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How long did you wait in line?

Less than 30 min
- 16 (61.5%)
Less than 1 hr
- 6 (23.1%)
Less than 2 hrs
- 1 (3.8%)
Less than 3 hrs
- 0 (0%)
Less than 4 hrs
- 3 (11.5%)

Total Members Voted: 24

Voting closed: May 27, 2007, 12:48:03 AM


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Author Topic: STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.  (Read 9505 times)

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MPLe

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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2007, 04:08:02 PM »

Quote from: "E-Chan"
Actually, the only real suggestion I'd have to make on the reg line that could be used next year is...

Umm... have a couple more tables outside where people can write their info, rather than in that one spot during the last five minutes... it's bad to expect legibility when people are using each other as writing surfaces.

I'd love to see the line move faster as a whole, but there's only so much that can be done... it would help if there was a way to pre-reg for a single-day pass online... so that way more people who know they're only going to be there for a single day can just go to the pre-reg line... or something...

It's hard to say, I didn't work reg, I just did line control, which wasn't fun.


As I write this, our IT and Registration teams are looking into doing a pre-reg for individual days at con.

The reason why we limit the number of tables outside of the Registration area is to prevent people from damaging them (we have had damaged tables in the past). We wouldn't want to overflow that area with Rovers just to prevent people from messing with the tables. :P
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Keys

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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2007, 04:31:58 PM »

Is there a 'cash only' line?  From what I'm reading, it sounds like credit card processing was slowing things down.  Maybe rewarding people with a separate line for cash would help?

Also, I had a few people ask me if I had a stapler this year.  Apparently their paper badges were falling out of their plastic badge holders and they had to keep getting new ones.  They wanted to staple the badge to their badge holder.  Maybe Reg can have staplers on hand to do this.
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MPLe

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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2007, 05:43:10 PM »

Quote from: "Keys"
Also, I had a few people ask me if I had a stapler this year.  Apparently their paper badges were falling out of their plastic badge holders and they had to keep getting new ones.  They wanted to staple the badge to their badge holder.  Maybe Reg can have staplers on hand to do this.

Registration does have staplers that are used to staple their badges to the plastic holder.

Why were people randomly asking you if you had a stapler? Are you staff? O_o?
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2007, 06:45:02 PM »

Is it that unlikely that a student aged population might expect someone to be carrying a stapler?  ^^   I usually have a mini one in my backpack but I couldn't find it at the time. >_<

Weird.  I guess I just happened to run into the few who either escaped before they could be stapled, the staffer forgot to staple, or something.
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Krnchichiri

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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2007, 02:18:29 PM »

Keys- Geeze, most students didn't even have any ID or... wallet on them. o.0 I doubt that they'd bring a stapler.

And shame shame to the staffer who didn't staple. :/
I was wondering why people were coming down to Reg. to ask to staple their badges...
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PassingTheBuck

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Re: STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2007, 11:51:04 PM »

Quote from: "TheNipponese"
Just have to say, I waited THREE & HALF hours in line today, and that was NOT cool.

Fanime '07 (on Saturday, at least) was UNDER-STAFFED, and those staff members were wildly under-trained; it took me 5+ minutes from getting to the reg booth, to getting my pass. 5 min x 8 (# of reg booths?) means that the line only processed about 96 people in an hour...

I think this is kinda crazy for a con the size of Fanime. And these types of main-stream anime cons will only get bigger!

This really isn't fair to your paying attendees, nor is it fair to the vendors trying to sell us stuff.


Registration had ten booths open and operating this year, but it didn’t help out as expected, because of reason that I will cite below.  

The choke point happens when registration personnel are doing the registration of the attendee, than the cash handling (cash, check and credit cards) and assembling the badge.

Yes, that’s a lot of stuff for one person to handle and do it in 30 seconds or less.

Now let’s add a typical Saturday and almost two thousand people wanting to register as quickly as possible and you will get very long lines.  

Some would say that by adding booths will ease the long lines or even streamlining the procedures would make it happen even faster.  Neither is true.

