For better or worse, several thousand Comic-Con attendees have their badges for 2015 — and several thousand more don’t yet.
Open Registration — the second, and likely last, major badge sale for the biggest pop culture event this side of the Atlantic — took place this morning.
So just how did the sale go over?
The Waiting Room
Just like the last three badge sales, Comic-Con International used the same EPIC Registration Waiting Room process. However, new for this year, was that instead of having two hours to enter the waiting room before the randomization process and badge sale actually began, attendees would have only one hour. The room opened at 8AM, and the sale started at 9AM.
Something unexpected happened, though.
Because you need your personal Registration Code to enter the waiting room, an overwhelming number of attendees swarmed to Comic-Con International’s Member ID site (where that Code is housed), causing the site to crash, load slowly, and give error messages to users.
Some attendees were still able to get through, but it was slow going, and nerve-wrecking.
Eventually, Comic-Con International made the decision to begin e-mailing the Registration Codes directly to attendees.
Unfortunately for some, though, that e-mail came after 9AM PT — when the EPIC Registration Waiting Room was already closed to new people entering.
Having that extra hour in the waiting room likely would have meant more people got their codes on time, and would have been able to try for badges — so here’s to hoping CCI considers reinstating that time frame.
For those who managed to make it into the waiting room, the sale seemed to go pretty smoothly. We saw only a handful of people reporting issues this time, down considerably from previous sales.
— ༶ miss union jack ༶ (@marvelxtardis) February 21, 2015
For the most part, most issues seemed to be easily resolved with refreshing or trying a different browser. Since the sale didn’t kick off until 9AM, those who experienced issues earlier had time to find a solution — but two hours would have been more helpful.
Shortly after 9AM, those in the waiting room were randomly assigned a placement in line. Just like in 2014 Open Registration this process took about 14 minutes, up from Preregistration 2015’s 5-10 minutes. Soon enough though, attendees were already getting through to the purchase page.
By 9:27, Preview Night was already reported as low inventory — and by 9:28, 14 minutes after the sale had started, Preview Night was sold out.
10 minutes later (28 minutes into the sale), Saturday was also gone.
By 9:44 — 30 minutes into the sale — Friday was also gone.
Thursday took 11 more minutes to sell out, and Sunday sold out shortly after in another 4 minutes. And just like that, Open Registration was over — 45 minutes after the randomization process started, roughly the same time it took Preregistration to sell out.
Although there are still a few badge sales to get through for select groups — name Creative Professionals and Press, which are guaranteed badges, and Trade Professionals, which is still a bit up in the air — this was likely it for the opportunities to purchase a badge for San Diego Comic-Con 2015. Comic-Con International has stated that just like last year, they don’t expect there to be enough returned badges to warrant a Returned Badge Sale later this year.
Overall, we think most of the issues in today’s badge sale could have been solved with reinstating the two hour EPIC Registration Waiting Room wait time — or by e-mailing out Registration Codes to begin with.
This should also be a lesson on how important it is to be prepared ahead of time for the sale, as the Registration Codes went up earlier this week, and people had ample time to write that code down somewhere.
There will be a lot of happy people today, and a lot of upset people, as there are every year. Just remember: There’s always 2016.
Did you get a badge today? Let us know in the comments.