Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Changes to Concerts

AaronCAaronC Enforcer - LieutenantPortland OregonRegistered User regular
edited September 2010 in PAX Archive
Wristbands are dead, long live first come first served!

I am please to announce that at PAX East 2011, and PAX Prime 2011 there will be no concet wristbands handed out in the morning lines. This means that all the seats will be availible for those that line up for concerts, in a first come first served manner.

If you have any other questions about changes to the Concerts in 2011, please ask them here.

AirWolf (AaronC)
Main Theater House Manager


::Fair warning, if your asking specifics about concerts, seating capacity, times to line up etc etc, I don't know the answers yet and won't for some time, feel free to ask, but don't be dissapointed when I say you'll have to wait::

AaronC on
«1

Posts

  • RdrRdr Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I like this change and last year at East the wristbands weren't even needed.

    Rdr is pronounced Rider(Rahy-der).
  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Is there still standing room? Will there be a certain capacity? Will people be able to come and go as they please?

    :)

  • RdrRdr Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Heleor wrote: »
    Is there still standing room? Will there be a certain capacity? Will people be able to come and go as they please?

    :)


    I worked East MT as an Enforcer and there was always plenty of seating and standing room and people were able to come/go as they pleased. I can't speak on behalf of Prime though.

    Rdr is pronounced Rider(Rahy-der).
  • NijhazerNijhazer Sunnyvale, CARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Rdr wrote: »
    Heleor wrote: »
    Is there still standing room? Will there be a certain capacity? Will people be able to come and go as they please?

    :)


    I worked East MT as an Enforcer and there was always plenty of seating and standing room and people were able to come/go as they pleased.

    I was at PAX East and can vouch for this being the case, despite the capacity problems PAX East experienced in 2010. When you consider that PAX East 2011 will be in a much larger venue, the future seems very promising.

  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I can't speak to the specifics of the venue regarding capacity or standing at concerts yet. When I know, you'll know.

    Regarding comming and going: it will depend on the venue. If we have a Benaroya style venue then no, we will seat everyone in the standby line based on how many people leave. We will allow standby seating all night, but if you leave the secure area then you'd have to get back in line. If its a venue like East with standing room on the main floor, then yes, as long as were not at capacity and looking at getting in fire code violations if we put any more people in.

  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I was at East as well, but we're moving to a different venue this year and it may be differently run.

  • VapokVapok [E] PC Room Deputy Manager BostonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Keep in mind that at PAX East, Concerts will be setup a little differently from last year, due to change in Venue. I don't have any specifics on standing room or anything like that, but just keep in mind that it's a totally different Venue. Comparing East 2011 to East 2010, might not be the best idea. =)

    That being said, I totally expect PAX East 2011, to be wicked better than PAX East 2010.. Just sayin'.

    enforceruserbarsplitcro.png
    Vapok - PAX PC Room Deputy Manager - PAX Security
  • skettiosskettios Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    That system sounds pretty good.

    Will there be a time for people to start lining up at? To avoid people camping out SUPER early

  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Your 5 months to early with the question. <img class=" title=":mrgreen:" class="bbcode_smiley" /> Its an issue we're aware of and will address when the time comes for that specific stage of planning. When we have the correct information it will get posted!

    AirWolf / AaronC
    Main Theater House Manager

  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I will once again re-iterate: I will pay extra for guaranteed concert access.

    If Prime does Benaroya as a pure First Come First Served in 2011, I'll probably skip PAX entirely. The Concerts are one of the biggest reasons I go, but not the only reason, and if I"m going to have to spend my entire PAX in line out front of Benaroya instead of enjoying the concerts, or have to skip the concerts in order to do anything else at PAX, then I'll save the money and not bother.

    Now, if we're changing to a different venue, one with larger capacity and more sane in/out procedures, cool, all for it. Otherwise, this pretty much is the deal-breaker for me, unfortunately. I know I don't speak for everyone, this is only my opinion.

    Steam: DigitalArcanist | PSN: DigitalArcanist | NNID: DigitalArcanist | Backloggery: Houn
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The big announcement that came from the higher ups during Prime was that the bracelets are dead. They don't serve much function, anyway, and cause a lot more stress than they're worth.

    Other than that, neither Aaron nor any other enforcer has detailed information at this point. You'll know when we know (and are allowed to tell you).

    YAY NO WRISTBANDS!

    EDIT:
    Houn wrote: »
    I will once again re-iterate: I will pay extra for guaranteed concert access.

    If Prime does Benaroya as a pure First Come First Served in 2011, I'll probably skip PAX entirely. The Concerts are one of the biggest reasons I go, but not the only reason, and if I"m going to have to spend my entire PAX in line out front of Benaroya instead of enjoying the concerts, or have to skip the concerts in order to do anything else at PAX, then I'll save the money and not bother.

    Now, if we're changing to a different venue, one with larger capacity and more sane in/out procedures, cool, all for it. Otherwise, this pretty much is the deal-breaker for me, unfortunately. I know I don't speak for everyone, this is only my opinion.

    I can also say that if you line up for the concerts an hour or two ahead of time, you will almost certainly get in. That was the case for pretty much everything this year. Stuff fills up, but if you're there an hour or two ahead of time that's plenty to get you in. The idea that you're going to be spending your entire PAX in line is not very accurate.

