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Long Lines in Registration Lines are long and dont move fast. Maps offers nothing about this

#1 User is offline   Bokutou 

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:27 PM

The lines are long and the waits are rediculous. There's no reason why Maps shouldn't have learned years ago with 8-10 hours lines that they need more throughput. Even people that have registered and paid like me are waiting in lines too long, and they aren't even trying to make it better. Nobody in line is being offered any info on why, or even how long it might take for people to ft badges. If there's a problem, and customers are waiting, anyone in charge should be doing everything they can to make things faster and easier for better throughput. At least offer better solutions than waiting in line. Numbering systems work well for this. Its better than sitting in line for hours on end in the sun without anything offered by Maps/ Acen. Just they want their money and we get told to wait in line and as long as they have their money, and they offer their customers nothing they appear to be doing nothing. This is the worst business ethic ever. They say they are non profit, but when they can't do anything for us, they are obviously not spending it on making the waits any better, which ruins Con time, which is a waste of our money. The convention at the start is obviously run poorly and they offer nothing in return for wasting our time.
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#2 User is offline   Bokutou 

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 03:01 PM

Really though.. what is the reason for not having a separate line for people that have already paid? Wh should we wait in the same line as people who haven't? The pre paid line should move so much faster than the rest, but I still have to wait. I have asked several staff and but they say that I still have to wait for others who haven't registered or paid, and their process would take much longer. I can't believe the system they have here. It's completely terrible!
What's the frequency, Kenneth!?

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#3 User is offline   SynchroMax 

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 05:49 PM

View PostBokutou, on 20 May 2011 - 03:01 PM, said:

Really though.. what is the reason for not having a separate line for people that have already paid? Wh should we wait in the same line as people who haven't? The pre paid line should move so much faster than the rest, but I still have to wait. I have asked several staff and but they say that I still have to wait for others who haven't registered or paid, and their process would take much longer. I can't believe the system they have here. It's completely terrible!


Was it just this morning after the doors open, or is the wait long practically all day? I wasn't able to make it today, but I want to know if you think it'll be any better tomorrow morning.

#4 User is offline   Youkulm 

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:56 PM

View PostBokutou, on 20 May 2011 - 03:01 PM, said:

Really though.. what is the reason for not having a separate line for people that have already paid? Wh should we wait in the same line as people who haven't? The pre paid line should move so much faster than the rest, but I still have to wait. I have asked several staff and but they say that I still have to wait for others who haven't registered or paid, and their process would take much longer. I can't believe the system they have here. It's completely terrible!


Really? Because inside there was two separate lines for pre-reg and purchasing ( those who didn't pre-reg ). And as someone who stood in the purchasing line for five hours I can tell you the Pre-reg line moved like fluid compared to ours. Just my experience.
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#5 User is offline   Ultra Yak 

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:02 PM

It took me almost 3 hours to get my badge in the registration line...and it wasnt even outside!
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#6 User is offline   -JUNK- 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:31 AM

I've heard some horror stories of waiting in that line and ya know from what I hear. Having to REPAY for a badge when you PAID for one.
Just had to say that because I think this could have been avoided by letting the people know their payment didn't go through instead of them getting to the front of the line and like ??? I paid you guys what the dinosaur? Having to fish our even more money.

oAo I remember when I paid for my badge back in 09 and went to pick it up there was no problem 5 min tops. =) What went wrong this year guys? Did you lose some information or what?

Kinda think Badge pick ups should be somewhere else than Registration. Or very spaced apart that those lines aren't forced to merge together and take decades.

Iddno just my thoughts and Opinions.
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#7 User is offline   OtakuAngelD 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:38 AM

@Junk.

This is why when I prepay for my badge, I have always printed out the conformation email. This proves that you have paid already and that might help you avoid having to shell out more cash.
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#8 User is offline   Millions_Knives 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:42 AM

hmm
when i pre order my badges i have them mailed
totally worth the ~$2 not to wait not line
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#9 User is offline   Majin_Puar 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:11 AM

I think it would be difficult to complain about registration this year. Got in the reg line at around 8PM on Friday, got out of the reg line around 11PM. One of the shortest waits I have seen in about 5 years.

#10 User is offline   A True Elsewhere 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:29 PM

View Post-JUNK-, on 23 May 2011 - 01:31 AM, said:

oAo I remember when I paid for my badge back in 09 and went to pick it up there was no problem 5 min tops. =) What went wrong this year guys? Did you lose some information or what?


