SDCC: I’ve got my letter of marque. Do you?

There will be a few dribs and drabs of info here for the next 24 hours or so, but we’ve got all our last minute stuff to do from here on out. We took a quick look at our LJ friends page this morning, and every post, across the nation, from SF to NYC, started out complaining about how hot it was. It is fun watching the effects of global warming unfold in our lifetimes, isn’t it? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US, AL GORE!!!

However, setting aside the fate of the planet, the big question today is REGISTRATION.

The CCI: San Diego has a new registration system in place. In theory you register online, get a letter with a barcode, go to the show, get your barcode scanned and get a badge. In theory.

It might all work perfectly well. Honest.

However, every single person we’ve talked to has anxiety about this. The Beat received THREE letters, two for press and one for being a “pro”. All that and we still can’t get into the Attendee section of the website. If anyone can, can you email us a copy of the Programming Grid pdfs? We would give our remaining eye tooth for those.

Tom interviewed David Glanzerabout all the resgistration issues:

SPURGEON: I personally think the con has probably lost tens of thousands of dollars over the year though registrations abuse. Is this a concern that has fueled the changes?

GLANZER: Honestly, no. The reason for online registration is an attempt to provide quicker registration for all of our attendees. Again, this is relatively new for us, but the idea is to have people register in advance which allows us both an opportunity to see the potential flow of attendees during the run of the show, and will also allow attendees to enter all their registration information early, have a bar code printed and then simply scan that barcode at the show. We’re hoping this will dramatically reduce the amount of time people have to wait in registration lines.

It really does sounds so simple doesn’t it? Then why is everyone in such a dither? We’ve heard of phone calls unreturned, some people unregistered after numerous attempts, others denied pro access after 25 years in the biz…of course with 100,000 attendees there cold be a 1% problem rate and that would still be 1000 people.

We do wonder about one thing, however: according to the website, badge pickup is open from 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm on Wednesday. Now, we don’t know how many people actually go into Preview Night but it is thousands and thousands, and in all honesty, three hours to get everyone who wants to get into Preview Night a badge sounds like just not enough time. We stood in line about an hour last year and the year before we couldn’t even get in until Preview Night was almost over due to various snafus. And we got off lucky, from the other stories we heard.

This could all be needless fretting. It could all be a breeze, a wonderful cooling breeze. Or it could be legendary. Developing.

Comments

  1. I registered online today for my pro-badge and had no problem at all. Took about two minutes, tops. Honestly, SDCCI has always dine an outstanding job at registration, considering how big the con has grown.

  2. I registered online today for my pro-badge and had no problem at all. Took about two minutes, tops. Honestly, SDCCI has always done an outstanding job at registration, considering how big the con has grown.

  3. Tom Galloway says:

    Clearly La Gringa wasn’t in the pro line on Preview Night last year, which was moving at the rate of around 10 feet an hour circa 5-7p.m. (or at least that’s my recollection of it. It was definitely flummoxed enough that rethinking it for this year was a necessity.)

    What I hope’s been done is running a system test on each separate reg area/method to determine what the average time to process a member is. Then keep track of how many people are trying to register at various times (i.e. obviously start of show/start of day is going to have a lot more than at 3 p.m. on Saturday). Work backwards from there as to how many people you need to have working registration to process people in a reasonable amount of time. If your average time to process a membership (and remember to test for non-perfect scenarios; someone has to fumble for their bar code and get their ID out rather than having it ready, someone’s paying by credit card, someone’s paying by cash but needs change, etc.) is too long, try to rethink the system (i.e. the year or three when they were printing out the pro badges on the spot and they yelling out names to distribute them at a separate point didn’t work too well…).

    Then plan for disasters. For example, I’m assuming the bar code is linked to a computer database. Make sure that database is still accessible if a) a computer it’s on goes down b) a network goes down c) power goes down d) whatever else I’m not thinking of in 5 seconds of thought about it.

  4. The Beat says:

    My Heidi sense tells me that things are going to go much more smoothly than expected. Just a hunch, and I hope I’m right.

  5. mario boon says:

    well, this is all just a trial run so NEXT year when I’m going is gonna be ideal! :)

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