It requires at least three bodies for each station in order to process someone in under 30 seconds.

Given the fact that we are looking at 12 counters for next year, the ideal set up would be for each booth to have three bodies; One person to do the data entry into the registration database, another person to do the cashier’s job and the last one to assembly the badges.  

However, you can’t use all the counters for registrations, because you still have people coming in to pick up badges from Pre-Registration.  You might get eight or nine booths dedicated to those who are registering, but realize that on Saturday morning that they would have to be evenly split between the two areas as an equal number of people are picking up PreReg’s badges and registering for the event.

Okay, let’s be nice and say that you get nine booths for Registration on Saturday morning.  

That means they would need 27 warm bodies per shift and each shift being about four hours (after that point one tends to get burned out) long and yes, I do know people who work registration for 12 hours straight, but they are few and hard to find.   Now that means we would need over 80 personnel per day and all of them volunteers.  Those numbers are currently not happening, because there are not enough people volunteering to make it happen.

For 2007, we ran Registration with one person per station or two per booth/counter space.  No cashiers, in fact we had to one cash box between two stations.  We didn’t have enough personnel to open all the stations with two bodies per booth/counter, yet alone thinking about opening each booth/counter with six bodies

The problems with the long lines on Saturday are neither the process that they are using nor the size of the event, but the lack of volunteers and until that changes; we will always have long lines.

Craige…
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2007, 02:38:07 PM »

After all this, I say someone take the initiative and entertain people waiting in line next year.  Ask people to pose and take pictures, random trivia.  Ask if anyone has seen "Joey".  Hell, I'll pretend to interview people.

Add more booths, add more staff, separate cash vs credit card, whatever.  You'll still have people complaining about the wait.  I'm one of those people who 99.5 percent of the time will have something like a book, sketchbook, ipod or something to occupy me while waiting in any line (comes from having  accompanied a nephew and friends to Disneyland and other parks, etc.).

Yes, I'm sorry when some of you had to wait over 3 hours, but please, even the most perfectly planned events will hit snags and slowdowns.
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Sen

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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2007, 05:44:44 PM »

Quote from: "Krnchichiri"
Keys- Geeze, most students didn't even have any ID or... wallet on them. o.0 I doubt that they'd bring a stapler.

And shame shame to the staffer who didn't staple. :/
I was wondering why people were coming down to Reg. to ask to staple their badges...


There was a staffer who was forgetting to staple badges. I won't say who it was but it did get resolved eventually.
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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2007, 02:03:21 AM »

There are rooms on the lower con floor (Namely, the areas in which first maid-cafe meetings were present,) I've seen that could take some of the task of facilitating the pre-registration (Not for the 4 days, just do first two days, then Sunday and Monday lower the roomsize/badge pickup). Even if they are small enough then split the rooms by last name or "group registration" to thin out the lines. Delving into individual sections is far more efficient than one large pipe of pickups with 4 prongs at the end (Directed by a SINGLE PERSON...More water escapes when you poke more holes in the bottle!!), plus you'd have names pretty much sorted as is (less to look through). Yes, this will split people that come together to register, but it is more efficient. This also requires that "group" badges are pre-bunched in the "groups" room.

Summary:

Current Plan: F = Pre-Registered Fans
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF   > Booth Booth Booth Booth Booth Booth Booth  
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
GGGGGG    
(at chokepoint)

Proposed Plan: G = Groups

FFFFF = Room [ Booth ]

FFFF = Room [ Booth ]

FFFF = Room [ Booth ]

FFFFF = Room [ Booth ]

GGGGG = [ Booth Booth ] [Chokepoint]

The above can be minimized on Sunday and Monday into a smaller amount of Rooms, as they are all pre-registered (2 perhaps). If they're picking up a pre-registered badge this late, how many people would have a situation that they were enthusiastic enough to register, but only pick up sunday? A lower amount. If ANYTHING, splitting the line by names would speed up the process, without new room location.

Multiple sources of counting are well done. Most of the events happen on the upper floor guarded either way.

