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We are still about five months away from San Diego Comic-Con but it’ll be here sooner than you think!  This weekend, the convention will be holding open registration for those who were not lucky enough to snag one of these coveted memberships to the annual Geek Mecca during preregistration, and if it is anything like years past, it will likely be the most stressful day of the year for thousands of geeks across the globe.  So, we have decided to try to make things a bit easier on you this year by giving you this handy-dandy guide to making your Registration Day a good one, whether you score those badges or not!

Am I Eligible For Open Registration?

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In order to even have a chance to get your grubby mitts on one of these golden tickets, you have to sign up for a Member ID through the SDCC EPIC registration page.  If you haven’t registered for a Member ID at this point, it is too late to take part in this weekend’s open registration (boo! hiss!).  However, this doesn’t mean you won’t have another chance to try!  More on this later.

If you have already registered for your Member ID, congrats!  You have completed the first step in gaining entry to the biggest comic book convention on the planet.  If you have a Member ID, make sure to head to the Member ID Log In page here to verify that a) you are eligible for open registration and b) you have a registration code.  You can find your registration code by clicking on the “Registration Info” tab located at the top of the page. DO NOT SHARE YOUR CODE!  Your code is unique and once used, that’s it, so don’t share with friends in the hope that it’ll help them out.  This may result in getting them a badge while you stand out in front of the Convention Center in July, just praying that your fairy grandmother will drop a badge in your lap. So, again, DO NOT SHARE YOUR CODE.

I Am Eligible For Open Registration!  What Next?

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Once you have verified that you are eligible for open registration, you will need to join the thousands of other pop culture enthusiasts in the EPIC waiting room on Saturday morning. The page (which you can access by clicking here), will go live Saturday at 8am PST and you can enter the waiting room up until 9am PST, which means you will have a one-hour window in which to join.  SET YOUR ALARM!  If you wake up at 9:01am PST and decide to try to join, you won’t be able to participate in the open registration, so, keep your Friday night frivolities to a minimum!  Or, at least, make sure that Saturday morning is still part of your Friday night!  There is absolutely NO advantage to getting to the waiting room sooner than anyone else, considering that entry to the actual purchase page will be completely random, meaning that someone that joins the waiting room at 8:59am PST has just as much of a chance as someone who joined at 8am PST on the dot. So, no need to rush in at 8am, but you do need to be logged in by 9am PST. Just to reiterate: BE IN THE WAITING ROOM NO LATER THAN 9am PST!!!

Alright, I Made It To The Waiting Room. What Next?

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Well, it’s called a “waiting room” for a reason! Once you are in, all there is to do is wait! You won’t want to walk away from your screen for too long, however, as once they start pulling people into the purchase page, you will only have 15 minutes in which to purchase your membership if you gain entry.  The waiting room page will refresh every 2 minutes and will display updates to the inventory, which is yet another good reason to keep your device close.  Want to kill some time so that the wait doesn’t feel like slow torture?  Use this time as an opportunity to play some games or watch some movies/tv with some friends! This gives you a perfect opportunity to catch up on the episodes of Constantine that you may have missed or play an epic round of Geek Out to kill the time.  Registration Day is all about celebrating our fandoms and hanging our obsessions out on display while we attempt to join our brethren in one of the most beautiful cities in America. May as well have fun with it!

How Can I Improve My Chances?

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Everyone wants to improve their chances to get into the big show!  Hell, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to get as many chances as possible?!  This is where your friends come into play. You are allowed to purchase up to three memberships, including your own, which can help out immensely!  Have a few friends over early Saturday morning for a shmoke und a pancake, a flapjack und a shigarette, a shigar und a waffle, a bong und a blintz…Pick your poison!  Just make sure to have them bring their favorite laptop and charger so that every one of you can get into the waiting room around the same time.  Before the registration starts, make plans on how to get funds from one person to another, so that if one of your friends gets in first, they won’t have to front the entire amount for everyone’s membership!  This can be a bit interesting to plan out but if you have 6 people trying to get in, you really only need two people to land on the purchase page, so the more friends you are working with, the better!

I Didn’t Get A Membership! Am I SOL?

