Will call wait times/procedures
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Posted by kjamma4

I'm looking at some information regarding Will Call and will forgo the rant about the will call wait times for the moment.

So I had some family surprise me on Saturday night by coming to join me at GenCon this year.

On Sunday, I wanted to purchase badges for them to walk around the con - some of them were previous attenders (who I had already set up as friends) and some were first-timers. I set the new ones up as friends and then bought badges for all of them.

I went to the hall and arrived prior to them. I was somewhat dismayed at the long will call line but figured since they were not there and I had purchased their badges (and the only way I could do that was by them approving my friend request) that I would get in line and pick their badges. That way, when they arrived, we could hit the ground running.

No can do - the attendee had to be present and present id in order to get their badges.

So, I have a few questions:

 - What is the rationale behind making every attendee stand in line for their badge and show an id? (which will answer the question about the purchaser picking up the badges instead)

 - Has there been thought given to the elimination of issued plastic badges? I know this year they went to electronic ticketing for events but what about badges? Yes, a physical print out from an email would be easier to duplicate than a plastic badge but if someone wanted to make a fake badge, it would not be that hard as it stands now.

 - Also, why does each attendee have to have a unique email address?

I know this is complaining in some small part but I'd also like for the process to be simplified for the benefit of others as well.

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

Yes, a physical print out from an email would be easier to duplicate than a plastic badge but if someone wanted to make a fake badge, it would not be that hard as it stands now.

Not something you could easily wear around your neck for the staff to see as you passed by.  If they have to read emails from every person entering the halls, the lines would take forever.

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Posted by kjamma4

I don't want to give specific details about how you can fake a badge to pass routine scrutiny but it would be very easy (but I'll grant you, it would be more difficult to do than a printed badge.)

As far as emails go, of course you would not have the email for the badge checkers to read - the email would have a graphic that would be identical to the current badges (including the bar code) that the attendee would print out to use and display exactly like the current badges.

Advantages would be that the attendee would have the badge near instantaneously and the GenCon staff would not have to mail the badges.

One piece of paper printed per attendee saving time and reducing the amount of paper/plastic in landfill.

 

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

It sounds like you're saying to enter the halls everyone would need to have their barcode scanned?  How else can the checkers know the barcode is valid?  Right now, they just glance at the badge and see that it's the appropriate color.

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Posted by squirecam kjamma4

kjamma4 wrote:
I'm looking at some information regarding Will Call and will forgo the rant about the will call wait times for the moment.
So I had some family surprise me on Saturday night by coming to join me at GenCon this year.
On Sunday, I wanted to purchase badges for them to walk around the con - some of them were previous attenders (who I had already set up as friends) and some were first-timers. I set the new ones up as friends and then bought badges for all of them.
I went to the hall and arrived prior to them. I was somewhat dismayed at the long will call line but figured since they were not there and I had purchased their badges (and the only way I could do that was by them approving my friend request) that I would get in line and pick their badges. That way, when they arrived, we could hit the ground running.
No can do - the attendee had to be present and present id in order to get their badges.
So, I have a few questions:
 - What is the rationale behind making every attendee stand in line for their badge and show an id? (which will answer the question about the purchaser picking up the badges instead)
 - Has there been thought given to the elimination of issued plastic badges? I know this year they went to electronic ticketing for events but what about badges? Yes, a physical print out from an email would be easier to duplicate than a plastic badge but if someone wanted to make a fake badge, it would not be that hard as it stands now.
 - Also, why does each attendee have to have a unique email address?
I know this is complaining in some small part but I'd also like for the process to be simplified for the benefit of others as well.
First....pay the $10. No will call lines.
Second, they didn’t need to go to will call. Simply go to the event/badge registration line and have them  buy their own badge. Much less wait time. 

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Posted by traveller squirecam

squirecam wrote:
kjamma4 wrote:
I'm looking at some information regarding Will Call and will forgo the rant about the will call wait times for the moment.
So I had some family surprise me on Saturday night by coming to join me at GenCon this year.
On Sunday, I wanted to purchase badges for them to walk around the con - some of them were previous attenders (who I had already set up as friends) and some were first-timers. I set the new ones up as friends and then bought badges for all of them.
I went to the hall and arrived prior to them. I was somewhat dismayed at the long will call line but figured since they were not there and I had purchased their badges (and the only way I could do that was by them approving my friend request) that I would get in line and pick their badges. That way, when they arrived, we could hit the ground running.
No can do - the attendee had to be present and present id in order to get their badges.
So, I have a few questions:
 - What is the rationale behind making every attendee stand in line for their badge and show an id? (which will answer the question about the purchaser picking up the badges instead)
 - Has there been thought given to the elimination of issued plastic badges? I know this year they went to electronic ticketing for events but what about badges? Yes, a physical print out from an email would be easier to duplicate than a plastic badge but if someone wanted to make a fake badge, it would not be that hard as it stands now.
 - Also, why does each attendee have to have a unique email address?
I know this is complaining in some small part but I'd also like for the process to be simplified for the benefit of others as well.
First....pay the $10. No will call lines.
Second, they didn’t need to go to will call. Simply go to the event/badge registration line and have them  buy their own badge. Much less wait time. 

