Overzealous event staff
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Posted by tdb

At about 5:45 pm Saturday, an event staffer came around doing badge checks in the second floor lobby of the Marriott. 

Everyone there actually was an attendee, and showed their badge, so all was well. And the staffer was fairly polite.  But...

What if a hotel guest who wasn't attending the con had been there? Would the staffer have tried to throw them out of the hotel lobby? How would that have gone?

A badge check performed in an event space is quite reasonable. But this was in the lobby.  That's a public space. Unless Gencon paid rent for the lobby by the escalator, they really have no say in who can or cannot be there. 

 

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

Someone was way outside their jurisdiction. Even the outer areas of the ICC don’t require a badge.

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Posted by arosenwald

We had a similar situation in the open gaming space in the JW Marriott on the third floor at around 4:30-5:30 yesterday. A older man with a Secret Service style earphone came up and demanded to see our badges. A bunch of our group had left them
back in their room - he told them they had to go and get them to remain in a “Gen Con-sanctioned room.” 

While my friends went off to get their badges, I’ll admit I felt like being a bit more confrontational. I asked him when this became a thing and where it was posted. He said it has always been a rule. When I told him that we had never had our badges checked before in the all the time we had done our open gaming at the JW, he said that wasn’t true. Other nearby groups chimed in with similar stories to my own. Wouldn’t you know it - we left the ballroom at midnight, and not one other person came around to check badges.

I wonder if it was the same guy?

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Posted by sora

This happend to myself and the others that were inside the conference room where some events were taking place.  Two staff just stroll in and start asking all of us to show badges.  

Has this been done at past Cons?  I've been going for a few years now and don't ever recall this happening. 

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Posted by arosenwald sora

sora wrote:
This happend to myself and the others that were inside the conference room where some events were taking place.  Two staff just stroll in and start asking all of us to show badges.  
Has this been done at past Cons?  I've been going for a few years now and don't ever recall this happening. 

I honestly don't mind them strolling through ticketed event areas like inside one of the hotel conference rooms. However, in a hallway or an open gaming space? That just seems a little bit like overreach.

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Posted by princesslucky

This is the first year I have noticed staff actively interrupting ticketed events to ask for badges (in some cases, people were clearly in costume and had moved away from their bags, causing events to be disrupted for minutes as they scrambled, including during the dramatic wrapup of games that had gone on for hours).

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Posted by tdb arosenwald

arosenwald wrote:
We had a similar situation in the open gaming space in the JW Marriott on the third floor at around 4:30-5:30 yesterday. A older man with a Secret Service style earphone came up and demanded to see our badges. A bunch of our group had left them
back in their room - he told them they had to go and get them to remain in a “Gen Con-sanctioned room.” 
While my friends went off to get their badges, I’ll admit I felt like being a bit more confrontational. I asked him when this became a thing and where it was posted. He said it has always been a rule. When I told him that we had never had our badges checked before in the all the time we had done our open gaming at the JW, he said that wasn’t true. Other nearby groups chimed in with similar stories to my own. Wouldn’t you know it - we left the ballroom at midnight, and not one other person came around to check badges.
I wonder if it was the same guy?

I think it may have been. Older guy, balding?  With the attitude of a mall cop reveling in his new-found power? 

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Posted by arosenwald tdb

tdb wrote:I think it may have been. Older guy, balding?  With the attitude of a mall cop reveling in his new-found power? 

Definitely an older guy. Was thoroughly enjoying the power trip.

To speak to some other points made above:

1. I don't mind if event staff wants to check badges during ticketed events. I've had it happen before multiple times throughout the years, and I get it - they want to make sure Gen Con events are for Gen Con attendees. With all the kerfuffle around getting actual tickets to events, I understand they want to limit that to paying attendees, and not having someone get tickets for non-Con people. No problems with that, and it's pretty clear in the regs that you're expected to have your badge on when you're in a convention space.

2. I am not a fan, but 100% get it if they want to check badges to get into open gaming spaces that are not in public areas of hotels, like the JW Ballroom 3/4/5. Gen Con contracts with the hotel for the space, so it makes sense that they want to limit the space for paying attendees. With that, however, comes the cost: all the doors need to be closed and they need to have Gen Con staff checking badges at limited entry points.

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Posted by cman811

In the policies under "badge credentials" it does say that event attendees must wear a badge at the hotels as well, but it makes no distinction between being in rooms reserved by gencon and in public places like the lobbies, bars, and hallways.  That said, I've gamed down in the lobbies and at random tables A TON while my badge has been up in my room and no one has said anything to me.  I can't even recall a member of gencon staff walking around in the lobbies of a hotel.  I'd chalk it up to a staffmember on a power trip and not specific enforcement of something.  

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Posted by austicke

Nothing new. Gen Con has been checking for badges in hotels for years.

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Posted by mhayward1978 cman811

cman811 wrote:
In the policies under "badge credentials" it does say that event attendees must wear a badge at the hotels as well, but it makes no distinction between being in rooms reserved by gencon and in public places like the lobbies, bars, and hallways.  That said, I've gamed down in the lobbies and at random tables A TON while my badge has been up in my room and no one has said anything to me.  I can't even recall a member of gencon staff walking around in the lobbies of a hotel.  I'd chalk it up to a staffmember on a power trip and not specific enforcement of something.  

