A response to Friday Registration Waits

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ChrisNH
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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by ChrisNH » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:49 pm

[quote=Curly Eyebrow]It won't change anything at this point but I think it's kind of important to let them know the general dissatisfaction with how things were run. I mean, if they're just going to post "how they will fix things" and then not reply to anyone or even say anything, the least we can do is let them know.[/quote]

One way to act--and I plan to--is populate these message boards with negative messages as soon as the 2009 web site is up. As many postings as I can, on as many different threads. All in an effort to remind & warn. If show management is going to take a tepid approach to next year's organization--hoping people 'just forget'--they'll be sadly mistaken. If pre-registration doesn't ALSO mean advanced mailing, then show organizers deserve getting it both barrels here. That'll dissuade plenty of people, and that's lost $$$ for the show.

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Post by Mystic Blossom » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:53 pm

[quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=Curly Eyebrow]
Yeah. Well. Some of us aren't douchebags and people like you made the wait longer for people who actually deserved to be up there.[/quote]

You call it being a deuchebag, I call it being smart. You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

I really have no words to describe the rudeness of your actions, and the sad part is, there's no way I can make you realize that what you did was just plain wrong. All I have to say is, you say you only follow the ten commandments, yet I doubt you obey about half of them.

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by ChrisNH » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:56 pm

[quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=Curly Eyebrow]
You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

Screaming the F word at a few orange-shirted pimply-faced rodeo-clown 'volunteers' isn't mentioned in the Ten Commandments, either, so I was happy to do it. One chick I reduced to tears, and it probably made me feel as good as cutting the line did for you. Plus, I saved my money and spent it elsewhere. I win :laugh:

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by Mystic Blossom » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:59 pm

[quote=ChrisNH][quote=Curly Eyebrow]It won't change anything at this point but I think it's kind of important to let them know the general dissatisfaction with how things were run. I mean, if they're just going to post "how they will fix things" and then not reply to anyone or even say anything, the least we can do is let them know.[/quote]

One way to act--and I plan to--is populate these message boards with negative messages as soon as the 2009 web site is up. As many postings as I can, on as many different threads. All in an effort to remind & warn. If show management is going to take a tepid approach to next year's organization--hoping people 'just forget'--they'll be sadly mistaken. If pre-registration doesn't ALSO mean advanced mailing, then show organizers deserve getting it both barrels here. That'll dissuade plenty of people, and that's lost $$$ for the show.[/quote]

I'm sorry, but I have to say, after reading so many of your posts, I think you're acting really immature. You came, you had a bad experience, you left. Fine. Some of us didn't have a bad experience, and will be choosing to come back, others will not. Both are valid options. By "polluting" the boards with warnings to people who have already had bad experiences and will decide for themselves, without you, whether or not they want to return, you're only making yourself look bad.

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by guardianhunter » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:59 pm

[quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=Curly Eyebrow]
Yeah. Well. Some of us aren't douchebags and people like you made the wait longer for people who actually deserved to be up there.[/quote]

You call it being a deuchebag, I call it being smart. You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

No, but "Thou shalt not steal" is one of them and what you did was stealing.

You stole time.
You stole from people standing in line.

It says "thou shalt not bring false witness against your neighbor". In layman's terms, that means lying.

You lied to get to the front.

Stealing is the same as murder the same as lying and it all lands you in hell, sweetheart. If you really want to get technically biblical about it.

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by Curly Eyebrow » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:00 pm

I'm mostly frustrated with how we were treated. I mean, I'm fairly sure that the amount of people in these crowded rooms standing without food, rest or water was illegal. Then to be treated poorly on top of all that just made it worse.

People keep saying that "Anime Boston had no way of anticipating so many people". That's true, fine. I'll give them that. However, they could have treated their patrons better while they were waiting in line and then they should have been better about FIXING the problem or at least alleviating some of the awfulness that went around it.

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Post by marikotoeii » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:09 pm

as you may know, i am an artist in the artist alley..

i would like to say that i am appaulled and saddened at the fact that nothing was done for you poor peeps stuck in line. i mean.. there are so many little things that staff couldve done to preserve your sanity while you waited... even just simple conversation or some kind of motivation to boost morale..

ab08 was like waiting in line con to me this year. i feel like you folks walked around like zombies for most of fri and sat. this made sales really slow for artist alley and some of my friends in the dealers room. it was really hard to catch the attention that we normally do (ive been there for going on three years now doing the same thing so i have a pretty good constant) i ust feel like the effects of the long lines rippled throughout the con. i really hope that this wont happen next year. Since i know for a fact i will be there, I am planning on doing somehting for you folks in line, even if its something as simple as doing quick anime portraits while you wait.. or even handing out one page comix.. theres gotta be something.. for prereg there was an hour and a half wait at 430... i walked up and got my badge no issue before..

whatever happened to the day of pay, get a badge, write your name on it, grab a swag bag and go?

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Post by ogamiitto » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:14 pm

Can I just say that the "unexpected number of people" defense is completely ludicrous? As said before, there were 5 self-serve computers and 3 people taking money. Whoever thought that could handle the THOUSANDS planning to reg on-site should no longer be with AB. The muckity-mucks at AB NEED to come out with a formal apology, and some promise to have things run smoother for next year. And no "we did our best" BS... fact is you didn't do your best, or the problem would not have occurred.

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Post by VampyrePuffin » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:15 pm

Here's my story:

My Fiance and I came down from NH on Friday afternoon. We both left work early to make the drive. After we got to the con & checked in to our hotel, we went to the front doors at 7:00pm.
We were both pre-registered for the whole weekend and thought that this would not be too long of a wait. An hour, two maybe.
We were TURNED AWAY at the door by security. We were not even allowed into the Convention Center to even attempt to get our badges.

Now, having paid for a Friday Admission, I'm quite upset that I wasn't even able to get in, see the place, figure out what we wanted to do. Heck, if we were allowed in, we may have decided to just leave and come back in the morning. But I paid to be able to make that call and the decision was taken away from me.

