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Fair ticket selling methods for large conventions

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Posts

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    See, and I've actually had people tell me that both the location of the con center and the interior of it makes East feel....different.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    Sounds elitist.

    It has nothing to do with elitism. A huge arena concert will always be a fundamentally different experience than a small club show. You make it big enough, it turns into a different experience. I've already made it clear we should look for ways to allow as many more people as possible to enjoy it, without changing it more than necessary. That's, like, the opposite of elitism.

    Sorry, I'm not trying to be snooty, but I think the fairest solution is to try to accomodate the number of people who want to come. Because the total collection of all the people who want to come are in fact that character of the con.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    But if it gets so big that it's ridiculously hard to get into individual events? That table top space gets harder to find? Freeplay space becomes hard to get? Then you've let a bunch of people show up for an experience you can no longer provide. You've gathered the community for a gigantic clusterfuck.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    You could kick it to So-Cal. I think that's your only other option.

    I don't know how Gabe & Tycho would feel about that, though, given that Seattle is their backyard.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    But if it gets so big that it's ridiculously hard to get into individual events? That table top space gets harder to find? Freeplay space becomes hard to get? Then you've let a bunch of people show up for an experience you can no longer provide. You've gathered the community for a gigantic clusterfuck.

    Well, yes, you do have to address issues like that when you change venues. But if N people want to go to your event and you are physically capable of hosting M, once N grows larger than M you're throwing away potential dollars in the pockets of yourself and every money-making venture that attends the event while simultaneously disappointing N - M people in order to ensure that N people have an experience that, with a bit of effort, you might actually be able to replicate for M people.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    I kind of doubt the 'culture' would change much if they moved to a bigger venue; it's already tough to get into anything popular and people already divide themselves into 'cultural' groups pretty thoroughly (or so it seemed to me, anyway.)

    the main question would seem to be "is the logistical challenge of moving it somewhere other than seattle worth it?" Not a question with a pat answer.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • Mc zanyMc zany Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    mcdermott pretty much sums it up. There is no system that is fair for everybody. A lot of people are going to miss out no matter what the organiser does. Touts are another issue but of there are people willing to pay big money for a ticket, people will find a way circumvent the security.

    As for PAX, no idea why the tickets are not non transferable already and photo id would cut down the touting.

    Wimbledon has a neat idea, when people leave for the day they have the option of giving up their ticket. If they do they are sold on and money given to charity. This means that people can queue up to enjoy the few hours of the event.

    Mc zany on
    bookbanner.jpg
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I kind of doubt the 'culture' would change much if they moved to a bigger venue; it's already tough to get into anything popular and people already divide themselves into 'cultural' groups pretty thoroughly (or so it seemed to me, anyway.)

    the main question would seem to be "is the logistical challenge of moving it somewhere other than seattle worth it?" Not a question with a pat answer.

    There's also the option of just introducing more events. PAX East pretty much exploded. I mean, you're going to have some degree of overlap where the same people are going to go to all of the available PAXes, and there's an obvious upper ceiling on how many of the things you can host before the major publishers, artists, and famous people who the con-goers are there to see in the first place quit showing up for all of them, but if they want to keep the Seattle Scene, as it were, while fitting in more people... open up a PAX SouthWest in Vegas or San Diego and PAX: The Quattro somewhere else. At least some of the people buying all the passes for PAX Prime would choose to go to a PAX local to them instead if one were available.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    Lotteries are terrible.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
    JinxedJokerSkeleVader
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    Lotteries are what happens when event managers say, "Fuck it. We can't figure out a way of distributing tickets that isn't completely capricious, so let's just embrace it!"

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
    JinxedJoker21stCentury
  • DeebaserDeebaser Lead Frog Rammer Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Lotteries are terrible.

    Yup. Fuck lotteries.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Okay, good, I'm not the only one who feels that way.

  • DeebaserDeebaser Lead Frog Rammer Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    However the lottery is a pretty cool way to determine who from the village needs to be sacrificed.

    Rear Admiral Chocomcdermott
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    Yeah, can't believe people are endorsing lotteries.

    Lots of people make plans to go to Pax with friends. Lotteries would seriously fuck with that.

    scale3nk0.png
  • P10P10 An Idiot with Low IQ Registered User regular
    That's a good point about scalpers, but at the same time, the opportunity to make hundreds of dollars for virtually no effort is going to create a much larger rush for ticket sales. In addition, without any means to confirm legitimacy of the passes prior to the conference, it also creates the opportunity for scammers. Lastly, given the very cheap prices of PAX passes which makes it affordable for many people, I think it really goes against the spirit of the conference that people are being exploited for hundreds of dollars. Maybe instead, they should set aside 10-20% of tickets to be auctioned off so those who are willing to pay that much to assure their spot can and that money can go to Child's Play.
    Scalpers aren't exploiting anyone. No one is forcing you to buy the tickets at a marked up rate.

