process up to chance, but having everything in order and knowing what to expect is important – and hopefully if you didn’t know before, you do now.

Will you be trying to buy a badge next weekend? Let us know in the comments.