I understand that there were problems abounding. I did my best to enjoy the rest of the weekend. We got up early, waited to get into the center, then waited to get a badge.
(side question: Why didn't the registration on Saturday morning start until 8:45? All the schedules said 8, that was when we were let into the Convention Center. I would have thought they would be open earlier to deal with the overflow from Friday night.)

I tried to speak to someone about what was happening to compensate for the Friday issues, but no one seemed to know anything.

I'm just hoping that there is something they can do to make amends for this issue. A refund for Friday, a discount for next year, something.

I have seen some good suggestions for next year (as well as some not-so-good ones) on some other forum threads. Hopefully the con organizers will look in to these and make next year a little less .. insane ..


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Post by Mystic Blossom » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:21 pm

[quote=VampyrePuffin]Here's my story:

My Fiance and I came down from NH on Friday afternoon. We both left work early to make the drive. After we got to the con & checked in to our hotel, we went to the front doors at 7:00pm.
We were both pre-registered for the whole weekend and thought that this would not be too long of a wait. An hour, two maybe.
We were TURNED AWAY at the door by security. We were not even allowed into the Convention Center to even attempt to get our badges.

Now, having paid for a Friday Admission, I'm quite upset that I wasn't even able to get in, see the place, figure out what we wanted to do. Heck, if we were allowed in, we may have decided to just leave and come back in the morning. But I paid to be able to make that call and the decision was taken away from me.

I understand that there were problems abounding. I did my best to enjoy the rest of the weekend. We got up early, waited to get into the center, then waited to get a badge.
(side question: Why didn't the registration on Saturday morning start until 8:45? All the schedules said 8, that was when we were let into the Convention Center. I would have thought they would be open earlier to deal with the overflow from Friday night.)

I tried to speak to someone about what was happening to compensate for the Friday issues, but no one seemed to know anything.

I'm just hoping that there is something they can do to make amends for this issue. A refund for Friday, a discount for next year, something.

I have seen some good suggestions for next year (as well as some not-so-good ones) on some other forum threads. Hopefully the con organizers will look in to these and make next year a little less .. insane ..

[/quote]

I'm curious to know why you were turned away, because I agree, it's completely ridiculous.

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Post by Mysterious_Shino » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:22 pm





[quote=marikotoeii]as you may know, i am an artist in the artist alley..

i would like to say that i am appaulled and saddened at the fact that nothing was done for you poor peeps stuck in line. i mean.. there are so many little things that staff couldve done to preserve your sanity while you waited... even just simple conversation or some kind of motivation to boost morale..

ab08 was like waiting in line con to me this year. i feel like you folks walked around like zombies for most of fri and sat. this made sales really slow for artist alley and some of my friends in the dealers room. it was really hard to catch the attention that we normally do (ive been there for going on three years now doing the same thing so i have a pretty good constant) i ust feel like the effects of the long lines rippled throughout the con. i really hope that this wont happen next year. Since i know for a fact i will be there, I am planning on doing somehting for you folks in line, even if its something as simple as doing quick anime portraits while you wait.. or even handing out one page comix.. theres gotta be something.. for prereg there was an hour and a half wait at 430... i walked up and got my badge no issue before..

whatever happened to the day of pay, get a badge, write your name on it, grab a swag bag and go?[/quote]


Now that... would freaking rock!!!!! *laughs* if anyone had done something like that it might have been a little more tolerable. Anyway, I agree tghat it must have hurt everyone's business, I mean the con was dead friday because no one was there to buy anything... and the mood was just killed by the excruciating lines. I hope next year is better business for you. *pulls out all the art he bought* Support the artists!

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Post by VampyrePuffin » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:40 pm

[quote=Mystic Blossom]

I'm curious to know why you were turned away, because I agree, it's completely ridiculous.[/quote]


The security guard at the door (not the con-staff security) told us that they were not admitting anyone without a badge. When we explained that we were going to go pick ours up, they said that because the reg line was closed, they were not admitting anyone else and to try again the next morning.

I just hope that they figure out some way to comp all of us who missed out unfairly...

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Post by eidna » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:00 am

[quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=Curly Eyebrow]
Yeah. Well. Some of us aren't douchebags and people like you made the wait longer for people who actually deserved to be up there.[/quote]

You call it being a deuchebag, I call it being smart. You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

You know, I hope they ban you and people like you. AB doesn't need douchebags who can't follow rules and simple common courtesy to others.
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Post by Dejana Talis » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:30 am

[quote=GirlNChainmail]
Something I don't understand is why can't Anime Boston MAIL OUT BADGES to people who prereg. No more missing half a day of already paid for vacation to pick up something you bought months ago. Then all the people who normally help us out are free to help non pre regs resulting in faster lines for them.[/quote]

Mailing out badges is not without its own risks and problems. See the ACEN 2007 fiasco.

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Post by Hungry Hungry Hippo » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:48 am

[quote=Dejana Talis][quote=GirlNChainmail]
Something I don't understand is why can't Anime Boston MAIL OUT BADGES to people who prereg. No more missing half a day of already paid for vacation to pick up something you bought months ago. Then all the people who normally help us out are free to help non pre regs resulting in faster lines for them.[/quote]

Mailing out badges is not without its own risks and problems. See the ACEN 2007 fiasco.[/quote]

Mailing out badges makes them more easily falsified. Hence you'd have attendees walking in with fake badges and most staff dont have the time(rightfully so) to inspect everyones badge with severe scrutiny.

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Post by Hungry Hungry Hippo » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:57 am

[quote=ogamiitto]Can I just say that the "unexpected number of people" defense is completely ludicrous? As said before, there were 5 self-serve computers and 3 people taking money. Whoever thought that could handle the THOUSANDS planning to reg on-site should no longer be with AB. The muckity-mucks at AB NEED to come out with a formal apology, and some promise to have things run smoother for next year. And no "we did our best" BS... fact is you didn't do your best, or the problem would not have occurred.[/quote]

I've never been to AB before so i cant discuss how many attendees they were predicting to have to deal with. I do believe its possible to over/under estimate in this matter though.

