UPDATED: SDCC Open Registration Guide

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Update 2/21: SDCC is SOLD OUT after roughly 59 minutes.

Tomorrow marks one of the two largest dates for attendees to San Diego Comic Con (the other coming on March 24th with hotel registration). To kick off convention season, here’s a quick guide on how to handle the SDCC ticketing process, whether you are a first-timer or a veteran navigating through changes in the system.

To begin, it’s essential to know where you stand in terms of what badges you need, if you are due on any materials, and whether you have properly registered a Member ID in time.

If you have not yet registered a Member ID, you will be unable to register for tickets during Open Registration.

A Member ID is an online profile for all Comic Con International events. Through it, you can change your contact info, badge types, register for conventions, and receive notices through CCI.

However, registering for a Member ID profile is only allowed during certain points of the year, and the registration period for a Member ID has already closed for this year’s open registration. You may still register on the chance of getting a guest badge from a professional, but any accounts created after February 13, 2015 will not be able to purchase a badge for themselves during tomorrow’s ticket purchasing.

You have a Member ID labeled as Creative Professional or Press. Now what?

Creative Professionals and Press will have their own registration dates at a later time. CCI has confirmed that all CP and Press attendees will have guaranteed badges. However, confirming you are press and registering a ticket are different things, so it is important that you still log in at the appropriate time to actually claim the ticket reserved for you.

Trade Professionals will usually register for tickets at a later date, but CCI has NOT confirmed that TP attendees will be guaranteed.

The Professional registration will also be using the same randomized lottery system as the Open Registration date tomorrow, though that is likely more to accommodate guest badges than because of limited Professional tickets. CP and TP attendees can purchase a limited number of tickets for guests going with them, but these guest tickets tend to go fairly quickly.

You may still participate in Open Online Registration if you wish to purchases back-up badges or badges for friends.

You have a general Member ID and are hunkered down for tomorrow.

If you are going through the general Open Registration tomorrow, you will need to make sure to have a few things handy.

1. Your Member ID and the last names and Member IDs of others you are purchasing tickets for.

2. A Registration Code found under the Registration Info tab of your Member ID page.

3. A computer. Tablets supposedly work, but we highly recommend avoiding anything less than a laptop. Do not use phones.

4. A credit card that can handle the maximum number of tickets you plan to purchase. CCI does not accept payment from multiple cards in a single purchase.

5. Patience.

I have these things. Guide me, friend.

The first step is to pre-check your internet browser. This can be done via a link found on the EPIC landing page in your registration email sent out this week. The EPIC system has a few browsers compatible with their system (Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome), but it’s important to check that you have cookies and auto-refresh enabled. Flashblock, No-script, and anti-Java plugins can – and probably will – keep the EPIC system from doing its thing.

If you are going to attempt to use multiple Member IDs from one computer, you will need to use separate browsers for each Member ID. Do not use one browser with separate tabs. This means if your wife is using one Member ID in Firefox, you will need to try using one in Chrome, and your brother use his in Safari. Overall, it is recommended to simply use multiple computers instead due to the likelihood of accidentally closing a browser or missing a registration, but it is an option for families with limited options.

Also, make sure your computer does not have sleep-mode enabled. Many users will be waiting for more than 15 minutes, so it is imperative your computer can stay awake for long periods of time.

It’s here! February 21st is here! Praise be!

At 8:00 AM PST, the EPIC Online waiting room will open. You can enter the waiting room with your Member ID and Registration Code at any time between 8 and 9 PST. Entering at any time during that hour will not affect your place in line for final purchasing, but going in earlier may help determine if there are any final kinks in your browser or computer. It also ensures proper time to access the waiting room in case the emailed links do not work, as there have been issues in the past.

At 9:00 AM PST, everyone in the waiting room will be randomly selected for purchasing a badge on a rolling basis. The waiting room will close after 9, so you must be in the system by that time.

Because of the random and anonymous nature of the EPIC system, users will not know how far back in line they are at the time. It is important to stay near your computer and to make sure the spinning blue circle keeps spinning. Do not refresh or attempt to log in a second time. There is no way to skip your placement.

CCI will update throughout the process on the availability of certain days. Once a day is sold out, an announcement will be made. In past years, the convention has completely sold out in roughly an hour and fifteen minutes.

Your browser should auto-update and refresh every few seconds throughout the process until you are invited to purchase badges.

If there are any issues with the system, whether it is accessing the EPIC Online page, the browser no longer refreshes, or the site crashes, make sure to screenshot the incident and make note of specifics in case they are requested by CCI in a formal complaint.

I somehow made it to the purchase page. It was a long and dazing journey.

Users can purchase up to three tickets. As a result, many people coordinate with friends or their companions so that whoever enters the purchasing room first can buy tickets for the appropriate Member IDs. However, CCI does not accept multiple credit cards for a purchase, so anyone at the front of the line must be able to buy tickets for all Member IDs they want to help out.

Tickets are sold for individual days. Those lucky enough to be near the front of the waiting room may be able to purchase all four days and thus buy Preview Night on top of that. Preview Night is not available unless you are purchasing tickets for all four days. If you select Preview Night, it will automatically select the other four days for $220 total. Purchasing for minors and such is based off their age at the time of purchase, not the date of the con, as well.

Preview Night and Saturdays tend to go first, sometimes within the first 20 minutes of opening. If you are not capable of purchasing those dates, it is still recommended to buy tickets if you are remotely interested in the convention, as there is a great deal to do in the area on the off-days.

There will not likely be a resale of returned badges at a later date as CCI has done in past years, so whatever options are available as you reach the front of the line will probably be your only options if you want to attend SDCC 2015.

As you shop, tickets are held for 15 minutes from the time you enter. if you do not complete a purchase within that time frame, you will lose your tickets. The actual payment system is fairly standard and should not take much time to fill out, but coordinating with other attendees can fill that time fairly quickly.

I have clicked Submit. I have tickets. I am a rugged mountain man that has climbed the highest of peaks.

After you are done filling out the form, all you have to do is wait for your confirmation email and barcode.

Your card is not charged immediately due to the sheer number of people waiting to purchase. Instead, expect your card to be charged within the next two to three days.

Whatever happens, do not delete the barcoded email; that is your actual ticket and will be needed, along with a picture ID, to check-in at the convention center in July.

Beyond that, congratulations! The next big step will be the Hotel Lottery next month. Have fun at SDCC!

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