With the official return of the Wristband System for Hall H announced yesterday, attendees have been planning and plotting how to ensure their entrance into Hall H. Probably one of the most common questions that I am getting inundated with is how to guarantee getting into this room! By now you should have been able to go over the procedure of the wristband distribution as stated on the CCI Toucan Blog. If you were here last year, the wristband system was quite the change to the normal ‘running of the bulls’ associated with lining up (and camping out) for Hall H. Overall, I think the additions made to this system are good. I haven’t heard nearly as much groaning as last year and I think fans are pleased the the process is getting more streamlined. However, with any system there comes challenges or more questions. Here are some of my suggestions to think about when planning your approach to Hall H.
- The biggest issue from last year was not the wristbands themselves but the lining up of unofficial lines before the last panel of the day. Crowds were ‘hanging out’ all afternoon even with the discouragement from the line staff. This was probably the biggest ‘controversy’ to come out of the 2014 show. Overall, the wristband system was a success last year but as expected, there was a lot to learn. The great unknown is how this will be handled this year. As the Toucan Blog stated, lines are not to form until after the last panel and wait for the official NDL (Next Day Line) to start. I would highly discourage lining up any earlier in the day- and I have to believe that the CCI staff will enforce this, especially after last year. Otherwise, the escalation from fans will spin out of control causing ‘milling about’ thus wasting an entire day. Then the whole ‘official vs unofficial’ line issue will blow up again this year. Crowds will inevitably form as it gets later in the day but hopefully it will be clear from the staff how and when this will be handled. I know it’s too idealistic to ask all attendees to act for the greater good of the show, but keep in mind that we play a huge part in this madness. By cooperating and staying within what is requested, the system will improve and the experience will get better from year to year.
- In 2014, they gave out for 4 groups A-D that indicated the overall capacity of the room. ‘A’ was first let in then the rest followed. I’m guessing it will be the same lettering/color system.
- As stated on the site, as long as you get a wristband you will be able to get into the Hall as long as you return in line before 7:30a. This is a gift that I highly suggest you take advantage of. If you’ve never been to Hall H before, it is a mammoth space. Most of the time, regardless of where you are, you are viewing one of many amazing HD screens. It almost doesn’t matter where you are in the room. So returning before 7:30a to get into the back of the entire wristband line would be fine. Personally, if it meant sleeping in my own bed but being in the back of the wristband section- Ill take it. Camping all night to be 200 ft closer is not worth it. Some will have a different view point, but after years of being in Hall H, just being in the room is enough. If you are an individual, you will have a much easier time finding an empty seat up front. The best way is to work in pairs where one sits down while your partner seeks out a better pair of seats.
- Remember, when in the NDL, you will need your Comic-Con 2015 badge or your barcode confirmation to receive a wristband. Note that IDs will be checked and the name on your photo ID must match the barcode confirmation. Note the location of the NDL and the distribution times on the Toucan post.
- They will probably under distribute wristbands since they can’t risk being at capacity with wristband holders outside. So if you are within a few hundred of the last wristband holders, I am guessing you will have a chance to get in.
- Thankfully they are allowing for spots to be ‘saved’ as long as one member of your party is present all night long (thus the camping). I want to strongly encourage two points here. First, take advantage of this. Camping is fun for the first part of the evening but not for the latter half. Put in your time for your group, rotate, and be fair. Second, please use good sense when saving spots for an appropriately sized group. Saving for 2-4 people is one thing, saving for 20+ and inviting others to join you is NOT (even if they all have wristbands). It’s always good etiquette to let those around you know right away how many are rejoining you in line.
- Please do not buy, sell, trade, offer your own organs for a wristband. There is no perfect system but we can make a system perfect by working it together. Bypassing the system just hurts us all.
- Lastly, I encourage you to stay positive. Inevitably there will be some frustrations that arise. Venting IRL or online doesn’t help anyone. If there are problems, notify staff or e-mail feedback to the show afterwards.
I would highly encourage you to stay on top of Twitter for line updates AND when/how much of the room flushes out. You will be amazed with the small pockets of opportunity to just walk-in. I’m sure there are plenty more questions- so leave them as comments and I will do my best to help! Also please leave your thoughts of the system in general and the updates made.