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January 13, 2014

Festivals Extra: Comic-Con International Tweaks Its Badge Mechanics, Altering (Slightly) 4-Day Buys

Comic-Con has explained its decision to no longer offer a four-day badge here. From what I can tell, the thinking is that since there is no longer special status provided in terms of timing or pricing with getting that kind of badge, there's no reason to offer it that way and disincentives for doing so. If someone wants a four-day badge, they just order four individual badges: the preview night access that used to come with a four-day pass purchase now comes if you buy the four single-day badges; or, as a short cut, you click the "preview night" area and the site fills in the four days of badge purposes.

imageOne potential benefit is to shake people out of the habit and/or fear that might cause them to purchase a four-day pass when they really only want to attend one or two days. As a long-time proponent of attending part of Comic-Con as an experience equal to and for most folks superior to doing it beginning to end, I'm very happy for any move in this direction.

I would also imagine -- depending on their ability to collect data -- this would also allow Comic-Con to more accurately track demand across the four days. That could lead to better planning. If they're to remain in San Diego and the demand is crazy-intense on Fridays and Saturdays, say, one option would be to work out a plan for off-site expansion options for one day or two rather than four. You may not be able to track that if you have requests for multiple-day badges mixed in with the single-day requests.

Also, unless I'm totally missing something, I think the fact this was noticed at all is another sign of how kind of intense and odd elements of the fan communities' relationship with this specific show have become. This is worth a longer essay, but it seems like there's a body of attendees and comics-interested people attuned to placing any move by the con within a specific narrative that not only overwhelms what's really going on but enables a kind of crossed-arm paralysis where people stop seeing that show as an opportunity or a platform through which to do things it can do very well.

Mark Evanier talked about this move here.

snippet of a photo by Whit Spurgeon
posted 1:22 am PST | Permalink

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