Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

April 10, 2014

CCI Hotel Lottery Starting To Send Word Back To Applicants, Many Early-In Application "Nos" Included

Twitter is starting to rumble a bit with people worried about or disappointed in the hotel lottery provided by Comic-Con International and their longtime booking partner Travel Planners. This is a pretty standard hashtag for following a bunch of discussion. What's interesting is that unlike past years where a lot of the stress came from people dealing with a system that wasn't working in front of them as they applied, what we're seeing this time out is that there are people that got their applications in quickly -- some even two, three minutes in -- and are getting back e-mail that say they did not get a room.

The only possible explanations for this I can figure out from my remote perch are 1) there are indeed just as many rooms as usual and it's just harder to get a room now as more people become aware of this option; 2) there were fewer rooms available, particularly downtown, for whatever reason; 3) comics industry people or perhaps people in general tended to pick downtown or close-to hotels perhaps in fear of being put elsewhere if they gave Travel Planners that option, which cut them out of the lottery at a greater rate than other folks and might even lead to a second lottery or re-listing of further-away hotels. It could also be a combination of the three. Hell, it could be something I hadn't thought of. It could just be.

I'm sorry for the stress and heartache this causes. A lot of people want to go to this show.

I know the idea has been floated to somehow direct more tickets or hotel rooms to comics fans specifically, but I'm skeptical in that such a move would be administratively complex and people would quickly abuse the crap out of that system, too -- I know this because people have always abused comic-con when they've been able to. I've walked people in with my fair share of badges out of Rory Root's pocket of badges, so I have no room to talk. I suspect there will also be a push for a protected-pro hotel lottery, which I imagine would also be abused and might be counter-productive in that there's a point at which any convention might even prefer to serve a mix of attendees and pros rather than just pros, without ever being able to say so. I just hope that we kind of eschew the usual comics thing of not seeing a problem if it doesn't have an effect on us personally as we try to figure out if there's anything that can be done. Then again, maybe that's been taken care of by so many folks missing out.

If this kind of bursting-at-the-seams element continues and even grows, you might seem major choices on the table, too, with a seriousness that goes beyond the usual "comics fans in a chatroom backseat running the show" variety.

I don't know what this message means, either, if anything.
posted 3:25 am PST | Permalink

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