    SkeleVader
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Kyougu wrote: »
    Yeah, can't believe people are endorsing lotteries.

    Lots of people make plans to go to Pax with friends. Lotteries would seriously fuck with that.

    Yep.

    They also cause tickets to sell out faster because it rewards duplicate purchases.

    Let's say I want to go to PAX with mcdermott and deebaser, and there's a lottery system. The smart thing for each of us to do is buy three tickets each, a total of nine tickets, so if one of us doesn't win the lottery we still all get to go.

    If we end up with too many tickets - fine, we'll just resell them.

    Scalpers can do the same thing.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
    JinxedJoker
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    a fundamental question that needs to be asked is, what is the goal of PAX? It doesn't seem like it is to maximize revenue, at least not exclusively, else tickets would presumably be much more expensive.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    No, make them nontransferable too. Then we can just BURN the extras. Fuck it, I got money.

    Now we're really winning.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    I kind of doubt the 'culture' would change much if they moved to a bigger venue; it's already tough to get into anything popular and people already divide themselves into 'cultural' groups pretty thoroughly (or so it seemed to me, anyway.)

    the main question would seem to be "is the logistical challenge of moving it somewhere other than seattle worth it?" Not a question with a pat answer.

    There's also the option of just introducing more events. PAX East pretty much exploded. I mean, you're going to have some degree of overlap where the same people are going to go to all of the available PAXes, and there's an obvious upper ceiling on how many of the things you can host before the major publishers, artists, and famous people who the con-goers are there to see in the first place quit showing up for all of them, but if they want to keep the Seattle Scene, as it were, while fitting in more people... open up a PAX SouthWest in Vegas or San Diego and PAX: The Quattro somewhere else. At least some of the people buying all the passes for PAX Prime would choose to go to a PAX local to them instead if one were available.
    You state the problem, and then immediately offer a "solution" which would just run right into the problem.


  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I think we need to entertain the idea that there isn't a "solution. " just different problems to choose from.

    SkeleVader
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I think we need to entertain the idea that there isn't a "solution. " just different problems to choose from.

    It's basically about picking the least of all evils.

    People who want to come to your event won't get to come. That's the sad reality of it.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    You could kick it to So-Cal. I think that's your only other option.

    I don't know how Gabe & Tycho would feel about that, though, given that Seattle is their backyard.
    Well, that or Vegas.

    How many tickets were sold for PAX West? Is it obviously a scalper situation or simply overwhelming demand?

    If its the former, that can be alleviated by requiring the person who buys it to use it... make it will-call only and you need an ID.
    If its the latter, there's no solution that will satisfy everyone. Everyone who couldn't get a pass, or whose SO couldn't get a pass, or whose friends couldn't get a pass, will be dissatisfied.

    PAXEast had ~75K this year and apparently there are plans to let it grow to the 100K neighborhood over the next few years. Based on Admiral @rkhoo 's twitter, its like ~50K for PAXPrime right now. If Seattle can't handle larger than that (and that many visitors is a pretty big strain on infrastructure), LA or Vegas might be their only options in the Pacific Time Zone.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    Perhaps everybody who wants a ticket should be sold one, and your ticket will provide access to events in inverse proportion to the number of tickets sold

    if three million people buy tickets, everybody gets to watch five minutes of the bungee panel, then go home

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Perhaps everybody who wants a ticket should be sold one, and your ticket will provide access to events in inverse proportion to the number of tickets sold

    if three million people buy tickets, everybody gets to watch five minutes of the bungee panel, then go home

    BAM. Done.

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    Maybe they could use something other than Twitter for people who don't use that service? Like, it's really, really not hard to set up a mailing list. At all.

    sig.png
    JinxedJoker
  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    thunderdome
    it has been and will always be the fairest way

    dlinfiniti on
    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
    Rear Admiral Choco
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Maybe they could use something other than Twitter for people who don't use that service? Like, it's really, really not hard to set up a mailing list. At all.
    or people who don't like twitter can get over it.. I did.

    Is a dislike of twitter worth not going to PAX?

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Maybe they could use something other than Twitter for people who don't use that service? Like, it's really, really not hard to set up a mailing list. At all.
    or people who don't like twitter can get over it.. I did.

    Is a dislike of twitter worth not going to PAX?

    They shouldn't have to, when there's a zero-cost alternative that takes five minutes to set up?

    sig.png
    JinxedJoker
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Gabe made post:

    t.co/atjddqMr

    I can guarantee they hate the situation as much as we do. Good to see a response, though.

    JinxedJoker
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Maybe they could use something other than Twitter for people who don't use that service? Like, it's really, really not hard to set up a mailing list. At all.
    or people who don't like twitter can get over it.. I did.

    Is a dislike of twitter worth not going to PAX?

    They shouldn't have to, when there's a zero-cost alternative that takes five minutes to set up?

