For better or worse, several thousand Comic-Con attendees have their badges for 2023 — and several thousand more don’t yet.
Returning Registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2023, the badge sale for eligible returning general attendees, took place today. It’s been three long (very long) years since we’ve had to suffer through a badge registration event for this convention, and in the interim, a lot of things have changed.
Comic-Con’s Member ID system has shifted over to Configio, and away from Expo Logic, though both are Community Brands products. Instead of logging in directly to a waiting room, attendees were set to login to their Member ID portal to enter a QueueIt waiting room.
What could go wrong? The answer was, quite a bit.
The Waiting Room
At 8am, everyone who entered the Member ID portal began refreshing to try to enter the QueueIt waiting room. At first, nothing much happened — but it didn’t take long before users started to get error messages, “service unavailable”, and other glitches.
Well this sucks pic.twitter.com/dnUl28TlQD— Kev (@KevBell007) October 15, 2022
Can’t even get in the spot to log in— Sam (@spittyspitts) October 15, 2022
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m missing the blue spinning wheel of death right now 🥲— Hayley Dragon 💖💜💙 (@Sephira92) October 15, 2022
After about 21 minutes of this, Comic-Con International sent out an update that they were aware of the problem and were making updates.
We are updating…— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
Sorry for the inconvenience, we are making updates to improve our site.
This won’t take long. Please check back in a few moments.
Which led to a new maintenance screen:
The plan was originally for users to enter the waiting room between 8am PT and 9am PT, and then for the sale to officially kick off at 9am PT. At 8:56am, with the waiting room still not open or functioning, Comic-Con updated that the sale was “delayed”, and that they would have an announcement by 9:30am.
At this point, the 9:00am start time is being delayed. We will have another announcement by 9:30am Pacific Time.— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
Thank you for your patience. #SDCC
Finally, at 9:19am, they updated that the issue had been resolved, and the waiting room would open at 9:30am, and the sale would kick off officially at 10am.
The issue has been discovered and resolved. The waiting room will open at 9:30am Pacific Time and the sale will commence at 10:00am Pacific Time.— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. #SDCC
After a frustrating morning, the good news is that from this point on, the waiting room at least mostly functioned the way that it was supposed to.
At 10 on the dot, the waiting room actually opened, and people started filtering in to QueueIt to wait it out, with a clock counting us down to 10am.
Shortly after 10am, those in the waiting room were randomized. We’ve seen some speculation online that no randomization took place, or that having an estimated wait time means there was no randomization — but the randomization took place quickly at 10am, when everyone in the waiting room was randomly assigned a place in line. Once you were, you saw QueueIt’s iconic “walking man” and green status bar, giving you a rough estimation of how long until you’d be able to purchase badges — for some, only a minute or two away, and for others, more than an hour.
From here, all you could do was wait. Sales started almost immediately, with several reporting getting in within the first few minutes.
Just got in! Trying to purchase now seems okay.— Dev (@d_b_comiccon) October 15, 2022
There were a few more issues along the way than normal, though some of the most common can be boiled down to suffixes now being considered part of the last name, which was never the case before. So if in Comic-Con’s system your last name is “Doe, Jr.” any other spelling of that name and suffix down to the comma would result in an error and the system telling you the user couldn’t go found.
I’m a Jr. Ran into this – but was never an issue for past sales.— Mike Brum (@bmemike) October 15, 2022
They merged last names and suffixes without telling people.
Missed badges because of it.
So it couldn't find my husband because somewhere in the data transfer they added his suffix of Jr to the last name field. So we were supposed to know to put his last name followed by Jr? We never had to do this in the past. Now I have badges and he doesn't— Mari Glionna (@MGlionna) October 15, 2022
Was qualified for RetReg, had 4 people get in to buy for me, and every time told they got the “No user found…” error message. 🤷🏻♂️— T Henny (@RustyPonds) October 15, 2022
Last name issue kept happening but got it figured out.— Eddie Adame II (@E_AdameII) October 15, 2022
We had one person in our party who continuously got "no user found" Checked and rechecked…still never worked ! The family has contacted the Con.— Ann Pickett (@AnnBo77) October 15, 2022
There were other assorted issues along the way:
Yes, my buying group person who got in first entered 3 member ids, selected all 4 days and PN, got an error page on checkout then back to end of line and our member ids were never released for the rest of the sale. As each window hit, we could not add any days for those ids.— kcaster (@kcaster) October 15, 2022
I have zero faith. One friend got in and it said our IDs didn't exist when she tried to buy for us. We've been doing this for over a decade and had everything ready to go. Then I got in and it said PAGE NOT FOUND as it counted down my time to register. How are they so bad at this— Tim Keiss (@Timmy_Timmah) October 15, 2022
Thanks for doing the live thing – very helpful – made it in and had all 4 days in the cart but kept erroring out until time ran out 🙁— Tiny D 🦣 (@thetinydeadpool) October 15, 2022
Got as far as adding days to the cart and the whole page crashed. I was never able to get back in— TL (@tlcahill334) October 15, 2022
From there, it took a whopping 41 minutes for Preview Night to sell out, though many reported seeing that it was gone prior to that (even if it showed up for others). This was considerably longer than in 2019, when it took only 19 minutes — and our suspicion is that the system was letting attendees through slower, to help keep the site from crashing.
Preview Night badges have sold out for this sale. Badges for other single days of Comic-Con 2023 are still available!— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
At 71 minutes into the sale, Saturday sold out — also considerably longer than the 40 minutes it took in 2019.
Saturday badges have sold out. Badges for other single days of Comic-Con 2023 are still available!— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
Shortly after, at 80 minutes into the sale, Friday was also gone. In 2019, it took 47 minutes.
Friday badges have sold out. Thursday and Sunday badges are still available.— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
Traditionally, Thursday and Sunday sell out at roughly the same time, and that was still true this year. Sunday had the slight lead, selling out at 95 minutes into the sale (up from 52 minutes in 2019) and Thursday sold out at 96 minutes into the sale (up from 46 minutes in 2019).
Sunday badges have sold out. Badges for Thursday of Comic-Con 2023 are still available!— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
Thursday badges have sold out.— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) October 15, 2022
Overview & Next Steps
After several years of smooth, easy badge sales for Comic-Con International and EXPO Logic, this year was… not quite that. There were considerably more user errors than normal, to say nothing of the first 90 minutes or so of the morning.
In the end though, many emerged victorious, and the fact that Configio and CCI were able to isolate the issue and resolve it without having to move the sale date deserves to be recognized. Comic-Con attendees are known for crashing websites, and we suspected that with changing systems, and particularly so many people logging into their Member ID all at once, that this sale was going to be met with some bumps.
The sale took considerably longer compared to 2019 — not even counting the delay — likely because they let users through slower, especially after the early morning’s glitches.
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 mostly just supply/demand. This tweet, about how even those who were successful are feeling a little wrung out from the stress of the morning, maybe perfectly encapsulates our feelings about today:
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 (likely mid November). 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.
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.