That being said...this was a gross underestimation. The registration system is a time consuming one but honestly its not like AB is the first con to experiment with new systems of doing things. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. This year was obvious a miss.

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Post by Hungry Hungry Hippo » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:33 am

First off, a question! Anyone have any idea as to if reimbursements are going to be made for people who paid for all weekend badges on friday? Since apparently you could get into the friday events with the saturday badge due to delays.(A fact I'm surprised the con staff didn't seem too interested in passing on for some odd reason, as it would have made waiting seem abit more worth it).

I made the trip up to AB via greyhound from Washington DC(10 hours total trip time, excluding the NYC layover). Honestly it was a huge shock to me and my friend to be greeted with this line of epic fail. I'm a patient person, and a creative one so i was rarely bored in the line but I'm only human, after about the 5th hour i started to become perturbed about my situation.

I had run out of conversation, energy drinks, and most sadly cell phone battery life(listening to mp3s on your phone is a quick way to burn through the battery). Spikes in randomness helped to alleviate the situation but even those seemed to be overshadowed by the grandiose shadow of the line before me.

The volunteers/staffers who walked around the line were wonderful people in my opinion. They did their best to stop people from cutting in line and offered many apologizes for the delay. From volunteers this is as much as they can offer really as they cant just start making a separate reg line or anything, so i was satisfied. From those in actual management positions i would have liked to see a lot more action.

The reg problem seemed to be much more under control on saturday than friday. Wait times were reduced and the line was re-organized. Honestly, i don't see why no visible steps were taken to help the line problem on friday as were clearly done so on saturday. Perhaps not a complete overhaul of the line(this was impossible on friday), but an increase in cashiers(several volunteers asked to help in registration and were turned away), or abandoning a clearly flawed system(computer information capturing) in place of a more practical one(brainstorming is fine and all but doesn't yield any results if its never implemented, risks do yield positive results sometimes).

The line problem was one that, from how i saw it, was treated with a "wait out the storm" type philosophy behind it, which works in certain situations. This really wasn't one of those in my opinion. It seemed that for everyone 1 person who got their badge, 2 more hopped in line(until late at night).

Honestly, i liked the con for the most part, but the registration line left a bitter bitter taste in my mouth towards AB. As i know it did for many people. I'm unsure if I'll ever return to AB or not.

Lastly, let me restate that I'm not trying to "call out" anyone in particular or say that people weren't doing what they were supposed to do or weren't trying to make things better. I'm just pointing out some clear issues i saw in relation to management of the Convention registration line. Total wait time for me was 9 hours and some change.

By the way! Does anyone have any videos/pictures on the friday registration line? I've got some friends who want to see this line of epic fail! :) its at least a badge of honour i survived it.

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Post by xxdivineknightxx » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:31 am

[quote=eidna][quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=Curly Eyebrow]
Yeah. Well. Some of us aren't douchebags and people like you made the wait longer for people who actually deserved to be up there.[/quote]

You call it being a deuchebag, I call it being smart. You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

You know, I hope they ban you and people like you. AB doesn't need douchebags who can't follow rules and simple common courtesy to others. [/quote]

lol. it's not against the law to cut in line. if something is not against the law, then a new law applies: don't get caught. you're just mad cuz you waited in line. even if they notice you cutting, all they can do is send you to the back of the line. might as well try, right? fact of the matter is that i would not have went to the con if i had to wait 10 hours in line, so i could have cared less whether or not i got caught. i'd say about 5 to 10% of the people there cut at least part of the line.

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Post by marikotoeii » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:22 am

Anyone wondering about refunds, there is a con goer who posted this in find a friend. he's looking for support:

showtopic.php?tid/5229/

if you beleive you deserve some form of credit, please join this guy and state your case. People cannot ignore numbers y know?

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Post by Syagria » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:22 am

[quote=xxdivineknightxx]

You call it being a deuchebag, I call it being smart. You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

I have a hard time placing any credibility on your claim to "being smart" when you're stupid enough to break the rules and then publically brag about it. Hey mods, is there any way we can we just drop the banhammer on this jerk, please?

And, for the record, no, this is not me being "bitter" about waiting in line - I got my badge Thursday night when the wait was only about an hour.
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Post by babspace » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:41 am

According to other posters they weren't even checking badges, so your point is?

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Post by nekedo » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:58 am

[quote=babspace]According to other posters they weren't even checking badges, so your point is?[/quote]
Wrong. They check them every time you go into the dealer's room, and mine was checked whenever I went into a main event. So yes, they were checking badges.

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Post by KitKat » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:20 am

for all you people saying "they should have changed it during friday not for saturday"...
if they had changed it during friday you'd all have to wait longer without moving while they set up the room again. From what I understand the new system took hours to reconfigure, so you all would have been waiting in line for just as long or longer for them to do that.

I agree, handing out forms to fill out with our information would have been nice.

I wasn't a victim of long wait times, all in all I got there at 7:30 and was out at 10:00 in the regular registration line. But I do agree the sytem seems inefficiant. Not all con goers are fast typers or readers.

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Post by LadyHawke » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:37 am

[quote=xxdivineknightxx]lol. it's not against the law to cut in line. [/quote]

However, it IS against our policies...

Since this is a Registration-specific issue, I will leave it to the representatives of our registration division to handle the details regarding any solutions that are being examined (our Director or Registration gave an extremely eloquent explaination of the situation during con-feedback, and she really is the person who should respond here. And I'm sure she will. She is extremely concerned about this.) However, as a member of Staff with some insight as to what really occurred here, I will offer this much:

Yes there were delays this year. We WERE working with a much smaller registration space (and a MUCH different configuration of the available registration space) due to the inavailability of the Sheraton Ballrooms. It also took longer than expected to get through the self-serve kiosks. Our registration staff noticed this, and took actions to try and alleviate the situation to the best of their ability and in the most efficient way possible AS SOON as possible.

