With the ticket rush for New York Comic Con still a few weeks away, ReedPOP has announced a few new procedures for ticketing, including a new Fan Verification system, a bit similar to SDCC’s “Member ID” system, which is aimed at making it harder for resellers to buy tickets. In addition “Super Week” the branding for the week of local event surrounding NYCC, will be retitled “NYCC Presents,” with NYCC badges honored for daytime events.
Finally, ReedOP is doing away with VIP tickets
According to ReedPOP head honcho Lance Fensterman, the Fan Verification system gives them more information about purchasers and helps ReedPOP determine if buyers are actual fans or potential ticket scalpers. The registration process won’t be too technical — “fans must answer a few questions about their likes, Fensterman told The Beat — it will also help NYCC see what its attendees are interested in.
Once fans are verified, they will be notified two days in advance of NYCC tickets going on sale. NYCC badges will ONLY be sold online (in the past a few select retail outlets sold them, and they were available at the now cancelled Special Edition show.) The short window and new procedures will help eliminate resellers who used electronic means to gain an advantage in buying tickets.
Scalping tickets has been an ongoing problem for NYCC. Last year some 3000 tickets were cancelled because of scalping, says Fensterman, and those responsible were blacklisted from buying more tickets, but he concedes that may be a smaller part of the overall problem even though reselling can sometimes be a service.
Of the end of VIP tickets, Fensterman says “We felt it was a bit incongruent with our belief of putting fans first, and also it was hard to put together a high level personal experience at an event of the scale of NYCC, so it was the right time to return those tickets to the pool.” Less than a thousand VIP tickets have been sold in recent yeas, so it wasn’t a huge program to begin with.
As for NYCC Presents, this brand will be a bit easier to explain, and instantly ties in with NYCC, says Fensterman. “Everyone gets NYCC Presents right away, so it’s playing to the strength of our overall brand strategy.” The NYCC Presents events will be spread out at some notable new venues, he said, and a badge will get you into daytime events, hopefully as part of the way to reduce crowding at the Javits Center. Nighttime events will require purchase of a ticket.
It is part of an overall planned expansion, however. “We’ll have multiple venues spreading out during the day and additional new stuff at night. Our strategy hasn’t changed dramatically but the tactics have changed to achieve it. We want this event to be city wide week of activities for the geek community.”
While SE:NYC didn’t quite work out in New York, the idea may be revisited in different forms in different cities, said Fensterman.
More details on the Fan verification process:
The Fan Verification system will launch on Friday, May 20, when Fans will fill out a profile in order to be eligible to purchase Tickets when they go on sale. Fan Verification will close Monday, June 13 and anyone who has not completed a Fan Verification profile will be unable to purchase Tickets. For the first time, purchasing Tickets will only be possible online through the NYCC Ticket website and there will be no retail sales.
“At ReedPOP we put our fans first and this process is to get as many tickets into the hands of those fans, plain and simple,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP. “We know it is a little more work for our fans but we hope they will happily work with this new system if it helps to thwart ticket brokers and ticket resellers.”
Also new this year, ReedPOP will roll New York Super Week into new series, NYCC Presents. This will continue the rapid expansion of New York Comic Con content throughout New York City and under a brand and banner that fans will recognize. NYCC Presents will include a massive array great evening events at multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Each of these events will require a separate Ticket.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- VIP Tickets for NYCC will no longer be made available.
- 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.
- All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale.
- The email Fans will receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where Fans will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link.
If Fans are purchasing Tickets for multiple people, they must be assigned to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If Fans are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, they will add their name and age to the Ticket.
These changes have been done with the hope that more Fans will get the opportunity to experience NYCC 2016. The full Fan Verification process and NYCC Show news can be found here and atNewYorkComicCon.com/
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.