Making a really equitable, optimal event assignments system is extremely complex - at a guess it's NP-complete and would probably require us all to (accurately) assign some kind of utility score to each event and combination of events on our wishlists.
Thinking it through poses some interesting questions, like:
- Alice has only a single event: "Fantastic RPG" event on their wishlist.
- Bob has many events on their wishlist, but also lists "Fantastic RPG" as their first choice.
Should Alice get a higher priority to get into Fantastic RPG than Bob?
Say you have 50 slots for events. You also then get 50 Priority Points (or 100, the exact number doesn't matter for example of concept). The more points you give to an event, the more you want it.
Bob has 40 events on his wishlist and 100 Priority Points to spend. He gives Fantastic RPG 10 Priority Points, his highest amount for any one game. Alice lists only Fantastic RPG, and gives it all 100 points.
The system allocates first by Priority Points. All 100 point entries across all wishlists get considered, with ties for limited tickets broken now maybe still by chance. Then 99 point entries, etc.
So Alice only wants one game, but wants it really badly, and is likely to get it. Bob wants a lot of games, will be happy with other options, and may not get that one.
Exact details can be hammered out. How many points total, is there a maximum any one event can get (does it turn out in reality that Bob will usually get nothing from his list when thousands of people are in the mix? Then put a cap on points per game, etc.)
If Boardgamegeek can run the complicated algorithms of math trades, this should be possible. It would require early submission of lists, no "you must click now" button (and why was it even possible to click that button twice? That seems like an obvious design flaw...if you want to resubmit a different list, there should be multiple steps to avoid accidental double submits.)
Anyway, there you go. :)