This weekend, geeks from all over the globe faced off against faceless opponents in this years online Battle Royale to get tickets to San Diego Comic-Con International 2014. I get nervous waiting for my press credentials, so I decided to snag some tickets as a backup. Here’s my journey through the online registration process.
7:54 – I hit the snooze button for the third time, and then quicky scan Reddit to see if there’s any problems with the waiting room. There isn’t, so I got back to sleep. You’re allowed to enter anytime between 7-9am, and it supposedly has no effect on your chances.
8:34 – I fire up the laptop and after entering my unique registration code, enter the waiting room. At least I think it’s the waiting room. For the next 24 minutes I routinely glance at the screen to make sure a little blue circle keeps spinning – my indication that everything is working properly.
9:00 – “You Have reached the EPIC waiting room.”
Let’s get this thing started.
9:04 – “We are starting to line you up in random order”
This is getting exciting. I’m reminded again, not to refresh the screen. I’m so nervous about accidentally refreshing that I now feel compelled to refresh. Talk aout Inception.
9:07 – “Please be patient while we line you up…there are quite a few of you”
Don’t refresh. Keep calm. Maybe I’ll be one of the first in line…
9:09 – “The sorting process is almost complete. We thank you for your patience”
No problem, friendly update box. I’m not going anywhere.
9:11 – “Everyone has a secured spot in line and we will begin moving people into registration sessions shortly”
At this point, I wish I could see my pace in line.
9:17 – “Although you can’t see your place in line, rest assured people are moving in every 120 seconds”
9:25 – “Remember, if you reach the front of the line you will have 15 minutes to complete your entire purchase.”
Are people taking 15 minutes each to buy tickets? I hope so, or not – I’m not sure which is better. Just in case, I have all my important info on standby in a Word doc, ready to copy+paste when I hit the registration page.
9:33 – “Badges are being purchased and many have completed the registration session.”
Sounds encouraging, unless I’m near the end of the line. I’m flying blind here. I check Reddit, and people have started bragging about getting 4 day tickets. Gives me some positive energy.
9:54 – “Preview Night and Saturday inventory is running low and may be sold out before you begin your online registration process.”
Uh oh. That’s okay. Saturday is when the show reaches critical mass. I’ll hang out in the Gaslamp and NerdHQ that day.
9:55 – “Friday badge inventory is running low.”
I have bad feeling about this.
9:59 – “We’re sorry but the option to buy Saturday and Preview Night as run out.”
This is getting real. Where the hell am I in line?
10:01 – “We’re sorry but the option to buy Friday, Saturday and Preview Night as run out.”
I might be going for just one day, at this point – or not at all. No idea. Am I the only person that really wants to refresh this screen?
10:12 – REGISTRATION!
I’m in the registration room, and the only options that are selectable are Thursday and Sunday. Don’t think I clicked on the other days, just in case. I snag both days, feeling good that I have a backup plan and at least one good day at the show.
Minutes later…tickets sold out. It might seem a little draconian, but I gotta tell you, this is by the far the best experience I’ve had trying to buy tickets to SDCC – even if I didn’t get a Friday or Saturday ticket.