Type NYCC Ticket Issues into Google and you’ll receive over 124,000 returns with subject lines mentioning frustration, failure, and scalpers. Anyone who has tried purchasing tickets to some of the largest conventions ”“ New York Comic Con and its big sister San Diego Comic Con, plus many others ”“ will be familiar with these sentiments. Ticket purchasers often have to stalk the purchasing website of their favorite conventions on the day of sales hoping to get in the virtual queue just to have a chance at buying tickets, only to find after long waits and possible glitches that weekend or their equivalent multi-day passes have sold out and if they’re lucky single day passes remain.
It’s a great tag-line for conventions to inflate importance and demand by touting that tickets sold out in minutes, but an unfortunate and ugly truth that a sizable chunk of those sales aren’t to fans it’s resellers that are gaming the system. There have been attempts to curb the number of resellers in the past, but it doesn’t take long before they find a way around the restrictions and sites like StubHub are flooded with convention tickets are marked up prices. For example when conventions started to limit the number of tickets a person can order resellers created multiple accounts to skirt those limits, and it’s generally known that they automate their purchasing systems in order to flood the virtual gates when they open, crowding out regular purchasers who don’t have these resources.
In their latest bid to fight back against the flood of resellers ReedPop, the company that runs NYCC and SDCC, have implemented a number of new changes which they outlined in the following email:
NYCC Fans, Each year when we take over the Javits Center in October, we have one priority in mind: you, the NYCC Fans. We don’t run NYCC year after year because we love hanging out by the Hudson or we need to reach our step goal in October, we do this because we want to provide the experience of a lifetime to everyone who attends NYCC each year. With that in mind, we want the New York Comic Con 2016 Ticket buying experience to be as smooth and fair as possible, so this year we are requiring Fan Verification. What does Fan Verification mean? It means we are requiring anyone interested in attending NYCC to fill out a profile between Friday, May 20 and Monday, June 13. We recognize that this is an extra step before buying your Tickets and requires more commitment from you, but we also know that as true Fans of the Show, you won’t mind making it tough for the supervillains out there. Here’s a quick look at nine important points for this new process:
1.Fan Verification is required for NYCC 2016. Everyone who would like to attend NYCC (whether you are buying Tickets yourself or someone is buying them for you) must fill out a Fan Verification profile.
2.Kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or Sunday Kids Ticket do not need a Fan Verification profile for their NYCC 2016 Ticket.
3.Fan Verification will be open from Friday, May 20 at 12:00 PM EDT to Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PM EDT. Fill out your Fan Verification profile correctly and completely – there’s no need to rush through it.
4.All NYCC 2016 Ticket Types will go on sale at the same time on a first-come, first-served basis. Fan Verification does not guarantee NYCC Tickets.
5.We will no longer be selling VIP Tickets for NYCC.
6.NYCC 2016 Tickets will only be sold online. NYCC Tickets will not be on sale at retailers or any events leading up to NYCC 2016.
7.All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale.
8.The email you receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where you will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link.
9.If you are purchasing Tickets for you and your friends or family, you must assign each individual Ticket to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If you are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, you will add their name and age to the Ticket.
These changes are being done with you in mind and the hope that more of you will get the opportunity to experience NYCC. Please visit NewYorkComicCon.com/FanVerification for complete details on the NYCC Ticketing process along with other important NYCC Show news. Thank you for your commitment and passion for the Show and willingness to take these extra steps to help us get more Tickets into your hands. We’re looking forward to giving you even more amazing content to experience with us and can’t wait to reveal more of what we’ve been working on for you. NYCC 2016 is going to be our best Show yet and it’s all going to start with Fan Verification improving the Ticket buying process for you. Stay nerdy, Lance
It’s a long email, but to sum it up: you’ll have to register through their “Fan Verification” within the time window in order to be able to purchase tickets, they’ll only be available through ReedPop (no more comic shop partners), and tickets will be limited by registered email address with a name.
All this sounds good. While the Fan Verification set will probably create a barrier to entry for the new or just curious, it is the requirement to provide a name and verified email that may provide the best protection against resellers. While it’s expected that resellers will try to register as many dummy accounts as possible the added limit of four tickets, each with their own verification, may slow them down. However, as the saying goes “when science builds a better mousetrap, nature builds a better mouse”.
The implications of this change could be huge or go down as a complete flop. If these changes are successful in curbing the resellers and improving the purchasing experience we could see similar improvements being implemented by other convention organizations that suffer from scalpers scamming the system. If this fails however then unfortunately you’ll know where the cheese has gone, and you’ll be forced to buy it off the rodents for a hefty fee. We’ll have to wait and see how this mousetrap performs. Fingers crossed.