Getting Into DCC: The Definitive Guide

by | Jun 12, 2018

Based on your survey feedback from last year, we’ve implemented a wide range of improvements this year designed to get you into the convention faster and easier, plus reduce line tensions.

This blog and FAQ will be updated with the latest information leading up to the convention, so if you ever are wondering where to find the most up-to-date info on this topic, check here first.

Really Important Note About Saturday Morning Opening:

Even with all of the improvements we’ve made this year, if you plan on entering first thing on Saturday morning, please know that there will be the longest lines and the biggest crowds outside the convention center than at any other point in the weekend.

If you have your heart set on being among the first to enter the convention, then we recommend you arrive about two hours before the official opening time of 10 a.m. If you don’t want to deal with very large crowds, consider arriving about an hour after the convention opens.

The short version is: there are inherent limitations to how fast we can process and move tens of thousands of people, so there will be wait times to get in on Saturday. Please prepare accordingly for this.

Important P.S to Our Most Dedicated Fans:

To those of you who, every year, make the massive effort to arrive the earliest, often in costume, regardless of the summer heat, in order to be among the very first to get in, and kindly help others who are not as con-savvy as you are, WE ARE INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL FOR YOU! Please accept our heartfelt thank you for so strongly supporting DCC, Pop Culture Classroom, and for just being awesome human beings.

OK, deep breath, now let’s talk about the entry details for this year.

** We strongly encourage you to please read the entire “Getting In: Step-by-Step” section below as it contains very important information that will save you time at entry, including detailed information about bag/prop checks. **

FIRST THINGS FIRST

We’ve worked hard this year to produce even more informational blogs, FAQs a reference pages to help you have the best experience possible at the convention. Here’s a few of the most important ones to check out first.

  • If you haven’t read the Flash Seats blog and FAQ yet, read that HERE.
  • If you haven’t read the Early Badge Pickup blog and FAQ yet, read that HERE.
  • If you haven’t taken a look at the 2018 Maps Page, open that in a separate tab by clicking/tapping HERE.
  • Review the DCC 2018 Policies HERE.
  • Review the DCC General FAQ HERE.
  • The map we’ll be referencing most in this blog post is the Entry Map, which you can download as a PDF by clicking/tapping HERE.
BUYING BADGES “AT THE DOOR”

The Onsite Purchase booths will be setup at both Attendee Entrance #1 and #2. 

If you intend to buy your badges onsite, we recommend you arrive at the convention center at least an hour before you want to enter DCC. If it’s Saturday morning, arrive about two hours early.

Note that you MUST go through the entry line and bag/prop check process at either of the Attendee Entrances (as described in the “Getting In, Step-by-Step” section below) before you will be able to access the Onsite Purchase booths.

Once you have proceeded through the entry line and through the bag/prop check area, you will see a row of booths setup for onsite purchases. Enter a line for one of the booths to buy your badge(s).

Cash or major credit cards are accepted.

After the transaction is complete, the DCC representative will hand you your physical badges.

Since you already have your badges, you will not be required to go through the process of converting e-tickets to badges using the Flash Seats app.

You can proceed directly to the convention entry point you would like to enter first. If you are unsure where to go, ask one of the DCC representatives for help.

PICKING UP BADGES AT WILL CALL

The Will Call booth will be setup ONLY at Attendee Entrance #2. 

Note that you MUST go through the entry line and bag/prop check process at Attendee Entrances #2 (as described in the “Getting In, Step-by-Step” section below) before you will be able to access the Will Call booth.

Once you have proceeded through the entry line and through the bag/prop check area, you will see a clearly marked AXS booth setup directly adjacent to the Onsite Purchase booths (only in Attendee Entrance #2 – aka, Lobby B).

Approach a DCC representative at the AXS booth (you may have to enter a line), show them your photo I.D., and they will hand you your badges.

You can proceed directly to the convention entry point you would like to enter first. If you are unsure where to go, ask one of the DCC representatives for help.

 GETTING IN, STEP-BY-STEP

This section offers a step-by-step list is for people who have NOT picked up their badges early.

If you have or plan to pick up your badge early on Thursday, June 14, or you purchased your badges onsite, or you picked up your badges at Will Call, then you can simply skip step 6 below.

OK, here we go!

1) Find Onsite DCC Volunteers, They Are There to Help:

When you first arrive at the convention center, look for DCC volunteers who will be standing in multiple places around the convention center.

They will be wearing brightly colored t-shirts with “Volunteer” printed across the back. These volunteers are specially trained to help assist you and answer questions about getting into the convention center.

