Hey Comic-Con International,
We know you’re in a tough spot right now. The world is anything but normal, and we also understand that there are a lot of financial reasons why you can’t just announce San Diego Comic-Con 2020 won’t be taking place this July. We hope you’re able to get those resolved as soon as possible so a decision can be made — and we really do believe you’re working towards that goal, with everyone’s health and safety in mind.
And as it begins to look more and more likely that San Diego Comic-Con will have to move off its July dates, we’re sure that you’ve got a lot on your plate. We’re also sure that you’ve been discussing, in the event that this year’s convention is either postponed or cancelled, what to do with badges.
We have two suggestions for you. Now, you’ve probably discussed these internally already! But we’re going to state them anyway:
Option 1 – Give Option Between Refunding or Transferring Badges
As we’re very sure you’re aware, San Diego Comic-Con is kind of hard to get into. Congratulations, you’re hugely popular! But attendees spend sometimes years trying to get a badge, and when the badge sales happened, obviously no one anticipated a global pandemic. Doing a mass refund and telling everyone to just try again next year means that for those individuals who were lucky enough to score a badge, this whole situation just got that much worse. By simply offering to transfer badges to a new date, or even to 2021 should the event be outright cancelled for 2020, everyone gets a tiny, small win in all of this madness.
Obviously, some attendees desperately need that money right now. We’re also sort of in the middle of a global economic crisis. We’d love to see some sort of grace period for 2020 — for example, we will refund your badges, but you will still be eligible for Returning Registration for 2021 or 2022! At the very least, the 10% restocking fee should definitely be waived for individuals right now.
And then should you have a lot of refunds, you could hold a third badge sale for badge returns. You remember those, right? You used to do them!
Option 2 – Refund Everyone Now… But Give Priority for Re-Purchasing
While Option #1 would be our personal preference, we also completely understand that you have a very small team, all working from home right now… and that your customer service team is even smaller. So offering a one-size-fits-all option may be your only real course of action. And if that’s true, we’d like to propose something a little different.
You could refund EVERYONE now… which gets money in the hands of everyone, when they need it most (though attendees having to untangle the mess of who-bought-whose-badges five months ago to refund them is a whole other added nightmare on top of this nightmare). And then for next year’s first badge sale, instead of just a Returning Registration, make it a Re-Purchase Registration. You’re able to only give authorization to those who attended the previous year — surely there’s also a way to have EXPO Logic set up a system that can allow people to re-purchase only the badge types they had for 2020. In other words, if someone only had a Sunday badge — make it so they can only purchase a Sunday badge again, but it would effectively be guaranteed so long as they purchased by a certain date. These badges would still be non-transferable and tied to a Member ID, so there’s no need to worry about scalping or people passing their codes off to another friend. This way, people could make an informed decision about what their situation is on the new dates, and it would hopefully be less work for you.
If lots of people don’t wind up re-purchasing, then you can hold a second, smaller badge sale for anything not taken up by what would have been July 2020 attendees.
We know you’ve got a lot of hard decisions looming in front of you right now, and we truly wish you all the best in coming up with solutions.
Best of luck,
The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog