WHAT IS DRAGON CON? WHAT ARE ETERNAL MEMBERS?
Dragon Con is the world’s best science fiction and pop culture convention. It takes place every in Atlanta, GA every year in September over labor day weekend. Eternal Members are people who have bought a lifetime membership to this event.Talk to Dragon Con Eternal Members at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DragonConEternalMembers or http://dragonconforums.org/eternal-members. Everyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a Dragon Con Eternal Member to join any of our online groups or participate in our fan meetups. We welcome anyone who wishes to learn more about the Eternal Membership.
BENEFITS OF A DRAGON CON ETERNAL MEMBERSHIP
- Buy an Eternal Membership online or at the convention where you buy the regular badges.
- This is a direct quote from the Dragon Con online store on October 16, 2019: “Eternal Memberships are currently $3,500. This membership grants you access to every Dragon Con from now until it no longer exists. Membership Badges are picked up in VIP Badge Pickup. Eternal members have a party on Thursday night before the show in the Guest Hospitality suite.”
Eternal Membership is NOT a VIP or gold level equivalent Membership. Unlike many other conventions, Dragon Con does not have tiered levels of membership. There are no special privileges with an Eternal Membership. There is no line cutting, special seating, or hotel room booking advantage.
Where do Eternals gather?
Our Facebook fan group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DragonConEternalMembers. Fan meetups are being planned in the Facebook group. This is where you can have input and be the first to learn of new events. While events will be targeted to Eternals, Non-Eternals are welcome at all fan-run activities.
Dragon Con doesn’t release official numbers or membership information.
As of 10-16-2019, the current price is $3,500. The price is subject to change at any time with no notice. See past prices below.
There is no way to predict with the next price increase will happen. They are usually not announced ahead of time. Sometimes they have jumped right before or after the con. Read the end of this page for the history of membership prices at Dragon Con.
This is one of the most HEATED discussions about the Eternal Membership. How do you calculate it? Do you use the price you’d pay if you buy next year’s at this year’s convention? Do you use the at-the-door price? That is usually about twice as much. Do you include the cost of inflation? If so, how much? My best estimate is 15-20 years, depending on future price increases. This assumes the price for the regular membership only goes up by $5 or $10 every year. It could start to go up by more so you’d pay it off faster. Most other conventions of comparable size have been more expensive than Dragon Con for years.
Learn about the history of prices at Dragon Con at the bottom of this page.
Ticket prices for other conventions have been rising for years. Dragon Con may one day choose to raise their prices to be more in line with what other conventions are charging. There is no way to know what the future holds. If you compare what you get for the admission price, Dragon Con is the BEST deal out there. Just look at their schedule and you will see how they offer far more programming than other conventions!
If Dragon Con ever caps memberships then all Eternal Members will be exempt. By definition they will always have a badge. There is no exact dollar figure that can be assigned to this but it definitely adds value! What do you think San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, or any other large event would charge if they offered an Eternal Membership/ lifetime pass option? Probably a lot more than what Dragon Con is charging! Most conventions don’t even have an Eternal Membership or any kind of lifetime ticket option at all. This is part of what makes Dragon Con unique.
As of this writing, as far as I know Dragon Con has never cut off the sales of full-weekend badges but they have capped sales of the single day tickets as needed. For example, Saturday only badges have reached their maximum in the past. I’ve heard this happens later in the day and so far it doesn’t seem to have affected many people. Starting in 2017 you could buy a Saturday-only badge somewhere outside near the parade. I hope this convenient option continues in the future.
What if I can’t go to Dragon Con every year? Are Eternal Memberships transferable?
No. Like regular memberships, Eternal Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable.
No. In 2017 Dragon Con started requiring a separate Thursday ticket for $10 to get into official Dragon Con activities on that day. This only applied to people who did NOT have a four day badge. Eternal Members will never have to pay any more for their badge but the price of a Thursday badge may go up over time.
A four-day badge is became a five-day badge for the first time officially in 2018. If you are a regular member then please note that this paragraph being written in September 2018 so it is a good idea to consult official Dragon Con resources for the latest news on Thursday ticket prices.
While full-weekend memberships are available online for the majority of the year (online sales will close shortly before the event), tickets for a single day may be added online closer to the convention. Memberships will also be available for purchase at the convention.
What if I’ve already paid for my regular membership? Can I upgrade to an Eternal Membership? Will they take that off the price of the Eternal Membership?
Yes. According to the Dragon Con office “Yes, you can upgrade your regular membership to an Eternal membership. We will back out your membership cost paid and apply the discount to the Eternal cost. We will not honor it after the show is concluded. It then becomes a new show year.” During the year contact firstname.lastname@example.org or use https://www.dragoncon.org/about/contact Once you are at the con, ask a volunteer in registration as soon as possible.
For example, if the Eternal Membership is $3,000 and you’ve already paid $100 for your regular membership then you will be able to upgrade to the EM for $2,900. Always ask about this BEFORE you pay.
Please note that this is an unofficial fan website. Dragon Con can change their policies at any time. They are the final word on everything.
Purchase at https://www.dragoncon.org/buy-now. The online store shuts down a couple of weeks before and after con. This is normal. Time is needed to do inventory and move the merchandise to and from the convention.
Go to the regular registration.
Eternal Memberships can only be purchased in regular registration, not in the Eternal badge pick up area. After you buy your EM at regular registration then you are welcome to to go the Eternal badge pick up in the Marriott (or wherever the Eternal registration is if it ever gets moved) and pick up your free Eternal swag. You can also go to the Thursday night party for Eternals only. Eternal badges are checked at the door by security.
