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

#31 User is offline   tiarah 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:51 AM

I have an idea, but I'm not sure how feasible it is - please hear me out. :)

I know a big problem with filling out paperwork in line is the lack of pens, or the inability to get a solid surface to write on. I also liked the fact that the badges had the QR codes. The idea I have for reg would basically be a 3-step process. I was in Artist Alley this year, so did not go through the reg lines. If any of this is already done - my apologies!

Step 1:
  • Have 2-4 people outside with clipboards, forms, and pens to go through the registration line and have people pre-fill out the forms.
  • Get the clipboards that have space in them for 50-100 sheets of paper, and clip as many forms as you can to the top part of it (this would reduce the number of times forms need to be refilled).
  • Have each person with a clipboard wait for the attendee to fill out the form before moving onto the next person. This is possible if there is someone from registration available as soon as people start to line up (this year, there were people in line on Thursday when we arrived at the convention center at 1pm!).
  • Also have the ability to pre-print registration forms online for those who missed pre-reg.

Step 2:
  • Hand-write badges for at-con registration. This works so much faster than waiting for the printers...
  • Have pairs of QR codes pre-printed on stickers/permanent labels - 2 QR codes per person.
  • Stick 1 QR code on the badge, put the other on the form in a designated area.

Step 3:
  • Have 3-4 people (during registration) start entering the information into the computer systems using the QR code on the form to make sure it all matches up.
  • When registration starts winding down, start adding more people to this task since it will get back-logged.


This may not be the best process, but it is an idea. :)

#32 User is offline   Dave_the_Vagrant 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:05 AM

View Postarina_shirakawa, on 24 May 2011 - 05:52 AM, said:

You're welcome :)

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.


I will say I like this idea and though I dont see ipad or tablets being possible, I now have some other ideas I can see working as a possibility. Its a very good suggestion and I will be talking to my ADH & DH about some possible use of this.
Great suggestion. :D
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#33 User is offline   redx1 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:59 AM

View PostDave_the_Vagrant, on 24 May 2011 - 09:05 AM, said:

I will say I like this idea and though I dont see ipad or tablets being possible, I now have some other ideas I can see working as a possibility. Its a very good suggestion and I will be talking to my ADH & DH about some possible use of this.
Great suggestion. :D

Actually, there are some pretty cost affective small scale tablets out there. Ones that have a stylus so data can be entered quickly. They can also be synced with a wireless network to send the data right to the registration system. This way when an attendee walks up to the booth, their information is already in the system. This practice is used a lot in the food industry for high volume orders.

I also agree, this is a great suggestion.
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#34 User is offline   mordion 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

I have heard of conventions having self-service kiosks for will call. Maybe these can be rented from somewhere?
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#35 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:18 AM

The reason we went back to paper was because of 2008 when we lost so much information because we relied so heavily on technology. We did have "Kiosks" before but it was actually slower. Attendees can be extremely slow typers and we would prefer to just enter their info into the system post con to save line time. In 2008 attendees destroyed 18 keyboards, 19 mice, and 11 computer towers. The monitors were also covered in all sorts of gross things. And since it isn't a faster method we will probably not be putting out computers for attendees to enter their info on again. We've glanced at tamper proof kiosks but honestly, when you're creative nothing is tamper proof.

Tiarah it is like you are in our head. Our current brainstorm atm is only entering the station number and payment along with the badge name. Then it will print 2 labels with the QR code, badge name, and badge number. One goes on the badge, the other goes on the form. Those forms are kept in an envelope labeled to be that station. When we need to find their form for official business stuff at con we know to pull that envelope for their info from their badge number etc.

One issue we had was people not returning their pencils. We had to make an emergency run and went through well over 4 times the amount of pencils that we used last year. We will definitely be over stocking by even more for next year. Also getting MANY more tables and clip boards.
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#36 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:13 PM

Bloo, I'll be expanding on Tiarah's idea in my near future mailing to you. Great thinking Tiarah. Same idea I was actually putting down, did this for another event that I threw that brainstorm in the mix for on-site registration and it worked well.
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#37 User is offline   GITS SAC Motoko 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:16 PM

View PostBloo09, on 23 May 2011 - 03:56 PM, said:

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.