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First, let’s put things in perspective: if you have been hanging out with your friends all morning and having fun the geekiest way possible, life ain’t that bad!  Yes, the waiting room can be hectic and yes, it’ll sting a bit if you don’t even make it to the purchase page, but don’t fret!  Generally speaking, there is yet one more official chance to get a membership!  If you didn’t make it into the waiting room, or purchase page, or you forgot to sign up for your Member ID until after it was too late, you may not be completely out of luck. After all of the returns and refunds have been processed (yes, there are people who actually get the membership then decide they can’t make it), CCI usually hosts one final opportunity for registration to clear out the inventory.  Is this a guaranteed opportunity? No, unfortunately not.  It really depends on whether or not there are enough returned memberships to hold the sale but keep the faith!  All you can do is stay positive and hope for the best. After this final opportunity, however, all that’s left are chances to win via contests that plenty of websites will hold in the weeks leading up to the event.

Damn It. I Didn’t Get A Membership AT ALL. What Now?

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If you fall into this category, don’t feel like you are alone!  Every year, thousands of fanboys and fangirls walk away from the registration opportunities empty handed, so it’s about as exclusive a club as the White Pages (do those exist anymore?).  Unfortunately, if you didn’t make it in, you didn’t make it in.  That being said, there’s no reason to sit out!  During the convention, pretty much all of downtown San Deigo joins in on the fun, making it the go-to destination for any geek looking for some summertime activities. Most of these activities don’t even require a badge, including the fan favorite Nerd HQ.  Speaking of Nerd HQ, the fate of this wonderful event (which is held across the street from the Convention Center at Petco Park and hosts panels with some of geekdom’s biggest celebrities)  is up in the air.  According to Zachary Levi, Nerd HQ’s MC:

“We cannot confirm or deny [a presence at SDCC 2015]right now, unfortunately, I will tell you that our intentions are very yes, they are always very yes, but as many of you have witnessed through even helping us to put it together last year, it’s a monster. It’s a beast. And there’s a lot of things that constantly are flying at us and trying to war against us for its existence. So, you know, life and finances and sponsorships and all of those things, it’s really tough. But that said, we are always wanting to bring it to you. So as soon as we have any more concrete information, you can guarantee that we’ll be shooting it out to you.”

Chances are the event will still go off without a hitch but since we are talking about offsite activities, it seemed important to mention this!

But I Don’t Wanna Go To San Diego Unless I’m Going To The Con!

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If your grapes are too sour to join in the offsite festivities, there are some other California conventions that may scratch that SDCC itch just a bit:

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WonderCon: SDCC’s sister convention is absolutely wonderful.  If you are among the fans that cry for the 90’s or even early 2000’s, when SDCC was smaller and more about the comics, WonderCon is the place for you.  The annual convention is held over Easter weekend (April 3-5) at the Anaheim Convention Center.  Yes, there are still movie studio presentations, though not to the extent that SDCC boasts, but the Anaheim Convention Center Arena has Hall H beat by MILES.  It can fit about 1,000 more attendees than Hall H and almost every seat is a great seat.  Not to mention, Disneyland is right across the street and who skips an opportunity to visit Disneyland??

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Star Wars Celebration:  Let’s be honest – one of the biggest draws to this year’s SDCC is the possibility that Abrams and Co. will be bringing fans some real footage of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  Well, they are just as likely, if not more, to show footage at this traveling convention that focuses on all things Star Wars!  This year, the convention will also be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, April 16-19, and tickets are still on sale. BTdubs, Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy are confirmed to attend, so…

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D23 Expo: Alright, so it looks like your best alternatives to SDCC will all be sharing the same venue, as the Anaheim Convention Center is really a super awesome venue.  D23 Expo is a convention that is dedicated to the Mouse House and is a treat for anyone with a love of Disney. Considering that Disney now includes Marvel and Star Wars, I would say that pretty much everyone on the planet has a love of Disney.  The event will be held August 14-16 and tickets are still on sale here, as well.

Meh, I’d Still Rather Stay Home

If you are so heartbroken over the lack of SDCC membership that you plan on just spending the convention season locked in your room watching old episodes of Doctor Who that you have seen a thousand times (not that this is a bad thing), you can still enjoy some of what SDCC has to offer!  Nerd Bastards will be at many of these conventions, including SDCC, and we will be bringing you some of the best/coolest/most exciting news that the conventions have to offer!  I know, I know – it’s a tough gig.

Hopefully, this will help you out a bit while planning out your year in conventions but make sure to click on the links for more info, including membership prices!

San Diego Comic-Con

WonderCon

Star Wars Celebration

D23 Expo

Good luck with your Registration Day and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Category: Nerd Culture

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