I'd like to hear more about this. I remember last year's registration section stunned me. I thought things had been fixed; apparently not. What changed? Why did Acen regress?
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#11 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:37 PM

We are getting everything together so I can answer everyones questions about what happened. I am not tech savvy so I need a bit more explaining from some of our staff before I can give you guys answers. I will be opening a new topic for questions, answers, and what we are doing to fix it. We have already held meetings and have seen what does NOT work.

Right now I can tell you Thursday-Friday was issues with the server cooperating with our new computers AND new reg system. The reg system was never down, it actually worked -perfectly- which we were amazed at. Not one single error, no hiccups, nothing worked wrong with it. Credit did not work due to tech related issues which we had fixed by upgrading the staff accounts to be able to type in credit numbers because it was the credit readers that didn't work. I apologize to those who had to go through the line before we had this resolved. The disorganization was due to not being prepared for the size and credit issue. Our plan was to redirect some credit only people to the ATM and section it off for reg use but unfortunately it was also broken at the time.

Second was the size of the attendance. We did not expect the spike in growth that we had and were not prepared for it. We will be dropping parts of our reg process to make it faster, it was to the point of entering only 3 text fields from a form took too long for the amount of people in the line. We stopped entering information and moved to taking the form and hand writing a badge to move as fast as possible. At the moment we are dropping printing badge labels at con because the process of entering info makes the line wait too long. There are -many- small to large conventions that hand write their badges, and we are moving to this for at con registration and probably adding different QR codes to the badges to link them to an account so we can continue to track ownership of the membership badges. Any suggestions for doing this from tech savvy people would be much appreciated.

The thread I mentioned above should be opened soon with a full explanation of everything. Until then you are more than welcome to reply in this thread with questions, comments, concerns, and I will answer all openly and honestly.

If you had any issues with staff you are welcome to private message me and try to remember a description and which station or area they were at with hopefully the time of day. Customer Service is our top priority.
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#12 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:48 PM

Will Call - in 2009 we had 1000 people for will call, in 2010 we had 1500. This year we had 4000. This is partially why the line was incredibly long. Also some of our printers were dieing and it went unnoticed. This made the names nearly impossible to read on badges and is why some were looked up by badge name. We will be replacing those printers and inspecting badges in the future. We moved to hand writing some will call because we simply could not find the badges without seeing the name on them.

Mailing - Mailing was Delayed by over 1 month due to all of our badges (not labels) being printed wrong by our printing vendor and were completely unusable. It took multiple reprints to get these corrected and we will not be purchasing badges from this vendor again. This left us with little time to send out all of the badges and still have time to correct those that did not make it through the mail. This year we will be purchasing badges during the summer from a vendor who has a 6 day turn around so corrections will be speedy and we hope to begin mailing at least by October if not sooner. We will also change to sending badges out according to purchase date instead of random order. This will allow us to announce when badges purchased by specific dates have been sent and let you alert us when they have not arrived so we can correct it asap.

As always we are always willing to accept suggestions for perfecting any of our processes and appreciate the help!
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#13 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:56 PM

When we had few stations open - We learned we had 23 people who applied for staff, were accepted, filled out the staff form, etc.. That did not show. They will not be allowed to return as they left us high and dry. Those who took a staff badge and did not show for their shift were removed from their hotel rooms asap. I am so thankful to the many departments that sent their own staff to registration to get a crash course and worked the -entire- day. We had board members come, main programming staff, staff services, the entire convention operations department, exhibit space, etc come fill our stations. Anime Central is so lucky to have such devoted staff and managers willing to leave their own departments short staffed to fill registrations stations to get attendees through our line and in to enjoy the event.
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#14 User is offline   Isamu 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:56 PM

View PostMillions_Knives, on 23 May 2011 - 07:42 AM, said:

hmm
when i pre order my badges i have them mailed
totally worth the ~$2 not to wait not line

I totally agree.
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#15 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:08 PM

Here is some information to consider.

The registration section of the hall was smaller than we thought it would be. We ARE increasing it's size significantly.

4000 people went through will call when normally at most it is 1500.

14000 people went through the registration hall. I admit, we were not prepared for that number when we are use to only 8000. That extra 6000 made a huge difference.