ALL of your concerns are valid, and frustration is to be expected. But please, do not make the situation more frustrating for those trying to fix it-- like the comments about skipping lines. I personally am deeply regretful for your experience, and I am sure that members of our Registration division will be addressing this in the most appropriate way and in greater detail.

From this point forward, I will leave any specifics up to them (especially in regards to the reasoning behind pre-shipping badges vs. not pre-shipping badges.) I am sorry that any of you had an unpleasant experience, and I certainly hope that you will consider giving Anime Boston another chance. We value each and every one of you and your continuous support of our convention over these past 6 years.

The exponential growth that Anime Boston has experienced in these years is phenomenal, however, it brings with it a number of unique challenges that we need to rise too. We appreciate your patience while these challenges are addressed. Thank you all.

~~ Jeni
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Post by Hungry Hungry Hippo » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:02 am

[quote=babspace]According to other posters they weren't even checking badges, so your point is?[/quote]

They were checking them at dealers, the dance for sure. I got checked for my badge every time i went into those 2 places.

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Post by Faye_Noire » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:13 am

Except that they should have expected it. I've been attending AB since the first year. Last year there was about 12,000 people and we average about a 3,000 increase each year. This was before they started advertising on the T. They should have been prepared for the large increase in numbers. There really is no excuse for the poor preparation.

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Post by Gollum » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:39 am

[quote=Faye_Noire]Except that they should have expected it. I've been attending AB since the first year. Last year there was about 12,000 people and we average about a 3,000 increase each year. This was before they started advertising on the T. They should have been prepared for the large increase in numbers. There really is no excuse for the poor preparation. [/quote]

Actually last year there were 10,559 paid attendees. 2006 had 9,354 people, an increase of a little over 1,000. This year was an increase of 4,000 - 5,000 (based on the estimations I have seen flying around of 2008's number of attendees, might change when we get an official number). That means the increase this year was 4-5x as big as the increase in 2007. From what I have read, they were expecting 12,000 which would have been an increase of 1,500 people.

It is tough to guess how an increase in attendence will stress a system, especially when the actual increase is about 2.5x what you actually anticipated. While I agree the long wait times were unfortunate, I have full confidence that the registration staff is taking a serious look at the problem and will have a resolution for next year.

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Post by LadyHawke » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:45 am

[quote=Faye_Noire]There really is no excuse for the poor preparation. [/quote]

Final Reg numbers are not yet in, so we cannot yet determine exactly what % increase there was this year, however, based on what the numbers were effective Sat. night, it appears that it will turn out to be significantly greater than prior years.

From an attendee-perspective, it is completely understandable how the preparation may have appeared "poor" since the success rate of said preparations were not as projected. However, no matter how much preparation is put into a new system, it is still a NEW system. There will inevitably be kinks that need to be worked out when new systems are put in place.

Providing any further details on this is beyond my realm of expertise, so I will allow someone with that expertise to respond.
~~ Jeni
2012 Guest Relations Division - Green Room Staff


"It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get Permission" -- RADM Grace Murray Hopper - U.S. Navy

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Post by Mana » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:09 am

i dont know what you guys are talking about. My badge was checked all the time. The Dance, Dealers Room, Main Events Room, Dating Game, etc.

...They did a good job with that

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Post by GirlNChainmail » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:16 am

[quote=Hungry Hungry Hippo][quote=Dejana Talis][quote=GirlNChainmail]
Something I don't understand is why can't Anime Boston MAIL OUT BADGES to people who prereg. No more missing half a day of already paid for vacation to pick up something you bought months ago. Then all the people who normally help us out are free to help non pre regs resulting in faster lines for them.[/quote]

Mailing out badges is not without its own risks and problems. See the ACEN 2007 fiasco.[/quote]

Mailing out badges makes them more easily falsified. Hence you'd have attendees walking in with fake badges and most staff dont have the time(rightfully so) to inspect everyones badge with severe scrutiny.[/quote]

Yes, this I get, and totally understand. But I wonder what's worse: a few dishonest people sneaking in, or thousands of honest people missing at least half a day or more of a convention they've been looking forward to for so long.

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Post by animewingsmom » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:37 am

I couldn't wait to get to a computer this morning to read this forum. I pre-registered and was only in line on Thursday evening for about a half an hour, but when I walked in to Hynes on Friday morning....I was completely blown away by the massive lines down either side of main hallway.

I heard from people I knew that they were in line for over 7 hours.....so I knew there would be alot going on in this thread.

Without commenting on the ridiculous rudeness of those choosing to disrespect others by making the wait time even longer by cutting lines I would like to comment on the fact that badges were being checked for all of the events except the programming rooms.....(my experience)

This is me and my children's 4th year at AB and it is a most anticipated exciting weekend for us. I genuinely love this con. I have a few gripes which I'll save for the appropriate forums...but I was wondering if AB could possibly alleviate pre-reg lines by having several options of days maybe a couple weeks b4 the con where pre reged patrons could pick up their badges...like maybe at Tokyo Kid or the other places that you could pre-reg at this year......I know like those that cut lines, there will be those that try to falsify a badge...but if some system could be put in place to help shorten wait time...I hope it could help limit the bad experiences for next year (maybe a large screen showing some anime while people wait in line)...as I truly feel this con is worth every cent I spend on it, AND I will be there with teens in tow! :thumbup:

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Post by ang » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:47 am

I heard a good amount of complaining about this...so here is my go ahead. This is my unwarranted rant and opinion, so get ready...


FIRST OF ALL!

Who the HELL are you to come here and threaten to spread negative words about Anime Boston reg lines? Especially if you admitted to cutting! That shows that you are an immoral and immature person, and frankly, I would, as an attendee and as an artist who comes to the con to capitalize off of people like you, not want you present there anymore. Thanks. I'm sure others would agree.

SECOND OF ALL!