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • AprecheApreche Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Here's my guess.

    The BCEC is big. Really big. They are most likely going to have concerts in a big room with general admission and maybe only a few seats way in the back, as it has been in the past. Therefore, there is probably no need for wristbands because the room will not fill, even for the Saturday concerts. Therefore, lining up is really only going to help you get close to the stage. They usually let the line in well before the first act begins. If you don't want to be right up in front, you can probably just chill and casually walk into the concerts without waiting in any lines.

    I have no special knowledge. I'm just making an educated guess based on nearly a decade of convention experience and 4 PAXes under my belt. All I'll say is that I definitely will not be waiting in any concert lines. I'll probably rock it in tabletop right up until the concert start time, and then casually walk in after the line is inside.

    I hope.

  • RdrRdr Registered User
    edited September 2010
    If you're in a line for a really popular event and afraid you won't get in then I suggest following @PAX_Lines during PAX and getting live updates with head counts. They started it for Prime 2010 and while I didn't go it still looked pretty useful.

    Rdr is pronounced Rider(Rahy-der).
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    My understanding was that there were people unable to make it into the Concerts at Benaroya all weekend, as once the place filled, it was a strict "one in, one out" policy. The @Pax_Lines twitter feed to seemed to indicate as much. Even with a bracelet, arriving an hour ahead of time put me far back in the bracelet line; what chaos will ensue when the diehards can start lining up at 8am? Additionally, 2 hours ahead is still a long, long time to spend in a 100+ degree line in a building where you're not allowed to have a water bottle. It's also a lot of time that could be doing something else, like virtually any other panel, freeplay, etc.

    Perhaps I'm simply spoiled by 07-09, where there was never an issue with walking up to the door for a concert at any moment and being let in. Maybe you weren't standing in the best spot, but you were in. My concern is more with how this new methodology will affect people's line-up times in this specific venue. If it turns out we're ditching Benaroya next year for something on-site in the WSCTC, I'm two thumbs up behind it. It's the combo that I fear.

    Steam: DigitalArcanist | PSN: DigitalArcanist | NNID: DigitalArcanist | Backloggery: Houn
  • MoradethMoradeth Registered User
    edited September 2010
  • RdrRdr Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Houn wrote: »
    My understanding was that there were people unable to make it into the Concerts at Benaroya all weekend, as once the place filled, it was a strict "one in, one out" policy. The @Pax_Lines twitter feed to seemed to indicate as much. Even with a bracelet, arriving an hour ahead of time put me far back in the bracelet line; what chaos will ensue when the diehards can start lining up at 8am? Additionally, 2 hours ahead is still a long, long time to spend in a 100+ degree line in a building where you're not allowed to have a water bottle. It's also a lot of time that could be doing something else, like virtually any other panel, freeplay, etc.

    Perhaps I'm simply spoiled by 07-09, where there was never an issue with walking up to the door for a concert at any moment and being let in. Maybe you weren't standing in the best spot, but you were in. My concern is more with how this new methodology will affect people's line-up times in this specific venue. If it turns out we're ditching Benaroya next year for something on-site in the WSCTC, I'm two thumbs up behind it. It's the combo that I fear.


    PAX East 2010 the concerts were held inside in A/C. Looking at the layout of BCEC and looking at what is nearby I think it may be safe to assume that the concerts will be held inside as well without people needing to travel outside of BCEC. I could be wrong though so its best to wait a bit longer for more details. I wouldn't compare PAX East 2010 or Prime 2010 to East 2011 since its a new convention and things will be different.

    Rdr is pronounced Rider(Rahy-der).
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Moradeth wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    I will once again re-iterate: I will pay extra for guaranteed concert access.

    If Prime does Benaroya as a pure First Come First Served in 2011, I'll probably skip PAX entirely. The Concerts are one of the biggest reasons I go, but not the only reason, and if I"m going to have to spend my entire PAX in line out front of Benaroya instead of enjoying the concerts, or have to skip the concerts in order to do anything else at PAX, then I'll save the money and not bother.

    Now, if we're changing to a different venue, one with larger capacity and more sane in/out procedures, cool, all for it. Otherwise, this pretty much is the deal-breaker for me, unfortunately. I know I don't speak for everyone, this is only my opinion.

    Alternatively we had been streaming the concert to the queue room so you could go there and hang out or come and go as you please.

    I didn't know that. I don't think many did. I personally never set foot in the queue room this year. While it's an option, it's not exactly the same, either.

    Steam: DigitalArcanist | PSN: DigitalArcanist | NNID: DigitalArcanist | Backloggery: Houn
  • edgeofbladeedgeofblade Grand Master, Sacred Order of the... Ellipsis Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Houn wrote: »
    I will once again re-iterate: I will pay extra for guaranteed concert access.

    If Prime does Benaroya as a pure First Come First Served in 2011, I'll probably skip PAX entirely. The Concerts are one of the biggest reasons I go, but not the only reason, and if I"m going to have to spend my entire PAX in line out front of Benaroya instead of enjoying the concerts, or have to skip the concerts in order to do anything else at PAX, then I'll save the money and not bother.

    Now, if we're changing to a different venue, one with larger capacity and more sane in/out procedures, cool, all for it. Otherwise, this pretty much is the deal-breaker for me, unfortunately. I know I don't speak for everyone, this is only my opinion.

