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Author Topic: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10  (Read 31806 times)

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Admiral Donuts

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #80 on: November 19, 2014, 07:54:40 PM »

These are two solutions I could think of that would help make things more convenient for people to book a hotel. 1. Add the numbering system for people who bought a badge to be able to reserve a hotel that fanime originally attended to implement. 2. If somebody who reserves a hotel without a badge are REQUIRED to purchase one and if they don't within a certain number of days, your reservation will be canceled and people who do have a badge can snag the room. This was something I've seen Anime Expo implemented.

And yes, I've heard the complaint's about "This is unfair! I don't have the money to purchase a badge yet!" Well I hate to sound like a jerk but TOO BAD! First of all if your either a new person or a regular fanime attendee then you should have saved up in advance for a badge. It's like this, You don't have the money to purchase a 55$ badge compared to reserving a hotel that will cost you at least close to 100$ a night? That doesn't make any sense! I was the majority that was extremely upset when fanime decided not to implement this system. It could have possibly prevented ANY crashes or overload during the website!

Though from what I hear people couldn't reserve a hotel without buying a badge.

I was all for a system requiring a badge to get a hotel room, but since it happened by accident this year there's now some evidence that it won't make getting a hotel room any easier. There might be ways to alleviate the problems like server load during hotel registration, but I don't think having to register up front is going to make any more rooms available.

DangerHeart

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #81 on: November 24, 2014, 12:33:29 PM »

These are two solutions I could think of that would help make things more convenient for people to book a hotel. 1. Add the numbering system for people who bought a badge to be able to reserve a hotel that fanime originally attended to implement. 2. If somebody who reserves a hotel without a badge are REQUIRED to purchase one and if they don't within a certain number of days, your reservation will be canceled and people who do have a badge can snag the room. This was something I've seen Anime Expo implemented.

And yes, I've heard the complaint's about "This is unfair! I don't have the money to purchase a badge yet!" Well I hate to sound like a jerk but TOO BAD! First of all if your either a new person or a regular fanime attendee then you should have saved up in advance for a badge. It's like this, You don't have the money to purchase a 55$ badge compared to reserving a hotel that will cost you at least close to 100$ a night? That doesn't make any sense! I was the majority that was extremely upset when fanime decided not to implement this system. It could have possibly prevented ANY crashes or overload during the website!

Though from what I hear people couldn't reserve a hotel without buying a badge.

I was all for a system requiring a badge to get a hotel room, but since it happened by accident this year there's now some evidence that it won't make getting a hotel room any easier. There might be ways to alleviate the problems like server load during hotel registration, but I don't think having to register up front is going to make any more rooms available.

Actually, it does make sense that people don't have $55 to spare at sudden notice but do have $100 a night for a room since once you book the hotel you know how much to save for. This is the first time since I started attending that it's gone up so early and some people live paycheck to paycheck with little wiggle room. I do agree that having to purchase a badge in order to book a room might lessen the stress on the servers, but I think(as I've seen other people say) Fanime is just outgrowing downtown San Jose. It gets harder to book a room every year because every year there are more people attending. I'm sure there are ways that can make it an easier process, like requiring a badge to book a room and having a limit of so many rooms per badge number, but I don't think it's completely avoidable anymore.
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Admiral Donuts

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #82 on: November 24, 2014, 07:13:49 PM »

Actually, it does make sense that people don't have $55 to spare at sudden notice but do have $100 a night for a room since once you book the hotel you know how much to save for. This is the first time since I started attending that it's gone up so early and some people live paycheck to paycheck with little wiggle room.

Well, it does and it doesn't. Really it comes down to personal preference. Personally, I wouldn't think about going to a convention if $55 was a big issue, but I also think people should be allowed to spend their own money how they want and go into debt if it's to do something they love.

I do agree that having to purchase a badge in order to book a room might lessen the stress on the servers, but I think(as I've seen other people say) Fanime is just outgrowing downtown San Jose. It gets harder to book a room every year because every year there are more people attending.

