Comic-Con International > SDCC Registration and Badges

Newbie FAQs/Discussion for SDCC Badge Buying

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Meka:
Hi folks, newbie trying to get to SDCC for the first time and had a few questions about groups and the badge buying. I know it's a very low chance to get a badge in open registration so want to make sure I'm doing everything right. Sorry in advance for being long-winded and hopefully I posted in the right place :-P

1) I hear that it is better to be part of a group for badge buying, and the bigger the group the better. However, I can't understand how it would help to have more than three people in a group. While I know that each group may have its own rules, I was hoping someone could give me an example to understand how it works? The way I see it, since each person can buy three tickets, it makes sense to be in a group of three. However, say you have a group of 12 people, while there are more people who would likely get the chance to buy tickets, each of those people can only buy tickets for two others. If the other people they buy for are chosen at random, then its the same chance as a group of three. However, if there is some list or priority system, then the people in the top half of the list are better off but the people in the bottom half of the list are worse off than a group of three. So I'm lost! Am I better off in a large group (vs forming a group of three) and, if so, could someone please explain why?

2) If I organize a group of 4 but one of us is ambivalent about going, let's say Ms. Ambivalent gets the first chance to buy badges. Could she buy badges for the other three of us and not herself as she would be more ok with not going (for this example let's say that badges then sell out before the other three of us have a chance to buy, so she would end up with no badge)? Would this be ok or would it cause a problem? As we are all non-US people, and will therefore be picking up our badges on site, would Ms. A be needed to pick up our badges onsite as the buyer or would it be fine for the three badgeholders to show up? Would be rather difficult to persuade Ms. A to fly to SD to pick up badges for a con she can't attend... On a related note, could Ms. A use my credit card to buy the badges? My address and name on/linked to my credit card are of course different to her name/address.

3) Just want to confirm that I'm correct in my understanding that a returning reg person can't buy a badge for a newbie like me?

4) Is it important to have the name on the badge exactly match my legal ID? I have a long name and use one of my middle names as my given name. When I registered for a member ID I used that middle name as my 'first' name. In real life this is normally not an issue (except at airports and in legal documents where I use my full legal name). If I got a badge, would I run into an issue picking it up / at security if my legal ID has extra names before and after the one on my badge? I have a credit card and business cards with my name exactly how I registered on my member ID if that makes any difference. Am I being paranoid or should I try to get the name changed on my member ID and/or make a new one with my full legal name?

Thanks in advance for any responses!

Transmute Jun:
1)   You're correct in that a group of 3 is the simplest group. Adding more people means that there will have to be a priority list of some sort. However, even with 3 people in a group, there is still a large degree of randomness. All 3 people could get unlucky and not get selected. The larger the group, the more likely that your group results will approach the average (some people getting in early, others getting in later, others not getting in at all). So being in a bigger group means you are more likely to achieve the 'expected' results, while being in a group of 3 means that you could possibly get 'outlier' results.

2)   No, Ms. Ambivalent would not have to buy for herself. She could buy for the other 3.

3)   Correct, you can only buy for people who are already eligible for returning registration. You cannot buy for a new person who did not attend on a paid badge last year.

4)   You should ask that question of CCI, but from my experience, as long as the name is similar, to the point that it's clear that you're the same person, you should be fine. In the days of picking up badges on site with ID, I know people who go by their middle names who had no problems. Same for people who use common abbreviations/nicknames, such as 'Bill' for William, 'CJ for 'Charles Junior', etc.

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Meka:
Awesome, thank you very much! That's all very helpful! And I appreciate the very prompt reply!

I see what you are saying about a larger group being more likely to achieve the average result, good point. Too bad the average for open registration is so low! A couple of follow-ups:

5) After open registration groups are formed, if one applies for a group that is organized on FoCC is it typical for the group you apply to to disclose how they assign 'priority'? Assuming I get the opportunity to join an open registration group here, knowing how they assign priority would help me decide if I wanted to join. E.g. if first-timers got a low priority in a particular group then I may prefer to try for another group or accept the extra randomness and just do a group of 3.

6) If during open registration someone in the group I am part of buys me a ticket, will I normally get an instant confirmation (e.g. an email)? Asking because if I then get the chance to buy tickets, I would be buying for three people that are not me, and at that point I'm wondering if I'm taking on faith that the other person has in fact actually bought my ticket?

Thanks again!

alyssa:
just popping in to say welcome to the forum [member=6685]Meka[/member]  !

we will be forming a buying groups once returning reg is complete. some of our groups have been around for 4+ years- Those group rules are very different then a newly formed group where security is more critical since folks don't know each other as well.  The older groups know each other, have met irl & worked together on other projects, Hotels, exclusives etc.
[member=314]Transmute Jun[/member] (our way of tagging/notifying) or one of the other group leaders will be along in a bit to answer your questions.

Transmute Jun:
Meka, as Alyssa, said, every group does things a bit differently, based on the group leader's preference. However, there will be a clear statement as to how priority is determined, and the priority list will be available. You will know this well before the sale.

The person who BUYS badges gets an 'instant' confirmation by email. It usually comes within a couple of hours. Generally, it is courteous to remove all credit card information and then forward that confirmation to the people for whom you have purchased badges, so that they can see it for themselves. A few days later, CCI should email all attendees individually with their barcodes.

Yes, there is definitely a degree of trust involved in a buying group. You have to trust that someone who is supposed to will buy a badge for you, and that if you buy a badge for others, that they will pay you back promptly. While obviously we cannot force people to do things, these things are made clear when people join buying groups, and we take a dim view of those who would break the rules by not making payment or not following the prescribed priority buying order. There are consequences for those who take advantage of others' trust.

Also keep in mind that everyone in a new buying group has to make that big step to trust the others. But you will be with each other (hopefully) for a long time, and after a couple of sales, you should know each other and be more comfortable. This is why more established buying groups often change their formats/priority rules over time.

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