The process of getting a badge to attend San Diego Comic-Con seems to get more complicated every year. Why, I remember a day when you could purchase single day tickets mere weeks before the event. Ah, those were the golden years. Though it now takes more fortitude and patience to get through the purchasing process, it’s absolutely worth it. Since Comic-Con changed the process this year, we’re here to help you with the ins and outs.
Step 1: Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay; we’re right here holding your hand.
Step 2: Check to make sure you have a Member ID. You will need one to be able to purchase a badge during Open Online Registration (the date for Open Online Registration has not been announced yet). You only have to register once for a Member ID, so if you’ve ever done so, you’re set. Not sure if you have a Member ID or you’ve forgotten it? Visit the Member ID page and use the available tools (like “Click here if you can’t find your Member ID or Password”) to determine your status. Make a record of your Member ID somewhere easy to reference so you don’t have to search for it later.
If you don’t have a Member ID, skip to step 6. If you’ve confirmed you have a Member ID, proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Log in to your Member ID account, go to the “Opt-Outs” option on the “My Account” tab, and make sure you have not selected the “email opt-out” box. If you’ve selected that, you won’t get an email notifying you when badges go on sale.
Step 4: Get ready for Open Online Registration. How will you know when badges go on sale? Comic-Con will send an email with the Open Online Registration date and time to all eligible members at least 48 hours in advance of the sale. All eligible members will also receive another email (at least 24 hours before the sale) with their personal registration code and a link to the registration page. Do not delete any of these emails. In fact, never delete an email from Comic-Con, period. I recommend making a special folder for them.
You will need the following for Open Online Registration: your Member ID, your last name, and your personal registration code. If you’re buying badges for others, you’ll need their last names and Member IDs. Yes, everyone has to have a Member ID.
Step 5: Open Online Registration day (which again, has not been announced yet)! It might feel like The Hunger Games, but I promise, no one will take you out with weaponry. At the announced time, click the link in the email from Comic-Con to the EPIC Registration landing page. First, you’ll enter the waiting room (it opens two hours before actual registration but getting in to the waiting room early doesn’t have any advantages – just arrive before registration time). Your personal registration code is what you’ll use to enter the EPIC Registration waiting room. So, keep that code to yourself because it can only be used for one entry.
Shortly after registration officially opens, everyone in the EPIC Registration waiting room will be randomly placed in line for their registration session. Do not refresh your page. Refreshing equals the equivalent of a cannon going off in the arena. Just wait patiently until your turn. Have snacks and water on hand!
Once you’re in, you can purchase badges for up to three eligible Member IDs, including yourself. Again, everyone for whom you’re buying a badge must have a Member ID. Then just select the days of the convention you want to buy badges for, pay, and voila. Go take a nap or have a drink – you’ve earned it! We’ll see you at Comic-Con. PS: Do not run to social media and be a jerk about rubbing in the fact that you have obtained a Comic-Con badge.
Step 6: If you don’t have a Member ID, well, you may be out of luck for attending Comic-Con 2014. Sorry! Enrollment for a Member ID is only open at certain times of the year, and it is now closed. Basically, if you don’t already have a Member ID, you can’t obtain one before Open Online Registration.
However, it will reopen sometime after Open Online Registration, and you should definitely obtain one. There is a chance Comic-Con will sell more badges if people cancel, etc. You’ll need a Member ID to have a chance at attending in 2014, and you’ll definitely need one for future events. So, in short, sign up for a Member ID as soon as you can.
How will you know when the Member ID system is open for new people? I recommend following @Comic_Con on Twitter and plugging the Comic-Con front page into your RSS reader. It’s also good to recruit one of your buddies to be your Comic-Con friend. Everything is awesome when you’re part of a team, and two of you looking out for news is better than just one person.
Whew. It isn’t a straightforward system, but hopefully this makes it easier for you to prepare. If you have further questions, consult Comic-Con’s badge purchase FAQ.