    Well, shit... it almost makes its own case for buying a separate ticket for a specific seat for the concerts instead of "buying priority".

    PAX Prime: '08, '09, '10, '12, '13
    Omeganaut Prime 2012
  • doskeidoskei Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I started the Saturday night concert line at PAX East. I was second in line for the Saturday concerts at PAX Prime 2009. I was leaning on the stage at the Friday night concerts at this latest PAX. So I'm definitely one of the die-hard fans who has camped the line to get a great spot at the concerts.

    Couple things:

    1) I totally agree that the wristbands are useless. Mostly they just confuse people. I say that despite never having failed to get a wristband - I've repeatedly seen the disappointment on the faces of folks who got to the concert hall hours early only to be told that they would get nosebleed seats no matter how early they arrived. Most people know how the system works, and if they're going to get a good spot at the concert, they have a wristband. It only serves to screw over the people who don't realize how the system works. Good riddance.

    2) Telling people that they can't start lining up until some arbitrary time is absolutely worthless. This is true for any and all events. If you say the line starts at 7, the people that really want to get good seats will get there at 6:30 to make sure they're the first ones in that line when you start it. If they get there at 6:30 and there are already people there, they'll make it 6 next time. It's just an arms race that everybody loses, especially the enforcers who are just trying to maintain order.

    3) There are many things PAX does differently from the rest of the world, to its benefit. There are some things, like concert queuing, that it does differently to its detriment. There's a really good reason concert events are generally handled the way they are, and the PAX organizers would be wise to take a closer look at some of those practices. Specifically:

    - Sell tickets. If the venue has seats, please consider selling tickets to a portion of the theatre. You can always have a general admission area and a priority area. The priority area should have assigned seats - those people will feel rewarded by their purchase and won't have any reason to feel the need to be in line hours before, which will help you (enforcers) out. I also highly suggest this happen before pax, but not simultaneous with buying your badges. If you sell them four months out, people will buy them just to be sure they get in, without even knowing if they want to. I suggest you start this sale once the schedule goes up, a week or two before PAX. Late enough that people will be thinking about PAX and thus not simply forget about it, but early enough (i.e. not at PAX) that you're not creating a new problem to solve an old one.

    - Randomize the priority. If you've ever tried to buy tickets to a concert right when they go on sale, you might have seen something like this: staff hand out numbers to everybody who lined up. Moments before they start selling tickets, they pick one of those numbers randomly, and that person is the new front of the line. Everybody in front of them, in order, moves to the back of the line. This is the most efficient and effective way to dissuade people from lining up before you want them to: you are proving that they will get no better treatment than folks who got there exactly when you started the line - everybody has an equal chance of being the front of the line. Some version of this can work whether you're selling tickets to a portion of the venue (randomize the line to buy tickets), or granting general admission to the concert (anybody who shows up before you are ready to form a line gets randomized).

    I plan to apply to enforce at future PAXs, and have no idea whether I'll be able to see the concerts at all if accepted, let alone get the kind of view I've had in the past. I'm offering this advice only because I honestly think this is the only way to keep things fair and not piss off your fans. You've got to set expectations, and more importantly, you've got to subsequently meet them. Up to now, I've seen a lot of the former and very little of the latter. It's time for a grown-up approach, and I'm glad to see that progress is being made in that direction.

    As always, all props to the enforcers who manage this chaos - here's hoping your jobs get easier from here out.

  • skettiosskettios Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    doskei wrote: »
    2) Telling people that they can't start lining up until some arbitrary time is absolutely worthless. This is true for any and all events. If you say the line starts at 7, the people that really want to get good seats will get there at 6:30 to make sure they're the first ones in that line when you start it. If they get there at 6:30 and there are already people there, they'll make it 6 next time. It's just an arms race that everybody loses, especially the enforcers who are just trying to maintain order.

    Not true. They were really good about shooing away people who were lingering, trying to start the line earlier this year.
    I really like that you can't start lining up till a certain time, cause it prevents people camping out at 8am or w/e.

  • akjakakjak Spooky GymRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If there can't be some amount of paid tickets, I approve this change.

    3DS Friend Code: 3737-9749-7483
    Pokemon IGN: Ariel, TSV: 1065
  • akjakakjak Spooky GymRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    doskei wrote: »
    - Randomize the priority. This is the most efficient and effective way to dissuade people from lining up before you want them to: you are proving that they will get no better treatment than folks who got there exactly when you started the line - everybody has an equal chance of being the front of the line.

    To paraphrase and emphasize: Line for [x] starts at [x:xx]. You are free to show up earlier, but at [x:15] the line will be reshuffled.

    This is, I think, the absolute best suggestion to stop the crazy line arms race. If I knew that I *really really* didn't need to show up for a panel or concert until an hour ahead of time, that would alleviate a lot of the heartache I had this year.

    Things I missed because of crazy line management:

    Of Dice & Men
    Wil Wheaton
    Scott & Kris After Hours

    I'll get over it. I still had a great time, but doing away with the wristbands is a HUGE step in the right direction.

    3DS Friend Code: 3737-9749-7483
    Pokemon IGN: Ariel, TSV: 1065
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I was managing or helping to manage two of the three panels you missed over at the Pegasus Theater, akjak. Let me talk about that, and line management in general. Please keep in mind that we do take suggestions seriously; if I'm dismissing something you've suggested, it's probably for a good reason. Conversely, also keep in mind that I'm just a lowly enforcer, and people much more important than myself read these forums and take your suggestions just as seriously.