As for the paying at-con, then you could have probably the same number of staff doing the chokepoint. That way the task of money facilitation is easily broken down at the direct chokepoint; the longest task has more hands on it. Money per day is an every conday task; pre-registration peaks on the first two days.

Current Plan: P = Paying Day Pass

[Booth Booth Booth Booth Booth] < PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
                                                    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

Other Side of Chokepoint

Propsed Plan:

More booths given priority to Paying Con-goers.


Divide the pipe, and the speed will increase slightly.

~Chun
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MPLe

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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2007, 01:39:51 PM »

Quote from: "Chun"
Propsed Plan:
More booths given priority to Paying Con-goers.
~Chun

Keep in mind that pre-reg-ed members are also "Paying Con-goers"

I'm also not clearly able to understand what you are saying. We do have something in the works that should speed up the lines. Obviously, we are trying new things and none of them have been working in the past, but we won't stop until we find something that works.

It would be unfair to the members that wait in the line for 2+ hours if we just went *shrug* who cares?, so please keep posting/sending in your ideas and we'll look and see what we can do. :)
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Tony

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« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2007, 02:19:04 PM »

Good ideas, Chun, except that...
Quote from: "Chun"
There are rooms on the lower con floor (Namely, the areas in which first maid-cafe meetings were present,) I've seen that could take some of the task of facilitating the pre-registration

^^; unfortunately those rooms are in use, as it stands now...
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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2007, 09:15:21 PM »

Astroboy's half-baked idea: (works for pre-reg only)

Have you guys ever been to Pike Place Market in Seattle? There's a nifty fish vendor up there that is famous for throwing their fish around.

Maybe the staffers in the back who search through the stacks of pre-reg badges can practice throwing badges so they don't have to walk over to the booths. The staff people who are stationed at the booths would sit in their chairs and try to catch the badges.  It would be faster then walking. :wink: *silly grin*
-------------------------------------
Actually on a more serious note the only idea I can think of would be to take the pre-reg badges and actually place them at the booths. That way the staff people do not have to walk back and forth. Each booth would have to be name separated so for example if there were 4 booths then it would look like this:
A-F
G-L
M-R
S-Z

Perhaps this is what Chun meant when he said:
"Divide the pipe, and the speed will increase slightly." ?
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Chun

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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2007, 11:49:10 PM »

Quote from: "astroboy"

Actually on a more serious note the only idea I can think of would be to take the pre-reg badges and actually place them at the booths. That way the staff people do not have to walk back and forth. Each booth would have to be name separated so for example if there were 4 booths then it would look like this:
A-F
G-L
M-R
S-Z

Perhaps this is what Chun meant when he said:
"Divide the pipe, and the speed will increase slightly." ?


That's about right. The time it took for people to walk back and forth from the back to search for a badge could probably be cut in half if there were name designated lines. The guy at the front of the line was really facilitating everything, causing a pretty slow output in itself.

~Chun
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Sen

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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2007, 03:26:51 PM »

I can see how your pipelining idea would work but think about the frequency of certain letters in the alphabet. Obviously there will be many people under S and L. Then their lines would end up taking longer than the other lines. At some point, there would a boot with no one there and a long line for another booth.

Then you might think that we could have the empty booth help out the with the line but that would just re-create the logistics nightmare all over again.

My two cents.

I have this crazy idea that I've mentioned to a couple of people already but it's gonna be expensive to implement.
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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2007, 04:25:26 PM »

Quote from: "Sen"
I can see how your pipelining idea would work but think about the frequency of certain letters in the alphabet. Obviously there will be many people under S and L. Then their lines would end up taking longer than the other lines.


