An appeasement suggestion
Posted by fjpicone

Considering the amount of disgruntled people concerning room availability and location, might I suggest that the GenCon management seriously step up their customer service game by aggressively looking into transportation deals for attendees?
Dependable shuttles and available cabs for the farther flung locations.Is this a requirement or demand? Certainly not. Just a practical business suggestion.If more people are less unhappy about further out accommodations then they are more likely to tell friends how the hotel situation at Gencon has improved and even if you're at a distance, the Con is worth attending.The confidence in the existing facilities are LOW. Due to both poor experience and low/non-existent or difficult to find information.As much as I'd like to bash the Con organizers about the housing the truth is they're limited by physical restrictions. The lottery, while unpleasant for many, myself included, was a fair way to deal with things. But that doesn't mean the effort to make the limited housing more palatable should stop.There is time to remedy this by the Con, I enthusiastically encourage you to do so.

Posted by roundtop

I'm not trying to be mean... but HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAhahahahahah.  Do you think they aren't working on things? The part that most people forget about is that negotiations between businesses are closed door. They can't announce anything until it is done.  The shuttle company from last year, yeah that isn't happenning, probably for several reasons, but they may be working on alternatives. That said, how many shuttles do you need going to how many hotels at reasonable times, and allowing for peak traffic, and do you charge each person or include it.   For the numbers involved here, the best methods would involve hiring local school-busses and running about 30 of them at any given time, but you can start imagining the cost and the work required in that.

I'm sure they are working on things as best possible, but remember Gen Con does not control Indy, nor the businesses they work with. So for hotels, shuttles, convention center, stadium... they have contracts, that are often negotiated years in advance, and they can't talk about anything until the ink is wet on the contract.  I have seen conventions lost hotels because they mentioned to the wrong people that they were in negotiations with them.

Posted by headwound

The professional conferances I have attended had chater busses(ig busses) on an hourly schedule to a stop at each in-block hotel area for free from 6am until 6pm. It worked very well. The current shuttle system Gen Con uses has not been up to snuff. The answer is fixing the transportion to and from the Convention Center because being in a group and commuting is not doable for me anymore.

Imagine if the event tickets were done on a random start time for each attendee. The current event system is no more fair than the previous housing system. Gen Con has gotten too big for how they currently do things. They spend more time expanding space, but not on logistics.

 

Posted by suburbaknght headwound

headwound wrote:
Imagine if the event tickets were done on a random start time for each attendee.

Effectively they are.  Everyone has their wish lists and clicks their button noon.  The result is, for all intents and purposes, random.

Posted by headwound

No, it is first click first served.

online
Posted by marimaccadmin headwound

headwound wrote:
No, it is first click first served.

When you have thousands of people clicking at the exact same instant, that is essentially random.

Posted by ematuskey

The upside being there are way more events for people to fight over than hotels!

Posted by headwound

Then why was the housing portal changed if that is sufficiently random?

Posted by ematuskey

Because the old system kept crashing the servers, I'm guessing. 

Posted by headwound

It was done to save money. They need to invest in logistics as much as everything else. Give us a better shuttle/transportation  system and being 12 miles away won't be bad. 

Posted by ematuskey

Honestly, I'm not sure a dedicated shuttle makes sense, financially.  In order to make people happy you'd need a ton of shuttles (to keep people from experiencing the full shuttles they experienced before) running constantly (to be convenient), for hours at a time (to accomodate the packed event schedules).  That's a lot of dough (and are there any companies with the shuttles/drivers available for that kind of demand for a single weekend?)--it makes me unsurprised GC decided to drop the program (for now), rather than provide a half measure that didn't seem to please anyone last year.

Posted by a dark rider on a pale ... unicorn? headwound

headwound wrote:
Imagine if the event tickets were done on a random start time for each attendee. 

Assuming you mean "done in the same way as housing", I'm all for it.

As someone doing events reg from damn near the other side of the planet, bring it on; I'd love to not be number 5000+ in the queue for wish list processing.

Posted by headwound

I've seen shuttle systems work with comperable sized trade shows. They worked very well with a regular schedule 12 hours a day. 

Gen Con is outgrowing itself. It's harder to do the things I enjoy and stay where I want. It's natural, but I am more annoyed for the duration of the year than the happiness I get from GC. 

All my my friends bailed this year after no one got connected housing. Our first Con was from the airport, they aren't going back. 

I just wish the core issue(the pain of commuting) would be addressed. All I see are record breaking attendance announcements but no fixes for what is making it not fun anymore. 

Anyway, I'm not helping here... Just venting. I'll fill out the polls and maybe try again next year. This year I'm trying Origins. No idea what to expect. 

 

Posted by truelink

I wonder what sort of contracting takes place when hiring shuttle services. I imagine if shuttles aren't unusual for conventions, then there might be a legal reason they can't just hire another company.

Posted by ematuskey

Heh, fair enough--the logistics of shuttles are way outside my wheelhouse, so anything I say is pure speculation anyway.

Have fun at Origins!  I've considered it a couple times, but these midwest shows are just a real PITA for flying from the West Coast...:p

Posted by mr. spock's ears

I've attended Origins, and had really great experiences.  From a gaming perspective it offeres everything Gencon does on a smaller scale.  Where you'll see a difference is no true dungeon, much less cosplay, and it doesn't take over the way Gencon does.  Go a couple blocks from the convention center and you'd never know a con was happening.  I had to choose 1, and I choose Gencon, but if Gencon isn't a viable option Origins is a good backup.

Posted by jedijawa74

What's wrong with using a cab or Uber?  

Posted by urohawk jedijawa74

jedijawa74 wrote:
What's wrong with using a cab or Uber?  
There are 7 of us in the party.  That means two ubers.  We are 12 miles away.  14-19 dollar fare one way for uber and 27-35 for uber XL.  Not exactly a cheap.

Posted by jedijawa74 urohawk

urohawk wrote:
jedijawa74 wrote:
What's wrong with using a cab or Uber?  
There are 7 of us in the party.  That means two ubers.  We are 12 miles away.  14-19 dollar fare one way for uber and 27-35 for uber XL.  Not exactly a cheap.
How does that compare to renting a car and driving in to park?

I get that it isn't cheap cheap cheap ... but who said that GenCon was about a cheap experience?

I've driven in before and it is nice to have your car as a base of operations so you can stash your stuff or take a nap or just chill for a minute if you don't have a downtown room.

Posted by suburbaknght headwound

headwound wrote:
Then why was the housing portal changed if that is sufficiently random?

First, my own opinion is that the events list should be handled the same way as housing is: at noon on event reg day, everyone's wish lists are randomly assigned an order and processed.  No staring at the clock, ready to click a button the exact instant it flashes.  No watching a countdown clock.  Just an autoamtic processing and an e-mail later saying, "Here's what you got."

Second, the reason housing needs login times is that it requires user input.  Once you're in the portal you have to choose hotels, enter info on all the guests, and enter payment info.  When everyone clicked at once and scrambeled to get hotels at once and enter their payment at once, the result was a chaotic mess.  I'm not going to go into details (lord knows other people have here) but it was bad.

Now my personal opinion is that I would love for housing and event lists to both be automated.  I would love to rank the hotels, at noon on housing day it draws tickets for everyone, and then sends you an e-mail saying which hotel you got from your list.  There are a number of technological blocks to implementing such a system, and though they're surmountable I'm not holding my breath anytime soon.  While the current system isn't perfect, it's a fair sight better than what we had before.

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