New York Comic-Con panel reservations went up the morning of September 29 as a redo after a queue-bypass fiasco on Monday, September 26. As I’m sure you can imagine, chaos still managed to rear its ugly head and cause complaints, stress, and overall dissatisfaction with the event as a whole. Within minutes, popular panels and all the Funko exhibition slots had been accounted for and very little was left for the majority of attendees — including VIP ticket holders, who spent the extra cash that affords them more privileges and helps them avoid disappointments such as this.
I felt lucky to have a chance to get in queue for the redo because I fully dropped the ball and forgot to reserve spots on Monday. So while the process was frustrating, I couldn’t help but feel satisfied with what I managed to get. Anyway, let me give you the cliff notes and help you so that next year, fingers crossed, the process will be slightly easier for you and with less hiccups.
1. Save your “My Tickets” login on your browser ahead of time
This year, they used Showclix for the redo and warned potential panel attendees that Showclix would go down for maintenance an hour prior to the queue opening (which in this case was 12pm-1pm). That means that the lot of people who didn’t listen/read the official NYCC warning tweet were booted from the queue because they couldn’t log into their account. Things could change next year, but I recommend having your NYCC account information and Showclix information saved on your browser.
2. Look at the panel schedule and plan strategically
You are limited to how many panels you can attend in a day and you can’t have two reservations that fall in the same timeslot. This year, we were allowed 6 panels on Thursday (10/6), 5 panels on Friday (10/7), 6 panels on Saturday (10/8), and 3 panels on Sunday (10/9). I suggest taking a look at the panel schedule a few days before the reservation queue opening and knowing exactly what you want to attend.
You will be flustered once the day comes to secure your spot and the last thing you want to do is miss out because you were overwhelmed with all the choices. Get familiar with the material, hone in on what you want, and quickly double check your work.
3. Be patient and be kind
Not to be all “woo-woo” about it, but don’t let your frustrations get the better of you. I know it’s tempting to engage in the Twitter fire and feel compelled to air out your grievances in a very abrasive way, but know that it’s probably unbridled chaos behind the curtain. If you do have any questions or concerns, send them an email or give them a call. They’re probably swamped and you will have to wait for a while, but just know that they are trying their best on an extremely stressful day.
Four breaths in, hold for 4 seconds, now exhale for another 4 seconds. You might not get every reservation you want and that’s ok. Panels and special exhibitions are great additions to the event but there’s so much more that you can do to make your time worth it. Don’t get caught up in the complaints and people threatening to sell their “worthless” tickets.
Comic-Con means something different to everyone — some people just want to attend panels, some people love the merch, and others just love the community-building aspect of it all!
Photo via NYCC/Wikipedia