It probably won't given how fast rooms went this year when you needed to pay for a badge to reserve them online. It'd be neat to know how many people have already registered for the con.

I'm sure there are ways that can make it an easier process, like requiring a badge to book a room and having a limit of so many rooms per badge number, but I don't think it's completely avoidable anymore.

Isn't there already a limit? I thought it was two per person, but someone on the ClockWork Alchemey Facebook page posted that they got three rooms.

Not that I think a limit would do much. Paying $55 for an extra registration would be worth it to anyone looking to profit off the rooms.

SpiritOfKairi

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #83 on: November 24, 2014, 08:32:08 PM »

Actually, it does make sense that people don't have $55 to spare at sudden notice but do have $100 a night for a room since once you book the hotel you know how much to save for. This is the first time since I started attending that it's gone up so early and some people live paycheck to paycheck with little wiggle room.

Well, it does and it doesn't. Really it comes down to personal preference. Personally, I wouldn't think about going to a convention if $55 was a big issue, but I also think people should be allowed to spend their own money how they want and go into debt if it's to do something they love.

I'm kind of back and forth on this one.  On the one hand, many attendees go to Fanime yearly and save up for it, knowing they will be returning.  They have a good idea of what admission will cost, and it's safe to guess that these people would be saving for next year's convention right after the previous one has ended.  In this case, it's not too far-fetched that these individuals should have the membership money ready whenever that part pops up.  However, there is also the fact that everything came up much earlier this year than in the last 3, and that there are still many individuals living from paycheck to paycheck, making saving much harder to do.  So I can see both sides - those who are able to save up throughout the year and are ready whenever things pop up, and those who do not have that luxury and maybe got taken off-guard by things coming up so much earlier.

I do agree that having to purchase a badge in order to book a room might lessen the stress on the servers, but I think(as I've seen other people say) Fanime is just outgrowing downtown San Jose. It gets harder to book a room every year because every year there are more people attending.

It probably won't given how fast rooms went this year when you needed to pay for a badge to reserve them online. It'd be neat to know how many people have already registered for the con.

I'm sure there are ways that can make it an easier process, like requiring a badge to book a room and having a limit of so many rooms per badge number, but I don't think it's completely avoidable anymore.

Isn't there already a limit? I thought it was two per person, but someone on the ClockWork Alchemey Facebook page posted that they got three rooms.

Not that I think a limit would do much. Paying $55 for an extra registration would be worth it to anyone looking to profit off the rooms.

I'm not sure requiring badge registration is the magic bullet we once thought it was.  I think one bigger issue here is the service being used to book.  I mentioned this once before, and I'll say it again - it's looking about time to move on from CMR.  Yes they have been handling hotel registration for the last 7+ years, but the last few they have been consistently dropping the ball.  Despite the traffic for hotel registration exploding soon as the service opens these last 3-4 years, booking has gotten significantly worse and worse each year.  We have seen the site get increasingly slow, bookings fail at the last moment, error messages due to the servers being clogged, and people waiting for increasing periods of time to book a room.  This year alone we saw people waiting around 2 hours, refreshing the site and constantly calling CMR, only to book their second or third hotel of choice.  We need a service that has the server space to handle the onslaught of traffic brought on by hotel registration, that won't make people sacrifice hours of their day just to desperately hope they'll get the room they want.  CMR has had opportunities the last few years to ramp up their servers to handle the load, and yet they have failed to do so.  We need a service that offers a decent online booking experience, rather than one that causes frustration and headaches for all who attempt to use it.
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Nina Star 9

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #84 on: November 25, 2014, 10:52:24 AM »

Hmm. I never thought that requiring a badge for hotels would be a magic bullet, or even would put /that/ much of a dent in the hotel problem.

Scalpers may be a problem, yes. I've seen scalpers around. But I doubt that scalpers are that big of a problem that they are putting this much strain on the system. A few more people might be able to get rooms if all the scalpers went away, but it wouldn't solve the problem, and I doubt it would even create enough of a difference that attendees would notice. I think that this year's fiasco proves that, since the online system was (inadvertently?) forcing people to buy registrations in order to book a hotel room.

