Hall H Wristbands?! What Was Comic-Con Thinking?!?!

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The internet was a blaze yesterday with the sudden announcement from Comic-Con International of a new ‘Wristband’ system to help manage the crowds now associated with the infamous Hall H. Called the ‘Toucan Tracker’, these wristbands will basically be given out to the late night and early morning eager attendees. Here is an excerpt from the Toucan Blog:

  • Wristbands will be distributed for Hall H ONLY. These wristbands are not guaranteed entry passes. They will be used to gauge the length of the line for Hall H.
  • You must have a badge or badge barcode to be in line.
  • Wristband distribution will begin in Plaza Park as people get in line but will stop at approximately 1:00 AM, resuming again at 5:00 AM at the spot where the last wristband was given out.
  • You will need to have a wristband in order to enter Hall H for the first panel of the day only. If people with wristbands leave the line for the first panel of the day and more seating becomes available, the room will be filled with the first people in line who do not have wristbands.
  • Wristbands cannot be sold, saved, or traded.
  • The rest here and read the FAQ.

Back CameraSo basically, the amount equal to the Hall H room capacity will be given out to the first 6,500 rabid fans give or take a few hundred. Every individual who plans on standing in line has to be present to personally get ‘banded’ before 1:00a or after 5:00a. This means in theory, if enough people show up before 1:00a and they run out of wristbands, there will really be no need to stand in line unless you hope to be among the first to enter after the 1st panel is over. It also means that between 1:00 − 5:00a, it’s still a crap shoot if you will be able to get in until ‘wristbanding’ resumes at 5:00. There will still be camping, there will still be angst, and there will still be disappointment. So what was Comic-Con thinking???

I will tell you what they were thinking; WE ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS BETTER. Last year, the Hall H line dilemma was by far the most maligned and complained part of the show. The online nerd rage ringed on for weeks. For this year, we were all resigned to just accept the fact that history was going to repeat itself. However, to EVERYONE’S surprise, CCI rolled out this new crazy plan- because they were not okay with all the pain, complaints, negativity, and anger caused in the past couple of years. Contrary to popular belief, there are dedicated men and women behind that wall that are working hard to solve problems and create a great experience. Is this the right first step? We don’t know- but very few (really none) of us understand what it is like to be on the receiving end of over 100k frenzied fans. So the question is- will this new system suck?

Comic-Con Camping Out for Hall HThe answer: Probably. But I think that is okay. Remember the evolution of badge sales a few years ago? Most of the following year badges sold out at the same show. So they changed it to have sales done each morning for the following year. Consuming too much time, that then changed to the online sales. Like it or not, after a few years, the badge system is now pretty much figured out. There is still too much demand, but that’s what you get with a great show. So this system will probably have a ton of flaws, problems, and holes. However, with our cooperation, they will drop what’s broken and keep what works. It might take a year or two, but I know they will figure it out. It’s all about EXPECTATION MANAGEMENT. The wristbands will help those have an idea if they are in or out- and that’s all most of us can realistically expect. Being in the complete dark until the load in is what drove people mad anyways. This will at least give the first 6-7k people relative ease of mind.

To some, this post may sound like I am being too optimistic. Your right I am. I am choosing to be optimistic- you can do that remember? In order for this to work, it is going to take our cooperation and honest feedback to figure this out. All of us. No sideline players on this one. No armchair quarterbacks. No Starfleet cadet standing anonymously off to the side. As a Comic-Con tribe, WE have to take this opportunity and help figure it out. Because guess what? It’s our fault! We are too passionate, too committed, and too fanatical to make Hall H easy. I heard a great quote in regards to attempting new systems:

“In order for a system to work, you have to be committed to work the system” -Andy Stanley

There is no perfect system. People are too organic, creative, changing, and dynamic for any system to solve all the problems. Is this how I would have done it? Maybe-maybe not. But I applaud CCI for trying something instead of settling for the status quo. Nerd rage, angry tweets, snide remarks, and general pessimism isn’t going to get us anywhere. We need to demand for better from our Comic-Con leaders but then accept the opportunity when it presents itself.

