Hopefully you didn’t max out your credit cards doing your holiday shopping this past weekend because Comic Con International has made good on their promise to have #FourBadgeSalesInAYear. Just over a month after Returning Registration, which was held on October 28, and we’re staring down the much more competitive Open Registration.

The information email from CCI has gone out announcing Open Registration on December 9 at 8:00 AM PST! This will most likely be hopeful attendees’ last chance to score badges for San Diego Comic Con 2018, so call in to work, shift those plans around, and rally the troops for another Epic Waiting Room adventure.

Here are a few things you can do right now to get prepared for Open Registration.

Confirm Your Eligibility

The most important thing you need to do is make sure that you’re eligible to participate in the process. Only Comic-Con Member ID accounts that were created and confirmed prior to November 27, 2017 at 9:30 AM Pacific Standard Time (PST) are eligible to participate in Open Registration.

That means if you or your friends hadn’t gotten around to it yet, you’re out until next year unfortunately. If you missed out, create an account anyway while you’re thinking about it so that you don’t run into this situation again next year!

If you have an account that was created and confirmed before November 27, log into your Member ID and confirm that you have the green check mark along with the words, “OK CCI’18 Attendee Open Reg” in the top right corner. You can also confirm on the Registration Info tab. 

Keep in mind that anyone who bought a Preview Night badge during Returning Registration or professional/press registration is not eligible to participate in Open Registration. 

At least 48 hours before Open Registration, you will be emailed your unique Registration Code, as well as the link to the Waiting Room. Copy/paste it, handwrite it down somewhere, take a screenshot – do any (or all three) to make sure you have access to it for Returning Registration.

Your Registration Code will also be accessible in your Member ID, but it’s still best practice to keep it handy. In previous years, the site has crashed in the morning as everyone rushes to get their codes and you can save yourself the stress right now. Remember not to use your unique code more than once and don’t share it with others!

If you’re planning to try buying badges for anyone else – you can buy up to three, including your own – make sure they confirm their eligibility as well and get their Member IDs and Last Names (triple-check spelling!).

Check Your Computer and Browser Settings

We absolutely recommend using a desktop or laptop computer to participate in Returning Registration. Not only will it be easier to navigate, but CCI also recommends avoiding mobile devices or tablets.

It is important to remember that you should not screenshot or post your URL online once you’ve entered the Waiting Room. Your unique code is embedded in that URL and someone out there could use it to enter their own Waiting Room and void your shot at Returning Registration!

 You can use multiple browsers with multiple unique Registration Codes, but you cannot use multiple tabs in the same browser, so be sure to check all of the browsers you’re planning to use.

Also check that you’ve either turned off or lengthened your sleep settings on your computer. There’s the possibility that you could be waiting for an extended period of time and it would be terrible for your computer to time out on you before you get your shot at purchasing badges. And remember, don’t use the refresh or back buttons!

Make sure that you know how to take screenshots on your computer so that you can document your progress. Should something technical happen (like a white screen), but you were in the process of buying your badges, there is the chance that CCI will be able to assist you.

Enter the Waiting Room between 8:00 AM PST and 8:59 AM PST using your unique Registration Code and wait until it closes at 9:00 AM PST for badge buying. Like years past, badge buying will commence in randomized groups that are not dependent on when you entered the Expo Logic Waiting Room. We recommend getting into the room by at least 8:45 AM to troubleshoot any issues (remember, don’t refresh and don’t use your back button!).

If you happen to get kicked out, CCI says you should be able to return to the Waiting Room page and re-enter your Registration Code. That will return you to your randomly assigned badge buying group as long as you entered before 9:00 AM PST. No one will be able to enter the Waiting Room after 9:00 AM PST.

Have Funds Available

This may be the hardest requirement, considering the holiday season and the timing of Open Registration, it’s no secret that San Diego Comic Con is expensive. One 4-Day Badge with Preview Night will cost $276 this year and eligible attendees can purchase up to three badges for a total of $828 at once. All purchases are also subject to a $5 handling fee per member

Once you have successfully logged in to a registration session, you will be prompted to select the number of people you are purchasing badges for during the sale: 1, 2, or 3. Pay close attention to the number of people you select, as you will not be able to return to this page. 

Remember, badges are being mailed directly to the domestic address attached to the Member ID, rather than the purchaser of the badges. Make sure, if you’re working with other people, that you trust them to pay you back or you’re willing to write off that amount of money in case something happens. Payment can’t be split up between groups of people, it all has to go on one card.

Also new this year, CCI is doubling-down on the need to trust your badge-buying group, specifically stating, “If some Grinch in your group attempts to sell or scalp their badge, all badges in the order will be canceled, including yours. Don’t risk it!” It’s not just about money this year, your badge is also in jeopardy if someone else decides to scalp their badge.

This is also a good time to log in and confirm and/or add your shipping address in your Contact Info, even though you’ll have until May 14, 2018 to get the badge mailed to you.

If you are working in a large group and someone buys your badge before you get into the room, you can still enter the Member ID and Last Name of someone in your group who has not purchased badges and purchase for three people other than yourself, meaning having the money on hand is going to help all around.

New this year, attendees have a new tab in their Member ID called Contact Info. In that tab, attendees can specify a badge shipping address. This serves two purposes: if international attendees would like their badges shipped to the states, they have that option now, and also it means that you don’t have to specify a shipping address for anyone you are buying badges for. Like last year, badges will be shipped right to the attendee, not the buyer.

Are you a visual learner? Check out the official Open Registration post from CCI and their visual guide to entering your badge buying session  for yourself and others. The SDCC Unofficial Blog’s Visual Guide is also a great post to refresh your memory of what to expect for Open Registration.

There is also no better place to get your information than straight from the source: here is CCI’s Open Registration announcement, CCI’s Purchasing Badges for Others post (as badge buying groups are rising in popularity) and here are some tech tips to ensure your computer is ready!

You can also check out the helpful posts from some of our favorite blogs too. GB Reviews has Open Registration tips here and there is a beginner’s guide to badge sales from The Geekiary! Any other questions, feel free hit us up on twitter!

Be sure to use the restroom, gather your snacks, get comfortable, and enter your code before 9:00 AM PST on December 9. You could be waiting for an hour or longer and you don’t want to step away from your computer and miss your chance!

We’ll be tweeting along with all of the action and we’re wishing you all the luck! Some other accounts to follow on Twitter including @comic_con and @SD_Comic_Con. You should also keep an eye on the #SDCC hashtag. People will share their joy and frustration with you and you can commiserate with everyone else who is trying to beat the odds and score tickets!

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