San Diego Comic-Con 2016 Open Registration Recap: (Mostly) Smooth Sailing

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

For better or worse, several thousand Comic-Con attendees have their badges for 2016 — and several thousand more don’t yet.

Open Registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2016 — the badge sale for anyone, regardless of whether they attended SDCC in 2015 or not — took place this morning. The process included use of the EPIC Registration Waiting Room, which has been in place since Comic-Con 2014, and it went (mostly) much smoother than Preregistration did.

So just how did the sale go?

The Waiting Room

The EPIC Registration 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, with the exception of Preregistration this year, has been pretty streamlined — and this year was an example of most things working as they should be.

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) went down intermittently, but luckily, CCI had e-mailed that information out to attendees beforehand, and most had learned by now to write that information down. 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 Member ID went down for awhile
The Member ID went down for awhile

But for the most part, everything was working as it should be.

The Sale

Shortly after 9AM, those in the waiting room were randomly assigned a placement in line. Just like for 2016 Preregistration, this process took about 10 minutes, and once the sorting was done, attendees were already getting through to the purchase page, with no issues.

The sale today moved along a bit faster than Preregistration in the fall. While Preview Night took 39 minutes to sell out in November, today it only took 23 minutes. Similarly, while Saturday and Sunday took 55 and 57 minutes, respectively, today’s Open Registration sale took 36 for Saturday and 39 for Friday.

Less than 55 minutes in, all badges were completely sold out — a little less than Preregistration, which took 77 minutes.

Overview & Next Steps

So why was Open Registration so much faster than Preregistration today, when the sorting finished around the same time in both sales? We still believe the split of badges is roughly 50/50 between the two sales (or if it’s not even, it’s tipped in Open Registration’s favor). Which means instead, that since Preregistration did have issues, they likely let people through to checkout slower, to account for whatever behind-the-scenes issues were happening. Since today’s sale was so smooth, no need to slow the pace.

If you weren’t able to score a badge today, the Returned Badge Sale (for refunded badges) hasn’t happened in several years, and is unlikely to happen again. 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 were told by onPeak will be taking place on April 5.

Badges will be mailed to the U.S. addresses your buyer entered into the system today, though not until mid-to-late June.

Were you able to get what you wanted today? Let us know in the comments.

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