We were short 23 staff which hurt us, and we will be looking for ways to ensure we are full on staff even if it means over hiring and hoping enough show. If anyone who is dedicated to helping registration, even on a management level would like to apply, we currently have 25 open slots with more opening once we review who worked how many hours.

Our total attendance was over 23,000 people when we were expecting a growth to at most 22k. We will be getting out of the mindset of preparing for our expected growth and always expect at least 2k more than we think we will get.

We cannot stress enough how important pre purchasing badges is and selecting mailing. The more who do this will help us be able to handle the large amount of people we get at the convention. Please take advantage of our early bird pricing and roadshows.
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#16 User is offline   Ashikana 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:09 PM

To be blunt, lines happen, have you ever been to a theme park?
Badge mailing is an amazing thing.
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#17 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:20 PM

I forgot a few more things.

Math time! 13 payment stations, 60 minutes in an hour. At best with payment processing we can get to 30 people an hour. Times that by 13, 390 people an hour. Now put 3000+ people in line. Please consider pre purchasing your badge and selecting mailing. This helps you and other attendees.
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#18 User is offline   arina_shirakawa 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:26 PM

I applaud and salute to all the current reg staff this year. Being a reg staff in the past, it was non stop hard work and dedication. To hear that 23 people signed up, took advantage and left really angers me. Being on staff to me is not just all about the perks, but it's about the lifelong friendships, the stories, the bonding and memories we had. Unfortunately for my "generation", most of us got busy and had to move on with our own lives. But I guarantee you if you ask any reg staff in the past, they will tell you it's a worthwhile experience.

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#19 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:29 PM

Thank you arina I will make sure all of my staff see your post. It will be greatly appreciated by those who gave up their events to be in the hall from morning to close to help reg run all weekend.
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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:40 PM

As a former reg staffer as well, those that showed up I am proud you stuck it through. It does get stressful but seeing the smile on attendees when they get their badge is so rewarding.

For attendees that aren't completely sure why registration can't fully estimate the outcome of how many are coming each day I might be able to help. They take into consideration from expected growth this year and returning attendees. Expected growth is comparing precon numbers from previous years. They can't always tell that last minute friends brought in someone new.

The game of telephone with Facebook and Twitter is bringing a lot of new people and has such a strong impact on increasing how many people show up.


#21 User is offline   Maze 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:58 PM

Fortunately I had my badge mailed to me this year. First year doing it too. So I avoided the main reg lines. Sadly I was affected by the nickname disappearing bug. Fortunately the line at the Liberty room to get this corrected was fairly short. And their tech issues weren't too bad either.

I had originally suggested this in another thread a few months back as a way to reduce that mega line down to more manageable levels. But I'm going to expand a little on it here.

The convention center is a pretty big place. And over the weekend, I noticed ALOT of unused space all over the convention center. Anyways, here's the suggestion.

For instance, and here's a map:

http://www.rosemont...._cc_flplans.pdf

Right now Reg, dealers, etc are all in Hall A. My suggestion would be to seperate Reg and Pre Reg. Keep Reg where it's at. It's easy to line people up out the doors and such. But move Pre Reg over to say Hall D or Hall B. That way the pre reg line can be lined up on the opposite wall to the Reg line and out the doors along that side of the turnaround drive. I'm pretty sure there's a walk way opening under the escalators as well. The only problem with that is the entrace to Hall F. Though generally that space isn't utilized when Acen is going on, I have seen it used only once in the past while Acen is going.

Or, you could do the above, but move pre reg to say Conference Rooms 1 and 2 which are next to Hall A and the Lobby. Put A-M in Room 1, N-Z in Room 14. The line could form up outside the vestibule area at the north side of the turn around, up the small steps, and out and around the building along the sidewalk. And the At Con Reg could line up on the South side of the turn around as it's done in past years and out and along that side's sidewalk.

The problem most are complaining about is that the wait times are too long. One cause of the problem is that the Reg and Pre Reg lines are mixing. By seperating them, pre reg moves alot faster and is alot shorter as well which means that people that pre paid, and who expect to be able to get badges in a timely manner, don't continue to complain about long waits.