    1) If the theater holds 1000 people and 1500 show up, 500 people are going to miss that panel. There's literally nothing anyone, even enforcers, can do about that. We are bound by things like fire code, safety considerations, and the laws of physics, and no matter what we do, a maximum capacity is going to exist and people will get turned away if enough people show up. Someone is always going to be unhappy.

    2) In general, PAX simply cannot care how good of a seat you get. We don't have the time, manpower, or tools to do seat prioritizing. That's why our lines aren't single file, we don't issue seat numbers, don't sell tickets, or do line reshuffling. There's simply too much else going on to care whether you're in row 1 or row 10. All we care about is whether you get in or not. Keep in mind the size of PAX and the size of the enforcers: 70,000 attendees, 500 enforcers. That's one enforcer for every 140 people. We're able to effectively manage a line of hundreds or even thousands of people and ensure that they get seats, with very few issues or examples of people getting turned away after they're in line. Anything beyond that would require more manpower, tools, and money than we can give.

    3) Line management is a deceptively difficult and complicated task. It might seem simple, but there are lots of things for a very small amount of enforcers to be juggling. At any given time you have to ensure that ALL these things are occuring (spoilered), and that's simultaneous to ensuring that the thing going on INSIDE the theater is going smoothly, too:
    Spoiler:

    4) Keep in mind that, starting from when the previous panel ends, we usually have about 20 minutes to clear out the previous theater's audience, clean the theater of trash, make sure that all the A/V is working, make sure that the panelists are there and have everything they need, restock/refurnish/rewire the panelists' table if necessary, get the final go-ahead from the panelists and techs, and start bringing in the audience for the next panel. 20 minutes. If we can do all of that in 20 minutes, and no one delays the process, your panel will start on time. Very frequently it does.

    Now, please don't think I'm bitching. Line management is hard, but it's also insanely fun. Running a theater is a rush that I don't get in my day job, and I can only hope I get to do it for PAX again. It's challenging and awesome. You attendees are awesome, patient, fun, and the best people in the world. Enforcers return year after year because we love working hard for you guys. If you were a bunch of jerks, we wouldn't do this. Plain and simple.

    And, in general, PAX does an amazing job of managing our lines. Every year we get better. Pegasus held 1,051 people this year and hosted 19 panels, for a grand total of almost 20,000 seats. We turned away 75 people, total, after we'd told them they would have a seat. By napkin math, that's 1/3 of 1% of our seats that was overbooked.

    People miss panels because of crazy lines, it's true. But they don't often miss them because of the management of those lines. :)

    That being said, there's always room for improvement. This year we introduced Line Entertainment, because we realized that there was really no way of improving the wait times or lines for our panels. PAX is simply too popular, so seeing that we couldn't make the wait shorter, we said, "okay, let's make it better." Now we're eliminating wristbands. We're always looking for suggestions and ways to improve.

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hey Arco, I wanted to start out by saying I appreciate everything you do for PAX. In general I thought the Pegasus and its lines were well run, Especially considering it was the first year. Still, I'd like to give you a little more perspective on why knowing line-up times and line management are important to me.

    I know that PAX doesn't care what seat I get and I understand why. The problem is, I do care, for a different reason than most. I'm short and have minor arthritis in my back. This means that if I sit in the back of a crowded theater for an hour and have to crane my neck to even see the screen I'll have to go and have a little lie down after, maybe put heat on my back. It knocks me out for an hour or two, nothing crippling but slightly inconvenient and mildly painful. (For this Benaroya was a Godsend: not a bad seat in the house!)

    I'm not handicapped enough to not be able to walk to events or to need special seating most of the time. I can sit in lines all day. I plan a lot of my PAX around getting to a panel line early enough not to have to ask for special treatment. Sometimes I'll go to the front of a theater and see if any single seats are not taken. Aisle seats also work most of the time.

    The only time I was not able to successfully plan ahead was the AI panel. I actually checked in super early that morning to make sure nobody was allowed to line up yet, and was told that the line wouldn't start 'til the afternoon. I checked in again at 12:15 and I was told not to come back until 1pm. I showed up at 12:55 to find 2/3 of the theater already in line.

    I know that PAX doesn't care what seat I get but for medical reasons I try to get a seat where I can see without messing up my back. I think my condition is too minor to necessitate a medical pass, when good planning will suffice. I know a few other people with more minor medical conditions who feel the same way: we don't need a medical pass in the same way the people in wheelchairs do, because we can plan in advance. But when chaos intervenes we actually get in trouble.

    Basically I want to know what the plan is in future years regarding line up times. If the policy is to open the line 15-20 minutes before its official opening time, let me know and I'll walk circuits around the area until it opens. If in the future lines are going to open precisely on time, I'll be sure not to arrive more than 1-2 minutes early. I just need to know how things are going to work so I can plan ahead.

    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
    Triwizard Drinking Tournament - '09 !Hufflepuff unofficial conscript, '10 !Gryffindor
    Nerd blog at culturalgeekgirl.com
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hey Arco, I wanted to start out by saying I appreciate everything you do for PAX. In general I thought the Pegasus and its lines were well run, Especially considering it was the first year. Still, I'd like to give you a little more perspective on why knowing line-up times and line management are important to me.