There are lines at conventions across the country. Ever wait in line at Otakon? Yes? Do you b!tch about that? No? WHY? Because you're USED TO IT?! You think Anime Boston is a bed of roses? Well welcome to the real world kids, the convention is moving up in the world, and it will be rivaling Otakon in size soon, and in my personal opinion as a convention goer for the past DECADE, I still think AB is one of the best run shows in the nation. The staff here as a very low turn-over rate, and do whatever possible to run the best QUALITY show, rather than quantity.

The lines were a faux-pas this year, that's for sure, yet I do recall a desperate need of registration staff and volunteers advertised a while ago. You want to do something about the lines next year? WHY DON'T YOU STEP UP AND HELP OUT instead of sitting back and selfishly complaining about everything that doesn't go YOUR WAY? A staff badge let's you skip in line, LEGALLY, and they even feed you! WOW!

THIRD AND FINAL:

They have pre-reg pick up on Thursdays. I highly recommend it if you can get in to Boston then. It makes the weekend go that tiny bit smoother.

A solution to the registration lines will present itself before next year, rest assured, so why don't you all now focus on the POSITIVE aspects of the convention, eat leftover Cadbury Creme Eggs, and relax?

Thanks.




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Post by Lulu Lemon » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:49 am

My Best friened decided it would be okay to cut completely to the front of the line in front of 2000 people just to get his badge on friday. i waited 2 and a half hours on saturday and left because it would have taken me 5 hours to get completely through registration. i think it was completely redicilious. =[

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Post by KitKat » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:58 am

Ohh! suggestion for next year! In stead of JUST having them fill out forms, have them fill out forms early in the line, recollect them and have staffers imput them into computers while your still waiting, so when you get up to pay all the staff has to do is look you up, print badge and take money.

ya know? lose one more step when you get to the human interaction part?
It could even be one of those scantron sheets they use for testing so they could just scan the info onto the computer and not type it.. (Okay, I know thats a little far fetched, just brainstorming at this point)

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Post by The_Kurro_Thing » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:21 pm

Yipee, it's time for my rant now!

I thankfully avoided the lines of hell on Friday, but a few of my friends got caught in them, but they were only waiting for three hours. From what I hear, the AB staff tried to fix problems as soon as possible, and if it wasn't for them, WE WOULDN'T HAVE A CON. So don't be griping about how horrible they were. And they did wind up making things run a LOT smoother on Saturday, we showed up around 10 or 11-ish for the pre-reg line, and we weren't waiting for any more than 15 minutes. The staff are absolutely AMAZING for being able to address and resolve a problem like this so quickly. Also: a suggestion to AB staff; why not see if you can get into contact with cons of a similar or larger size and see what they're doing to make the registration lines move as quickly as possible, and maybe adopt some of their ideas for AB. Also: first thing on your list for AB09 should be getting your hands on those ballrooms before some corporate suits do, because it seems like they made things run faster because of their size. One last thing: maybe badge pickups before the con could be on Wednesday and Thursday so that way people wouldn't have to wait so long in pre-reg lines on Friday.

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Post by Graceria » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:24 pm

To be honest, I feel mailing out badges would be a very good idea. Even factoring in the chance of people falsifying badges. I mean, which sounds worse? A few jerks falsifying badges to get in, or hundreds of people leaving in disgust without buying a badge and/or deciding never to return because of long lines and intollerable waits?

And there are ways of preventing badge-falsifying. Such as a detailed embossed or stamped image pressed into the badge. This would be very difficult to copy as the average person does not have the know-how nor the money to design and make an embossing press.

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Post by Fetch » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:34 pm

[quote=KitKat]Ohh! suggestion for next year! In stead of JUST having them fill out forms, have them fill out forms early in the line, recollect them and have staffers imput them into computers while your still waiting, so when you get up to pay all the staff has to do is look you up, print badge and take money.

ya know? lose one more step when you get to the human interaction part?
It could even be one of those scantron sheets they use for testing so they could just scan the info onto the computer and not type it.. (Okay, I know thats a little far fetched, just brainstorming at this point)[/quote]

Yes. Having a staffer walk down the at the door reg line with reg forms so people could fill them out while waiting sounds like a Good Idea.

With the Sheraton being available again for AB'09 (and hopefully every AB that is at the Hynes from now on), there should be no problems with the Hynes Security people who apparently didn't get the memo that the badge pick-up was inside the Hynes this year.

And yes, more staff in reg. If the prereg list is over 4000, you should definately have 3 staff for pre-reg pick-up, and at least 5 for at-the-door reg. Also, please, if possible, have someone at pre-reg pick-up who was also at the in-person prereg events. My friend went to one and preregd himself and one of my other friends. Guy at event said he could pick up both badges. He goes to pick-up on Thursday, and was told he couldn't. To make story short, my other friend did not go.

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Post by Ianny » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:40 pm

[quote=Ang]I heard a good amount of complaining about this...so here is my go ahead. This is my unwarranted rant and opinion, so get ready...

SECOND OF ALL!

There are lines at conventions across the country. Ever wait in line at Otakon? Yes? Do you b!tch about that? No? WHY? Because you're USED TO IT?! You think Anime Boston is a bed of roses? Well welcome to the real world kids, the convention is moving up in the world, and it will be rivaling Otakon in size soon, and in my personal opinion as a convention goer for the past DECADE, I still think AB is one of the best run shows in the nation. The staff here as a very low turn-over rate, and do whatever possible to run the best QUALITY show, rather than quantity.

The lines were a faux-pas this year, that's for sure, yet I do recall a desperate need of registration staff and volunteers advertised a while ago. You want to do something about the lines next year? WHY DON'T YOU STEP UP AND HELP OUT instead of sitting back and selfishly complaining about everything that doesn't go YOUR WAY? A staff badge let's you skip in line, LEGALLY, and they even feed you! WOW!

THIRD AND FINAL:

They have pre-reg pick up on Thursdays. I highly recommend it if you can get in to Boston then. It makes the weekend go that tiny bit smoother.

A solution to the registration lines will present itself before next year, rest assured, so why don't you all now focus on the POSITIVE aspects of the convention, eat leftover Cadbury Creme Eggs, and relax?

