We’re less than 24 hours away from the first round of attendee registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Pre-Registration, open only to those who attended the 2013 show (excluding press, professionals, and volunteers), begins at 9:00am PST tomorrow, February 8. If you’re eligible, you should have received the details via email from Comic-Con already. But a new year brings a new system, and it’s now fully randomized – a true lottery for the tickets. You can’t change your luck, but you can be prepared. Here’s a guide for the incredibly paranoid (like myself!).
Don’t share your registration code or the link to the landing page. Sure, the landing page URL is already floating around out there – Comic-Con practically posted it on their blog by way of adding a link to the browser settings pre-check (which they later removed). But if too many looky-loos click on it tomorrow morning it could spell server disaster for the rest of us. And if someone else logs in with your registration code, you’re totally out of luck. (Entering your reg code on another device or browser will cancel the first session and authorize the new one.) So keep ’em to yourself.
Comic-Con has emailed the link & codes out twice now; check your spam folder if you didn’t receive it. Still don’t have it? Log in to your Member ID page and look in the upper right-hand corner for the green check mark next to “OK CCI’14 Attendee Prereg.” If you’re eligible, your registration code is listed in the Registration Info tab.
Screenshot everything. Your Member ID page showing you’re pre-reg eligible. The browser check showing that everything works. Your landing page once you’ve logged on. Any and all errors in the process. Okay, this sounds genuinely paranoid, but last year Comic-Con held a small separate sale for people who had technical issues that were caused by the system. There’s no guarantee they’ll do that again, but if you have proof of problems beyond your control that kept you from getting a badge, they may be able to help you.
Log in early. You can log in to the landing page starting at 7am PST. Go ahead, wait until 8:59 to log in. It’s not like Comic-Con is known for having server problems or anything. (You do have two hours, though, so don’t panic if you’re not logged in at 7:00:01.)
Your (and your group’s) details, on paper. Member ID, last name (hopefully you know your own, but if you’ve got new friends in your buying group, might want to write it down), registration code. You don’t want to be scrambling for important info when the clock is ticking.
Your (and your group’s) details, copy & paste ready. You’ve only got 15 minutes to get in and out of your registration session. Fortunately EPIC will hold your badge inventory during your session, but if you’re a slow typist being able to copy and paste your info in will be very helpful. (It’s also really convenient!) I like to keep my info in a simple Notepad document.
Check your credit limit. If you’re buying 4 days with Preview Night for three adults, that’s $600. And it all has to go on one credit card. Do you have enough available credit on the card you’ve chosen? (Comic-Con doesn’t take PayPal; your choices are debit, Visa, MasterCard, and AmEx.) In the past EPIC has allowed a 48-hour grace period to contact them if your credit card is declined or has an error – but if you’re already stressed about ticket buying, that added issue might give you a minor heart attack.
Change your computer’s power settings. In their second email, Comic-Con specifically recommended “that you adjust or turn off your computer’s power saving setting so that your computer does not go to sleep or power down while in the waiting room.” So grab your power cord, feed your computer a Red Bull, and find the button that never lets it sleep again. Or remember to move the mouse every few minutes. Your choice.
But you might also want to check your add-ons/extensions for anything that might accidentally cause a problem, like AdBlock or another restrictive extension.
Put a piece of tape over your browser’s back button. Alright, don’t literally do this. Nobody wants to deal with getting that sticky tape residue off their laptop screen. But find some way to remind yourself not to click the back button. It will reset your session, steal your girlfriend, get you fired, and kidnap your family. Ha! Humor! Reminding you it’s okay to laugh through the stress! Seriously though, it will definitely do that first one.
Set a timer. You get 15 minutes once in the system to complete your purchase, but there isn’t an on-screen timer. Compensate for this foolish oversight by starting your own timer once you’re in, either on your phone or on your kitchen timer (or a kitchen timer that you use exclusively for tabletop gaming).
Join the conversation on Twitter tomorrow morning. Misery loves company. Follow the #SDCC tag, our Twitter, and the Comic-Con All-Stars of Twitter: When Nerds Attack, Tony Kim, and the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog team. (But maybe follow the tweets from your smartphone. To keep your WiFi as fast as possible. Because that’s the paranoid way.)