    I know that PAX doesn't care what seat I get and I understand why. The problem is, I do care, for a different reason than most. I'm short and have minor arthritis in my back. This means that if I sit in the back of a crowded theater for an hour and have to crane my neck to even see the screen I'll have to go and have a little lie down after, maybe put heat on my back. It knocks me out for an hour or two, nothing crippling but slightly inconvenient and mildly painful. (For this Benaroya was a Godsend: not a bad seat in the house!)

    I'm not handicapped enough to not be able to walk to events or to need special seating most of the time. I can sit in lines all day. I plan a lot of my PAX around getting to a panel line early enough not to have to ask for special treatment. Sometimes I'll go to the front of a theater and see if any single seats are not taken. Aisle seats also work most of the time.

    The only time I was not able to successfully plan ahead was the AI panel. I actually checked in super early that morning to make sure nobody was allowed to line up yet, and was told that the line wouldn't start 'til the afternoon. I checked in again at 12:15 and I was told not to come back until 1pm. I showed up at 12:55 to find 2/3 of the theater already in line.

    I know that PAX doesn't care what seat I get but for medical reasons I try to get a seat where I can see without messing up my back. I think my condition is too minor to necessitate a medical pass, when good planning will suffice. I know a few other people with more minor medical conditions who feel the same way: we don't need a medical pass in the same way the people in wheelchairs do, because we can plan in advance. But when chaos intervenes we actually get in trouble.

    Basically I want to know what the plan is in future years regarding line up times. If the policy is to open the line 15-20 minutes before its official opening time, let me know and I'll walk circuits around the area until it opens. If in the future lines are going to open precisely on time, I'll be sure not to arrive more than 1-2 minutes early. I just need to know how things are going to work so I can plan ahead.

    Our policy at Pegasus was to not let a line form for anything further in advance than the next panel. Thus, the line for a panel could potentially form as soon as the PREVIOUS panel was seated, or about 2:00 ahead of time. If a popular panel was coming up (Bungie, anything with Wil Wheaton, Gearbox), this was frequently the case; we'd seat a panel and immediately have a line forming for the next panel. I honestly don't know what the policies for the other Satellite Theaters were, or for the Main Theater.

    That being said, you should absolutely apply for a medical pass. The worst case scenario is that you don't get one. We don't give medical badges just to people with documented, permanent disabilities. We give them to people with broken legs, crutches, etc. Anything that would make waiting in line more difficult. We're just as concerned about your wait in line as we are about the seating you get in the panel; the medical badge addresses accommodating you for both and makes sure that you're comfortable.

    And, if I might, allow me a brief rephrasing: it's not that we don't care how good of a seat you have. It's that it's extremely difficult for us to care how good of a seat you have, versus whether you have a seat at all.

    I realize in hindsight that the issue for a lot of you is not our policies themselves, but rather, the communication of said policies. It might also be an issue that those policies are consistent throughout the expo, so you can have the same expectations and same experiences across PAX. We could do a better job of communicating these policies to you, and I'll make sure I toss that up the chain and make that suggestion. :D

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Awesome, thanks. Even just knowing what the rule of thumb was helps. And if I'm still having problems next PAX I may consider the medical thing.

    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
    Triwizard Drinking Tournament - '09 !Hufflepuff unofficial conscript, '10 !Gryffindor
    Nerd blog at culturalgeekgirl.com
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I applaud this decision.

    camo_sig2.png
  • doskeidoskei Registered User
    edited September 2010
    First, thanks Arco. You guys have an impossible job and you pull it off every time. Honestly, it's folks like you who have made the last four PAXs I've been to great. I feel like I've leeched off your support - to get a crew of your quality for three days for the unimaginably paltry sum of $55 has left me feeling ingrateful, and that's a lot of why I want to enforce in the future.

    That said, I do hope there's room for improvement. The concert line on Saturday that was supposed to start at 7 actually started by 5:45. As Cultural Geek Girl wrote, the line for Acquisitions Inc was nearly full by the time it was supposed to start.

    And skettios, I think we must have been to totally different panels, because whenever I saw enforcers telling people they couldn't line up until x:00, I saw those people wander a few feet away and watch like hawks to jump on the line when it did start. This indeed was the case at AI - eventually it became obvious that the entire lobby was going to be a line for AI whether the Enforcers organized it or not, so they organized it early. It's all they could do.

    My point is, rather than say "you can't line up until 3" and then actually start the line up when the loiterers reach critical mass, go ahead and create the line whenever people show up. Then at 3, pick a random person in the line, who becomes the front of the line, and push everybody in front of that person to the back. This would remove all incentive for people to be there before you want them to, and would in turn help you out immeasurably. Yes, it would require a little extra effort the first couple of times. But if people knew they could not get priority seating by ignoring your requests, I honestly think you could save effort. Hell at the AI line, they had time to run a little trivia game. Retask that enforcer to line randomization for a couple of big events and I would guess that a large part of your problem would disappear.

    I'm not saying it wouldn't be challenging, but rather that it would pay for itself.