Thanks.

[/quote]

While I understand your sentiment, Ang, I think you're a bit off base. Here we go:

You bring up the length of lines for other conventions, but I have never heard of Otakon lines taking eight to ten hours. Four hours, sure. Hell, even five hours. But ten? Nope. Hell, not even San Diego Comic Con, the biggest convention in the US takes ten hours to move!

You also bring up the Thursday pickup. Now, a lot of us attendees work for a living. Getting off Friday for a con is hard enough, but now you expect people to take off Thursday as well, even if they are traveling from far away? Not going to happen. The Thursday pickup is almost exclusively for people who live in the area, or were lucky enough to have enough funds to stay another day, or get off work. That's about 5% of the con at most, give or take a few percentage points.

Finally, you bring up volunteering. While I agree that volunteering is important and helps the con a great deal, it is just that. It is voluntary. You are certainly not being selfish by deciding volunteering is not for you. Everyone enjoys a convention their own way. If they would rather have it all to hang out with friends, relax, and visit panels as opposed to working on what is many people's vacation time or time off, so be it. That's a choice.

So once more, I understand your points, but they simply do not work completely with this situation.

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Post by virusbusterd » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:41 pm

In response to that second part.

I believe we have the right to complain and gripe. This isn't just whining about standing in line for two or three hours, we all know what that's like. There is something very wrong with the way the con is run when people spend the entire day waiting online just to get in.

I came with my friends late on friday and we were turned down completely from even getting on line. We paid for a weekend pass and we couldn't even get in on friday. Some of us actually have to work or go to school and travel for more than half hour to get there. Not all of us can just show up Thursday and register or pick up. We already took a half day off just to drive in and beat traffic early enough so we can try and catch friday night's events but that didn't happen. Noone could tell us if we were getting a refund or what not, we were not informed of anything other than there's too many people, we can't let you in. When we checked again at another entrance, someone else told us that the systems were all screwed up.

I feel for all the people who stood online so long. I still had to wait on Saturday morning for the badges and whats worse were people registering on the spot, they stood for another few hours at least. Whats going to happen now? What about the weekend pass that we couldn't even go in on friday? An apology doesn't exactly help all the people who payed for hotel, travel, food expenses, admission only to wind up wasting half the weekend on line or shunned away completely.

Its hard to focus on the good aspects when everything else had been so crappy. I didn't even bother going on sunday because it was such a bad experience along with other complaints about the con. I won't complain about it on this thread but I doubt I will even consider going back to Boston. Don't get me wrong, I met some really cool people and some events are great. But the mismanagement of the whole con was disappointing at the least and I want a partial refund for friday.

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Post by lungster » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:55 pm

I think most fair minded people can appreciate the difficulties of managing an event like this. However, saying that registration numbers being up an the system being new are the cause for the long lines does not justify what happened. This was poor planning. Let me give you some simple numbers and explain what I mean.

There are only a few numbers that matter. (1) the number of projected attendees for on-site registration (you should have had the pre-reg numbers by then). This is guesswork but it's not a shot in the dark; it's an educated guess, (2) the total number of hours you think is ok to process these people (3) the number of people your system can actually handle.

Numbers (1) and (2) will tell you how many people/hr you need to be able to handle. If you expect 5000 on-site registrations and you think they should take about 5 hrs to process, then your system needs 1000/hr throughput. Compare this with (3) and ask yourself - "will this work?"

On Friday, there were (I think) 5 terminals for on-site registration. Did anyone test the process and determine how long it would take the average person to enter their data? I would bet that 1 minute would be reasonable for the computer-literate though from my experience, entry systems always take more time than expected because users want to double check everything carefully before submitting their form.

So with 5 terminals, that's 300 per hours. That right there should sound alarm bells. Let's give the benefit of the doubt and say that I'm off by a factor of 2 and it's really 600 per hour however unlikely.

As an exercise, I'm going to pick 8000 pre-reg and 15,000 total (7000 on-site) as working numbers. This is purely out of the hat but it serves as an example. 600/hr for 7000 people works out to over 11 hours; clearly a problems even split between 2 days of registrations. Cut the 600/hr to 300/hr and all hell breaks loose. Raise the 7000 number to 10,000 and you have a fiasco.

I don't know how many attendees you folks expected would show up but the fact remains that all you had to do was calculate that throughput number up front. 300/hr for 5 terminals is just my rough guess but I'm betting it's not too far off when all is said and done.

This was not about having a new system; nor was it about the large numbers of attendees. It's about testing the system and working the numbers for a reality check; and then erring on the side of caution. I can not believe that anyone did that up front.


[quote=ladyhawke78][quote=Faye_Noire]There really is no excuse for the poor preparation. [/quote]

Final Reg numbers are not yet in, so we cannot yet determine exactly what % increase there was this year, however, based on what the numbers were effective Sat. night, it appears that it will turn out to be significantly greater than prior years.

From an attendee-perspective, it is completely understandable how the preparation may have appeared "poor" since the success rate of said preparations were not as projected. However, no matter how much preparation is put into a new system, it is still a NEW system. There will inevitably be kinks that need to be worked out when new systems are put in place.

Providing any further details on this is beyond my realm of expertise, so I will allow someone with that expertise to respond.[/quote]

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Post by SalemNinja » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:48 pm

I feel for everyone who suffered through the long wait. We had a similar problem two years ago which is why we come in on Thursday night to get our badges (worth it even if we have to schlep in and out on the train).

I'm wondering just why there seems to be so much trouble with the registration lines (both pre-reg, which is absolutely inexscusable, and walk-in)? Do other large cons have this problem? I've never heard of these types of waits at Otacon or Katsucon. What are they doing we're not?

Is there some reason people who pre-register can't get our badges in the mail? We've already paid. You have our info. At the very least, I would think that those of us who go to the pre-reg events at places like Tokyo Kid should be able to get our badges then. That would clean up the lines by a few hundred people at least, probably more.

