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Ideas/changes From Reg Maps Office Meeting

#1 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Post icon  Posted 24 May 2008 - 08:32 PM

These are some things we went over during the unofficial meeting at the MAPS office which consisted of me, the reg DH, Acens head of Finance and a productions ADH along with a phone call to sisterdiscord. This did not exclude any members of staff it was a "hey lets go over some things while we have them in mind" sort of meeting and more official meetings will be held in the future with staff. These things are not finalized, some may not happen like the credit card at the at con reg area. Most of these will happen for Acen 08. Those with a " ! " symbol will happen. We have looked over the forums of suggestions and are still working out more to redo our registration system. There are more things we did come up with which cannot be released to the public until they are finalized, once they are there will be a post with those changes as well.

This is not a NEW suggestion topic any new suggestions will be moved to that topic. We would like your feedback on the list below in this topic.






For registration efficiency

! -Getting twice as many cash registers. 8 for at con reg and 4 for express reg only, they will no longer share cash registers. (The credit card payment at the at con reg section will also lower traffic in this area if we are able to do it, see below.)

! -5 will call stations with the alphabet separated according to amount of attendees in each section of the alphabet (no more M-Z and A-D)

! -Printing at the register (no more badge printing section)

! -Thursday will be for all types of reg (at con, express, and will call) not just prepaid and (maybe -->)will open at noon (12:00) instead of 5pm.

-At con reg can pay at the at con station with credit cards only much like they pay online. (This is only an idea, it would need to be hooked to the internet which like we found out this year is a problem. We will see if it is doable while avoiding a DDOS)




For security to prevent further damage to our at con reg computers

! -Broken ball mice (17) will all be replaced by optical mice, though still breakable they are harder to break then simply removing a ball.

! -Plastic keyboard covers to prevent our keyboards (18) from being stripped of 90% of their keys. Also can be cleaned easily :D

! -Building covers for our towers so pen caps can no longer be shoved into CD roms and people cannot break our hard drives (of what were our new computers..)





For attendee comfort and health

! -Bathroom passes will be handed out in exchange for a photo ID and the ID will be returned when they return with their pass for their spot in line to prevent people from "butting" in line.

-Acen is going to talk with the convention center and see how we can get water to our attendees. We've always wanted water for them but it is something that has to be in a contract with them.

! -Staff line access for medical and security incidents.

! -Those with disabilities that prevent them from being able to stand in line comfortably will be brought to the front of the line or their own station. This was our policy for Acen 08 but it was not communicated to all staff and will be this year for sure.

! -Projection screen with anime with subtitles (no sound) will be used and the anime paused to display announcements of changes and reminders for the convention itself.

Note: Any non constructive post (bashing, flaming etc) will be removed. If you do not like something give a reason why, this is to improve your experience in our registration section.
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#2 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 08:56 PM

View PostBloo09, on May 24 2008, 09:32 PM, said:

! -Those with disabilities that prevent them from being able to stand in line comfortably will be brought to the front of the line or their own station. This was our policy for Acen 08 but it was not communicated to all staff and will be this year for sure.


Thank you. And I'll still be urging those with disabilities that are not visually obvious to obtain their access pass before proceeding to Registration. That should help prevent your staff from getting inundated with "me too" claims from people just trying to bypass the lines.
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#3 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 09:10 PM

The disability policy does include diabetic and hypoglycemic etc. We had too many medical incidents in our line in 08 to not include them and risk our attendees health. (even one is too many)
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#4 User is offline   Opalwench 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 09:23 PM

One thing to think about with the credit cards and at-con, we had a couple issues this year where people would try to pay for multiple (non-group) badges with one credit card and because of the way things were set up we had to run the card separately for each (this was like the beginning of Friday this year when credit was still working at all the stations and the DDos hadn't happened yet.) I don't know if it's our processing company or what, but whatever it was did not like charging a card multiple times in a row, so if we were to do something like that with paying at con, we'd need to make sure that error wasn't an issue in some way. (I really hope that made sense, it's a complex problem that I don't fully understand, but that I dealt with at least once, and I haven't had enough sleep lately.)
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#5 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 09:38 PM

That is something that we will test and see what happened. If there is a problem with someones card at the at con station they will be directed to the payment section to work with the finance staff member on duty to fix it. Again.. If this happens. It is a nice idea and would shorten the payment line but there is a good possibility that it isn't possible.
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#6 User is offline   Cuddles116 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:36 PM

View PostBloo09, on May 25 2008, 02:32 AM, said:

! -Thursday will be for all types of reg (at con, express, and will call) not just prepaid and will open at noon (12:00) instead of 5pm.