    The same holds for the paid seats. The line management problem is basically created by people like me who got to the lines early to guarantee good seats. I know you don't care where we sit, but the 2500 people who go to the concerts do, and when they see people in line at 6pm for concerts that start at 8:30, they feel some pull to get in line too. This is why there is a problem. So, sell (or auction for child's play, or whatever) the best 500 seats in the house. People who would otherwise have camped the line will instead have to support PA or CP, but in turn won't have to seed your line so early. If the people who care about seats aren't camping the queue three hours early, you won't have nearly as difficult a job to do.

    Maybe this is a shitty idea, but it works elsewhere and I just haven't seen anything here that convinces me it's not worth trying. I get that the enforcers work like crazy to manage the controlled chaos we've seen in the past, and I can't stress enough my admiration for their work. I just don't see that as a reason not to consider other ideas, especially tried-and-true ideas that could alleviate some of that strain. Once you don't have so many people ignoring your start times, you can devote more enforcers to fun shit like those trivia contests, and make PAX even better.

  • TeletheusTeletheus Registered User
    edited September 2010
    doskei wrote: »
    First, thanks Arco. You guys have an impossible job and you pull it off every time. Honestly, it's folks like you who have made the last four PAXs I've been to great. I feel like I've leeched off your support - to get a crew of your quality for three days for the unimaginably paltry sum of $55 has left me feeling ingrateful, and that's a lot of why I want to enforce in the future.

    That said, I do hope there's room for improvement. The concert line on Saturday that was supposed to start at 7 actually started by 5:45. As Cultural Geek Girl wrote, the line for Acquisitions Inc was nearly full by the time it was supposed to start.

    And skettios, I think we must have been to totally different panels, because whenever I saw enforcers telling people they couldn't line up until x:00, I saw those people wander a few feet away and watch like hawks to jump on the line when it did start. This indeed was the case at AI - eventually it became obvious that the entire lobby was going to be a line for AI whether the Enforcers organized it or not, so they organized it early. It's all they could do.

    My point is, rather than say "you can't line up until 3" and then actually start the line up when the loiterers reach critical mass, go ahead and create the line whenever people show up. Then at 3, pick a random person in the line, who becomes the front of the line, and push everybody in front of that person to the back. This would remove all incentive for people to be there before you want them to, and would in turn help you out immeasurably. Yes, it would require a little extra effort the first couple of times. But if people knew they could not get priority seating by ignoring your requests, I honestly think you could save effort. Hell at the AI line, they had time to run a little trivia game. Retask that enforcer to line randomization for a couple of big events and I would guess that a large part of your problem would disappear.

    I'm not saying it wouldn't be challenging, but rather that it would pay for itself.

    The same holds for the paid seats. The line management problem is basically created by people like me who got to the lines early to guarantee good seats. I know you don't care where we sit, but the 2500 people who go to the concerts do, and when they see people in line at 6pm for concerts that start at 8:30, they feel some pull to get in line too. This is why there is a problem. So, sell (or auction for child's play, or whatever) the best 500 seats in the house. People who would otherwise have camped the line will instead have to support PA or CP, but in turn won't have to seed your line so early. If the people who care about seats aren't camping the queue three hours early, you won't have nearly as difficult a job to do.

    Maybe this is a shitty idea, but it works elsewhere and I just haven't seen anything here that convinces me it's not worth trying. I get that the enforcers work like crazy to manage the controlled chaos we've seen in the past, and I can't stress enough my admiration for their work. I just don't see that as a reason not to consider other ideas, especially tried-and-true ideas that could alleviate some of that strain. Once you don't have so many people ignoring your start times, you can devote more enforcers to fun shit like those trivia contests, and make PAX even better.

    I had a post written up about this, but what I was going to say has already been said. In brief:

    1. As CGG, doskei, and others have said (both here and elsewhere), Arco and his ilk are unmitigated awesome. This is empirical fact, and if you disagree, you fail at life.

    2. Picking a random spot when the line is supposed to open and sending everyone in front to the back would, very quickly, stop people from showing up early (as long as it was adequately publicized that this would be the policy). I experienced similar irritation when I followed the directions not to show up at the con doors until 8 AM, only to find that people had been there since 7 (or earlier) and that some had even received prizes for doing so. All this does is reward those who ignore the rules and punish those who appreciate everything the Enforcers do and follow their instructions to make their jobs as easy as possible. This is pretty much backwards of how it ought to be operating.

    Now, I can see how, with some venues (especially the Pegasus), having a published "line start time" could create crowd flow problems (especially around the escalator). So maybe you don't publish the start time, but if people come early and ask, you tell them; that way, if they bother to check in early, they're still rewarded for doing so, but if they stick around and ignore the instruction to come back later, they don't get a benefit for doing that (because of the randomization of the line).

    PSN/XBL/Steam/Twitter: Teletheus
  • <Omicron-8643>&lt;Omicron-8643&gt; Just outside DC. Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I was one of those people who showed up and 5 for Friday night's concert and, having now read through all the hubbub about lines, I realize how egregious a violation of Wheaton's Law that was and I do apologize.

    I don't want to seem as if I'm attempting to justify myself but I did base my decision on what I had seen at the queue line that morning. I was still bouncing around on east coast time so I went to scope out the convention center at 7 even though the official line up started at 8 and there was already a ton of people waiting in line. Fearing a similar result, I showed up butt early expecting to be turned away and told to come back later but since it appeared that the enforcers were indeed allowing people to line up, I wasn't going to make the trek all the way back.