The problem is, and always has been, two things: too many attendees for the number of rooms available, and a broken hotel registration system.

I think that, short of moving outside of San Jose (which might need to happen in the near future), there needs to be a large overhaul of how the hotel registration system works in order to relieve some of the pressure. Get a working shuttle system. Have some sort of incentive for people to want to stay at hotels further out instead of being disappointed (cheaper prices? some sort of services offered at those hotels?). Get more hotels on board. Ditch CMR. Find some of way to prevent a huge rush of people on the servers all at once (which is caused by people remembering that, in the past, it's been impossible to get hotels rooms unless everyone rushes in at once).

Maybe, instead of requiring badges or anything like that, hotel rooms are released in waves. I'm not entirely sure how this would work, but maybe open up larger blocks of less desirable rooms earlier (hotels further out), and then release a medium-sized block of semi-desirable rooms (maybe the Doubletree [because of CA], Ramada, Sainte Claire, Hyatt), and then a smaller block of the most desirable rooms (Hilton, Marriott, Fairmont). Of course, this would probably cause issues because people would book all the less desirable rooms as insurance and then still rush the system for the more desirable rooms later on, but if there are incentives to actually stay at the more desirable rooms (or some sort of safeguard so that people don't book rooms at different hotels), then that might be less of an issue. Or still release them in waves, but carve up the different hotels so that there are a few waves of hotels of mixed desirability (release the Marriott, Sainte Claire, and an airport hotel or two, then release the Fairmont, the Doubletree, and an airport hotel or two, etc.), so that if people want a specific hotel, they can aim for that wave of hotel releases and put less strain on the booking system when the other waves are happening (and then use one of the backup hotels in that wave if they can't get their first choice). Or maybe a lottery system -- people sign up, get a specific number code unique to them and a group number, and then the groups go, in order, at different times, to choose their hotels (the random number code is to ensure that your email address and code match up, verifying that it is you, giving you access to the hotel choices). Or something else besides rushing the system all at once.

Of course, there simply aren't enough rooms, which is the cause of most of this, so that would need to be addressed in the near future. (The servers are an issue, but I see that as an issue stemming from or compounded by the lack of rooms, since there wouldn't be as much server strain if there were enough rooms, and even after the servers came back up, all the rooms still sold out very quickly and there are still people without a room.)

I don't think that simply tweaking the system we have now is enough. We need something entirely different.
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Admiral Donuts

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #85 on: November 25, 2014, 04:29:07 PM »

I'm still hoping for a lottery system. No scrambling to get a hotel room because registration goes up at the busiest part of the day.

echoshadow

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #86 on: November 25, 2014, 08:54:22 PM »

If they fix the shuttle system then this will not be a problem. For example AX shuttle service is pretty much dialed down. Every hour they have 4-5 busses and routes that go the far way hotels. No one really complains about the shuttles during the day. After midnight then it's downtown 2 busses but the attendees are not that much. So it's a bit of a wait after 2:00am.

But during the day it runs like clock work. But I just don't know how Fanime's shuttles can be that much of a cluster duck. It's way shorter than AX. And less people.
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Xanreo

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #87 on: November 25, 2014, 08:58:37 PM »

It wouldn't be any easier to book a room if the servers could handle everyone since there'd be a huge rush of bookings and rooms would run out in 10 minutes making it just as full of anxiety.
Releasing the rooms in waves would be a pretty neat idea; the lottery thing seems sketchy; they would have to verify everyone and once someone gets a bad pick, they're basically screwed.

Isn't there already a limit? I thought it was two per person, but someone on the ClockWork Alchemey Facebook page posted that they got three rooms.

I had up to four rooms booked at one time.
I booked three but those rooms started disappearing one by one (for reasons still unexplained) so I booked another three and got those confirmed.
Don't think there is a limit.