    True. But is putting the badge in your hand instead any real gain? You're still just talking about picking winners.

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Maybe they could use something other than Twitter for people who don't use that service? Like, it's really, really not hard to set up a mailing list. At all.
    or people who don't like twitter can get over it.. I did.

    Is a dislike of twitter worth not going to PAX?

    They shouldn't have to, when there's a zero-cost alternative that takes five minutes to set up?

    True. But is putting the badge in your hand instead any real gain? You're still just talking about picking winners.

    Sell them in lots. Stagger times so people overseas (or who are at work without immediate unfettered access to a computer) can have a shot. Announce what time lots are being sold so people can make arrangements to get their passes. (But the strain on our servers! Not my problem. The price of success.)

    The twitter thing is what really irritates me, though, and I wasn't even planning on going. I'm too poor to afford a smartphone, let alone the $75-100/month a data plan would cost me, and twitter without a smartphone is fucking pointless; it's absurd that I'd have to sign up to a service I'd never use so I could maybe get a notification once or twice a year when a mailserver can very nearly be run on a toasted ham sandwich.

    sig.png
    JinxedJoker
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    What I'm saying is that email versus twitter isn't any more "fair" so what's it matter? You want to take somebody else's badge. Zero sum game.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Twitter can easily be set to send an sms from selected accounts (like pax) from a nonsmart phone.

    Better than email.

    SkeleVader
  • DiorinixDiorinix Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo was held in Calgary, Alberta this past weekend, and the event organizers never stopped selling tickets, even after the fire marshalls were called in to shut down the entrance, preventing thousands of attendees from getting into the event. This year's big draw was Star Trek: TNG's original first season cast in its entirety, so the event was known to be MASSIVE. Gate numbers for the prior year were ~30k for the whole weekend. The venue was the location of the Calgary Stampede, which has a capacity of ~20k. The day the shutdown ocurred, the official gate numbers just for the day were ~60k. The number of upset fans and passholders who were locked out of the venue because of fire code regulations not allowing any more to enter the venue was staggering. You DO NOT want the same thing to happen at PAX. Tickets have to be limited for safety reasons. Imagine unlimited passes being sold, then showing up from accross the country and being told the venue was at capacity.

    Diorinix on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Mmmmm....toasty.
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    First of all, the fundamental fact is that this is a supply/demand problem. The only actual solution is increasing supply (or reducing demand I guess). Short if that, you are dealing with the problem of distributing a scarce resource. The "fairest" way to do that is a philosophical question. If you believe in the FREE MARKET the obvious solution is auction. If you are a dirty socialist, the solution is a lottery.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
    SkeleVader
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    I'm too poor to afford a smartphone, let alone the $75-100/month a data plan would cost me, and twitter without a smartphone is fucking pointless; it's absurd that I'd have to sign up to a service I'd never use so I could maybe get a notification once or twice a year when a mailserver can very nearly be run on a toasted ham sandwich.

    I use Twitter way more on my desktop PC than on my phone.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • PeccaviPeccavi oh... oh my!Registered User regular
    Average number of passes bought was 1.7, so the non-transferable idea doesn't look like it would alleviate much. Scalpers is less the issue than demand vastly outnumbering supply, so if they want to make more people happy it make things more "fair," they either need to change to a bigger venue, run more PAXes (though having seen the PATV episodes, PAX takes a huge amount of energy, so I doubt they'd do this), or try to decrease demand (raise prices). Honestly, charity auction is one of the better ideas I've seen suggested in this thread.

    kvhn.png
  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    While this does not help the general public, has anyone suggested or considered the idea of giving dedicated forumers (eg, forumers who haven't signed up within the last month, or have a certain number of posts, forum activity, etc) a first-shot at tickets? I know on the whole, the PA community represents a minority of the number of people attending PAX. But, day-to-day, aren't we a little more connected to Penny Arcade than the general public? Or would this quickly become abused like I imagine it being?

    9UsHUfk.jpgSteam
    3DS FC: 4699-5714-8940 Playing Pokemon, add me! Ho, SATAN!
  • ZeraphaelZeraphael PDXRegistered User regular
    I was one of the people monitoring almost constantly. I then had to attend classes since I'm a college person. The tickets sold out while I was at class and unable to surf the interwebs or use my smartphone. Suck. I use Twitter and everything else. This was insanely fast for selling out of the tickets. I've never seen it go this fast and I've been to several PAX Primes each time buying my 3 day pass a few days or even a week or so after they went on sale.

    Missed out this year I guess. There's always next year and the possibility of my coding an app to purchase said 3 day pass the moment registration becomes available. Don't know if that is feasible or not but I'm willing to try.

    Not sure what else the organizers can do really. It's worked alright in previous years. No reason to assume it wouldn't this year. It just snowballed and many people lost out.

    fs_f4aaa2c905a534c3966d53bf5d2639c9.png
This discussion has been closed.