2) Open Your Map and Flash Seats App:

Open the Entry Map in a separate tab or window, or in the DCC 2018 Mobile app, so you can have it accessible for easy reference. Take out your phone and open your Flash Seats app, too.

3) Pick an Entrance:

You’ll see on the map that there are two Attendee Entrances. They both get you in. The only difference is that one might be busier when you arrive than the other.

Attendee Entrance #1 (aka, Lobby F) is on the “Blue Bear Side” of the convention center, along 14th Street, across from the light rail station.

Attendee Entrance #2 (aka, Lobby B) is located on the Welton Street side of the convention center, but note that it is tucked underneath the building next to a dedicated access road and covered parking area. This is the same place that registration has been located for several years in a row now.

4) Get Into the Correct Entry Line:

There will be two lines to choose from at each Attendee Entrance.

If you are a Speed Pass holder, or have an ADA wrist band, then enter the Speed Pass/ADA Line. This line will naturally be FAR shorter than the other line, so you may have to ask a volunteer to help escort you to where the back of this line is.

If you are a standard badge holder, then enter the standard badge holder line. Please avoid making assumptions, taking guesses or asking other attendees where the end of this line is. If it is unclear, in any way, where the end of this line is when you arrive, ask a volunteer to show you specifically where to go.

5) Pass Through the Bag/Prop Check Areas:

As you progress through the line you entered, you will eventually reach the bag/prop check area. At this point security representatives will inspect your bag(s) and any prop(s) you may have brought.

If, for any reason, security decides that any item(s) in your bag(s) or prop(s) are in violation of the DCC 2018 Policies, you will not be permitted to proceed past this point.

If this happens, you will have two options:

  1. Discard the offending item(s) in the provided trash receptacles, which will allow you to proceed, or;
  2. Leave the line, return without the offending item(s), and re-enter at back of the line.

 This policy/procedure will be strictly enforced and there will be no exceptions. 

If you have any doubts about an item you’re bringing in, please leave it at home or in your vehicle/hotel room. These measures are in the interest of safety.

6) Exchange Your Flash Seats E-Tickets for Badges:

After passing through the bag/prop check area, it’s time to open your Flash Seats app, navigate to your e-tickets QR code, and prepare to have your e-tickets exchanged for physical badges.

If you don’t have (or choose not to use) the Flash Seats app, no worries. You can present the credit card you used to purchase your ticket(s) and the DCC representative will be able to look up your record and provide you with your badge(s). With Flash Seats, you may also register your driver’s license online at flashseats.com and use for entry into DCC.

As you walk forward, you will reach an open area where you will see multiple groups of three DCC representatives standing together.

There will be many of these trios, so you won’t be able to miss them. One person in each group will be holding a small scanning device — and they will probably be gesturing for people to come talk to them.

Approach one of the DCC representatives with a handheld scanner and show them the QR code displayed on your phone. If you have any trouble finding your e-tickets or QR code, the DCC representatives will help.

The DCC representative will then scan the QR code (or ask for your credit card), verify your purchase, and then instruct one of the other DCC representatives to hand you your badges.

7) Proceed to Your Desired First Point of Entry:

After getting your badge(s), you have some options. The routes to the following areas will vary depending on which Attendee Entrance you chose.

If you want to enter any area OTHER than the show floor first, such as Celebrity Events, Pop Culture Powered Panels, or the Cosplay attraction areas, then follow signs (and ask volunteers to guide you) to the appropriate location.

If you want to enter the show floor first, then follow signs (and ask volunteers to guide you) to the show floor entry “Chutes Room”. “Chutes” is a term used by many conventions to designate multiple parallel queuing lines formed next to each other.

If the show floor is already open, you will be able to simply walk in directly to the show floor.

If the show floor has NOT opened yet, you will be instructed by DCC representatives to enter one of the chutes.

There will be one chute devoted to Speed Pass badge holders and ADA guests. All other chutes will be for standard badge holders.

When the show floor opens, ADA guests will be admitted first, then Speed Pass badge holders.

Then, attendees in each of the other chutes will be let in. Once all attendees in one chute have entered, attendees in the next chute will begin entering, then the next, and so on.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Need more details? The FAQ below will answer many of the questions we’re receiving the most.

But, if there is still something you need answered, please don’t hesitate to send email to info@popcultureclassroom.org. We’re here to help!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are Flash Seats?

