Hundreds of people missed out on Hall H last year due to what some whispered as rumors of counterfeit wristbands. An issue of that magnitude required San Diego Comic-Con to reevaluate their Hall H wristband system for 2018. Even with a new system in place, it might not be enough to plug all the leaks, and some of that might be your fault.

Alleged Counterfeit Wristbands Keep People Out of Hall H

Last year it was confirmed several hundred people with wristbands that should have ensured entrance into Hall H Saturday festivities, missed out due to an excess of wristbands that had made their way in the crowd. Whether those wristbands were counterfeit or stolen official goods remains unknown, but attendees certainly noticed something was off, including wristband policy violations. Questions were asked but answers were lacking, and information never got escalated to the right officials until it was too late. Going forward Comic-Con knew they had some changes to make.

Changes in Policy Hope to Plug Holes in System

Comic-Con has taken steps to adjust the wristband policy this year in the hopes to counter those seeking entrance into Hall H by sidestepping procedure. Here’s the key change leveraging existing RFID in your badges.

After verifying your badge, Line Staff will hand you a wristband, which you will need to securely attach to your wrist, and then you will present your badge for scanning by staff prior to leaving the line. The scanning staff will verify that your wristband is attached securely and then scan your badge for the next morning’s first seating of Hall H. When you enter Hall H the following morning, you will need to show your wristband and scan your badge.

It’s unknown at this time if there’s any barcode or other device that pairs badge to wristband. If staff does verify secure wristbands and scan badges this should stave off those looking to sell off their wristbands. After you receive your wristbands you can once again line up immediately for the next day’s first panel; have someone save your space and return before 7:30AM; or leave and return to the end of the wristband line by 7:30AM. Whichever choice you make, if it’s a valid wristband and badge, you’re in!

Comic-Con may have implemented changes, but there still are areas of weakness. Such as no matter what line, but especially a Hall H line, saving spaces in line can get—tense.

While we do not recommend saving space in line, those in line for wristbands may save space for no more than 5 people. Any additional people beyond those 5 will be asked to leave and may rejoin the end of the Next Day Line.

Saving spaces for those not with you is allowed, per the Comic-Con’s policy, but with that many faces it’s difficult to keep track of who belongs where. Not to mention it can be a crap shoot at to whether the volunteers/staff are trained enough to take action and solve a situation vs. shrug their shoulders and hope someone else fixes it.

Be The Change You Want to See

The best thing to do is control your destiny, and leverage techniques that a good bartender, client success manager, or music festival veteran would employ.

  • Control your environment and be aware of the environment around you. Don’t just tune out playing on your Switch, bingeing Riverdale, or reading Children of Bone and Blood.
  • Get to know your neighbors and who is and isn’t with them. You don’t have to be social the entire time, but don’t turtle up and be quiet as 20 people end up rotating into a single space.
  • Not my problem isn’t cutting it anymore–here or the real world. Make it you or newfound neighbors’ problem whether that be escalating until you get to the right person, or through shining of the shame spotlight.

Should something still go awry and you end up in the Upside Down, Comic-Con won’t forget you. I must commend Comic-Con for last year because once the issue was known, they acted swiftly and decisively by acknowledging something went wrong and created a resolution. Eddie Ibraham himself came out to the Hall H tents and explained that though they couldn’t get those with valid wristbands inside, Comic-Con had a treat that left most cheering the famous Hall H cry of “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!”