Big news on the NYCC front, whether it is good or bad depends on your viewpoint.
Reed Pop has decided to attempt to eliminate ticket scalpers and resellers at the New York City Comic Con by introducing a new ‘Fan Verification’ system. All prospective con attendees must fill out and pass verification in order to obtain tickets. They’ve also eliminated ticket sales at all comic shops and removed VIP access.
This isn’t something new, San Diego Comic Con went down this road a few years ago requiring pre-registration and Member IDs. Yes, it did seem to cut down on ticket scalping, but it also makes it a whole lot harder for regular con-goers to get tickets. It also effectively ‘locks’ people into making an expensive purchase months before the event when they don’t even know if there are names attending that they want to see. Requiring identification on the ticket means that if you find you suddenly have to work, are ill, or can’t attend for a myriad of other reasons, that you are now stuck with an expensive and unusable ticket. You can’t just hand your ticket to your best friend and have them go.
Here is the full letter from New York:
Each year when we take over the Javits Center in October, we have one priority in mind: you, the NYCC Fans. We don’t run NYCC year after year because we love hanging out by the Hudson or we need to reach our step goal in October, we do this because we want to provide the experience of a lifetime to everyone who attends NYCC each year.
With that in mind, we want the New York Comic Con 2016 Ticket buying experience to be as smooth and fair as possible, so this year we are requiring Fan Verification. What does Fan Verification mean? It means we are requiring anyone interested in attending NYCC to fill out a profile between Friday, May 20 and Monday, June 13. We recognize that this is an extra step before buying your Tickets and requires more commitment from you, but we also know that as true Fans of the Show, you won’t mind making it tough for the supervillains out there. Here’s a quick look at nine important points for this new process:
1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. We will no longer be selling VIP Tickets for NYCC. 6. 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. 7. All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale. 8. The email you receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where you will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link. 9. If you are purchasing Tickets for you and your friends or family, you must assign each individual Ticket to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If you are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, you will add their name and age to the Ticket.
These changes are being done with you in mind and the hope that more of you will get the opportunity to experience NYCC. Please visit NewYorkComicCon.com/FanVerification for complete details on the NYCC Ticketing process along with other important NYCC Show news.
Thank you for your commitment and passion for the Show and willingness to take these extra steps to help us get more Tickets into your hands. We’re looking forward to giving you even more amazing content to experience with us and can’t wait to reveal more of what we’ve been working on for you. NYCC 2016 is going to be our best Show yet and it’s all going to start with Fan Verification improving the Ticket buying process for you.
I guess this is good news for the smaller cons in the area, as a lot of people just aren’t going to bother with NYCC anymore.