Gen Con staff has no business interacting with anyone in a hotel lobby, hallway, or common area.

If approached I suggest you tell them so.

If they persist once you politely say: "I don't know who you are, please stop bothering me or I will contact hotel security."  I suggest you either just ignore them, or contact the hotel staff to set them straight if that doesn't work.

To be clear, this advice only applies in hotel areas that are not Gen Con event spaces.  I appreciate that Gen Con does do badge checks in their rented areas, as I've seen non-badged people who did not appear to be Gen Con attendees wandering through event spaces, which is not something I want as an attendee.
 

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Posted by remnant

That's a hypothetical with a lot of variables I personally don't know.  If someone asks to see my badge I'll show it to them.  A random badge check doesn't concern me personally, but I can see how it's inconvenient for someone maybe.  But it brings to test cases to mind. 

One scenario would be going to the Event HQ staff and saying, "I was just over at [insert location, table, bathroom, etc] and left, noticed I didn't have my badge and went back and can't find my badge, here's my ID what do I do?"  Some people might grumble but what do you do if someone sitting at your table is wearing someone else's badge and they're asked to leave and return said badge.  Does that break immersion?  

Another scenario was having a friend go to the bear tapping ceremony with cash and their Gen Con Badge.  Telling them to go back and get their ID was dismissed since, 'I don't want to and I have some gray hair, my badge should be enough' was their argument.  They had to go all the way back to their hotel and get said ID which they were not pleased about.  Is this one a bit silly.  Yes.  But if they card everyone they card everyone, badge is not a picture with age form of ID.

 

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Posted by arosenwald austicke

austicke wrote:
Nothing new. Gen Con has been checking for badges in hotels for years.

Double-digit year Gen Con attendee here. Never had a badge checked in a hotel. <shrug>

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Posted by squirecam

I think this is poor policy. Open hotel areas are not gencon’s business. Event areas are fine.

it was only on sunday that anyone ever bothered to check badges in our gaming area. I kept my badge off most for the time, so I know people were not checking. It was Sunday at around 2 pm when someone asked a friend about his badge. Rather rude about it too.

 

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Posted by rayken

It's done every year in any GenCon room, especially GenCon open gaming in the JW. I am asked every year by a different JW staff member to present my badge at least once. Didn't happen this year, so that's a first. I'm surprised people are acting like this is bad or something new. 

OPEN GAMING is not an open public space. GenCon pays for those rooms for open gaming - unless I am mistaken, the hotel is not just freely giving out ballrooms for open gaming use. Thusly, a badge is required.

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Posted by aldctjoc princesslucky

princesslucky wrote:This is the first year I have noticed staff actively interrupting ticketed events to ask for badges (in some cases, people were clearly in costume and had moved away from their bags, causing events to be disrupted for minutes as they scrambled, including during the dramatic wrapup of games that had gone on for hours).

Huh. I did have this happen once about 2 or 3 years ago (a badge check at a ticketed event), but it was quick: Someone came in, asked if we all had our badges, we all held them up, that was it. Not even 5 seconds. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but it *was* some time ago. And yes, it's not like the OP because it wasn't in a non-Gencon space, it was in a JW room during a scheduled, ticketed event. Anyway... I think someone with either the con or the hotel haws been doing this a long time, it's just that there are so many events that most get missed. 

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Posted by braewe

I have no issue with being asked to show my badge in an actual gen con area, to include hotels (I have had at least one incident of this each year now for about 3-4 years, twice this year, once in the ICC, once in Marriott, both on Saturday). Come to think of it, ALL mine have been on Saturday.

But the area by Starbucks is NOT Gen Con space, nor is the bar downstairs, or the restaurant, and you should not have to show a badge in those areas (I was not, just offering opinion.)

The open gaming area ballroom IS Gen Con space, and yes, you should expect to be able to show your badge.

That all said, not once ever ever in any way shape or form have I been asked to match ID with Badge. Even when entering the exhibit hall early to help with setup and I had not yet been able to meetup with the EO who had MY badge, so I went in wearing a "Dan ********" which since I am a Rebecca, might have tipped them off, but when I got a raised eyebrow, I just said Danielle, and they waved me on in. Thankfully I got my OWN badge about ten minutes later. Should have gotten it the night before but traffic was terrible. Yesyes, I know, can't wear someone else's badge. I promise, gen con overlords, I won't do it again.

 

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Posted by ar6474

My group has only ever been badge checked while sitting at tables during events and obviously to get in to the main halls. Never been asked while walking sitting in hotel common areas.

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Posted by squirecam rayken

rayken wrote:
It's done every year in any GenCon room, especially GenCon open gaming in the JW. I am asked every year by a different JW staff member to present my badge at least once. Didn't happen this year, so that's a first. I'm surprised people are acting like this is bad or something new. 
OPEN GAMING is not an open public space. GenCon pays for those rooms for open gaming - unless I am mistaken, the hotel is not just freely giving out ballrooms for open gaming use. Thusly, a badge is required.
The above check happened in the lobby. Not a ballroom.
 

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Posted by tdb

OP here.  I experienced two badge checks in event rooms, during events. I have no issue with that.  After all, Gencon paid for that space.

The problem was the badge check in the 2nd floor lobby of the Marriott.  My wife and I were having lunch at one of the tables over by the escalators.  That's a public space.

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