Flash Seats is an ID-based digital ticketing system available through AXS that allows you to enter an event with any form of convenient digital ID, such as a credit card or a Mobile ID through the Flash Seats mobile app. This concept, similar to the e-ticket in the airline industry, allows you to manage your tickets via the Internet. It also gives you the ability to sell, buy, and transfer seats through a marketplace endorsed by your team or venue. If you’d like to learn more, here is the Flash Seats FAQ.

If I’ve Never Used Flash Seats Before, Do I Need to Sign-Up for a New Account?

Yes, if you have not previously created a Flash Seats account, you will need to download the mobile app (iOS or Android) and create a new user account. You can also create an account on the Flash Seats website at www.flashseats.com.

Why the Change?

We made the change because we heard how you wanted a quicker and more streamlined process at entry, and we believe this will make things simpler and considerably faster. We also understand your stress when your badge doesn’t arrive in the mail on time or you need an address change or you forgot your badge at home. Flash Seats should help to solve a number of issues that have arisen in previous years.

Do I Have to Use the Flash Seats Mobile App to Get My Badge?

No. Using the Flash Seats mobile app is the fastest and most convenient way to exchange your ticket(s) for your badge(s).

However, if you don’t have your phone with you, no worries.  Present the credit card you used to purchase the ticket and the DCC representative will be able to look up your record and provide you with your badge(s).  With Flash Seats, you may also register your driver’s license online at flashseats.com and use for entry into DCC.

Are My AXS and Flash Seats Username and Password the Same?

No, your log-in credentials for your Flash Seats account are separate from your AXS log-in credentials.

Can I Pick Up Badges for My Entire Group When I Pick Up My Own?

Yes, in fact, you MUST pick up all badges for your group if you purchased their tickets in the same order as your own. You simply follow the same process for picking up your own badge and the DCC Ticketing Representative will provide you with all badges you purchased. If you are unable to pick up badges for others in your party, you can transfer the digital Flash Seat ticket(s) from your account to their Flash Seats account. Then they will be able to pick up their own badge(s) at their convenience by following the same pickup process outlined above with their Flash Seats account.

Do I Have to Pick Up All of the Badges I Ordered with My Own Badge, or Can Each Person Pick Their Badge Up Separately?

Yes. You MUST pick up all badges for your group if you purchased their tickets in the same order as your own. You simply follow the same process for picking up your own badge and the DCC Ticketing Representative will provide you with all badges you purchased. To be clear, if you bought tickets using your account for other people, those people cannot pick up their tickets, only you can.

Can I Only Pick Up Some of the Badges I Ordered and Then Come Back Later for the Others?

No, you must pick up all the badges for your group at the same time.

If I Bought the Tickets, Can I Have Someone Else from My Group Pick Up the Badges?

No, only you as the person who purchased the ticket(s) may pick up your badge(s) using the Flash Seats mobile app or the credit card you used to purchase the ticket(s). If you are unable to pick up badges for others in your party, you can transfer the digital Flash Seat ticket(s) from your account to their Flash Seats account. Then they will be able to pick up their own badge(s) at their convenience by following the same pickup process outlined above with their Flash Seats account. For more information on this visit the full FAQ on the Flash Seats website linked HERE.

Can Anyone Who’s Purchased a Ticket Pickup Their Badge(s) Early?

Yes. Anyone who has purchased a ticket, and has those tickets showing in their Flash Seats app/account, can participate in early badge pickup.

What If I Lose My Badge Before (or After) I Arrive and Enter the Con?

If you lose your badge(s) before the con begins, contact ticketing@popcultureclassroom.org immediately. If you lose your badge(s) during the con, visit one of the convention center entry points and speak to a ticketing representative.

What Do I Do, Exactly, If I Want to Pick Up My Badges Early?

Visit Lobby B of the Colorado Convention Center on Thursday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’re not sure where that is, we’ve created a map for you HERE. Walk up to one of the ticketing representatives, open the Flash Seats app on your mobile device, show them the QR code for your tickets, and they will hand you your badges. 

NOTE: If you don’t have your phone with you, no worries.  Present the credit card you used to purchase the ticket and the DCC representative will be able to look up your record and provide you with your badge(s). With Flash Seats, you may also register your driver’s license online at flashseats.com and use for entry into DCC.

I Purchased the Tickets, Can I Send Someone Else to Pick Up My Badges for Me?

Under normal circumstances, no. The ticketing representatives will only give badges to the person who has the tickets showing in their Flash Seats app (or who, by presenting a photo ID or credit card, proves they are the ticket purchaser).

Flash Seats does have an advanced feature that allows you to transfer tickets to another person’s Flash Seats account, which would then allow them to pick up the badges for you. For further information on that feature, visit the Flash Seats FAQ page on their website HERE.