Personally, I’m not a fan of selling specific VIP tickets, clearing rooms, lottery system, etc, at this point. I’ve worked all those systems at other cons, and believe me, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. The grass is the same color at all corners of the universe. However, it might lead to that someday, but until then, a simple ‘first come, first serve’ wristband system seems like a prudent step. So let’s engage this challenge together, gather constructive feedback, and offer solutions for the following year. Unleash the Kraken and let me hear your comments.

 

41 thoughts on “Hall H Wristbands?! What Was Comic-Con Thinking?!?!

  1. Positive thinking creates positive energy.

    I think it’s notable that CCI isn’t trying some big, huge new system. This is really just a baby step toward better organization, and maybe help Con-goers who would be otherwise miserable stuck in a never-ending line, wondering if they’ll ever get in, the chance to see all of the other AWESOME things happening in and around the con. I’ve missed out on Hall H before, and yes, I was upset at first. But then I walked around and saw some really great things that I would’ve never seen from the Convention Center lawn. At least by 6 am, you’ll hopefully have an idea of how to spend the rest of your day.

    • Exactly, by 6a you will probably know you will not be getting in. This will help manage your expectation. Plus, if you are near the 6k, you will also know that their won’t be a swell of last minute line cutters because of the wristband system. It’s not perfect but it’s a step. Thanks for commenting!

  2. While this may cause some new headaches, it goes a long way to solving two problems: A) The uncertainty of getting into the first panel (as stated in your article) and B) line cutters (the scourge of SDCC and Black Friday lines alike). It is evident that the hard working folks at SDCC hear the complaints and are taking steps to solve problems. They may not be solving what [insert name here] thinks is the most important problem, but it’s making progress and THAT is what we should be focusing on. Kudos to the event planners for seeing a problem and taking a stab at solving it!!

    • Yea, every new solution will spawn three new problems. However, I was going to go mad if we went through another crazy year with the same H-line problems of last year. So this new system will at least change the conversation and create an opportunity of success. We’ll see.

  3. Great post, as usual, Tony.

    I’m all for trying this -or any- new system, as long as there appears to be some thoughtful planning, and it’s tested before implementation. Unfortunately, the process, as written so far, feels as if it lacks those two factors. Also missing: Detail, which is always, ALWAYS the way to roll out a new process.

    First, the lack of information around when obtaining wristbands. The policy says they’ll be handed out “when the line starts.” That’s awfully… vague. How does that work? If I show up at 10am Friday for Saturday’s Hall H line, do I get a wristband? If the lineup can start any time, then the policy needs to state this specifically. I can understand where perhaps they’re trying to avoid promoting the overnight line camping, but quite frankly, we’re there already. It’s our current existence and it’s not going away unless they outright ban it. The wristband policy also doesn’t speak to whom Hall H-ers should be getting the wristbands. Will there be a designated wristband distributor(s)? If so, how do line standees identify the person/people with this role in a sea of people? Will the security staff be handing them out? If so, how can they possibly be expected to handle their security role and deal with a line of fans waiting for wristbands?

    Regarding the purpose of this venture, from what I glean from the process is that it exists to gauge the number of fans who might make it into Hall H for the first panel of the day. I see problems with this from the start. What about people who obtain a badge, stand in line for a while, get tired of waiting, and decide to come back to the line later? There’s a pretty good chance they’ll need to obtain a new color wristband, and will hence be counted twice. Those who leave the line accidentally and aren’t allowed back? Same. What this means is that fans who get in the Hall H line after wristbands have been exhausted could be led to believe they won’t make it into the hall, when in fact they may.

    Also confusing is how the policy states “These are not meant to be entry passes” immediately followed by, “You will need to have a wristband in order to enter Hall H for the first panel of the day.” I can’t be the only person to see how this is conflicting and confusing information.

