Ruminating on Registrations

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Ruminating on Registrations

On March 27, 2015, Posted by , In Uncategorized, With Comments Off on Ruminating on Registrations

Anyone who has ever attended a gaming convention knows the anxiety of waiting for the registration window to open.  Am I going to be able to get a hotel room before they all sell out?  Will I get into all the events I want?  What about those guys that just sign up for everything, even if they’re not going to participate in all the events?  No one likes to get blocked out.

It’s been a subject of much discussion around big conventions like GenCon and TempleCon so the crew here at CaptainCon thought we’d put our minds to work sorting out a solution to manage the flow of registration for events at CaptainCon 2015 to better help folks get into all their favorite events.

A word of caution before I go on.  What follows is a preliminary idea in its draft form.  Some things won’t change but others might by the time we go live.  So don’t take this as a carved in stone contract.  Also, keep in mind that the following is not meant to be 100% fair or equal to everyone (I’ll be blunt, we’re giving special consideration to those people who support our Kickstarter campaign early and well) nor will it guarantee that everyone can get into everything they want as events do have limits.  That said, here’s what we’re thinking:

1. Eliminate the Rush

The biggest registration stress is the crush of people all slamming the server at the same time trying to get into their events.  We’re breaking that rush up with our tiered registration.  People who buy badges early by backing our Kickstarter campaign will get access to the registration site before the rest of the public by a margin of weeks.  It’s part of our way of thanking the folks first on board who make the convention happen.  Not only that, but we’re dividing that registration into tiers:

  • CAPTAIN level backers get first access to the registration system.  There are only 50 Captain backer spots so rest assured that they won’t fill everything up, but we want to make sure they get first choice for stepping up with their support.
  • OFFICER level backers get next access to registration after Captains.
  • FIRST ABOARD CREW backers come next a few days later.
  • CREW and DECK HAND backers then gain access to the registration system.
  • Finally, we open registration up to the general public a few days later.


2.  Prevent “Full Plate” Syndrome

Breaking down the mad rush to register into waves is only part of the solution though.  It does no good to slow down registration if the first 100 people fill all the event spots.  To prevent that, we’re going to limit the number of events that any one person can sign up for during pre-registration.  Not only do we want to make sure people aren’t signing up for physically impossible stuff (two tournaments that run at the same time) we want players to actually think about what they’re registering for instead of just “get it all and then drop the stuff I don’t want”.

We’re going to do this by setting up registration so that a person can select no more than half the events for a given game type.  Yes, that still means a very popular event could fill up before you get to it, but at least it means that it’s filling up with people that really want to play in the event, not just because someone clicked every option on the screen.  Don’t worry though, we’re going to maintain waiting lists because we know stuff happens at conventions and people don’t show.


3.  Waiting Lists

Speaking of waiting lists, that’s the final part of the picture.  Some game systems have smaller player bases than others or may have fewer events than other. We don’t want you to miss out on events or have them not fill up because of artificial limits.  So, everyone using the registration system will be able to put their names on the waiting lists of as many additional events as they want.  Come convention time, events will fill from the online waiting lists first if there are additional spaces open.


So there you have it, the CaptainCon 3-step draft plan for taking the stress out of convention registration and helping the most people get into the events they want to participate in at the convention.

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