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Admiral Donuts

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #88 on: November 25, 2014, 11:12:53 PM »

If you released rooms in waves you probably still have people rushing every wave, the demand's that high. Still, it'd probably even things out somewhat.

A lottery would require you to have a badge to verify who you are, and some kind of perfernce system. My university does it that way for parking, you sign-up and give your preferences and on the day of the lottery you get an e-mail saying if you got a parking pass or not. Its kind of a pipe dream that Fanime will establish a similar system, but here's hoping.

Someone at Clockwork Alchemey claimed someone else had booked seven rooms at the DoubleTree, and regardless if they did or not one of the staff said they would "deal with it if it happened." So if your rooms started disappearing, maybe there is some kind of limit, and like everything else nobody talks about it.

Xanreo

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #89 on: November 26, 2014, 06:56:10 PM »

A lottery would require you to have a badge to verify who you are, and some kind of preference system. My university does it that way for parking, you sign-up and give your preferences and on the day of the lottery you get an e-mail saying if you got a parking pass or not. Its kind of a pipe dream that Fanime will establish a similar system, but here's hoping.

I would rather bet on my own persistence than on the luck of the draw.

I'm not sure how often or efficient the two parties get in touch but the delay of the "hotel booking" button on the Fanime website redirecting to the CMR site was bananas and complex enough.

Someone at Clockwork Alchemy claimed someone else had booked seven rooms at the DoubleTree, and regardless if they did or not one of the staff said they would "deal with it if it happened." So if your rooms started disappearing, maybe there is some kind of limit, and like everything else nobody talks about it.

I'm going to chalk it up to a server error since the CMR person I spoke with didn't know why it was happening either.
People posted on the facebook page about losing their one or to rooms too.
Hopefully they booked backup rooms like I did and did not wait around since CMR couldn't find a cancellation or even a trace of the disappeared rooms. Ooo spooky~
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Admiral Donuts

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #90 on: November 27, 2014, 11:59:45 AM »

I'm not sure how often or efficient the two parties get in touch but the delay of the "hotel booking" button on the Fanime website redirecting to the CMR site was bananas and complex enough.

Oh yeah, another total fuster cluck. They didn't even link to anything different. If you mouseover or take a look at the code, both buttons take you to the same place! And it's using a shortned url redirect link thingie (that's the technical term) from Bitly!? Those're great for twitter but why don't they just link to it directly?

My friend was posting on Facebook about getting a room and he was sitting there waiting for the button to change colors. I told him he need to just go to the reg site directly... I wonder how many people were sitting there waiting for it to go "live."

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #91 on: November 29, 2014, 03:03:51 PM »

But I just don't know how Fanime's shuttles can be that much of a cluster duck. It's way shorter than AX. And less people.
It varies from year to year.
  • 2012 - A real bus service, with large luxury buses. Lots of empty seats. Nice.
  • 2013 - Short buses with totally lost bus drivers from a parking lot shuttle company. Trips went miles off course. Buses jammed. Long waits. Awful.
  • 2014 - Less clueless bus drivers from same parking lot shuttle company. Buses jammed. Moderate waits. Adequate.
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SpiritOfKairi

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Re: Attendee housing to open Nov. 10
« Reply #92 on: November 29, 2014, 04:31:23 PM »

But I just don't know how Fanime's shuttles can be that much of a cluster duck. It's way shorter than AX. And less people.
It varies from year to year.
  • 2012 - A real bus service, with large luxury buses. Lots of empty seats. Nice.
  • 2013 - Short buses with totally lost bus drivers from a parking lot shuttle company. Trips went miles off course. Buses jammed. Long waits. Awful.
  • 2014 - Less clueless bus drivers from same parking lot shuttle company. Buses jammed. Moderate waits. Adequate.

Since Fanime probably isn't moving anytime soon despite the convention's growth, making shuttle service consistently fluent would probably help people feel better about reserving a room farther away from the CC, and possibly drive competition for the Hilton and Marriott down a tad.
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