I was at Acen in 09 when the line went amazingly fast on Thursday. It was like, as soon as the doors opened, we were out within 15 mins with our badges and booklets. Though that year I think there were 4 pre reg pickup areas. A-F, G-M, N-R, S-Z. Funnily enough, I heard horror stories about 09's Friday's line which is what many dubbed Linecon. :P

Oh, and this is something very easily done, but never seems to be until well after it's needed, Signage! Have some large Red or Pink, or whatever color signs madeup out of plastic so they can be reused, that say things like PreReg Line Here or At Con Registration Here with arrows pointing down and put them above where these people are supposed to enter at. That way people know where to go. Every year it's always nobody has any clue where to go, lines become mass blobs, etc.

Oh, and please please please, buy a couple megaphones for the IRT guys to use for line maintainence. When they try to talk over the crowd to inform people of things, the only people that can hear them are those 5 ft in front of them. Megaphone would enable them to be heard much more easily. I'm sure megaphones can be gotten used for fairly cheap, and maybe even new for a decent price.

Final suggestion for now, for mailed badge peoples. This mostly applies to Thursday. Either put booklets and lanyards outside the reg hall areas so they can just come down and pick them up rather than wait in the big line and make it more bloated, or let IRT let people possesing badges in before 4pm and have the booklets and lanyards and such ready before 4pm so those people can just get their stuff and leave. Or specifically instruct the IRT guys at the door to let people possesing badges bypass the line all together so they can get their stuff.

#22 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:10 PM

We had staff going out many times with program books and lanyards, also stored some at the doors. And IRT was awesome with handing out forms to the line to pre fill it out.

Thank you for your suggestions on using other space. We are bouncing around the idea of using hall B next year depending on many factors of pricing, availability, etc. But yes! We are looking into it. The area in Hall A will be increasing for registration as it has to.

Will Call will be moving to 6 booths which can make up to 12 stations and reduced according to the final number of will call we have.

Maze I really appreciate your feedback. I've seen it multiple times and we are implementing some of what you've suggested and looking into the rest. You are awesome!
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#23 User is offline   SRomo006 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:30 PM

I did pre reg (in Oct) and even selected to have my badge mailed. Never came in mail. I looked online and it was posted that people affected by this incident could go to the liberty room. I went there on thur at 4 and was told by IRT if I was not staff I had to go to registration. I went to registration and walked to the front to see if there was a separate line for the mail fail badges. I was told reg was not open yet (it ended up opening really late thur) and to come back up there and see the guy i was talking to (i forgot his name but he was in charge of reg and had an orange hoodie on bigger guy). Went back an hour later and was told by IRT that I could not just walk in, there was no special line for customer service, and I had to wait in line. Waited in line for 4 hours and when I got inside there was still no separate line for the mess ups just pre reg and day of reg. I got up to the booth and got my badge after about 5 hours. I felt so bad for the staff under all that pressure in the pre reg. Sorry have no suggestion but only gripe is the people rubbing it in with the "well I got mine mailed to avoid the line."

So in this thread please dont say just have it mailed and you wont have to wait bc you never know what can happen.

#24 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:35 PM

I'm sorry that happened to you. IRT shouldn't have even been at the Liberty doors, it was open to you to have a reprint. We will make sure that all staff are aware of this next year. There was a booth in the hall as well with a light up Service Desk sign that was where failed mailing was supposed to go. I am disappointing an IRT didn't direct you there as they should have been well aware of it. I will be pming you in a moment to talk more.
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#25 User is offline   Myrddin 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:36 PM

Thank you so much for all the information Bloo! As bothered as I was to wait in line for four hours on Friday, I did wonder if an increase in attendance had something to do with it. Working in a theater as I do, I fully understand what happens when a much larger influx of people arrive than expected. I want to say that the woman who helped direct people on Friday was incredibly nice and understanding to those of us in the credit card payment line.

Thanks again!

#26 User is offline   Maze 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:31 PM

View PostSRomo006, on 23 May 2011 - 07:30 PM, said:

I did pre reg (in Oct) and even selected to have my badge mailed. Never came in mail. I looked online and it was posted that people affected by this incident could go to the liberty room. I went there on thur at 4 and was told by IRT if I was not staff I had to go to registration. I went to registration and walked to the front to see if there was a separate line for the mail fail badges. I was told reg was not open yet (it ended up opening really late thur) and to come back up there and see the guy i was talking to (i forgot his name but he was in charge of reg and had an orange hoodie on bigger guy). Went back an hour later and was told by IRT that I could not just walk in, there was no special line for customer service, and I had to wait in line. Waited in line for 4 hours and when I got inside there was still no separate line for the mess ups just pre reg and day of reg. I got up to the booth and got my badge after about 5 hours. I felt so bad for the staff under all that pressure in the pre reg. Sorry have no suggestion but only gripe is the people rubbing it in with the "well I got mine mailed to avoid the line."