What Are My Options If I Don’t Pick Up My Badge Early?

If you do not pick up your badges early you will need to go through the standard badge exchange process outlined in the blog post and FAQ HERE.

57 Comments

  1. Sara

    Hello there, coming from WY and wondering if there’s a map with parking options? Are there all day parking garages nearby? It’s been a while since I’ve been to the convention center and we love close enough to just make the drive each day. Any help with locating these would be greatly appreciated so we can make our travel plans.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Just an FYI – go early if you need parking. It’s Pride weekend in Denver too and the lots full ip quickly and are pricey.

      You might want to consider parking at a light rail station that goes directly to the convention centre. It’s not that much cheaper, if there are a bunch of you, but it saves a ton of hassle.

      Reply
  2. Crystal

    First timer this year. Are cameras allowed into the event, and if you see a celebrity or artist outside of the celebrity summit, are pictures allowed?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Crystal, yes you may take photos at the con. However, for the safety of other attendees, we do not allow tripods, monopods or other bulky photography/videography equipment unless you are a member of the media wearing the appropriate media credentials. You must ALWAYS ask permission of cosplayers before photographing them.

      Photo and video are not allowed within Celebrity Summit.

      Video is allowed, but you may NOT film in any of the main events panels.

      Reply
      • Myzel

        Hi would i be able to bring a backpack with clothes to change in if i get tired of wearing my costume.?

        Reply
        • Tara

          Myzel, yes you may have a backpack. Just know it will have to go through bag check.

          Reply
  3. Michelle H

    I know speed pass holders can get onto the show floor early, but what time is “early”? So if I’m coming on Friday, what time can I get onto the floor?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Michelle, you will get first access. Meaning we will let the Speed Pass/ADA line on to the show floor first, then once that has been cleared we will allow in the rest of the attendees.

      Reply
      • Taryn

        So speed pass holders get in at 10am? Just trying to clarify.

        Reply
  4. Atarah

    Hello, after bringing my service dog last year I decided to use my cane this year. One, it says no metal objects, will my cane be an issue? Can I get ADA tag when I get my badges or do I need to go somewhere else?

    Reply
  5. Chelsea

    Is there food inside the convention center? Are we allowed to leave and re-enter?

    Reply
    • Amanda

      There is food inside and you can leave and reenter. There’s a Whichwich right outside the Blue Bear entrance which is popular but pretty fast.

      Reply
    • Jen

      Yes, they have food/beverage places in the convention. Just know it’s expensive and mostly burgers, pizza, chicken tender type food. Yes, you can leave and re-enter.

      Reply
    • Frank

      In past years the answers were:

      1) Yes, there is food you can buy. It will probably be pricey and not so great. In previous years we have often taken a break to go outside. The 16th Street Mall is nearby with plenty of choices for dining, but you might miss a panel you want to see if you do that.

      2) Yes, you can exit and re-enter.

      I suspect the rules are unchanged this year.

      Reply
  6. Emily

    Hi. This is my first year attending the con. I was wondering if we are allowed to bring our own food and drinks? If so, what is allowed and not allowed? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Tara

      Emily, you may bring small snacks and non-alcoholic drinks into the con. However, you may not bring food in for a large group (i.e. please don’t order pizza for you and 15 of your friends and have it delivered to the con). Also, you may not bring in large coolers or ice chests.

      Reply
  7. Leslie

    First timer here. Yay! I will be attending Sunday only.

    I won’t be cosplaying, but may be bringing a bag with food/water. Does the bottle need to be empty and then filled when I get inside?
    Which entrance will probably be the speediest to get into? The first panel I want to attend doesn’t start until 12, but I do want to have time to walk around. Should I be there at opening, or would waiting til about 11 be faster?

    thank you!

    Reply
    • Tara

      Leslie, welcome! First of all, you may bring water and snacks into the con. They can be filled before you enter. The biggest rush of the day is right as doors open, so if you can wait an hour after that before you arrive, that would be your best bet to avoid a large line/crowd. However, since it’s your first time and it’s a big, overwhelming building and event, I would probably show up about 2 hours before your first scheduled event, just to be safe.

      Reply
  8. Steve Musgrove

    Last year, each day seemed to have a different policy in the security check for what is or is not allowed for a water bottle at the convention. Nobody seemed to know the actual policy, so it was left up to each person doing security checks to make up their own rules.

    Can we bring water to the convention?
    Can it be in a steel (opaque) bottle, or must it be in a clear bottle?
    Is water not allowed at all?

