Ten dollars to mail a badge, really?
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Posted by brotherbock mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
brotherbock wrote:
mikeboozer wrote:
We do it in house to ensure the right people get the right badges and tickets.
Packets must be assembled with many different variables in play.
There are too many things that can go wrong if this is done outside the company without a huge amount of oversight. Which increases the expense.
Envelopes are not sealed until there is a QC process to make sure each packet is completed correctly and the 20 John Smith's each get exactly what they ordered.
This process would be prohibitively expensive given these steps, and the possibility of error would go up as well if done outside.
However we are certainly open to hearing about alternatives!
Mike Boozer
Customer Service & Event Team Manager
Gen Con LLC

I figured the packets would be assembled in house, and for those exact reasons. The question I was asking was about in-house printing. The mailing service companies I am familiar with will do any part or all parts of a job, from printing the envelopes, to stuffing them to putting them in the mail. Even just printing thousands of envelopes is big. Sending the company a spreadsheet of names and addys and letting them mail merge and print, then you get the envelopes back, typically saves companies a bunch of money. Then you stuff the printed envelopes, which can be printed with indicia by the mailing service company too, and off they go.For companies that aren't themselves printing companies, it can save some $.
Edit: for example, I don't know anything about them, but a Google turned up Alpha Graphics in Seattle. I don't know your costs, but if you factor in printer toner and labor, I'd be willing to bet their envelope printing costs would be lower than in-house.

We are not just stuffing printed envelopes. There are different types of envelopes, and different types of printing and assembling instructions for all phases. There are GM, Exhibitor, Press. Trade Day, Artist, Author, VIG packets. The list goes on. We actually have our own system for this. There is no way that a mailing service is less expensive when you factor in the errors that would happen when trying to explain the system to them. It would cost us at the convention in man power and headaches for our attendees. Many of our challenges will indeed be solved once we move to e-ticketing completely. Also, for you.
No shut down on ticket refunds between ship to me date and the convention. Your schedule will not be blocked because you will be able to refund that ticket! You can get that new event! No packets at Will Call with just tickets in them. You can't lose your tickets! 
Mike

At this point, I'm just thinking of saving money on the envelope printing alone. Again, the assembly in-house makes a certain amount of sense. But sending out an excel file and getting back boxes of printed envelopes (that you then stuff) is, for most businesses, a cost saver over printing those envelopes yourself. That's really all I'm saying.

If it's not a cost savings, that's cool. It's just been my experience that printing businesses do large-scale printing for cheaper than non-printing businesses. The stuffing is another issue :) But YMMV.

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Posted by brotherbock andrewj.rager

andrewj.rager wrote:
I'm really excited for e-tickets. I know change is hard for some people, but its going to be best for the Gen Con staff and best for us as attendees.Thanks for the update as always Mike! Is it Aug 2020 yet?

I'm less excited. I'd declining to put an app on my phone that my own employer wants me to (to make two-step login verification faster).

I'm not 'not trusting' anyone. But I'm hoping if I'm forced into e-ticketing in the future, whatever app I have to use doesn't ask for permissions to very much on my phone. Cause it ain't getting it.

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Posted by matthias9 brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
andrewj.rager wrote:
I'm really excited for e-tickets. I know change is hard for some people, but its going to be best for the Gen Con staff and best for us as attendees.Thanks for the update as always Mike! Is it Aug 2020 yet?

I'm less excited. I'd declining to put an app on my phone that my own employer wants me to (to make two-step login verification faster).I'm not 'not trusting' anyone. But I'm hoping if I'm forced into e-ticketing in the future, whatever app I have to use doesn't ask for permissions to very much on my phone. Cause it ain't getting it.

They've been testing e-ticketing the last couple of years for some events (like True Dungeon).  For what it's worth, they are just on your badge, which is scanned at the event (not an app on your phone).

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

As matthias pointed out, you don't have anything on your phone if you're attending, the event host just scans your badge.  The only reason you might need an app on your phone is if you want to buy the ticket right there at the event, in lieu of giving them a generic.  That's something they implemented this year, but I'm not sure how it works.

For a while, they'll still accept paper generics so it won't be an issue until they stop with all paper tickets.  Even then, assuming there are still spots available, you could buy the ticket from the website a bit in advance, to give the event host time to download the updated attendee list.

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Posted by roderick buffythecatslayer

 buffythecatslayer wrote:
As matthias pointed out, you don't have anything on your phone if you're attending, the event host just scans your badge.  The only reason you might need an app on your phone is if you want to buy the ticket right there at the event, in lieu of giving them a generic.  That's something they implemented this year, but I'm not sure how it works.
For a while, they'll still accept paper generics so it won't be an issue until they stop with all paper tickets.  Even then, assuming there are still spots available, you could buy the ticket from the website a bit in advance, to give the event host time to download the updated attendee list.

To buy an e-ticket at the event, the GM hits a couple buttons on his app and the attendee gets an email (so you do need to be able to get to your email from your phone) that basically says: "Approve this payment and you get to play". Once you accept the ticket charge (which can be with system credit or the Credit Card you have on file with GC, iirc) the GM's app shows him that you have paid, and you're in.  

The attendee only needs to be able to get to email easily and quickly. All the rest is on the GC/GM side. 

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Posted by garhkal buffythecatslayer

buffythecatslayer wrote:
As matthias pointed out, you don't have anything on your phone if you're attending, the event host just scans your badge.  The only reason you might need an app on your phone is if you want to buy the ticket right there at the event, in lieu of giving them a generic.  That's something they implemented this year, but I'm not sure how it works.
For a while, they'll still accept paper generics so it won't be an issue until they stop with all paper tickets.  Even then, assuming there are still spots available, you could buy the ticket from the website a bit in advance, to give the event host time to download the updated attendee list.

How long do you think it will be, before they go to all E-tickets??

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Posted by traveller

It will still be a few years to 100%.  My guess they will hit up one of the big organizers next (MtG, Pokemon, D&D, Pathfinder).  The idea is to test with someone who has a combination of lots events/generics to test that process more.

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

the GM hits a couple buttons on his app and the attendee gets an email

If that's the way things work, let me suggest a change.  We need to be able to enter a 2nd email address for approving ad-hoc purchases.  My primary email account is not easily accessible from my phone.

Also, they definitely need to allow us to set the payment method on file for these purchases.  Right now, it defaults to the last CC you used, and there's no way to change it.

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Posted by brotherbock matthias9

matthias9 wrote:
brotherbock wrote:
andrewj.rager wrote:
I'm really excited for e-tickets. I know change is hard for some people, but its going to be best for the Gen Con staff and best for us as attendees.Thanks for the update as always Mike! Is it Aug 2020 yet?

I'm less excited. I'd declining to put an app on my phone that my own employer wants me to (to make two-step login verification faster).I'm not 'not trusting' anyone. But I'm hoping if I'm forced into e-ticketing in the future, whatever app I have to use doesn't ask for permissions to very much on my phone. Cause it ain't getting it.

They've been testing e-ticketing the last couple of years for some events (like True Dungeon).  For what it's worth, they are just on your badge, which is scanned at the event (not an app on your phone).

I'm speaking as a GM. The one who would have to have an app on his phone.

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