I think you need to look into ways to get (at least some) badges out beforehand. Definately a bigger set up for registration. Even Thursday night we waited about 30-40 minutes. I wasn't as concerned with the wait because the con hadn't started yet. But it was getting to the point where we were getting quite antsy.

I hope that this problem gets resolved. It really puts a huge damper on your excitement when you lose an entire day. We lost 4 1/2 hours a few years ago, causing us to miss most of the panels we were interested in. I know I didn't really get over the aggrievation until the next day.

So, consider a way to get badges out before the con if possible. The less people have to wait, the happier everyone will be. I really feel that anything over an hour is too long to wait.

Good luck.

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Post by DocWatson » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:26 pm

[quote=The_Kurro_Thing]Also: a suggestion to AB staff; why not see if you can get into contact with cons of a similar or larger size and see what they're doing to make the registration lines move as quickly as possible, and maybe adopt some of their ideas for AB.[/quote]
I talked to my mother and one of her colleagues (both are nurses) last year about registering at professional conferences, and they said that they have never had to wait for more than a few minutes (IIRC). IMHO Anime Boston should contact some large professional organizations about how they run registration at their 10,000 (or 100,000) person events.


[quote=The_Kurro_Thing]Also: first thing on your list for AB09 should be getting your hands on those ballrooms before some corporate suits do, because it seems like they made things run faster because of their size.[/quote]
Was I mistaken, or did registration move on Saturday from room 100 to Exhibition Hall A? That seems to be a much better (larger!) venue for it.

Also, IMHO AB should have at-con registration for the next year's con. I would love to be able to do that, the same way I am able to do so at Arisia. (I know that Arisia is has only 2,000 or so attendees, so the scale is different, but the site is already accepting registrations for the con, which is almost ten months from now. Now that the registration system has been upgraded, why can't AB do this, rather than waiting until next fall?)

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Post by SarahofBorg » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:44 pm

I confess to cheating too. I mean I would have happily waited 2, maybe even up to 4 hours if I had to, but by the time I got there I would have been lucky to wait 10 hours or even get in at all.
So it was either cheat or leave completely. I considered just going home for a while. Eventually I realized something.
There were lines for other things. People were waiting in line for god knows how long to see the Pillows. There they were with their badges doing NOTHING but sitting around. So why not?
All I did was talk to some one in the line and struck a deal. I would borrow their badge for the time until their event started, which is when they'd need it back. As collateral I let her hold onto my brand new MP3 player worth 6 times as much as the badge. I had a lot more to lose than she did.

I only had time to go into the dealer room, but that's honestly the main thing I wanted to do anyway. Plus, the dealeroom was EXTREMELY overcrowded. I could barely see anything being sold around the masses of people!
This con was beyond overcrowded. Even the events were overcrowded. I dare say they should have had a bigger venue for the dealer room, but what the hell is bigger than the Hynes? Not much! So I guess they'd just have to have less dealers. I'm sure we could have done without the fantasy dragon T-Shirt sellers and the random Chinese crap no one cares about.

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Post by Honeygirl » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:54 pm

I don't know why AB didn't expect this kind of attendance. They have been going up every year and this year they had over 8000 preregistrations. If you consider that about 40% preregister for a convention (unless it is a prereg conference only) then they should have expected about 20,000 people. I have volunteered for other big conventions (25,000 or more people) and they preprint everything they can. They also split up registration lines by last name. If you split the alphabet into four parts and use at least one person per part for onsite and prereg you have a minimum of 8 people handling the line. Then if prereg is done you can have them handle some onsite reg to pick up slack.

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Post by DocWatson » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:58 pm

[quote=SarahofBorg]I dare say they should have had a bigger venue for the dealer room, but what the hell is bigger than the Hynes? Not much![/quote]
Exhibition Hall A (on the Plaza Level) is a bit larger than Exhibition Hall D (on the 2nd Level; which is what was used this year), but not by much. (I did note that the far left (stage right) aisle was generally less crowded than the others, and a good way to get from one end of the dealers' room to the other.) AB may want to consider using two adjacent, linked exhibition halls in the future, and make the access aisles between the table groups larger. (I.e., place fewer tables in each hall, but use more tables overall.)

Sasuga Books in particular needs to set up in a larger space, so that their internal walkway is larger.

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Post by Gollum » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:02 pm

[quote=Honeygirl]I don't know why AB didn't expect this kind of attendance. They have been going up every year and this year they had over 8000 preregistrations. [/quote]

Can you cite your source for this information? I have not seen anything said about how many preregs they had, but lots of guesses from 4000 - 8000.

I did see it mentioned on the boards precon that they were anticipating about 12,000 total attendees, which is a reasonable estimate when you consider their growth between 06 and 07 was a little over 1,000 and they had about 10,500 attendees last year. Therefore I can easily believe that they didn't expect this kind of turn out.

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Post by derangedQ » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:20 pm

You claim to have let people with a Saturday only pass attend the convention on Friday? I call BS! I pulled the woman running registration on Friday aside to tell her that I refused to pay for a day I spent in line and she gave me the option of registering for Saturday. At this I said that I would like to stay for the rest of Friday and she told me that i could not do that and that I would have to leave.

I find it safe to say that unless Anime Boston finds a way to compensate me for the eight hours of my life and the money wasted I will not be attending this convention again.

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Post by Koji Imate » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:36 pm

[quote=KitKat]for all you people saying "they should have changed it during friday not for saturday"...
if they had changed it during friday you'd all have to wait longer without moving while they set up the room again. From what I understand the new system took hours to reconfigure, so you all would have been waiting in line for just as long or longer for them to do that.

I agree, handing out forms to fill out with our information would have been nice.

I wasn't a victim of long wait times, all in all I got there at 7:30 and was out at 10:00 in the regular registration line. But I do agree the sytem seems inefficiant. Not all con goers are fast typers or readers.[/quote]

Woah, computer fail. I just lost my entire really intelligent response.

But in a nutshell - I agree completely. Forms in the lines (or even forms that could be printed off the net before the con) would save mass amounts of time.

