Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fanime Prep 2013: Pre-registration and Hotel Madness!

Today was the day many Fanime fans have been anticipating for months!  At noon, the Fanime 2013 website went live, and along with it pre-registration and hotel registration.  Here's how it all went down for me:

I happened to be at work today, so I gave my credit card number to my boyfriend and asked him to book a room for me.  As noon approached, I began to becoming increasingly nervous about my chances of getting the room I wanted, so I opened up a browser with an online analog clock.  I entered in the Fanime website address and pressed "enter" as soon as the second hand hit 12:00.

To my horror, absolutely nothing happened.  My boyfriend promptly messaged me, informing me that he could not access the site.  I told him to keep trying and in the meantime continued to refresh my screen while my coworkers weren't looking.

Eight minutes later, I still couldn't get the site to load.  In fact, the 2012 site loaded instead.  I grabbed my cell phone and went to the Fanime facebook page.  To some relief, it looked like many others were having the same issues.  When I refreshed the facebook page several minutes later, I noticed that someone had posted a direct link to the housing website.  I tapped it and it worked!  Unfortunately, I didn't think I could enter my information quickly enough, so I copy/pasted the link to my boyfriend hoping that he would get my message.  When he didn't respond, I typed the website address into my browser and decided to try for a room myself.

By then, all of the hotels adjacent to the convention center were completely sold out, along with the double beds in my preferred hotel.  Fortunately, they still had the room I book every year, so I picked that and started entering my information, using an alternate e-mail address since my boyfriend was already using mine.  Unfortunately, being in a rush I entered in the WRONG E-MAIL ADDRESS.  However, the registration site lets you send a carbon copy of your registration to another person, so I simply entered the correct e-mail address there.  I didn't want to risk going back and losing my room.

After I checked out, I looked at my phone and found out that my boyfriend had successfully booked the same type of room in the same hotel!  At this point, I decided to just take my lunch break before I got written up being on a non-work related website.  In the break room, I went ahead and cancelled my room so as to free it up for someone else.  For fun, I went to see what rooms were left.

By 12:40pm, all the available hotels in the Downtown San Jose area for Thursday-Monday were completely sold out.  As of now (7:30pm), the only Thursday-Monday bookings that are left are at DoubleTree near the airport.  Now, if you plan on spending most of your time at Clockwork Alchemy, this is actually to your benefit.

I really feel that I got lucky this year.  Hotel rooms sell out faster each year, and at this rate I probably won't get my preferred hotel next year!  While the hotel registration went pretty smoothly once the Fanime staff fixed the website problems, the process produced an adrenaline rush I'd rather not experience until I have to do this again in 2014.  If Fanime hotel room registration is like this, I can only imagine what Comic-Con badge registration is going to be like!  Hopefully it'll be on a weekend or else I'll get written up at work for sure!

Fanime badge pre-registration, on the other hand, was a total breeze.  I purchased my badge when I got home from work and had no issues whatsoever.  $50 is such a great deal for a four day convention, plus a few extra hours on Thursday night.

Looks like I'm all set to go to Fanime (minus the cosplays)!  Can't wait 'til May!

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