Tickets for the 2016 New York Comic Con went on sale on June 29 at 12:00pm. Within 90 minutes the 3 day and 4 day passes were sold out. Saturday tickets had sold out by 3pm. Sunday tickets were sold out by 4pm. Friday tickets sold out the next day. Thursday tickets are still available as of July 3.
But the con’s implementation of a new “Fan Verification System” has apparently caused confusion for a number of buyers, and based on postings on social media, it appears that many people who purchased tickets will not actually be able to use them.
For those that are unfamiliar, NYCC first announced Fan Verification on May 17. The reasoning according to their press release was “to help limit the amount of resellers and get Tickets into the hands of Fans”. It required anyone age 13 or older who want to attend the con to fill out an on-line profile. The window to complete the profile was a three and a half week period from May 20-June 10.
If a person purchased NYCC tickets, they are required to assign that ticket to a Fan Verification profile. This is an 8-step process, and instructions can be found here. Tickets that are not assigned to a Fan Verification Profile by the end of the day on July 14 will have that ticket cancelled and the payments will be refunded. At this point ReedPop, the promoters of the convention, have not said what will happen regarding tickets that were cancelled or if they will be offered again. If they are offered again, only those that were fan verified a month earlier would be able to purchase them.
While most people seemed to have understood and followed the instructions regarding Fan Verification, when dealing with a convention that routinely draws more than 120,000 people, even if less than 1% have a problem, that still translates to over a thousand people. The major problem seems to be with people who were buying tickets for friends and family. As mentioned, a person who made it through the ticketing queue could purchase up to 4 tickets. However, a Fan Verification Profile had to be completed for each person who would ultimately receive a ticket, not just the person who purchased them.
Social media is full of examples of people who bought tickets for friends and family, not realizing they all needed Fan Verification.
It was also pointed out that the people who were confused by the Fan Verification requirements but purchased tickets that will ultimately be cancelled caused those that did follow the directions properly to lose out on tickets or have to buy single tickets because 3 and 4 day passes were sold out.
It is also worth noting that the Fan Verification process did not stop the scalpers. Ebay was offering tickets, which could be sold and activated, provided the buyer had signed up earlier for Fan Verification.