Assessing CCI's Ticket Sales Trial Run

After multiple failed attempts to get a workable system for online ticket sales for its 2011 event in San Diego, Comic-Con International today made a successful run at releasing 1,000 weekend passes to the show via the TicketLeap web service - though there are still a few issues to be worked out before all the passes will be placed online for sale.

As Robot 6 reported earlier today, the tickets seemed to sell out almost immediately, and so CBR News reached out to CCI Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Glanzer for an update on what that means for fans moving forward.

"I think the test did exactly what it was supposed to do," Glanzer explained. "One of the important things is to realize that we had 1,000 tickets available and were able to sell 1,000 tickets. In our first two attempts - the first we weren't able to sell any, and in the second we only sold a handful. So in that regard, it went well.

"There were a couple of bumps, and that's why we decided to do a test first. But it seemed that within the first 15 minutes all the tickets sold out, and most of those were sold in the first minute or two. But it gave us a lot of information where we'll be pouring over that information for the next few weeks, but it's also been a success."

Initially, TicketLeap's site had quoted a figure of 51,658 people attempting to buy Comic-Con passed this morning, but the site has since removed the number waiting to go over the hard facts with Comic-Con (as reported by Heidi MacDonald at The Beat). Glanzer explained that "We're going to have to go over the data and see how things work. One of the things we learned today too was that apparently a lot of people opened up multiple browsers. It's possible that one person may have two or three different windows open trying to buy, and it seems from everyone that we've talked to like that is unique to our attendees, which is interesting. You'd think that that was true across the board for anything, but apparently not so. So we'll have to look at everything and decide where it's best to go next. It's too early to tell, but after the holidays, we should have a much better idea."

Asked whether a major corporate service such as Ticketmaster was considered for the sale, Glanzer said, "Over the past few weeks, we've looked at a variety of different organizations and methods. We're trying to find a solution that is both effective and economical. Some of those ticket sellers have really large fees to the consumer and then additional fees to the seller. With TicketLeap who utilized the Amazon data center, we felt like those were on the low end of the fees while still being able to handle our volume. Today, despite a few bumps, it looks like they were able to do that. But again, I'm cautiously optimistic. I can say that if the system had broken down, and we weren't able to sell the tickets today like we weren't the first two times, we probably would've gone right back to the drawing board."

Overall, Comic-Con hopes to have all their tickets on sale in an easy and affordable method after the new year as the organization has felt the frustration of fans. "Even though there were a thousand people who got tickets, there were a lot of negative comments from people who couldn't get tickets, and that's something that we never want to see," Glanzer concluded. "But we knew in making 1,000 tickets available that there were going to be people who wanted to get tickets and weren't going to be able to. That was part of this test, but it's a limited test, and I think it went well. We'll analyze the information, and after the new year, we'll figure out when they'll all go on sale."

For more on Comic-Con International 2011, stay tuned to CBR News.

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