    Overall, I agree, it’s definitely not the worst system out there, but the holes in information are gaping. Also, it lacks an opportunity for attendees to submit questions and CCI respond with an FAQ. Which, imo, means this process ideally should have been announced months ago. Given that it’s not plausible to test the system, allowing attendees to “punch holes” in the new process prior to launch is the best way to “test” it. It would also earn some buy-in from attendees, who would feel at least that their voices were heard, and concerns were addressed, prior to roll-out.

    It’s not my intention to imply that there’s zero effort on CCI’s part. Only that I wish the process was more transparent, and that CCI had included more detail in the process release. I also wish they’d mentioned that those who arrive to the line after the wristband supply for that day is exhausted should not lose heart, and give it a shot anyway. Due to some catches in the system that are out of CCI’s control, they may still get in for that first panel.

    Finally, a moment to recognize and appreciate those who’ll be handing out the wristbands. Bless your brave, brave souls. It’s gonna be like Black Friday, and you’re the only person running a register.

    • All good thoughts and there will be a number of factors that will contribute to the success of failure of this. Generally, they won’t let the next day panel line up until the last day of the panel begins- thus leaving the cue line empty. So you can’t come at 9am for the following day’s panel. The wristband is just to help manage the expectation not to serve as a credential. It really is to help fans that are 7,000 and beyond know they will probably not get in. It will also help prevent line cutting which has been a huge problem. All good thoughts though and thanks for your comment!

  4. Everything Key said, I agree with, seconded, and +1’d.

    I’m all for testing this out to see what does and doesn’t work but, like it’s been said, if handing out wristbands stops at 1:00AM, when does it start the day before? Meaning, if I get in line Thursday evening for Hall H Friday panels, when will they pass out the bands Thursday evening before they stop at 1AM? This would give attendees an idea of how early they would have to get in line to get into the first panel, wouldn’t it? To me, it seems that people are going to now line up at 8pm? 4pm? Get a band when going into the Thursday Hall H morning panels and using it for Friday if they don’t change the colors? And I kind of feel bad for all of the outside activities that are going to lose people because those who were going to attend have now changed their plans so they can stand in line all night for a band. I’m sure these events will still get the attendance they want, but it’s about the consideration to all their work to have the event kind of thing.

    I think CCI isn’t factoring in the amount of problems this could create, which could outweigh the benefits of it and I pray no one gets hurt in trying to get/give a band.

  5. Since I heard the announcement on a radio show this morning, I’m already hearing people trolling the idea. Whatever happened to giving something a chance? Nobody wants to see nerds tossing vehicles in rage over not getting in or wasting time in line.

    This should at least cut down on my biggest con pet peeve- line cutting. There is a big difference in saving a space for one or two friends and having a whole army show up once the line is moving. And I HATE the “blenders” who just magically show up in line once it’s moving, because we all know that the event security are not the most observant of people when it comes to the lines.

    The most frustrating thing that happened to me last year wasn’t even for Hall H but for Ballroom 20 when they were staggering which lines were going in. “Security” wasn’t paying attention and let lines that had just filled up for the second batch go ahead of our line which hadn’t gone yet.

    I agree that the wristbands are a bandaid to a greater problem and I think part of the solution is simply more organization at managing the lines- actually have people dedicated to managing the lines and not just some security guy who could care less about who was there first because he/she just got pulled away from their smoke break.

    • Agreed. At the very least it will stop line cutting which is a huge problem. A related issue is that in my group of friends, there is always pressure to let our own group in. Now, all the pressure is on everyone to have a wristband. Again, it’s a small step but a helpful one. Thanks for commenting!

  6. The key factor is with the color coding of the wristbands they plan to fill sections with so you will know your odds of getting in the LATER panels and where you’ll be the next day. It seems like a sound system to try so attendees will have an idea how many people ahead of them have to leave so they can get in. Last year I was with a group that started in the marina and made it to the second row on the grass before the chutes. We missed the 1st panel and when we didn’t move for the 2nd panel I joined my friends and gave up. Later I ran into the people who where around us in the morning to find that they waited all day and didn’t get in to the Marvel Panel. I happened to meet them as I lined up for the last panel of the day (Metallica) and was able to get in with a short wait and plenty of room!