    That being said, I would like to offer up my support of randomizing the line with one warning. There would have to be a way to at least introduce at least an element of chance beyond an Enforcer arbitrarily selecting a spot in line. I do like the ticket idea introduced earlier this thread or the option of randomly generating a number and having that position in line become the front. This method all but eliminates any arguments that could possibly arise.

    Now, this next part may not be best suited for this thread but since it's been mentioned, I have to comment.

    Selling concert tickets is perhaps the worst course of action that can be taken. First and foremost, it gives scalpers yet another way of profiting off of PAX. These guys bug me more than I think they should and providing another thing for them to sell is just awful. You didn't see wristbands being sold as the scalpers would have had to dedicate their time to waiting in line to get one but tickets would be far easier to obtain (theoretically).

    Paid concert tickets would also penalize those of us on a shoestring budget already. Attaching a monetary value to the best seats in the house would imply that PAXers are able to be milked for cash and would clamor to buy an advantage over others. I don't know, the idea of selling concert tickets on top of everything else just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd like to think the concerts are an added bonus on top of PAX instead of a separate event in and of itself and selling tickets is just one way to erode that.

  • faitsfaits a panda eating cake seattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Selling concert tickets is perhaps the worst course of action that can be taken. First and foremost, it gives scalpers yet another way of profiting off of PAX. These guys bug me more than I think they should and providing another thing for them to sell is just awful. You didn't see wristbands being sold as the scalpers would have had to dedicate their time to waiting in line to get one but tickets would be far easier to obtain (theoretically).

    Paid concert tickets would also penalize those of us on a shoestring budget already. Attaching a monetary value to the best seats in the house would imply that PAXers are able to be milked for cash and would clamor to buy an advantage over others. I don't know, the idea of selling concert tickets on top of everything else just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd like to think the concerts are an added bonus on top of PAX instead of a separate event in and of itself and selling tickets is just one way to erode that.

    Of course the problem with it as it stands is that some large number of people bought their PAX tickets with the desire to see the concerts and the assumption that they'd be able to (based on previous PAXes where there was no trouble just walking in at any point in the evening) and then got turned away at the door or told via twitter "stop coming."

    The fact is there were more people who wanted to see the concerts than benaroya would hold, and that's what leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    faits.png
  • SumiSumi Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I liked the way concerts were done last year. I didn't have to sit through an artist I didn't care to see in order to see one that I really did (the reason I didn't end up seeing Joco this year, kind of a bummer but I didn't want to just sit on my DS for hours waiting for him to take the stage when there were other things to do). Pax is already ultrabusy, and the way it was done in years past saved me from standing in line and also allowed me to see only the artists I cared for.

    Standard Action, it's a webseries.
  • TukimoshiTukimoshi Registered User
    edited September 2010
    faits wrote: »
    Selling concert tickets is perhaps the worst course of action that can be taken. First and foremost, it gives scalpers yet another way of profiting off of PAX. These guys bug me more than I think they should and providing another thing for them to sell is just awful. You didn't see wristbands being sold as the scalpers would have had to dedicate their time to waiting in line to get one but tickets would be far easier to obtain (theoretically).

    Paid concert tickets would also penalize those of us on a shoestring budget already. Attaching a monetary value to the best seats in the house would imply that PAXers are able to be milked for cash and would clamor to buy an advantage over others. I don't know, the idea of selling concert tickets on top of everything else just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd like to think the concerts are an added bonus on top of PAX instead of a separate event in and of itself and selling tickets is just one way to erode that.

    Of course the problem with it as it stands is that some large number of people bought their PAX tickets with the desire to see the concerts and the assumption that they'd be able to (based on previous PAXes where there was no trouble just walking in at any point in the evening) and then got turned away at the door or told via twitter "stop coming."

    The fact is there were more people who wanted to see the concerts than benaroya would hold, and that's what leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    This, but I'm happy that Mr. Khoo managed to get a seat for the kind gentleman who was going to be the last person to get in, and he offered his seat up right away.

  • CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Most of the reasons for getting rid of the wristbands makes sense. Though it was nice that you could get one and then it'll save you some trouble later. As long as you knew when the lines were going to merge, which definitely needed to be advertised better.

    I will really miss getting a wristband from BYOC. That was one of the really cool things about the LAN. One more reason it's worth it to spend the money to go. Though I do understand that BYOCers are a very small part of PAX it still sucks to have that taken away.

    camo_sig.png
    "Read twice, post once. It's almost like 'measure twice, cut once' only with reading." - MetaverseNomad
  • MoradethMoradeth Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Those pointing out that selling reserved tickets, please keep in mind that it could continue to create confusion. VIP seating creating enough confusion, and reserving even more seats would just cause more problems I think.

    Note: This is as an attendee not an Enforcer

  • StaxeonStaxeon Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Guys, AaronC (from the first post of the thread) is the Enforcer Main Theater Manager, and thus is the only one qualified to be answering questions regarding policy here.

    Anyone else stating "our policy" or "we will be" is speculating from personal experience; Enforcer or otherwise.

    edit - exceptions being of course posts by PA Staff like Khoo, Coffman, Fehlauer, etc.