While the early time is nice, I'm assuming lines will be shorter in the earliar hours, this seriously breaks my heart. The whole reason I prereg/pay is so that I don't have share pick up times with people who didn't bother too/couldn't because they didn't want to possible risk losing the cash. That is one of the benefits to paying in advance you're suppose to get benefits other than just the lower price tier because you risk not being able to go in the end since it's months in advance and you are just assuming nothing else will come up.

Plus if tickets are handed out again for the masquerade/concerts it isn't a special thank you to people who pay months in advance by getting first grabs at some of them like it was this year but now just oh look now you can wait until the last minute but still get all the same perks as those who had to move stuff around way in advance.

View PostBloo09, on May 25 2008, 02:32 AM, said:

! -Bathroom passes will be handed out in exchange for a photo ID and the ID will be returned when they return with their pass for their spot in line to prevent people from "butting" in line.


This kind of worries me I don't know why though. I am curious though about what happens to someone who doesn't have a photo id like a 13 year old (I think that's the age you no longer get a childs badge? so they wouldn't have an adult necessarily with them who could subsitute their id and there is a way for someone without id to get a badge if they are within a group and not the group leader).

View PostBloo09, on May 25 2008, 02:32 AM, said:

! -Projection screen with anime with subtitles (no sound) will be used and the anime paused to display announcements of changes and reminders for the convention itself.


This sounds awesome!
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#7 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:44 PM

We are actually looking over other things as a benefit for those who pre-register in tier 1 and 2. Once we finalize it we will post it. At this point it is necessary to open Thursday 5 hours early and to the other 2 lines to shorten wait times.

If they are underage they will be asked for something as collateral. Everyone has something on them they want back.
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#8 User is offline   ExentricSage 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 12:22 AM

This is sounding pretty good... though I worry about wether or not people will be able to see the text on the subtitles well enough as the line moves....

I'm still brainstorming on noise control sujestions to post. In the past it wasn't nearly so bad as 08, even with lines nearly as long.
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#9 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 12:27 AM

Noise control is something we really cannot control. We wont ever tell them to quiet down unless we are announcing over a megaphone and the car show will always have music. The only thing we can do is not add more noise by sound for the projector and music.

If subtitles are too small then there also isn't much we can do. Once people are in the payment area or at least where it was in Acen 08 they will be able to read it. If they cant see it then just make up funny things they could be saying :D
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#10 User is offline   Unka Josh 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 02:34 AM

I have thoughts about the sort of anime that would work for this-- something short, episodic, and humorous. Luckily, there's a number of good choices for that.
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#11 User is offline   jsieczkar 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 04:23 AM

View PostBloo09, on May 24 2008, 10:32 PM, said:

! -Getting twice as many cash registers. 8 for at con reg and 4 for express reg only, they will no longer share cash registers. (The credit card payment at the at con reg section will also lower traffic in this area if we are able to do it, see below.)
Are all credit card payments being done at con reg section, and the regersters then be cash only?

For security to prevent further damage to our at con reg computers

! -Broken ball mice (17) will all be replaced by optical mice, though still breakable they are harder to break then simply removing a ball.
This may seem silly but for mice couldn't you just take them with you at the end of the day and put them in the staff office.
! -Plastic keyboard covers to prevent our keyboards (18) from being stripped of 90% of their keys. Also can be cleaned easily :D
A second solution would be a mat keyboard. They don't have keys and can be rolled up and stored at night. They cost in the $9 range in addition they are also waterproof and can be cleaned with a sponge.

For attendee comfort and health

! -Projection screen with anime with subtitles (no sound) will be used and the anime paused to display announcements of changes and reminders for the convention itself.
+1



View PostOpalwench, on May 24 2008, 11:23 PM, said:

One thing to think about with the credit cards and at-con, we had a couple issues this year where people would try to pay for multiple (non-group) badges with one credit card and because of the way things were set up we had to run the card separately for each (this was like the beginning of Friday this year when credit was still working at all the stations and the DDos hadn't happened yet.) I don't know if it's our processing company or what, but whatever it was did not like charging a card multiple times in a row, so if we were to do something like that with paying at con, we'd need to make sure that error wasn't an issue in some way.

I know that after 2 swipes at the same location my card stops working for the same vendor until they call me and ask for approval, and that takes around 15 min.

View PostBloo09, on May 25 2008, 02:27 AM, said:

Noise control is something we really cannot control. We wont ever tell them to quiet down unless we are announcing over a megaphone and the car show will always have music. The only thing we can do is not add more noise by sound for the projector and music.

If subtitles are too small then there also isn't much we can do. Once people are in the payment area or at least where it was in Acen 08 they will be able to read it. If they cant see it then just make up funny things they could be saying :D

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Good ideas and maybe more people will have their badges mailed to them this year. I was surprised by how few blue badges I saw, not all cons offer this service and it is great.
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#12 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 06:38 AM

We actually sent out about 4.5 thousand blue badges this year. Another 500 regular badges through the mail for case to case reasons.
But we do expect more to use our mailing system since it has become very reliable and this year instead of beginning to print and put together mailing after the deadline, those that are already in the system by say December we will start putting together a couple hundred a meeting and storing them so everything is ready and we wont have to spend another 20 hour day getting mailing done.