    • Yea, just having an idea of where you are in line and the chances of getting in is the biggest part. Bummer having to wait all day without getting in! Thanks for commenting!

  7. I learned an important lesson at WonderCon. If I’m interested in the Panel for a Movie or TV show I’m going to see the movie / watch the show anyways! If you can’t get in, try something new and go to a panel you’re curious about. I went to Quick Draw at WonderCon and I was a blast! I’m looking forward to trying new things this year instead of just camping out for things I’ll already watch. I’m even looking forward to catching a movie or two at the film festival. Who knows what jem I’ll discover? Comic-Con has so much more to offer than Hall H and Ballroom 20.

  8. My question is that at 1am if there is 7,000 people happen to show up, will there be alert to everyone that all wristbands are all gone?
    Also, if you have a one day pass for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can not stay overnight since u can not get a badge until 8am. No Hall H this year, which is okay for me.

    • I don’t think there will be an official alert- besides the people in line will probably be saying wristbands are gone. I think fans will be tweeting it out too. Yea, if you don’t have that days badge yet, I think you will be out of luck.

  9. Well this us the first year me, my wife and sister plan on camping out for hall H. We want to get in on Saturday and plan on getting in line as soon as they close the doors Friday if not sooner. Hope this new system goes well.

  10. To Key’s points…

    From what I understand, CCI doesn’t allow Hall H lines to start until after the last Hall H panel of the day. Since that varies per day, I can understand them being vague. Of course, things can be rather fluid during Comic-Con, so that may change. I’m also assuming that someone affiliated with CCI, whether it be security and/or volunteers, will be going down the line handing them out.

    I don’t think CCI is saying this will definitively let you know if you will make it into Hall H or not, any system short of RFID tags will be an inaccurate estimate at best. But, I appreciate CCI trying something to make the Hall H line better. What I like about this idea is that it’s simple, and is only an approximate indicator which people can choose to consider or not when deciding whether to stay/get in the Hall H line. As Tony mentioned, it took a few years for badge sales to at least run smoothly (whether you agree with the system or not), it’ll take a few iterations for any Hall H line solution to run smoothly.

  11. I enjoy your optimism and I agree it’s nice to see them trying new things instead of just sticking with the old (and to many, broken) system. However I can’t help but see possible problems and not many advantages. I’d love to chat about em.

    Mainly, I feel that this system is going to promote a larger number of people to line up the night before. Handing out wrist bands until 1am and then none again until 5am makes me feel that thousands of people are going to make sure they get the first wave of wrist bands. Do I cancel my Friday night party plans because I really want to get into Hall H on Saturday? Last year I was able to go to a party, go to my hotel and take a nap, shower, then arrive in line early in the morning, and still get into the first Hall H panel of the day. While, essentially the wrist bands don’t change anything (it’s still first come first serve) it’s almost like Comic-Con is announcing “Hey everyone. If you get in line for Hall H before 1am and stay all night we’ll guarantee you get in!” If you got in line as early as 1am in previous years it was pretty much a guarantee you’d make it in as well, but now Comic-Con has drawn a line in the sand, and given fans a specific time. I can’t help but think A LOT of people are going to interpret this as “let’s get in line before they stop handing out the first wave of wrist bands.”

    Secondly I’ve seen a lot of people commenting that this will prevent the dreaded line cutting or line holding. Well yes and no. If there’s one random person in the middle of a group of already wrist banded people, security will know he/she cut the line. Or if one person in a cluster of people has a wrist band and everyone else they’re with doesn’t, security will know he/she was trying to hold a spot for a group. But, between the hours of 1am and 5am what’s stopping line cutting? After the 1am wrist bands are finished it’ll be the wild west again for 4 hours.

    Lastly we’ve all been in a line before, waiting for something we really wanted to see, knowing we were maybe a little too late and chances are slim. Security comes by and tells everyone that they aren’t getting in. The room is full. How many people believe him? Not many. People still stick around with their fingers crossed.

