The first few times I attended San Diego Comic-Con as a professional, the process of obtaining your “professional credentials” was straightforward, albeit soul-killing. Even for the years I don’t go, I always register for my badge, anyway, as it’s usually a late decision about attending, and I don’t want to get left tapping on the glass because I missed the registration/verification window.
After completing the verification process which requires hopeful attendees to fill out a few forms, and submit proof of their status as professional writers, artists, or other creators, you’d receive a letter letting you know you’d been approved, and a badge would be waiting for you at the con. All you had to do was survive the gauntlet of crowds, lines, and other obstacles until you fought your way to one of the people who would give you your badge, along with a few other goodies like a lanyard, program guide, ginormous swag bag, and so on.
In recent years, the con has taken steps to streamline this process so that it moves more quickly and efficiently for everyone involved (yes, including the recipients of said badges). The last couple of years, after the verification and registration process is completed online, credentials were mailed a few weeks before the con, in a nondescript envelope.
This year, it seems the con is stepping up their game yet again. Apparently dissatisfied with the simple envelope approach, now the receipt of one’s professional con credentials is a bit of an event!
It starts with the plain packing envelope that arrived in my mailbox, and the opening of said envelope which reveals this little package contained therein:
Pretty classy, I have to admit. This isn’t some cheap, fragile box, either. I’m moderately convinced I might be able to use this thing as an improvised weapon in one of those crazy Jason Bourne fight scenes where he uses books, pens, and whatever else he can find.
Anyway, I can hear some of you yelling, “What’s in the box?!?” Flipping up the box’s lid reveals the juicy contents:
Yep! Right on top, there’s my badge, sans lanyard. It seems that I’m still going to have to wait in line for that, the program guide, swag bag, and other stuff, but at least now it’s more of an assembly line process where you just grab and go, etc.
But wait! There’s more! Beneath the badge, lies other goodies:
Actually, aside from the cute little pin, the main thing in there is a small checklist/FAQ-type doc, that can be helpful if you’re new to the con and dealing with the information overload you’re going to experience upon setting foot inside the con for the first time.
Pretty snazzy, Comic-Con. Pretty snazzy, indeed.