For credit cards for at con reg stations we will probably need a note on each computer then if you are paying more then once with credit go to the payment station. There will also be staff watching over the area and helping those who need it like there was this year from Saturday on.

BTW there were suggestions for flat screen monitors for at con reg. Yes they are pretty but due to the mass amount of equipment destroyed in Acen 08 by con goers this will most likely never happen. Acen cannot afford to replace things like that, if we get them it would be for a one time buy. For future years (not Acen 09) we have discussed flat screens for all reg staff manned computers. Acen 09's budget is going to replace computer parts that were vandalized and for another set of cash registers along with things that I'm sure we'll come up with later in the year.
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#13 User is offline   Lenne 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 09:11 AM

Hurray!

The new cash registers alone is great, and I like the idea of opening up Thursday reg more also :D

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#14 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 03:22 PM

I love the idea of opening reg on thursday to everyone...

But maybe implementing a time zone?

Like, pre-regs/prepaid can pick up from this time-this time and at con can start at a later time?
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#15 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 03:35 PM

Since for 09 we are separating each line completely. Like express reg wont be using the same cash registers as at con reg no one will be connecting so times to pick up being separate isn't needed.
If we were still using the same register/payment system as 08 of it being shared that would be a good idea.
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#16 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 03:37 PM

Oh, well ok^^

I forgot about that...im sort of spacey xD
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#17 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 05:25 PM

View PostBloo09, on May 24 2008, 10:10 PM, said:

The disability policy does include diabetic and hypoglycemic etc. We had too many medical incidents in our line in 08 to not include them and risk our attendees health. (even one is too many)


I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Next year, I'm going to try and have someone posted near the line entrance to watch for the handicapped that don't read the site or the forums, and don't know about access arrangements (based on my observations, that's about 70% of them.) If there's a problems with stagnant lines again, (s)he could supplement the IRT and EMS folks in keeping track of the bathroom and food runners.
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#18 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 05:36 PM

We actually have a booth right at the start of the line that your staff member could be at :) It is where those with disabilities came for aid for Acen 08 so it would be the best spot for them.
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#19 User is offline   BurnsideGT 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 05:44 PM

View PostBloo09, on May 25 2008, 02:32 AM, said:

Everything in the original post.


While there are a few kinks for the random scenarios these ideas won't cover, I dig it all. A lot.

The Burnside fully approves.

(Also: thanks for keeping everyone informed with all the news, planning, and such concerning registration this year and for 09'. The communication from the day after the end of con has been greatly appreciated, even if it was really hectic from the start ^_^)

#20 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 06:12 PM

If there are any random scenarios you can think of please post them and we will come up with a solution. For 09 we are even coming up with a full manual reg system just in case we wind up with no computers again for a short while. We want to have a plan for anything that could happen so we are ready.

Also about communications since about April I was put in charge of forum posting and answering questions and answering our reg gmail account :D For Acen 09 I will be doing the same thing along with one of our new staffers from 08 who will be helping me with the forum and emails because it is a lot of work >.< Answering 120 emails a day from a month before the convention to convention day was not fun (it was about 50 a day before that) and a 2nd to help is going to rock. So from this point on if you need to contact registration you can of course contact the ADH's and DH but Sinstar and Bloo09 (me :D) will be online atleast every other day all year to answer questions and help you guys out! Please be patient if Sinstar sends you to me, I am still teaching him registration and Acen policies :D
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#21 User is offline   Cherry_Wolf 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:20 AM

I think all of these things sound great.

The Thursday registration for all con attendees is something I think really rocks. Though part of me thinks that the whole 'you pre-pay, you should have an advantage' thing is kind of a big deal and should be considered more, but I also think for the health and enjoyment of the con-goer that this new thing will be much better for the lines. I mean, I can understand standing in line for 8 hours or so on Thursday when nothing is going on.

The projection screen thing... didn't they have that thing kind of in 04? But that is a very good idea.

The handicapped line thing is a good idea as well, the only thing I'm worried about is people misunderstanding. Though I doubt anyone would question and they'd definitely understand, but there are some bad eggs out there that will be sour about it and probably will be loud about it. So maybe not to confuse people have a handicap sign by the line? Or even have it on their badge!!! That would be cool. :D
Unless that makes them feel like they are being pointed out... bah! I don't know!

I love all of the new changes that are going to be happening.