Do you mean to tell me you won't have a preliminary pre-registration amount of people and can divide by 4? :P

~Chun
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STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2007, 10:25:14 PM »

Quote from: "Sen"
I can see how your pipelining idea would work but think about the frequency of certain letters in the alphabet. Obviously there will be many people under S and L. Then their lines would end up taking longer than the other lines.
I used to work reg back in 2003 and we "piped" the pre-reg line into 2 based on last names:
A-L
M-Z
There were times when one side would literally have 10 people waiting in line while the other had just 1. However despite that I think it was a good set-up. I got to sit on my booty for 8 hours / day instead of standing. Actually I don't think I would of worked 8 hours / day if I had to stand. :wink:
I don't believe there is such a thing as the "uber idea" but instead trade offs. The nice thing about "piping the line" is it's inherently "faster" for the whole group since the staff do NOT have to waste time walking back and forth to a table in the back. Is it worth it to have the overall line move faster at the expense of a minority group? I would say yes! But then again my last name doesn't start with S or L!  :twisted:

Quote from: "Sen"
...
At some point, there would be a booth with no one there and a long line for another booth.(sp correction)
This is where good (LC) line control  comes in. Whoever is doing (LC) would have to keep a watchful eye out for this. Whenever this happens the (LC) staff can simply just go further down the line and grab people with last names that are not part of the "bottleneck" and bring them forward....another example of capitalism vs. socialism!

Quote from: "Sen"
...
I have this crazy idea that I've mentioned to a couple of people already but it's gonna be expensive to implement.
FanimeCon has 2 deeply rooted traditions that I'm quite proud of.
1) everybody gets to voice an opinion / idea.
2) there's no guaranteed your idea will be implemented
I know this from experience. (looking in hindsight that's probably a good thing considering some of the crazy ideas I cook up sometimes)   :D

you can PM me this idea if you don't mind sharing it...I like listening to crazy ideas.
-------------
edit 1
oops I meant I used to work reg back in 2001. 2003 was actually info desk ^_^
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Asa_Gohan

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Re: STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2007, 07:47:53 AM »

Pipelining IMO is a good idea.  Its the way my school does it and, even though there is probably a lot more waiting in line at fanime on thursday, the entire student body I believe is somewhere in the thousands and pipelining gets through all of the students.  Though now that I think about it I was probably exaggurating on the numbers.  However pipelining IMO would be an effective way.  Just have those boxes that hold playing cards and put them inside in alphabetical order.  A total of 26 boxes, 1 for each letter of the alphabet.  From there divide up those boxes among lets say...5 stations since thats a nice number that goes into it. And cause Im lazy x3
Station 1=ABCDE                    |
Station 2=FGHIJ                     |
Station 3=KLMNO                   | [line]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
Station 4=PQRST                    |
Station 5=UVWXYZ                 |
From there distrubute 5 people to each line according to their last name and then from there have like 10 people waiting.  Have a rover watch over the lines at the station so that when one finishes the next person can go up.

Of course this is just a rough idea and I havent slept in the past few days so yeah....
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Tony

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Re: STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2007, 09:02:35 PM »

It's really easy to look at the pre-reg list and sort them into even chunks; you end up with booths like

A-Fa
Fa-G
H-N
Ngo-Ngu
...

and each has the same number of badges.

This makes *allocation* even, but not *distribution*. For example, if a bunch of Nguyens all happened to come at once, they would clog the line while the other booths go unused.

If the big problem is getting the badges to the people, then it's easiest to split the line in two by last name and split the badges between the two sides of registration, which is then ordered by ID. Each side (which has 5 booths) would process their chunk of the alphabet as they come.
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Re: STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2007, 11:10:16 AM »

Quote
We wouldn't want to overflow that area with Rovers just to prevent people from messing with the tables. :P

We had 15 rovers give or take that morning helping with line control. We originally were only going to have 4. We plan on having a better line control system set up this year...hopefully.

You should also remember, staff are just volunteers. They get some perks but don't get paid to do it. Be nice.
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Re: STAFF YOUR EVENT BETTER. LINE TOO LONG.
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2007, 11:13:38 AM »

I remember working that morning. that line was Epic.

Some things with all our best efforts out unfortunately out of our control.

Even with Registration having more staff, theres always bound to be bottlenecks int he system.

again pre-registraton online would definately cut down on cost and time for avoiding long lines.
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