    I wish that they would staff a few over night crew members. Pay a few people to continually hand out wrist bands as the line forms overnight. This would have the same effect of giving people an idea if they’re getting in or not without causing a possible 1am rush for wrist bands and potentially ruining a lot of Friday night plans.

    Agree? Disagree? What say you good sir?

    Thanks for all the great info. Keep up the good work.

    • I see your point about more attendees wanting to line up overnight, but I don’t think the wristbands themselves will cause increased demand. There are more obvious culprits: greater demand in general, attendees becoming more savvy, greater willingness go to greater lengths to attend panels, etc. You’d still have to choose whether you want to wait in line overnight for a panel or spend that night doing something else, regardless of whether wristbands are being passed out or not. The only difference is without wristbands you only have the length of the line to guesstimate whether you would get in, whereas if you have a wristband, provided you are in a spot in line surrounded by other wristband wearers, you’re certain to get in. Unless you have a situation where 6,500+ show up between 1 AM & 5 AM (which, even for the intensity of SDCC, is unlikely because the earliest parking lots open at 5 AM), line-cutting won’t be much of an issue, since line-cutters between 1 AM – 5 AM would probably get into the panel regardless.

      But you do address an issue that wristbands doesn’t help: people who continue to wait in line after the first panel begins. Instead of security blindly telling people they won’t get in (because how many times has security lied to attendees just to get them to go away), I would like at the beginning of each panel for an SDCC staffer to announce how many people were admitted to that particular panel. That way, based on their spot in line and the rate at which people would have to be admitted, people can gauge how likely they will be to make their target panel.

  12. Tony,
    I wrote to SDCC right after the policy was posted, and received a reply to my query.
    The ——> arrows indicate her answers.
    HI Jennifer,
    Please see my answer below. Thanks!
    -Laura–
    Assistant to the Director of Programming
    Comic-Con International San Diego

    From: cci-info cci-info
    Date: Monday, July 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM
    To: Laura

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    Subject: [I have a question not listed above] Wristbands in Hall H line
    Jennifer sent a message using the contact form
    at http://comic-con.org

    Will the color codes on the wristbands dictate where I can sit in Hall H?
    For instance, I get a red wristband, enter the room fairly early on, but
    prefer to sit in the middle or in the back of the room. Can I sit where I
    want to? ———–>Yes, once inside the wristbands’ function is complete.

    Conversely, if I have my red wristband, will there be a “red wristband”
    seating area in the front, since I stayed the night on the sidewalk for 12
    hours, and Johnny Con-goer came at 5 am, got a green wristband, so he sits in
    the back in the “green section?”

    Most importantly: There is no set time given in the artice for you handing
    out the wristbands for the following day’s Hall H panels. Therefore, as I
    stand in line from 5:00 pm. to whenever you decide to hand them out, I have
    to make sure not to leave the line to use the restroom, or I risk losing my
    opportunity to get a wristband! I’ll be the one in line doing the potty
    dance. Just sayin’. ;)

    Can you give a definitive time as to when you will begin handing out the
    wristbands? Because if I was a Twilight fan, and I was camping since Tuesday,
    that’d be a loooong time to wait to go potty. LOL
    ——–>We don’t have a definitive time, but it will definitely be after that days’ panels in Hall H have concluded.

    Hope you all have a nice day, and you can provide an answer. Thank you for
    all you do-the logistics are extremely tricky!!

    sincerely,
    Jennifer Luchsinger

    • That’s great that you got a personal response to your question! Yea, the line won’t start till after the last panel that day. Once you get inside, you will be able to sit where ever you want. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I applaud the effort and actually, I don’t really think this is a bad system. The 1 AM – 5 AM hole is kind of weird but if you are in line in time you will get a wrist band . The other bad thing I guess is if you are trying to trade off campers, two people camp while two go rest in a hotel for awhile, which is really common, but overall it isn’t to bad all things considered.