I'm really sorry to hear that happened. That explain why my friend waited in line for 6 hours. My other roommate got up at 3am so he could get inline and got his badge right when Reg opened. Well it was a new Reg system, so I did expect errors--and that's okay. I just feel bad for people that had to wait in LineCon...I'd just suggest more Reg stations~because I heard there were only two that took credit cards/debit. Maybe have like half of the stations of these since almost everyone nowadays carries credit/debit.
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#38 User is offline   Knightmessenger 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:29 PM

I like the ideas of dropping entering all this information during the at con registration. Just thinking out loud, if the extra time spend on that instead of simply taking the payment and handing the badge for someone to handwrite takes an extra 3 minutes per person and there are only 40 people in front of you, that hypothetical example adds up to a total of 120 extra minutes spent in registration. 2 whole hours and it really seemed like it took more than 3 extra minutes from the time someone walked up to the booth to the time they received their badge. And there were definitely more than 40 people in front of me.
Honestly, when I got in line, I just wanted to drop the money, get my badge and get the hell going. I know creating an account lets us register but by the time I got that email, it had already expired so it didn't seem like it helped me. With the numbers ACen has, the priority should be to have the registration process use only the steps that are absolutely essential to receive payment. Not only would this save time but it would also reduce the chance for screw ups (and it might make it easier to hire volunteers for registration without them needing as much training.)

If ACen feels it is important to have every on site registration linked to an account, a better way to do that would be to simply give someone a badge and have some serial number either on the back or added with a pre printed sticker. I don't see the need to print the names for at con registration, those who want that feature can always pre register.

The other thing I haven't seen mentioned here is something similar to a Fast Pass at Disney parks. Those who want to avoid long lines can go to a ride and get a pass that lets them come back in a few hours for a much shorter line wait. The biggest problem with the line is that everyone wants to get in as soon as possible because there is no guarentee the wait will be any shorter in a few hours.
However, there may be some people who would be happy to just walk around and look at the cosplays and photo shoots for a few hours if they could be assured of a shorter line. This would hopefully spread out traffic and reduce the wait for everyone.

The other thing might be to make the line grid wider and have some benches or places to sit down for people. I think this is very important because a lot of people are going to be in costumes that might not be ideal for standing for long periods of time.

I got in the registration line at 11am and waited four hours. I think the reason why it was so frustrating was because the line actually got much slower halfway in for me. It seemed like fewer booths were open as the crowd got bigger and there were many times where it was absolutely dead stopped. That was a million times worse than if it had just moved really slow.
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#39 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:24 PM

Information kind of necessary at Registration. Us in EMRT sort of like the information there because not everyone bother's to put the emergency contact info on the back of their badge nor do they carry info around with them. Also have, had the experience of their phone having contact info but the battery was dead when they were brought to first aid. So unfortunately for them, when they are taken to the hospital, no way of notifying friends or their emergency contact what happened to them or where they are. In EMRT we've had to pull that info up to make those emergency calls. So it is useful, for your own safety.
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#40 User is offline   Dark Stranger 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:29 PM

View PostBloo09, on 23 May 2011 - 04:08 PM, said:

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.

Ok. My friend mentioned something like that about "what if there was more people?" I kinda blew it off not knowing the number. Now that I know, I'm glad I didn't rant about too much. Thank you for the information. And I'm sorry you had so many people no show. :(
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#41 User is offline   SpicyNinjaCat 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:31 AM

I couldn't find the pre-reg booth for ACen 2012. I looked all over the dealer's room for it. Where was it? O:
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#42 User is offline   ldychaos 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:35 AM

Pre-reg for 2012 was part of the at con registration area.
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#43 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:15 PM

Correct, pre reg for the next year has always been done through the reg area.
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#44 User is offline   Trini 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:33 PM

I hope this goes here since it's related to reg. I preordered my badge back in October and thankfully received a few weeks before ACen. However, my badge had an error so I followed instructions to go to Liberty and have it corrected. I waited in line Thursday for an 1hr+ for staff to do correct my sticker in like 5 seconds. I had to go back to Liberty on Friday though because the staff member on Thursday gave me a handwritten sticker which covered up my badge number and the people in Volunteering couldn't tell what it was. Not so mad about that second part, but it was slightly irritating to have to go back. Anyways, as far as me having to wait an hour just for a new sticker, that completely defeated the purpose of me getting my badge mailed. Granted I didn't have to wait 5 hours for a at con reg badge and I was expecting to wait a few minutes, but that was ridiculous. The line I was told to wait in was the same line as artists and panelists who had much more complicated issues. I feel like those of us with simple issues like that should have been in another line altogether. 1) That would have saved us the time of waiting forever for something so fast and 2) it would've made the artists and panelists wait shorter.
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#45 User is offline   wolfedragon 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:42 AM

View PostTrini, on 25 May 2011 - 11:33 PM, said:

I hope this goes here since it's related to reg. I preordered my badge back in October and thankfully received a few weeks before ACen. However, my badge had an error so I followed instructions to go to Liberty and have it corrected. I waited in line Thursday for an 1hr+ for staff to do correct my sticker in like 5 seconds. I had to go back to Liberty on Friday though because the staff member on Thursday gave me a handwritten sticker which covered up my badge number and the people in Volunteering couldn't tell what it was. Not so mad about that second part, but it was slightly irritating to have to go back. Anyways, as far as me having to wait an hour just for a new sticker, that completely defeated the purpose of me getting my badge mailed. Granted I didn't have to wait 5 hours for a at con reg badge and I was expecting to wait a few minutes, but that was ridiculous. The line I was told to wait in was the same line as artists and panelists who had much more complicated issues. I feel like those of us with simple issues like that should have been in another line altogether. 1) That would have saved us the time of waiting forever for something so fast and 2) it would've made the artists and panelists wait shorter.


