Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

So you want to go to ComicCon – my SDCC 2016 time line

Every year as I talk about ComicCon (THE ComicCon aka SDCC. Please don’t confuse it with any other convention in the USA.), I hear people tell me how they want to do it next year or how it’s a big bucket list item.  As I try to explain the effort needed, I see a lot of glazed eyes and disbelief.  I know people assume I’m overstating the process and I’m making it sound more complicated than it is. If anything, I oversimplify the process as most people have no frame of reference to share the experience.

To be quite frank, I’m amazed how many ‘first timers’ I meet every year. Some of that is luck. Some of that is excellent planning. Some of that success comes from help from veterans.  Oh, and scary as it might sound, an SDCC veteran is someone that has attended SDCC only 2 or 3 times.

This link is from a third party explaining the effort. Please read the article:

The above article is generic. I’ll fill in the blanks for my 2016 adventure.
1) 07/08/15 - attend SDCC 2015. 
Yes, that was over a year before the start of SDCC 2016. The first step for attending 2016 was attending SDCC in 2015. That allowed me to be part of the 2016 ‘preregistration’ process for badges.
That also implies I had ready logged into SDCC site and created my membership ID for 2015 which was also used for 2016.

2) 08/05/15 – validate badge registration number with SDCC

3) 11/14/15 – enter the virtual waiting area to ATTEMPT to purchase badges for SDCC 2016
This is for preregistration attendees only. Newbie need not apply. This is a very stressful involves lots of waiting with your hands tied as you watch the badges sell out.

4) 11/14/15 – receive confirmation email from SDCC on the badge purchases
I was able to get the 4 day w/preview night for myself. The wife only got Sunday.

5) 11/16/15 – receive email with bar code for badges
This is an important email. If you get lost in the ether and never receive an email confirmation, your 2016 might be over before it started.

6) 02/20/16 – enter the virtual waiting area to ATTEMPT to purchase badges for SDCC 2016
This is general registration. This is for people that have not attended SDCC in 2015 and people attempting to add additional days to their convention. All of them must have created a membership ID at least 2 weeks before this event. This is the last chance to get a badge for attendees from 2015.
The wife was only able to add a Thursday badge to her Sunday badge she picked up during the 'registration' sale.  Just because you went last year does not mean getting a badge the next year.
the end results form 2 attempts: She could not attend Friday or Saturday.

7) 02/21/16 – receive confirmation email from SDCC on the badge purchase

8) 02/22/16 – receive email with bar code for badges

9) 02/24/16 – bought airline tickets

10) 04/05/16 – register for Hotel accommodations

11) 04/07/16 – receive email that a hotel room was NOT available
Yes, that is correct. For 2016, we did not have a hotel for SDCC.
My friends and I did a lot of scrambling to find a room. We found something very expensive and not very convenient to get to and from the convention center.

12) 05/09/16 – confirm shipping addresses for the badges

13) 06/01/16 – people on the hotel wait list people (like me) were being notified about available rooms.
The rooms were slowly being released to the wait list.

14) 06/07/16 – received email that our waitlist number was drawn and we selected a room
That was a long 6 days to wait to get to finally notification about room. The pickings were pretty lean.
Our hotel was about 1 mile way. Not a very nice hotel but not horrible one.

15) 06/24/16 – receive physical badges in the mail

16) 07/15/16 – confirm hotel reservations were transferred from the travel agency to the actual hotel

17) 07/20/16 – arrive SD, check into hotel, wonder around the outside of the convention center to look at the ancillary displays

18) Drink from the SDCC firehose for the next  4 ½ days

19) 7/26/16 – check out of hotel and fly home exhausted as you mutter ‘never again…’

If you are thinking about 2017 – create your membership ID now but you are already behind the curve.

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