SDCC update: Comic-Con explains its one-day badge policy

Jan. 10, 2014 | 5:50 p.m.

Derek Bond as the Joker and Melanie Watson as Catwoman in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Angie Rodriguez (dressed as Two Face from Batman) leads Jonathon Antone (dressed as Scarecrow from Batman) by a rope necklace in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Holly and Will Blagg of Apple Valley, Calif., in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Zombie Dino attacks Christina Peredia (dressed as Rogue) in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Briana Roecks of Los Angeles is one of the many people who attended Comic-Con in costume. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Father and son Dave and Jeff Teal of San Diego. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Stephan and Heather Reese of South Pasadena. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Kiesi Campbell, from left, Agnela Darbellay of San Francisco, Karli Campbell, April Campbell and Karol Campbell. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Two of the many people who attended Comic-Con in costume. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Christopher Meehan, 13, left, Patrick Meehan, Ryan Meehan, 12, and Charlott Meehan, 8.(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Garrett Henry of Semi Valley and John Plocharczyle. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Brittany Fonseca, right, and Mae Twiggs of Matika, Calif. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Grant Thompson and Suki Berry from San Diego. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Julia Welden, left, and Alison Chalker of Mountain View, Calif. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Arnette Garcia and Alex Lechuga of El Paso, Texas . (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Stephanie Flynn of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Comic-Con International has responded to the social media backlash against its elimination of four-day badges for the expo, which runs July 24-27 at San Diego’s waterfront convention center.

Changes to the registration process will enable attendees to buy badges for individual days but not one discounted badge for all four days — a popular option in previous years.

“The 4-Day option was repetitive and often lead to people purchasing a 4-Day badge despite not needing to attend every day,” the organization posted on its official blog. “We hope this change will allow attendees to purchase only the days they truly need and maximize the number of people who can get a badge to attend Comic-Con.”

The decision was also motivated by a more user-friendly interface aimed at giving attendees “more flexibility” when buying their badges, Comic-Con International said. People will still be able to buy single-day badges for each of the convention’s four days until they are sold out, but there is no longer a discount for buying all four days. Only those who purchase badges for all four days, however, will be eligible to buy a badge for Wednesday’s Preview Night, which is not a stand-alone badge option.

Comic-Con also posted a screenshot of the revamped registration site, which appears to be cleaner and more user-friendly than previous iterations; the convention’s much-maligned registration system was notorious for its confusing interface, glitches and system crashes. Check out the new interface in the image below.

(Comic-Con International)

(Comic-Con International)

Other changes include a shopping cart feature, single-session purchasing for multiple guests, landing page validation to keep ineligible registrants out of the queue and improved site performance, according to the blog.

Also, Comic-Con is implementing a new preregistration option for those who attended in 2013 and have a valid member ID. (In 2015, Comic-Con will also require attendees to retain their physical badges and badge codes from 2014 in order to preregister.) Dates for preregistration have yet to be announced but are expected to be this month. Those who are eligible to preregister should be notified via email at least 48 hours prior to the sale. Open online registration for the general public — as well as for professionals, exhibitors, volunteers, staff and press — will occur at a later date.

Ticket prices have risen for 2014. Single-day badges for adults cost $35 for Preview Night, $45 each for Thursday through Saturday (up from $42 in 2013) and $30 for Sunday (up from $24). People who buy admission to all four days and Preview Night this year will pay $200; last year’s four-day badge with Preview Night cost $175. Minors age 13-17, seniors and U.S. military personnel pay discounted prices. Children 12 and younger are free with a paying adult.

The annual pop-culture expo typically draws some 130,000 people to San Diego’s Gaslamp district each year, a massive convergence of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, video game, comics and other genre entertainment enthusiasts and professionals. The behemoth event includes panels, screenings, portfolio reviews and a masquerade. It has become the site of many major Hollywood announcements and first glimpses of film footage, as well as a retail mecca.

Click through the images in the gallery above for a look at some of the costumed attendees who turned up for the event last year.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+


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