Eternals get their own own registration line. The location has been in the Marriott for the past few years. The exact location used to be listed on the Eternal postcard and was also marked on maps in the printed Pocket Program and in the Dragon Con app. For 2020 and future years, the location will be shared via email with Eternals.
Starting in 2015 it became a full weekend badge with a stripe down the side that says “ETERNAL.” There used to be a peach ribbon that indicated Eternal status but in 2015 all ribbons for all membership types were replaced with colored stripes that are printed directly on the badges. The peach Eternal ribbon was replaced with a peach stripe with white “ETERNAL” lettering. From 2007-2014 Eternals got a peach-colored ribbon says “ETERNAL” in vertical gold lettering. Before 2006 it was a multi-color, gradient rainbow ribbon. For security reasons, the look of the badges is not shared in advance. It may be different in future years.
It was announced that 2019 would be the final year for postcards. For 2020 and beyond, emails will be sent out instead of the postcardss
So that you can easily tell them apart, Eternal postcards were a different color than regular postcards. Regular postcards were blue for many years. Eternal postcards were be any color except blue. They could be a different color each year. The 2019 Eternal postcards were a yellowish orange. For 2017 and 2018 they were orange. In 2016 they were pink. For 2015 they were purple. Other past colors included white, tan, yellow, pink, and green. Sometimes the Eternal postcard was the same color two years in a row but not often.
Eternal postcards were sent out in one batch AFTER all the regular ones go out, usually sometime in December. They could also be sent at the same time as regular postcards, there was no way to know in advance. They had the location of the Thursday night party and Eternal badge pickup on the back side.
Here was the orange Eternal Membership postcard for 2018. Eternal postcards can be a different color each year. The color was never announced ahead of time. They kept us in suspense!
The square QR code will take you the Dragon Con app. It does not contain private information.
Hey, I know what you are thinking – no, you could not print this out and use it to get into Dragon Con forever! Just like regular members, there is a list of registered Eternal Members. Just having a postcard is not enough. You must be on the list. Nice try, though. Points for creativity. ;)
Below is a blue Regular Membership postcard for 2018. Regular postcards are always blue. The square QR code will take you the Dragon Con app. It does not contain private information.
What is the history of prices at Dragon Con?
This information on prices and price jumps was gathered from the memories of Eternal Members and past Dragon Con publications. The first year of Dragon Con was in 1987. So far I have not been able to find documentation from that far back. Here is what I have so far. If you have information you’d like to see added here, contact me with your data.
In 1992 the Eternal Membership cost $250 and the price at the door was $35. Back then people were saying to themselves “Nah, I think I’ll skip buying the Eternal Membership. It is very expensive and will take too long to pay off. Besides, who knows if Dragon Con will be around in a few years or if I’ll want to keep going. Wow, that MC Hammer is sure talented. I bet he has staying power. And that Vanilla Ice is pretty cool too.” People still that today, except the part about MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. ;)
Since the early 1990’s the price jumps have gone from $250 to $350 to $500 to $750 to $1000 to $1500 to $2000 to $2500 and then to $3,000. I may be missing a couple of the earliest price jumps in there somewhere, it is hard to find records from that far back. I know the price increases from $500 and up are accurate.
In 1997 the Eternal Membership was $500. Sometime in 2006 it became $750. In May of 2009 the Eternal Membership increased from $750 to $1,000. After this the jumps started happening by increments of $500 instead of the previous $250. Somewhere in 2011 it increased from $1,000 to $1,500. By July 2012 it was $2,000. This means it jumped $500 shortly before con. I don’t have any exact dates for any of these prices jumps. If you do, contact me with your information and I’ll be happy to add it here.
On Sept 30, 2014 the price went up from $2,000 to $2,500 . This is the only time since 2003 I can recall a price jump being announced ahead of time.
There was a price jump from $2,500 to $3,000 on Wed, Sept 12, 2018 – less than a month after Dragon Con. There was no advance notification. It had been nearly four years since the last price increase. Do you want to get technical? Okay, it had been 1,444 days. That is 3 years, 49 weeks, and 6 days.
The most recent price jump was from $3,000 to $3,500 on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. This was 400 days since the last price increase.
Price increases can happen at any time with no notice. They don’t have a price increase every year. As you can see from the chart below, sometimes the price stays the same for a while. I don’t recall the price ever being increased twice in one year but that doesn’t mean it will never happen.
8-19-2019, Memberships are now purchased through GrowTix. All memberships now have an additional $5.00 fee. This was announced by the official Dragon Con social media accounts.
7-6-2020. Dragon Con 2020 cancelled, going virtual for 2020. All 2020 tickets will be rolled over to 2021. The advance price for 2021 tickets will start at $115. This was the price of tickets as of July 6, 2020, when the rollover policy was announced.
||At the door
2,500 to 3,000 on Wednesday, 9-12-2018.
3,000 to 3,500 on Wednesday, 10-16-2019.
8-19-2019. All memberships are now purchased through www.GrowTix.com. A $5 processing fee will be applied to all memberships. Source: The official Dragon Con account at https://www.facebook.com/DragonConOfficial/photos/a.119223318805/10156617108808806
7-6-2020. Sales halted at $115
We are a fan group who loves Dragon Con but this website and associated fan group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DragonConEternalMembers/ is not affiliated with www.DragonCon.org. We cannot answer questions on Dragon Con’s behalf. For information directly from Dragon Con staff, use https://www.dragoncon.org/about/contact/.