#NYCC ticketing and me-the 2015 editon

Last year, I spent a nerd filled 3 days at New York ComicCon (NYCC) with the wonderment that is a press pass. It was glorious, it was overload and it provided me with experiences like this:

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yes, that is the one and only Orlando Jones. I was at the Sleepy Hollow Press Room! Ah-maze-ing.

but that’s a story for another time…

So, this year, ReedPop has denied press passes right and left for people within an hour of us submitting applications. SO, I decided I’d attempt to get tickets and go for the day.

I stalked the website and got the go time for tickets. I figured I’d get a one day Sunday pass and get a kids day pass for my CoPilot.

Little did I know what a hot mess getting tickets would be.

Ticketing opened at 12 noon, Eastern. I attempted to access the website for ticketing. Little did I know the chaos that was about to ensue.

First-the website crashed, at the very least, 4 times. I kept reloading and reloading and reloading. I had multiple devices going at once.

I was able to finally join the “virtual queue” at 12:20. And wait.

I had so many devices out, I felt like this:

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I swear. I was all Sheldon.

about 15 408 errors later…and 2 devices…a cup of coffee and a pair of Rocket Dog Flip Flops later-hey-I went shopping with the site rolling on my phone. I wasn’t sitting around-

and 2.5 hours

Yes, you read that right.

2.5 hours later….

I had my tickets. Co Pilot and I are locked and loaded.

But here’s the thing. This was the biggest ticketing fiasco I’ve been a part of. When I finally was able to access the purchase page, all of the 3 and 4 day tickets were sold out. Single day Saturday was sold out. All of the VIP and Special Access passes were sold out.

They were already on StubHub, Ebay and ticket resale sites.

Scalpers.

50.00 tickets were now selling for over 100.00. It made no sense. It made me angry.

ReedPop says that they’re going to find as many of the scalpers as they can and void the tickets.

Fine, that’s all well and good, but seriously. Fans who pack Javits Center every October deserve better in a ticket buying experience. I shouldn’t have been chained to my device for over 2 hours.

ReedPop should have just taken a peek at twitter and noticed that the demand was going to be high. They should have anticipated with servers that would hold. Isn’t that the most basic rule of the internet? Have a server that can handle demand? If you’re not sure, TEST IT.

Today, ReedPop issued a statement.

Dear New York Comic Con Fans,

On Wednesday at noon Eastern Time we put tickets for the 10th edition of New York Comic Con on sale and after months of preparation and close working sessions with our ticketing vendor we almost immediately saw something was not right. I know you saw it too. This letter is an attempt to help you understand what happened, and while that still might not get you the ticket to NYCC that you wanted, we hope it will at least provide you with some portion of the explanation you deserve.

Some facts we have been able to ascertain by looking at the data:

  • The demand for tickets at noon was roughly quadruple what we experienced in 2014.
  • Those who were attempting to buy tickets in the queue know that it took several hours to move through the queue and received error messages along the way. This was a direct effect of an unexpected and unforeseen slowdown of the system.
  • What is important to note is that regardless of the slowdown and error activity, when the queue opened at noon, there were already more individuals “in line” than there were VIP, 3-Day, 4-Day and Saturday tickets combined. This means that beginning at 12:01 demand had already outstripped the supply of tickets. Thus even without the challenges we experienced unexpectedly, there was not a guarantee that people “in line” at 12:01 would receive the exact ticket types they so craved.
  • The queue slow down lasted until about 3pm. At that time most fans that remained in the queue or refreshed after getting an error message were able to buy whatever inventory of tickets remained. Admittedly, many ticket types were sold out due to the sheer demand for tickets.
  • Now let’s talk about those ticket resellers – we don’t like them either! We know you see tickets available on reseller sites and we know how frustrating that is (especially if you did not get the tickets you wanted) and please know that we continue to be aggressive about doing all we can to deal with those resellers. We further limited quantities this year. We will comb through those sites and attempt to get tickets removed. We review the data of ticket purchasers and cross check names, addresses, email, credit cards and then remove and ban where we find people trying to buy tickets over the maximum allowed. In short, we are as frustrated by people selling tickets at an inflated price as you are.
  • What can you do about those reselling tickets at inflated prices? DON’T BUY THEM! First of all, it creates a market for people to price gouge, but just as important, we will be cancelling as many of those people we can identify as ticket resellers (meaning those trying to cheat the system and buy large quantities) so you may be buying a worthless piece of paper.
  • A limited supply of New York Comic Con Tickets will be available for purchase at Special Edition: NYC 2015 on June 6-7. All details can be found here.
  • An event at Midtown Comics later this summer. Midtown Comics DOES NOT have tickets yet. All of the info for this event will be announced at a later date. Note that Midtown Comics is the ONLY Retail partner selling NYCC 2015 Tickets.

We are truly sorry that the ticket buying process did not go as well as we wanted and certainly not as well as you deserve. The reasons don’t matter though; we let you down and as a team, we are really, really sorry for that.  We know many of you won’t get the tickets you wanted for NYCC and for some it is because of sheer demand for limited quantities, for some it is aggressive ticket brokers and for some it is the challenges our system had thrown at it yesterday. No matter the reason for it we want you to know that we wish we could get tickets into the hands of everyone that wants them and we are doing all we can to assure that and that we value you as fans more than you can possibly imagine and what feels the worst is that many of you don’t feel that way today.

From,
Lance Fensterman

So, they admit they are a hot mess..but what is going to change next year? I know many people who are at their wit’s end with this, and frankly, I’m really not impressed. Am I excited to see friends (both new and old)? Yep. Am I excited to cosplay and show the Co Pilot the best cosplay EVER? Yep.

But, am I willing to deal with this hot mess if they can’t rectify the server issues and the ticketing issues?

I’m not sure.

ReedPop says we deserve better, and they need to show us we are valued as fans. I can’t wait to see how they show us better and we are valued.

 

 

 

 

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