Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new year and yet all is quiet on the Comic Con International front.
This year, it seems that CCI is pushing the deadlines much closer to the actual convention, as we’re still waiting on a lot of key events to occur – including Returning Registration, Press Registration, Open Registration, and the Hotel Lottery. In the past, many of these were over and done with before the next convention year.
So what has actually taken place already? Pro Registration for 2017 has been completed and the Volunteer Interest List for 2017 is full. Let’s all take a collective pause to breathe and remember that no one has lost their shot at tickets to San Diego Comic Con 2017 yet. But as July creeps closer (it is, I promise!) and no news is announced, people are beginning to get anxious about deadlines.
Here are three things you can do today to make sure that you’re ready when the announcements do begin.
Create / Update Your Member ID
If you do not already have a Member ID, stop what you’re doing right now and go create one. It takes all of two minutes and you do not want to put it off, forget about it, and kick yourself later when you cannot participate in the badge-buying process. Make sure to register with your legal name that can be found on a picture ID, as you have to contact CCI to make any changes.
Seriously, people watch for CCI to quietly and temporarily close Member ID Registration as a sign of badges going on sale in the near future. You will not be able to sign up for a Member ID the day of the sale. Pass this advice to anyone else who would like to attend the convention as well, as everyone must have their own ID to get tickets.
If you DO already have a Member ID, sign into it and make sure that your information is up to date, including your email address and physical mailing address. If you have changed your name, reach out to CCI to let them know so that they can change it for your Member ID.
It should also let you know whether or not you are eligible for the 2017 Returning Registration sale, depending on if you attended SDCC 2016 or not.
Familiarize Yourself with the Friends of Comic-Con Forum
Like it or not, even with the randomized elements put in place by CCI, it is still very difficult for a first-timer to waltz into the Waiting Room for badges and secure a four day badge. Preparation is key and many of the answers can be found on the Friends of CC forum to questions you weren’t even aware that you wanted to ask. Not only is this a favored Nerdophiles resource, but this was the site that I personally used to prepare myself for my first SDCC back in 2013.
Focused primarily on Comic Con International conventions – San Diego Comic Con and Wondercon – and ReedPOP events – New York Comic Con, Emerald City Comic Con, Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, and a plethora of other events – the forum is full of timely information and highly knowledgeable people who are con-going veterans.
Sign up for the forum and introduce yourself, browse the information already there and feel free to chime in with your own thoughts, make friends and put in a genuine effort to contribute and it will be easy for you to join a badge-buying group or hotel-buying group to up your chances for SDCC 2017.
You might even meet some people willing to do the dreaded Hall H line camp-out with you so that you can take those much needed bathroom breaks!
Put Money Aside
Unfortunately, pushing back badge sales and hotel sales means that there will be less time to replenish the bank account between dropping large amounts of money. The three big money sinks for San Diego Comic Con are badges, hotels, and travel.
Last year, a Four-Day Badge with Preview Night was $245 for one Adult and you could purchase up to three badges, yourself included. If there is not a price hike, you could potentially be spending $735 on badges alone.
Once the Hotel Lottery closes and people are notified about which hotel they received, making reservations typically requires an advanced deposit of two-nights room rate plus tax for the entire stay. Depending on where you are interested in staying – the closer to the convention, the pricier it gets – this could be another large amount of money spent in a short time.
Last year, Nerdophiles stayed at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina and our deposit that we were asked to put down for a 4-night stay was $729. Browse the rates for all of the 2016 SDCC hotels here to get an idea of how much money your hotel may cost you this year.
Travel is an expense that varies from person to person, depending on how far you’re traveling from. Personally, I have to fly from the east coast and looking at prices today, the average ticket is about $450 if I were to book it right now.
If you only have to drive in and park, you have to participate in the Parking Permit Lottery and the price varies. Last year, parking in the Hilton Bayfront Garage cost $20 a day, totaling $120 if you parked every day. Browse last year’s rates on the ACE Parking website here.
So what does all of this mean? In the next seven months, expenses could possibly total up to $1,464 on just badges and hotels. Add in travel by plane and expenses could be up to $1,914. Drive yourself and it’s only around $1,584. All of these expenses before even getting to the convention!
If you’re not already putting aside money, now is the time to start.