Another idea is to open Thursday registration to everyone. The con's starting to get really big now, and I think that opening Thursday registration to everyone would calm things down on Friday. I know it's a privilege for the people who pre-registered, and that it might cause a little more inconvenience for the staff on Thursday, but overall I think it would do more good than harm. I also know some people can't make it Thursday, but I also know that there are probably plenty of people who can, and would jump on the opportunity to pick up a badge Thursday, even if they hadn't pre-registered.

They really can't send out badges early. They would have to be much stricter at the doors of the events due to the increased risk of counterfitting. You think those lines for events are long -now-. Imagine how long it would take if they had to stop each person and examine their badge in perfect detail. It would be registration lines all over again. There would also probably be a little line to get in the convention center if security had to check things even more closely. Besides, as slow as the pre-registration line was, it seems most of the problem is in the non-preregistered side of things. None of the pre-registered people are saying they spent 9+ hours in line, so I don't think it would help as much as everyone is saying it would.

I'm confident they'll learn from their mistakes this year and make the con even better for next.

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Post by tooxmuchxcsi » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:00 pm

honestly, it does suck that people have to wait in line this long, but i do have to agree with those saying that you can't really blame everyone else. staff was doing the best they can with a new system, a new system which was put in place to try to make things faster, it didn't work, oh well, next year hopefully will work better. i understand that people are frustrated money wise, that on the other hand is an issue. the people that waited in line for 8 hours on friday should be given reimbursement of some form or another, or at least be allowed to get a free pass for friday. and like others have said, getting there on thursday isn't an option for all of us, heck getting there for friday isn't even an option for all of us. I personally got up on saturday @ 5 am to catch the earliest bus out of portland, maine. had a 2.5 hour train ride and then had to wait in line as soon as i got to boston. and when you stop and think there are people coming from much further away than myself. i enjoyed my days at AB though and just hope that next year the lines will move faster or that i can get there for thursday.

also, i might add that the mailing out thing seems to be a good idea. i must agree though a stamp on the badge itself would help prevent all but the most dedicated forgers from creating another one and most of the people that go to a con are honest anyway. but that's just an idea

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by gdubbs » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:10 pm

[quote=lungster]I think most fair minded people can appreciate the difficulties of managing an event like this. However, saying that registration numbers being up an the system being new are the cause for the long lines does not justify what happened. This was poor planning. Let me give you some simple numbers and explain what I mean.

There are only a few numbers that matter. (1) the number of projected attendees for on-site registration (you should have had the pre-reg numbers by then). This is guesswork but it's not a shot in the dark; it's an educated guess, (2) the total number of hours you think is ok to process these people (3) the number of people your system can actually handle.

Numbers (1) and (2) will tell you how many people/hr you need to be able to handle. If you expect 5000 on-site registrations and you think they should take about 5 hrs to process, then your system needs 1000/hr throughput. Compare this with (3) and ask yourself - "will this work?"

On Friday, there were (I think) 5 terminals for on-site registration. Did anyone test the process and determine how long it would take the average person to enter their data? I would bet that 1 minute would be reasonable for the computer-literate though from my experience, entry systems always take more time than expected because users want to double check everything carefully before submitting their form.

So with 5 terminals, that's 300 per hours. That right there should sound alarm bells. Let's give the benefit of the doubt and say that I'm off by a factor of 2 and it's really 600 per hour however unlikely.

As an exercise, I'm going to pick 8000 pre-reg and 15,000 total (7000 on-site) as working numbers. This is purely out of the hat but it serves as an example. 600/hr for 7000 people works out to over 11 hours; clearly a problems even split between 2 days of registrations. Cut the 600/hr to 300/hr and all hell breaks loose. Raise the 7000 number to 10,000 and you have a fiasco.

I don't know how many attendees you folks expected would show up but the fact remains that all you had to do was calculate that throughput number up front. 300/hr for 5 terminals is just my rough guess but I'm betting it's not too far off when all is said and done.

This was not about having a new system; nor was it about the large numbers of attendees. It's about testing the system and working the numbers for a reality check; and then erring on the side of caution. I can not believe that anyone did that up front. [/quote]

THANK YOU FOR STATING THIS SO WELL, lungster!! This was exactly the issue I had. I can understand unanticipated demand, and technical difficulties, but this really had a lot to do with poor planning that happened before a single one of us ever set foot through the door of the Hynes. I applaud the staff of AB2008 for so many things they did well and did right, but this registration disaster will never be counted as anything other than a complete failure on their part.

WHAT ABOUT OUR HEALTH/WELL-BEING?
My other major issue with the registration fiasco was how they took care of us once it became clear there would be a BIG problem with wait times. Very few of us were prepared for 10 hours of waiting with no chairs, no water, no food. The fact that the wait happened is water under the bridge, but how we were taken care of was truly dangerous, and needs to be addressed in case anything like this ever happens again. How about renting some chairs? Or getting us some refreshments? Or better yet giving us numbers so we could leave, get our own rest, and come back when we had an assigned time for our block of numbers? And I really feel badly for the cos-players, who must have suffered even more in their likely-uncomfortable costumes.

WE NEED A SHOW OF GOOD-FAITH FROM AB2008
Things happen, I understand, and this is a huge undertaking. Saturday was a great time for me, and I have to thank all of AB2008 for all the great work on that front, and for everything they did for us. But I can't separate Friday from Saturday in my mind. And the only thing that will make the horrors of Friday any better is if the AB2008 organizers do something for us as a token of "I'm sorry" or "thank-you for sticking with us". I don't want my money back or anything like that. I paid a fair price for a great time on Saturday. What I'm looking for is some sort of broad-appeal event or screening or something AB2008 related where everyone who registered on Friday gets invited for free. I think that would be a great show of appreciation and would help build the sense of community that was frayed terribly on Friday. Have it on a weekend so a lot of people could make it, and build some good will amongst us all. You have all of our names, and you could spread the word pretty easily!

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