I apologize for this since I was the registration ADH running the printing computer in Liberty. It wasn't until a few hours after we opened in Liberty that we realized the number of panelists picking up badges vs. the number of staff members picking up badges vs. the number of attendees needing a reprint and divided up into 3 lines accordingly. The division was something we created/learned later on Thursday and implemented for the rest of the weekend. I'm sorry it took so long for your badge to be fixed and I hope things go smoother for you next year.
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#46 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:01 PM

I want to say I was actually really proud of registration and that they were able to deal with so much crap. I give them credit, and hope that in the future they will actually have people that won't pull a fake out on them. That's just wrong what those people did to your team Bloo, I wish there was a way for attendees to help you out with the badges?

Also a special thank you to the short haired blonde girl that came around with the lanyards and the gentlemen that were helping out with the line. The girl wound up helping me figure out where I would need to go to get information for my family since we had our badges mailed. The guys kept things pretty calm, and I know it's a long wait but worth it in the end.
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#47 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 06:21 PM

Wow.....Now I feel bad about the post. 23 people signed up and didn't show up? At least I would have called instead of being a no show! That shows a lot for the future too <_<

All I can say is that I retract my previous statement and I feel bad for you guys; sorry. I can't work registration (because I know I would SCREAM and throw a printer at the unawesomeness of it all,) but I am going to see what else I can do in the free time during 2012.

Unless something comes up major.
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#48 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:54 AM

@The Fujoshi, you might want to stop by the volunteer department next year and put a few hours in to help out. It's a good way to get a peek at how it feels being on the staff side, without all the responsibilities of the staffing position. At the same time though, you will get a chance to see more of what you might want to do in the future if you do want to sign your soul to ACen as a staff member :). They'd set you up with something simple, if you goto volunteer and get put in reg, they'd put you on something like saying which line is which or something simple like that, nothing at the point of handling registers or money. IRT uses gopher/volunteers and a lot of other departments do. Just an idea for you for next year you or anyone else might want to look at helping for a couple of hours that you know you have downtime and always had an itch to help but didn't know how to go about it.
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#49 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:20 PM

To add to what Dave plugged, if you happen to gopher/volunteer for IRT, worry not - we won't throw you to the wolves :) We had gophers on Saturday in the con center - for instance, we had one pair surveying a small section of the Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley, and another gopher helping by the EH entrance (by Reg) with checking for badges - and we had our own ops checking on them in case they needed help with anything. We don't assign radios from our inventory to gophers, either, so you don't have to worry about whether you're calling in correctly or not. ^^
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#50 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:53 PM

Wait....do you have volunteers for mailing badges?

That doesn't seem complicated and something I could probably do outside of the convention since things seem to happen a lot during acen or the weeks before acen. I rather do something ahead of time then something happens and I can't make it as a gopher or at Registration or something on those terms.

But I have time before 2012 so going to keep a heads up and keep on lurking on the forums.
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#51 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:38 AM

We have had non staff volunteer to help with mailing in the past. Considering how few helped with mailing this year which made it incredibly hard to get out in time we may be accepting non staff help again. It all depends, normally it would not be allowed though due to our office security policy (even non reg staff are normally not allowed around the badges until con). We will post if we are accepting outside help though for sure and your offer is appreciated! Keep on rocking :D

PS. We have destroyed a few printers as stress relief over the year :D They were dieing.. I have their "head" on my desk at the office as a warning to the other printers to not misbehave.
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#52 User is offline   JawdyBawdy 

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:10 PM

View Postdavebb, on 08 June 2011 - 09:54 AM, said:

They'd set you up with something simple, if you goto volunteer and get put in reg, they'd put you on something like saying which line is which or something simple like that, nothing at the point of handling registers or money.

just throwing something out there..
i want to be on IRT in the future. i wanted to do it in 2012, but i don't think that's possible, so i'm going to be gopher.
i'm not knocking gophering or whatever
but...
for acen staff, letting con-goers know what line is what is apparently not simple
when it takes at least six staff members to tell you where the friday night rave will be lining up.. doesn't sound simple to me
(they've done the same with the reg lines and many other lines in previous years)
just sayin...
/end rant

on the topic of the reg lines this year.. i'm glad i had my badge mailed and actually make it to me
i was there for the at con reg of acen o8 and it sounds like this year was acen o8 part two
though, i do give credit to the hardworking registration people who did work meant for 23 more people who ditched

ACen 2013 Cosplays
Teemo (League of Legends)
Slurper (Silent Hill)
...

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