It is surreal to be writing stories about San Diego Comic-Con selling out in October. But that is the reality we live in. We asked SDCC PR and marketing director David Glanzer a bit more about yesterday’s announcement that passes to Preview Night had sold out:
Q: What’s behind this shockingly early sell-out? Were fewer tickets available? I’ve heard publishers and other attendees say that Preview night has become the new Saturday, so has there been a need to trim the size of the crowd?
Glanzer: In the past all four-day badge holders could attend Preview Night, though not all did.
This year, however, it seemed more crowded as more people took advantage of that ability.
For 2010 the decision was made to offer an option (of whether they wanted to attend Preview Night) to those who pre-registered for four-day badges. We limited the number of badges for Preview Night to the number of those who attended in 2008.
Q: Does this mean that if you want to go to Preview Night…you can’t any more?
DG: Currently you cannot purchase a Preview Night badge, that is correct. Four-day badges are currently still available.
Q: Should we take this as a clue that four day passes might be selling out soon?
DG: Right now I think we’re okay. But it’s so hard to predict. I think we’re going to try to do a better job of keeping the public informed if those begin to sell more quickly.
Q: Any other changes we might be looking for at the horribly early date?
DG:I think this is pretty much it for now anyway.
The news that the SAME number of preview night passes have been sold as last year may trigger flashbacks and PTSD in some people. As one industry veteran booth runner at a prominent comics company told us recently, “Preview Night is horrible.”
Oops, David pointed out that he said attendance is being held to 2008 levels, which is LESS than 2009 attendees, hopefully leading to FEWER flashbacks and PTSD.
With no programming to distract attendees, and exclusive swag giveaways at the movie booths, Preview Night has been dubbed “The new Saturday,” by most vets. It’s the most crowded and frantic time at the show. It’s worth noting that this year, (you’ll recall San Diego ended 10 weeks ago) TV/Hollywood programming was added to Wednesday night for the first time, and there were several off-site events. One might expect even more of this in an attempt to thin the crowds a bit.
Also, as noted above, there has been a scaling back to 2008, which should come as welcome news.