  14. Tony I like your optimism! The last couple of years I admit, I have been the crazy angry complainer so I am thankful to see some change. It is all a gamble and we all choose our fun whether it be Hall H or the amazing free events around town that also have long lines. My extreme frustration has been lining up with my kids at 4pm the day before, being 20th in line for Hall H and to sleep outside when we have flown to SD, paid way to much for a bed to sleep in, then to sleep outside all night and wake up to now be 127 in line. The cutters just act so entitled and when I asked 3 people ahead of us who let in 20 at 6am how they think that is ok? There response was “Hall H holds 6K, you will get in”. SERIOUSLY! I chose to sleep outside because my kids thought is was worth it to be in the first 3 rows, not the back row. (Rant is over :) So Tony, I choose optimism, I am happy, if anything cutters will not ruin our fun and peace of mind is priceless :) We love San Diego and can’t wait to get there!

    • I didn’t even consider the demand of the first few rows! The one time I did Hall H I got in line @ 6 AM plopped myself in front of one of the projectors so I wasn’t as concerned about line-cutters.

      Maybe CCI can cordon off a premium section, like the first 5 rows of the center section, where you could only sit there if you wore a special premium band passed out to the first 100-150 in line. It wouldn’t entirely eliminate the shift-rotation advantage of groups, but it would require groups to be more organized since the entire group would have to be in line at the time premium bands were distributed. And to make coordination even more difficult, CCI could be deliberately vague as to when wristbands will be distributed, so a big group may have to be in line 2, 3, 4 hours before obtaining premium bands. And since those premium bands would be passed out in the late afternoon/early evening, attendees would still alert enough to spot groups allowing line-cutters and police themselves (no middle-of-the-night cutting).

      Scalping of bands could become an issue, but CCI could prevent that by making severed bands void. When Hall H is ready to be populated, security would first let in only the premium band holders, testing each band to make sure it wasn’t glued on or re-attached.

  15. The main problem I have is that it encourages people to line up even earlier (i.e. the night before)–this is getting way out of hand how early you need to line up! Also, it promotes the annoying behavior that favors large groups over individuals. Now a large group can show up at like 11pm get their wristbands, and just leave 1 person there while the rest go sleep or swap off. Meanwhile, someone who is going to the show alone would now need to wait in line at 11pm and stay there all night–with no option to go sleep and shower, etc. They should have a no leaving the line ever rule–unless you need to go for 5 minutes to go to the bathroom.

    • I agree with what your saying Kyle, we see it every year, not sure the answer to prevent wasting a lot of money on a hotel that you hardly see?? As for the individuals, last year we had a really nice guy alone who became friends with us and essentially became part of our group. We watched his stuff when he left for a bit, he was there the majority of the time but did leave for 3 hours during the night and that was fine with us. We love CCSD because so many people are very friendly. It is the large groups that have 1-2 “friends” in line all night and suddenly their closest 10 friends show up rested with coffee at 6 am and think it’s ok. Not cool.

    • I still don’t understand how wristbands would encourage group line-cutting. Isn’t the swapping/shifting what large, organized groups already do without wristbands, as Joell described? The only way to stop overnight line ups is to ban camping altogether, and I don’t think CCI is willing to put in the resources to enforce that.

      • I don’t think it encourages group line cutting–but makes it easier for large groups–just have everyone show up at like 11pm and get their wristband, and then only need 1 person to stick around at any given time overnight.

      • But at least the large group would have to be there at 11 PM. As it is now, the whole group doesn’t even need to be in line together: just have one person hold down the line, and then the entire group can just come in at 4 AM while everyone’s sleeping and go to the front.

  16. Our big concern is our kiddos. We attend with three kids in tow so usually what happens is my husband gets up around 3-4am, heads down to get in line and I meet him there after the kids are up and taken care of. We are very fortunate that our entire family (in-laws, siblings) attend too and we are at the same hotel so my MIL watches the kids during the day, but dropping them off at 4am isn’t an option!! I’m afraid it means that I will be missing the first few panels every day. There are going to be a lot of people with special circumstances like ours so I am not sure if this is “the” solution. I was also thinking about the special assistance line, I know for health reasons, a lot of people in that line come later in the AM (6am being late in sdcc terms!) because they just can’t be sitting on a sidewalk for hours. My husband read they will also be distributing wristbands to that line so what does it mean for them?

