San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Returning Registration Recap: Trick or Treat

For better or worse, several thousand Comic-Con attendees have their badges for 2018 — and several thousand more don’t yet.

Returning Registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2019 — the badge sale for eligible returning general attendees — took place this morning, on a cold October morning, and offered both tricks and treats to Comic-Con attendee-hopefuls. The process included use of the EXPO Logic Waiting Room, which has been in place since Comic-Con 2014 — though there were some interesting variations from previous years.

So just how did the sale go?

The Waiting Room

The EXPO Logic 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.

For the most part, this process went off without a hitch for most users. But any time you get a large number of attendees, there’s always going to be some issues — though this year’s seemed to be incredibly small. We saw very few instances of people being kicked out, and only a stray issue or two.

There seemed to be a very minor uptick in the amount of issues over last year’s Returning Registration sale, but EXPO Logic has clearly fine-tuned this process over the years to create a well-oiled, badge-buying machine. For most users, the hardest part about the 8AM-9AM time period was just the waiting.

The Sale

Shortly after 9AM, those in the waiting room were randomly assigned a placement in line. Just 8 minutes into this process, the sorting was done, and attendees were reporting getting through to the purchase page. That’s exactly the same as 2018’s number, but that’s about where the similarities between the two year’s timestamps end.

From there, it was 11 minutes of happy, victorious buying – until Preview Night sold out, at just 19 minutes in. That’s faster than the 23 minutes it took for 2018.

From there, it took 39 minutes into the sale for Friday and Saturday to sell out — pretty much simultaneously, though we did hear from a very small percentage that Saturday did sell out ahead of Friday. That’s much faster than 2018’s 48 minutes for Saturday and Friday’s 51 minutes for sell-outs.

Seven minutes later, at 46 minutes into the sale, and Thursday was gone — faster as well than 2018’s 65 minutes.

And finally, Sunday sold out at just 52 minutes into the sale, much faster than 2018’s 73 minutes. This is, to our knowledge, the fastest that badges have ever sold out in Returning Registration — with the previous record being 2017’s 58 minutes.

Overview & Next Steps

For the most part, this is what a badge sale is supposed to look like. Mostly error-free, with a quick sale. Why was the sale so much faster than last year? That’s an answer that only EXPO Logic and Comic-Con International know the answer to, but it could be that they let individuals through faster to purchase, or perhaps they re-allocated a few hundred/thousand badges from this sale into Open Registration.

Regardless, there are thousands of you doing cartwheels in your living room right now — and thousands more crying into a bottle of wine right about now — but that’s just supply/demand, and not due to glitches.

But all hope is not lost, if you weren’t able to get exactly what you wanted today. Open Registration — the badge sale available to anyone with a Member ID — will take place sometime in the near future. During this sale, all badge types will be available (so just because a badge sold out today, doesn’t mean it’s gone forever). So long as you didn’t purchase all four days plus Preview Night today, you’ll be able to participate to pick up any days you weren’t able to get today.

Badges will be mailed to the U.S. addresses in your Member ID. Make sure you verify your address by May 13, 2019.

As for all other badge types? General hotel sales should be sometime after Open Registration, and all other badge registration events (volunteer registration for those on the interest list, Trade Professionals, and more) will be “at a later date”.

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

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