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San Diego Comic-Con Introduces Wristband Trackers for Hall H

Photo credit: Gail Carriger

When it comes to Comic-Con International, the holy grail of rooms is the kingdom that is Hall H. That’s where all the fun stuff happens. That’s where all surprise guests show up and do laps around the audience. So, of course, that’s the room people clamor to try and get into over the convention weekend, sometimes (often) to the point of camping out to get a decent spot in line. But, this year, the fine folks in charge of the event are instituting a new system that will hopefully allow you to get a better sense of what your chances are of getting into the infamous convention center room.

According to the SDCC website, this year, the convention is introducing “Toucan Tracker Wristbands”, which, despite its name, will not help you track down the Froot Loops mascot. The goal of the wristbands is to give you, the wearer, an idea of how long the line is for the first panel of each day in Hall H. The convention is also hoping to use the wristbands to give attendees an idea of what their chances are of getting into the room for the rest of the day. “We will accomplish this by using the data collected to place color-coded markers along the line route, noting approximately what percentage of the room would have to clear in order for those remaining in line to enter. Although we can never guarantee entry, this hopefully will help people determine if they want to continue to wait in line or go do something else.”

In regard to distribution of the wristband, they will be handed out at “Plaza Park as people get in line but will stop at approximately 1:00 AM, resuming again at 5:00 AM at the spot where the last wristband was given out.” In addition – and this is important for people who intend on spending the whole day in the room – a wristband will be required to enter the first panel of the day in the room. Should there still be seating after those people have gone in, the first people in line without wristbands will be allowed entry.

What attendees need to remember is these wristbands do not guarantee entry, so if you have to leave the line for any reason, be sure someone is holding a spot for you for when you get back.

For full details, head over to Comic-Con.org.

What panel are you hoping to see at SDCC? Let us know in the comments below.

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10 comments

  • It sucks because I only want to see the Supernatural panel on Sunday, which is the first panel for that day. I wish there was a way for me to ensure my entry for that panel, because I am not interested in staying for others, and would be happy to leave after it, allowing someone else to take my seat. 

  • Agreed Nathaniel. The issue seems to be far too many campers. They just post up at the first available seating and hang out. Clear the room before each sitting. Also, I had often thought of something perhaps a little exclusive. You want to see panel X on day 3 ? Show up at the booth during hours Y – Z and get a pass (one per person) and that gets you in ahead of general admission. Those that truly want a specific panel bad enough will make the effort. The SD con has become quite “fuck you pay me” the last 6 years. It only exists for cash grabs no more free anime rooms or how to drawing panels. Time to start over somewhere else at this point.

  • There are so many ways they could fix the problems with the con, starting with the insane registration process that takes too damn long for no good reason.

    They could have been mailing them or allowing people to print them out at home.  Go to a kiosk  scan, print, done and its no less secure than the
    current method and a whole lot faster.

    What they need to do is establish a points system where you can use points to get into the better events.  Highest bidder wins. You only want to get into one event, bid all your points.  Want several, bid less and take your chances.

    Don’t care about the panels?  Sell your points to someone else with a percentage of the money dedicated to a charity or the like.

    • The registration check in is actually very speedy compared to shows even smaller than this. This is the biggest con in the world, waiting is going to come with the territory. A point system would probably ensure that only a select few get the chance to do what they want. It may not be perfect but the battle royal system rewards the bold willing to sacrifice.

  • The whole hall H thing pretty much ruined ComicCon for me.  The fact that people will camp out overnight (and also get into fights about) to maybe get into a hall where some, admittedly, cool panels are held feels just wrong to me.  There is something commercialized and creepy about it.  Maybe its because, to my knowledge, this all started when Twilight first showed up to ComicCon.  Prior to that the Hall H line didn’t seem so crazy.  Or maybe its just because it seems a little obsessively crazy to me.

  • This is such a great idea and I’m glad they are implementing a change.  I’m sure it will have its hiccups, but anything that can help estimate your chance of getting in and also finally address those people who camp out in line and then 20 of their friends join them the next morning, is a great thing in my book!!  To me, that was a major issue with Hall H and I’m glad its being addressed. Simple plan…if you want to go into Hall H, you need to be there in person to get the wristband; plain and simple.