And my argumentative streak is kicking in, so I'll go ahead and say it- I think tickets being handed out the way they were was a good idea. Especially if they do add Thursday on to the open for all attendees registration. It's like a normal concert. The earlier you buy tickets, the better the seats. And thus, the earlier you get your badge, the better masquerade ticket you can get. And just because you don't get an 'A ticket' doesn't mean you won't get a good seat. I sat next to someone who was a C ticket and I was an A. Look around. You can find good seats without being an A ticket.
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#22 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:26 AM

Way to go, Reg ^^
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#23 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 08:28 AM

Yes they have used a projection screen in the past but stopped. We decided it would have been better to continue using it and now that Acen owns their own projectors its very doable.

Some people do not want to be put under a sign saying they have a disability, if people complain then a staffer can walk over and explain. For those who were brought to the front of the line in Acen 08 I didn't see many complain at all. Maybe the next person in line asked why, we explained and they were fine with it.

For pre registration we are still looking into another perk for them. When we have one finalized it will be posted. With our size we just cant not use Thursday for everyone.

Also with how we are doing the lines even on Thursday line wait times should not be 8 hours or even close to that. And people please do not include "I showed up at 3 am" in your wait time posts. Registration opened at 8 am and I've seen people try to claim odd numbers, if you're there 5 hours early then thats all on you. Registration will never open early.
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#24 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 08:40 AM

especially at 3 am.

that...is just silly.
I'd be dead asleep on the sidewalk rofl.
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#25 User is offline   Maze 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:30 AM

I'd highly suggest investing in a megaphone or two. Trying to shout out over a noisy crowd with just their voice, it was impossible to hear IRT or whoever was trying to inform the crowd of the situations. Although the best example of it actually working was in the Iron Editor line when someone started at the beginning of the line and just worked his way back informing those in line that there would be a 30 min delay.

Fortunatally, I prereg'd and missed the friday drama. Thursday badge pickup was the best I'd been to in years. It opened on time and I was in and out within 50 minutes of it opening. Oddly enough I was bumped to the head of the line when I was about 20 people from the front cause they finally started enforcing the Last Name Letter sorting. And nobody ahead of me had a A-D last name. :P

If Thurs Pre-reg does open earlier, say noon or whatever. I'd say set it up so that like 12 Noon - 4pm for pre-reg/express only. Then 4 pm - whatever for pre-reg/at con/etc. Usually those that are pre-reg'd generally arrive at the hotel early. I usually get there at about 11:30 am myself. Although the early badge pickup would only work if things are setup earlier. The reason for pre-reg only or pre-reg/express only for the earlier part is so that they have time to get the At-Con equipment setup so there's not any delays in printing badges and such. Takes far less equipment setup to do pre-reg/express reg only. That way the pre-reg/express reg can get their badges earlier thus reducing the crowd quite a bit when it's time for at-con reg.

And of course making sure there are plenty of signs with times and who can do what when would be helpful.

Also, maybe have the opening of the line ride have arches. Arch 1 - Pre-reg only, Arch 2 - Express Reg only, Arch 3 - At Con Reg only. That way the signs are up high, and ppl can read them. So then they only have to go through the arch that applies to them to get into the appropriate line. Would reduce the load on the staff in sorting out who goes where.

Just my two cents. But I am totally serious on the Megaphone suggestion. Many around me had the same thoughts when were in lines. Especially at the Anime Hell line which was delayed opening due to the concert which seemed to go over according to the program book. Couldn't hear IRT cause of noise of music and crowd in line.

#26 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:35 AM

The arches might be neat....like gigantic BALLOOOON arches :D

<3
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#27 User is offline   Oreo_Otaku 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:37 AM

While starting off early is great, my concern is if we will have everything setup by noon Thursday. 2pm or 3pm seems more feasible. Plus around that time is the hotel check-in so after they pick up their badge, they can go to the hotel. I didn't make it this year until about 5pm this year so I could be wrong on basing it on some past years.
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#28 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:57 AM

in Acen 08 we were 80% set up by noon and that was me my husband and Kevin setting up alone. If we start early to set up then it really wont take long. It will open at noon. Also there is no need to separate times and lines being let in because none of them touch now and it WILL be ready by 12, 1 if something explodes. Also a lot of attendees are from Chicago and not using a hotel so basing it off of check in wont work, we cater to those not renting a hotel as well.

In a previous post i said that our megaphone decided not to work. We will be using a working one this year. :D

Arches are nice but most likely not possible due to cost of creating one and I don't know if the union who sets up our lines would allow it. We will probably have signs though. Also there has to be at least one reg staff up there for the info booth anyway so there will always be something directing traffic.
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#29 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:00 PM

I was just joking about the balloons.
I like balloons :D
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#30 User is offline   Oreo_Otaku 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 01:17 PM

k, got it. I left my house around 1 so I didn't know about setup being done that early.
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