    I have looked through the FAQs and I see no mention of anything that isn’t a weapon or part of a costume. I would like to know what to expect, as I have health issues that require I have water available to me.

    Reply
    • Tara

      Steve, you may have a water bottle with you that contains non-alcoholic beverages.

      Reply
  9. DJ

    Hi, quick question. Are water bottles allowed into the con if they have already been opened?

    Reply
    • Tara

      DJ, yes they are. You may bring non-alcoholic beverages into the con.

      Reply
  10. Cindy

    Can I get an ADA wristband in advance? Like when I do early pick up of my badges?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Cindy, yes you can get your ADA wristband during early badge pick up on Thursday.

      Reply
  11. Kat

    Are we allowed to bring in stainless steel water bottles, either with water in the or empty, if necessary?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Kat, yes you may.

      Reply
  12. Karis

    Are plastic swords and shields allowed?

    Reply
  13. Gabrielle

    My Wife (Xena) has a razor sharp metal (it’s actually blunt and very thin wooden) chakram (works like a frisbee (of death)). From what I can tell this is not allowed right? If we make it non removable from her side would she be allowed to bring it in as part of her costume? Thanks.

    Reply
  14. Sabrina

    I was reviewing the Prop Guidelines and was hoping to clarify one point.
    Under Prop Guidelines and in the Allowed list it says “Any size prop made of foam, rubber, cardboard, paper, light plastic, or cloth.” Under Not Allowed is a list of specific items including bats and mallets. If one such item were made from an approved material would it be allowed in? (eg: a bat made of light plastic)

    Reply
  15. Rita vinaja

    Are there special lines for special needs individuals ? If you buy a ticket for an autograph and photo of one person is there a discount ?

    Reply
  16. Michelle

    Can you bring props such as empty beer cans and cigars? Will they need to be checked every time you re enter the convention center? Also, are cardboard shields considered a “weapon” or a prop?

    Reply
  17. Chanelle

    After I get my badges early tomorrow which entrance can I go through to get into the event on Friday? Is it the same line people are waiting in to get their badges same day? I also have will call tickets to pick up my son won from a contest that are under his other parent’s name. Am I going to be able to pick them up myself and can I get my badges with my flash seat app at same time?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Chanelle, you may go in through either entrance #1 or #2 on the entry map. Yes, it is the same line but you will be able to skip the badge exchange portion of entry if you already have your badge. You may have some trouble picking up the Will Call badge if it’s not under your name, but both Flash Seats exchange and Will Call will be open tomorrow.

      Reply
  18. Liz

    I think most people’s concern on the snacks/drink question (and mine as well) is if said allowable food and drink [non-alcoholic] must be factory sealed or if we can bring in ziptop bags and reusable containers full of non-alcoholic beverages?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Liz, they do not have to be factory sealed.

      Reply
  19. mike

    Have badges been mailed out, or are they only available via early pickup or Will call?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Mike, we did not mail badges this year. You may either come by today until 6 p.m. and pick up early, or you can exchange your Flash Seats for your badge during the entry process at the con.

      Reply
  20. Dave

    What is considered “Large” in regards to PVC items? I made a wizard staff for my son’s costume. It’s about 3.5 ft long and has a raquetball covered in electrical tape at it’s head. Will that be ok?

    Reply
  21. roni

    This is our first family ComicCon, and we are only going on Saturday. I wasn’t able to pick up badge early today, but I can on Friday if that’s allowed. Is it possible to pick up Saturday badges on Friday? Would that be worth it? I knew Saturday will be crazy!

    Reply
    • Tara

      Roni, yes you can. I would suggest coming a few hours after doors open so that lines aren’t as long.

      Reply
  22. Heather

    May I use entry #1 with Flash Seats, or is that only supported at the will-call entrance, entry #2?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Heather, you may use either entry #1 or #2. They have the same entry process.

      Reply
  23. Cruz

    Can I pay for stuff like photo ops and other things with a debt card or do I need cash?

    Reply
    • Tara

      Cruz, autographs are cash only, photo ops are cash or credit. It’s always good to have both just in case.

      Reply
  24. Angel

    Quick question. If it takes two hours to enter on Saturday morning and we have a photo opportunity scheduled for 11 AM, what do you recommend so we make our photo time? We already have our badges.

    Reply
    • Tara

      Angel, I would recommend being in line by 9 a.m.

      Reply
  25. Brandy Hickmott

    is there a quicker way to get in if you have a disability other than standing in line?

    Reply
  26. Holly

    We were near the front of the speed pass line today and there were 3 Day pass people being let in at the same timw – I thought we had first access?

    Reply

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