There are people who are not allowed to attend GenCon based on past actions.  That is one reason why badgeholders must present ID.

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Posted by kjamma4 buffythecatslayer

buffythecatslayer wrote:
It sounds like you're saying to enter the halls everyone would need to have their barcode scanned?  How else can the checkers know the barcode is valid?  Right now, they just glance at the badge and see that it's the appropriate color.
No, that's not what I'm saying at all.

The current procedure is to get a plastic badge either via mail (which I'm not concerned about here) or get a plastic badge via Will Call (which is what I'm speaking about) both of which contain a bar code. Disregard the bar code for the purposes of this thread. Currently, the Will Call solution didn't work for me.

My thought was that you get an email with a graphic that is identical to the current badge including the bar code (which, again, is irrelevant for this discussion.) Print out the email, cut out the badge, put it in a badge holder and hang it around your neck just like the current plastic badges.

The checkers can still glance at the badge and confirm it is the right color. No need for the checkers to have barcodes.
 

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Posted by kjamma4

 

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Posted by kjamma4 squirecam

squirecam wrote:
 
First....pay the $10. No will call lines.
Second, they didn’t need to go to will call. Simply go to the event/badge registration line and have them  buy their own badge. Much less wait time. 

1) Pay $10 for what? There is a service you can pay $10 for the day of the con when you register that you don't need to stand in the Will Call line?

2) Great advice - where were you two days ago? :)
I guess my thought process was that there would be no difference in buying online and picking up your badge and buying on site. I was unaware of the fact that the buying at the convention line would be 1/10 the size of the Will Call line (and quite frankly did not think there would be two lines and that registering onsite would actually take more time as they would have to enter your information as opposed to you doing it ahead of time.)

Additionally, in regards to the bad apples who are not allowed to attend, how would GenCon be able to identify John Smith the Goofus from John Smith the Gallant? Just like the people at the doors waving badge holders through, it is a cursory glance at best.

It would be so easy to go around a ban based on only a name as to make it worthless. Especially at the expense of the time of good people who have to wait in long lines. 

 

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Posted by squirecam kjamma4

kjamma4 wrote:
squirecam wrote:
 
First....pay the $10. No will call lines.
Second, they didn’t need to go to will call. Simply go to the event/badge registration line and have them  buy their own badge. Much less wait time. 

1) Pay $10 for what? There is a service you can pay $10 for the day of the con when you register that you don't need to stand in the Will Call line?2) Great advice - where were you two days ago? :)
I guess my thought process was that there would be no difference in buying online and picking up your badge and buying on site. I was unaware of the fact that the buying at the convention line would be 1/10 the size of the Will Call line (and quite frankly did not think there would be two lines and that registering onsite would actually take more time as they would have to enter your information as opposed to you doing it ahead of time.)
Additionally, in regards to the bad apples who are not allowed to attend, how would GenCon be able to identify John Smith the Goofus from John Smith the Gallant? Just like the people at the doors waving badge holders through, it is a cursory glance at best.
It would be so easy to go around a ban based on only a name as to make it worthless. Especially at the expense of the time of good people who have to wait in long lines. 
 
1. In general, just pay the $10 for shipping is what I meant. Will call lines were terrible all con, and that's time that could be spent gaming.

2. Two days ago I was gaming. :)

 

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Posted by kjamma4

1. Your general advice is valid - that is always what I do for my own badges and for all the others who know in advance they are attending. However, in this instance, I had family come on the spur of the moment so shipping was not an option then.

2. Yeah, me too. However, had I known that buying on site would be much quicker, I would have done that.

Live and learn. Thanks for the info.

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Posted by quarex kjamma4

kjamma4 wrote:Additionally, in regards to the bad apples who are not allowed to attend, how would GenCon be able to identify John Smith the Goofus from John Smith the Gallant? Just like the people at the doors waving badge holders through, it is a cursory glance at best.
There are so few people banned from Gen-Con that I have little doubt their names are flagged, and if you happen to share a name with one of those like half-dozen people, you will probably yourself start being recognized as "not the bad one" after a couple of times.

Or, you know, there could also be no system and bans are functionally meaningless, but I have certainly never heard that.  Maybe nobody who has been banned decided to try to just come back and see what happens?

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