    Invisible nap is the best nap of all time!
    No man should have that kind of power.
    (Twitter)
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Sumi wrote: »
    I liked the way concerts were done last year. I didn't have to sit through an artist I didn't care to see in order to see one that I really did (the reason I didn't end up seeing Joco this year, kind of a bummer but I didn't want to just sit on my DS for hours waiting for him to take the stage when there were other things to do). Pax is already ultrabusy, and the way it was done in years past saved me from standing in line and also allowed me to see only the artists I cared for.

    I concur. And in a setting like last year's, the wristband did nothing anyway, so I fully support the removal. My only concern is with the increased stress and demand created by one unified line in a limited venue like Benaroya. The policy itself is not what worries me, but how it will apply to the space available.

    Steam: DigitalArcanist | PSN: DigitalArcanist | NNID: DigitalArcanist | Backloggery: Houn
  • CheebusCheebus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Staxeon wrote: »
    Guys, AaronC (from the first post of the thread) is the Enforcer Main Theater Manager

    Wait, what?

    Aww man.

    /me goes backstage and hides.

    Robert and Aaron had an incredibly difficult task this year in figuring out how to get as many butts in seats as possible in the most efficient manner and keep those seats full. There were some troubles, but they kept working on the system to try and knock them down as they came up. We're always looking to improve and really appreciate the feedback we're getting through these forums and elsewhere. Many thanks to all of you for your support and ideas!

    As a note, Aaron is only discussing the line procedures for Main Theatre, as that is his domain. Discussion of other theater procedures is welcome, but may I suggest moving it to another thread to avoid confusion?

  • AlazullAlazull Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    doskei wrote: »
    - Sell tickets. If the venue has seats, please consider selling tickets to a portion of the theatre. You can always have a general admission area and a priority area. The priority area should have assigned seats - those people will feel rewarded by their purchase and won't have any reason to feel the need to be in line hours before, which will help you (enforcers) out. I also highly suggest this happen before pax, but not simultaneous with buying your badges. If you sell them four months out, people will buy them just to be sure they get in, without even knowing if they want to. I suggest you start this sale once the schedule goes up, a week or two before PAX. Late enough that people will be thinking about PAX and thus not simply forget about it, but early enough (i.e. not at PAX) that you're not creating a new problem to solve an old one.

    I think this is a good idea for those who want to go to the concerts and want good seats. Make it like $10 (which can go to Child's Play!) and get the ticket at Will-Call. Then, before the concert you can go and present the ticket to an Enforcer and say this guarantees you being in the front row(s). However, you do have to show up in advance of the event and present your ticket, which the Enforcers will know how many to expect due to the tickets only being sold in advance of PAX. About fifteen minutes before the line is let in, if you haven't shown up your guaranteed seat is absorbed into the general admission.

    Basically, I think this is the fairest way to get people who just absolutely have to see the concerts in without being unfair to everyone else.

    steam_sig.png
  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Alazull wrote: »
    doskei wrote: »
    - Sell tickets. If the venue has seats, please consider selling tickets to a portion of the theatre. You can always have a general admission area and a priority area. The priority area should have assigned seats - those people will feel rewarded by their purchase and won't have any reason to feel the need to be in line hours before, which will help you (enforcers) out. I also highly suggest this happen before pax, but not simultaneous with buying your badges. If you sell them four months out, people will buy them just to be sure they get in, without even knowing if they want to. I suggest you start this sale once the schedule goes up, a week or two before PAX. Late enough that people will be thinking about PAX and thus not simply forget about it, but early enough (i.e. not at PAX) that you're not creating a new problem to solve an old one.

    I think this is a good idea for those who want to go to the concerts and want good seats. Make it like $10 (which can go to Child's Play!) and get the ticket at Will-Call. Then, before the concert you can go and present the ticket to an Enforcer and say this guarantees you being in the front row(s). However, you do have to show up in advance of the event and present your ticket, which the Enforcers will know how many to expect due to the tickets only being sold in advance of PAX. About fifteen minutes before the line is let in, if you haven't shown up your guaranteed seat is absorbed into the general admission.

    Basically, I think this is the fairest way to get people who just absolutely have to see the concerts in without being unfair to everyone else.


    The problem with selling seats is that the number of people who want front row/good balcony seats is huge, more than they can possibly provide. If hundreds of people are willing to wait 3 hours to get a wristband that doesn't even really guarantee good seats, I reckon even MORE would be willing to pay $10. There'd be a very real danger of the tickets being posted and selling out in less than 24 hours (think the first Twisp and Catsby Print: it was sold out before I even knew it was on sale.)

    The only way to make concert tickets not in ridiculously high demand would be to price them high: $30-50, per event, and at that point the whole thing starts looking a lot less democratic. Oh also, sell them at $10 and they will be scalped beyond belief.

    If you were to sell tickets (which I still do not think is a particularly great idea), the way to do it would be to sell a small number not for the "best" seats but for a side of the theater... Let's say the leftmost third. That way by buying a ticket you know you're going to get a seat but they're not the "best of the best."

    Honestly for me if you are willing to wait for four hours to see a concert then you deserve the best seat in the house, more than anyone who pays any amount of money. I say this as someone who has never waited more than two hours for any panel or event - (though if AI is in the main hall next year I will be in line as early as is physically possible.)

    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
    Triwizard Drinking Tournament - '09 !Hufflepuff unofficial conscript, '10 !Gryffindor
    Nerd blog at culturalgeekgirl.com
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.