Comic conventions are changing, as San Diego Comic Con has showed the world year after year. Tickets sell out within hours, the events draw the biggest crowds they’ve ever seen, and those who didn’t get passes mourn their loss. For New York Comic Con, San Diego’s East Coast equivalent, ticket sales have always been a point of contention between convention goers and the company overseeing the convention, ReedPOP. For New York Comic Con, scalping has always been the name of the game, and scalpers have essentially ripped tickets out of the hands of eager fans and gouged the prices to the point of being unaffordable.
Having attended New York Comic Con the past two years, I can attest to the frustration of ticket buying and of watching scalpers hock tickets outside of the convention center for three to four times the price. There’s nothing more frustrating than finally getting to the ticket page to grab a pass to find the pass type you wanted is sold out, but magically available on Ebay for a steeper price. Scalpers are certainly the bane of all the event coordinators trying to put together these shows, and many have taken steps to prevent them.
San Diego Comic Con is probably the greatest example of a convention adapting to the times and the demand. Their process is one of the most complicated for buying passes. Not only are there presale and general sale designations, but everyone who buys a pass has to have a verified Comic Con ID, and if you buy passes for someone else, they have to be attached to their ID too. Up to one four day pass per ID, no more. Throw in the random lottery for ticket buying, and the harsh punishment if you do hand your pass off to someone or are caught selling it, and San Diego Comic Con is one of the hardest cons to scalp.
It seems that New York Comic Con, as of Tuesday, will be taking a similar route. Thankfully, I don’t think we’ll be seeing the random ticket lottery from them anytime soon. However, they will be adding a verification process that will require everyone who wants to buy a pass to create an account profile. Then, each profile can only have up to a single four day pass attached to it, preventing individuals from buying a ton of unmatched passes to sell at a later date.
In a press release, ReedPOP explained the process as follows:
|Fan Verification is required for NYCC 2016. Everyone who would like to attend NYCC (whether you are buying Tickets yourself or someone is buying them for you) must fill out a Fan Verification profile.
|Kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or Sunday Kids Ticket do not need a Fan Verification profile for their NYCC 2016 Ticket.
|Fan Verification will be open from Friday, May 20 at 12:00 PM EDT to Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PM EDT. Fill out your Fan Verification profile correctly and completely – there’s no need to rush through it.
|All NYCC 2016 Ticket Types will go on sale at the same time on a first-come, first-served basis. Fan Verification does not guarantee NYCC Tickets.
|We will no longer be selling VIP Tickets for NYCC.
|NYCC 2016 Tickets will only be sold online. NYCC Tickets will not be on sale at retailers or any events leading up to NYCC 2016.
|All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale.
|The email you receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where you will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link.
|If you are purchasing Tickets for you and your friends or family, you must assign each individual Ticket to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If you are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, you will add their name and age to the Ticket.
All of this means it is time to start planning, San Diego Comic Con style, who you’re going to be trying to purchase tickets for. You’ll need the name and e-mail address used to create the Fan Verification Profile of each person you are planning to buy tickets for. All in all, this may complicated the process for those who are used to buying a stack of tickets to dole out to friends, but it will also complicate the process for scalpers who would buy up a huge chunk of tickets and keep fans from being able to attend at the normal price.
Be sure to get a verification profile between May 20th and June 13th, as ticket sales will probably occur soon after the June 13th date and you certainly won’t want to miss out on this amazing convention!
You can find the entire press release HERE.