Problem: The line organization could use some work. Not once during my time at Acen did I ever notice the IRT staff enforcing the "30 minute" wait rule. At most they would announce "Hey you guys can't wait here". Nice effort, but almost nobody listened and the large mobs continued to wait in the general area for the line to form.
Solution: Since the IRT can't really enforce the "no waiting before 30 minutes" rule, there needs to be another system. One that uses the mob mentality rather than actively fights against it. For example, you could post the floor-plans/maps of the various hotels inside the guidebook. On these maps would be color coded lines with predetermined paths for each of the rooms. Therefore, instead of the lines forming randomly and the IRT having no idea how to organize the group, people wanting to wait for a panel and IRT in charge of maintaining the lines will advanced information on where to go. This solution combines the organizational needs of the IRT and staff while simultaneously allowing the eager con-goers to line up early to their hearts content
Our issues with starting lines are a continual uphill battle. Personally from what I saw this year, I think we're doing better at starting and clearing lines. This coming year the discouraging of lines forming will play a larger part in all our ops' training, and we will have a better idea of what we need to work on with our (new in 2012!) line control team.
I like your creative solution to forming lines, though not everyone looks at the guidebook. But IRT doesn't actually do line control for panels not in the Grand Ballroom or Rosemont Ballroom. That crowd control is the responsibility of Panel Programming. We intend on working with them to help with this, but we simply don't have enough staff to do line control for each of their panels. In my opinion, better signage will help, as will better training.
You can consider your suggestions officially noted by IRT. ^_^