      • I’m not 100% positive about this but I think the only “reserved” seating available is the Hearing Impaired section. Every few rows on the aisle they will have an open space with 1 seat that is for wheelchairs and their attendants, but I think that’s it. I think. So don’t go quoting me! Haha!

  17. I’ve started to read more and more about the issue, and while I think the wristband issue is a nice band-aid, the fact that people are still upset about the possibility of line-cutting and spending hours to not get in shows that even if wristbands work this year, in two more years attendees will get savvy enough to manipulate that system too. The root of the problem still remains: Hall H is free to 100,000+ attendees but only available to 6,500 each day.

    I think ultimately CCI has to go with the Hall H “nuclear option”: start charging admission to Hall H. It makes CCI seem greedy, but money is still an effective way to cull who gets in and who doesn’t, and you can disincentivize the two main reasons why people line up in the first place: A) To get the best seats, and B) to get into the panel in the first place.

    Here’s how this could work: the week after Hall H schedules are released, CCI could sell Hall H guaranteed admission for each day: $40 for Thursday ($80 for premium seating in the first 5 rows), $50 for Sunday ($100 for premium) $60 for Friday & Saturday ($150 for premium). Attendees would have to use their member ID. When attendees get their badges, they would get a sticker affixed to their badge denoting the day(s) of guaranteed/premium admission.

    CCI could then admit those with guaranteed admission into Hall H starting at 9 AM. The stickers would only guarantee entrance to Hall H until 10 AM. After 10 AM, CCI would then allow people in a stand-by line to purchase remaining seats (CCI could set up a booth just outside the Hall to take cash or credit card payment).

    This doesn’t eliminate people camping out, but the incentives are greatly reduced: a premium member camping could theoretically only move up 4 rows (from the 5th row to the 1st), a guaranteed member camping could only get to the 6th row or front rows on the sides at best, a stand-by camper might get in, but the supply would only be in the 100-200 range, so a person is much less likely to camp if they are off the lawn.

    Charging people money after they’ve already been charged for a badge sucks, but the risk of having thousands of people sleeping overnight in a public place has greater risks, primarily with safety. CCI would get a ton of flak for this and traditionalists will scream foul, but ultimately I think it’s the best way to go.

    • I hate to say it, but if the panels were what I really wanted to see I would pay more. This way I can actually sleep in the bed I am paying for and enjoy other events until I had to line up for my paid badge. My son builds armor, so the first time we brought him we had no idea what to expect, my daughter wanted to see Hall H panels so I got in line with her. Because I was in line all day I missed my son being invited onto the 343 Panel :( in armor that took him 2.5 years to make. The greatest moment in a 15 year olds life (thus far) and I missed it. So, sadly time does have a price that I may be willing to pay. Ugh

      • Uhg, that is such a sad story- but a good one illustrating the need to be strategic in when to line up. Check out my latest post about this. Hope you have a better year this time. Thanks for sharing your comment.

  18. How about if they do not put all the really spiffy stuff in the same Hall. Then more people would have a chance to get in to see that sort of stuff. You just need another very large room and while a zillion people are lining up in one Hall , the other zillion can line up in another for some equally cool stuff.

  19. It ended up working pretty well.. get in line during the day, and by midnight you’ll know if you’ll be in the next morning. One issue… people started lining up at 11am on Friday to stay until 10 am Saturday to catch the WB and Marvel panels in Hall H. By 130, twitter followers were monitoring the #HallHline and by 330, all 6500 seats had been accounted for by people in line, but by 730pm, the line had still grown to 15 thousand or more. So, next year, if you must be in the Hall H on Saturday for Marvel and WB panels, expect to be waiting in line at 11am on Friday. This means not seeing anything Friday, to sit in Hall H all Saturday, and you’ve just spent 2 days to see one Hall H day, and saw nothing of the rest of the exhibit hall, etc

    • Thanks for the report. Yup next year, people will need to plan for a long stay in the Hall H line. Crazy! Thanks for commenting.

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