This will also go in my feedback thread post when I write that in a couple days -
Stage Zero should do more to promote the convention, which it already does to an extent. I would like to see more promotion outside of the Opening Ceremonies and whatnot. For instance during programming changes mention any tournaments that may be upcoming in Gaming. Use that free soapbox to sell the convention to those who may be just wandering through to see what all the crowds and people in costume are about. Also, turn the bass and gain down! It was WAY to difficult to understand most of what was being broadcast during the day at Stage Zero this year due to the audio mix being terrible. It's like what - 80 seats? Should be enough volume to get over the general convention center chatter and that's it, not enough to blare down to gatherings a floor below at The Hub. TL;DR - Stage Zero should absolutely be free and should have a secondary purpose to push badges for those simply milling about.
I've heard conflicting things about badge checks at the video rooms during general programming. If they are unbadged then that is completely asinine both for the safety of those in the video rooms and for the AV equipment on lease being used in them. "Hey, dark room, come on in - no restriction, no easy grounds for removal and ban." Not to mention it's another thing that doesn't have to be paid for someone to utilize.
It's worth it to me because I love the atmosphere of the convention - it's the show that got me back into conventions outright. Dealer's Hall, Artist Alley, an occasional panel, Swap Meet (should go back to being fully badged again, no need to make Day Zero concessions anymore now that registration has been fixed) Gaming and video rooms are all something I enjoy and happily pay the modest fee to utilize.