Sunday, November 7, 2010

Convention Ticketing Woes

Red Dot Diva noted that ticketing woes had plagued two comic conventions lately. Ironically, one was a large and iconic convention in the States; and the other, a smaller newcomer in the Asian scene.

It was a disappointing ticket booking FAIL on November 1st with franticly-popular San Diego's Comic Con (SDCC) 2011. More mainstream pop-culture fans must have gotten wind of the gamut of A-list guests who appeared at this year's SDCC and were now making a play for next year's tickets.

One has to note that it has already been announced that the Preview Night tickets which were offered during SDCC 2010 itself were already sold out by the end of the convention!

The rush to get tickets online crashed SDCC's servers well and good. From what Red Dot Diva heard, about 13% of people who tried to log in was able to get any tickets. The rest were unable to access the website at all. An apology was later issued by SDCC saying that the new dates/ times for online booking will be announced on November 8th, 2010.

With such a rush to get into SDCC 2011, Red Dot Diva predicts that next year's convention would be an even crazier one. She would not be going to SDCC 2011 (un)fortunately, and would most probably be making plans for a more intimate London-based convention next summer.

As an alternative, some of Red Dot Diva's friends are focussing on going to a more fan-based DragonCon 2011 instead. Red Dot Diva thinks this might end up being a better idea. Especially if one does not want to get run-down by insane crowds and bled dry by ridiculously-priced accommodation.

In any case, Comic Con 2011 has announced a list of 20 special guests as a teaser. Click here to view the current guest list. Red Dot Diva wishes her friends all the best in getting their tickets!

Prior to the SDCC 2011 online ticketing fiasco, Reed Exhibition's fledgling local pop-culture event, the Singapore Toy Games and Comic Convention (STGCC), also ran into some problems with their online ticketing vendor, Gatecrash.

Apparently, Gatecrash has sent out a batch of tickets which were not yet approved by the organizers. Red Dot Diva belonged to that small batch of ticket buyers. And she, together with some others, received a rather cryptic email saying that the tickets received should be destroyed and Gatecrash will contact those affected by this error soon.

In this day and age of constant malware and spam mail, a few of those affected were wisely cautious about the Gatecrash email, and promptly checked in with STGCC on Facebook regarding the matter.

It was heartening to note that STGCC took this matter seriously and measures were quickly taken to iron out the confusion with Gatecrash.

In a day or so, Gatecrash sent a formal email apology to the batch of ticket holders, and they did make an effort to call Red Dot Diva offering to deliver the replacement tickets personally. Despite arrangements being made, Red Dot Diva was a little disappointed that the personal delivery didn't come to pass. She did, however, receive the replacement ticket by registered mail by the end of the week. So, problem resolved.

STGCC has now formally announced a slew of interesting and exciting guests - like David Lloyd ("V for Vendetta"), Gail Simone ("Birds of Prey"/ "Wonder Woman") and Phil Ortiz ("The Simpsons") - to the press and on their website. Red Dot Diva hopes the event will be a success -- for the future of Singapore's increasing number of savvy pop-culture fans and comic/ anime lovers. South-East Asia needs its own geekdom to revel in and Red Dot Diva believes STGCC can make it happen if run correctly.

For those who are curious about the guests appearing at STGCC, click here for the list.

STGCC runs from 10 - 12 December, 2010 at Suntec Hall 401 & 402, Singapore. For ticketing information, click here! Do note that one is also able to buy tickets from local Singpost offices, AXS and SAM machines too!

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