So in this thread please dont say just have it mailed and you wont have to wait bc you never know what can happen.


Odd, I went to the Liberty room a bit before 4pm on Thursday as well and never had any issues with IRT. Then again I never said I wasn't staff either. :P Though if they had told me I couldn't be there, I would have demanded they check with the department head as it was clearly stated on the forum for us to go there. Eventually one staff organized the one line into 3 lines. Staff A-M to the right, N-Z to the left, and Misprint fixes in the middle. Misprint fixes being the longest followed by A-M, and then the almost non existant N-Z line. :P Of course it wouldn't be a reg line without tech glitches. :P Reprints took a while to process cause there were apparently some technical issues which slowed things down. Plus there was only 1 person handling them. Was in and out within 45 mins. Mostly due to the tech issues slowing printing down. I was only about 8 people back from the front of the line at the time. But had fun chatting with staff pickups on the left and right. :P

This post has been edited by Maze: 23 May 2011 - 09:33 PM


#27 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:44 PM

The computers we had put in there didn't work well so we wound up using a MAPS board members laptop and the only printer to usb cable we had to print. Later the room was changed to hand writing badges.
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#28 User is offline   Maze 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:51 PM

View PostBloo09, on 23 May 2011 - 09:44 PM, said:

The computers we had put in there didn't work well so we wound up using a MAPS board members laptop and the only printer to usb cable we had to print. Later the room was changed to hand writing badges.


It wasn't that big a deal. I've waited in reg lines longer than that before. :P Plus I liked the printed badge better than the hand written one. :P

#29 User is offline   Zilveari 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:43 PM

View PostSRomo006, on 23 May 2011 - 07:30 PM, said:

I did pre reg (in Oct) and even selected to have my badge mailed. Never came in mail. I looked online and it was posted that people affected by this incident could go to the liberty room. I went there on thur at 4 and was told by IRT if I was not staff I had to go to registration. I went to registration and walked to the front to see if there was a separate line for the mail fail badges. I was told reg was not open yet (it ended up opening really late thur) and to come back up there and see the guy i was talking to (i forgot his name but he was in charge of reg and had an orange hoodie on bigger guy). Went back an hour later and was told by IRT that I could not just walk in, there was no special line for customer service, and I had to wait in line. Waited in line for 4 hours and when I got inside there was still no separate line for the mess ups just pre reg and day of reg. I got up to the booth and got my badge after about 5 hours. I felt so bad for the staff under all that pressure in the pre reg. Sorry have no suggestion but only gripe is the people rubbing it in with the "well I got mine mailed to avoid the line."So in this thread please dont say just have it mailed and you wont have to wait bc you never know what can happen.


I'd like to apologize for this. I was a(smaller)guy in an orange hoodie who was managing the lines at the stairs until around 9 or so. I tried(with a TON of help from the IRTs. The IRTs in reg Thursday night were bloody awesome) to get everyone with failmail badges out of the main line and to the service desk. Sorry if I missed you, things were pretty crazy and I couldn't always get everyone's attention.
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#30 User is offline   arina_shirakawa 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:52 AM

View PostBloo09, on 23 May 2011 - 05:29 PM, said:

Thank you arina I will make sure all of my staff see your post. It will be greatly appreciated by those who gave up their events to be in the hall from morning to close to help reg run all weekend.


You're welcome :)

I do have a few suggestions. I know back when we did reg, I like the idea of inputing your info through computers. Writing your info on paper causes so much trouble, esp when I was in line, I couldn't find many people with pens. I know the lack of computers and space doesn't allow many computer stations. But probably acen can start thinking about investing a few ipads or computer tablets with staff going around in line and help attendees in line enter their info, and it spits out a confirmation number that you can take to the booth and pay. It's the input process for a staff to enter in the system that takes a lot of time. I admit I'm not the fastest typer in the world. Plus with paper it's more prone to ne misplaced and have your info being stolen. Coming from someone who got their social security stolen, I'm pretty sensitive about it.

You can also consider having a "pseudo" online reg system so people can input their info at home, also gives you a number, and you can take that number and purchase you badge at con without going through the hassle of inputing all that info at con.

Hope these couple suggestions could help streamline things a bit :)

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