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Early registration?
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:13 am    Post subject: Early registration? Reply with quote

(Response moved from "KapCon larp organiser guide" thread)

no rectangulars wrote:
I've never seen the orgaisational side of Kapcon, so this may seem like an ignorant question - but why can't the registration be moved earlier in the year?


Because we need games in order to open registration. And most of our GM pool doesn't want to think about it until December. While there is a group of reliable GMs I hit up every year (and without whom we would be well and truly fucked), they also contribute to other cons, which means we don't really get their attention until October. On the positive side, it means we can ask them to re-run their cool ConFusion and Fright Night games Smile

(In case anyone is wondering: we first ask GMs for blurbs in July. For the past two years, I've been asking in January, at the after-party. But these cats can only be herded so far)

Quote:
If game-dibbsing for rounds 1&2 is done on a 'make the most people happiest' basis, rather than 'first come, first served' then late registration shouldn't penalise anyone (within reason, of course - registering 2 days beforehand probably would, cos people have to arrange the player lists).


We use "first-come, first served" for three reasons. Firstly, it provides a strong incentive to pre-register, meaning we get people signed up and get a good idea of how many people are coming (so we don't get any nasty surprises like 2002. Secondly, it spreads the work out over the period, and means I can tell people immediately what games they're in, rather than having to wait to do it all the week before. Finally, its completely transparent: if you didn't get into a game, its because the timestamp on your database entry was later than the other person's, not because I made a judgement call about preferences (so it has the added advantage of protecting me from allegations of favourtism).

Because we close out games as we go, no-one wastes their time signing up for games which are full or oversubscribed. And you know exactly what you're getting: if you can choose it, there's a slot (unless its a very busy day). 120 of our 124 pre-registrants got both first prefs for their games; only one got neither (they signed up during a busy period when I hadn't had time to update the website).

Of course, there are other fair allocation methods: random, bidding, most-satisfaction (which is what they use on the actual day). But in pre-registration, we go for something nice and deterministic, so that no-one can argue with it.

Quote:
Some people may not be able to commit so early, true - but there are also people (especially out-of-towners, a growing contingent) who would like to know as early as possible to arrange flights, leave etc.


The con happens at the same time every year. Barring earthquake, fire, alien invasion or zombie apocalypse, it'll be happening at Wellington Anniversary next year. You can book your plane tickets for it now, if you want.
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tog42



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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Location: Londinium

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could we open registration for the convention earlier but leave game selection for rounds one and two to the same timescale it's in now? We just fire out an email to those people when game selection opens?

Earlier signup allows us to cater for LARP numbers better. It may also help people lock it into their calendar early, especially out-of-towners.

I'd also like to think how we can encourage people to pay online when they do as it speeds up check in on the day if no money is changing hands.
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tog42 wrote:
Could we open registration for the convention earlier but leave game selection for rounds one and two to the same timescale it's in now? We just fire out an email to those people when game selection opens?


Yes. The downside is that people may be put off by the lack of games to sign up for, but if we're targetting larpers then it may not be an issue. And I can highlight the ability to change games later, since there were apparently issues around this.

I will push GMs for blurbs earlier this year as well, and see how well that works. But we're constrained by the willingness of our volunteers there.
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no rectangulars



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for explanation, Idiot - I didn't fully realise all the issues that were involved.
As I recell BattleCry has some similar problems in getting players and/or GMs signed up early (although paradoxically this year it seems they have more GMs than players...).
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Luke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
Yes. The downside is that people may be put off by the lack of games to sign up for, but if we're targetting larpers then it may not be an issue. And I can highlight the ability to change games later, since there were apparently issues around this.


What about giving priority in accordance with time of registration but no requesting game selections until we have a set number of games up? That way we could accept registrations from the day after Kapcon and then send out emails to those preregistered on 1 October for the LARP PCs and 1 December for game selection.

Of course, having games up early would be ideal but I am not sure that we need to hang the two together. If we have early games offered then we can use them in an advertising type way in saying "Look at these awesome games already. Register now if you want to get into them when game selection starts."
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke wrote:
What about giving priority in accordance with time of registration but no requesting game selections until we have a set number of games up? That way we could accept registrations from the day after Kapcon and then send out emails to those preregistered on 1 October for the LARP PCs and 1 December for game selection.


That is pretty much how it would have to work, but it would likely expose us to a higher number of dropouts than we have now. It also turns it into a year round job, rather than a three-month one at present.

I'm also not sure what the benefit is in registering for the con if you can't actually register for games.

Quote:
If we have early games offered then we can use them in an advertising type way in saying "Look at these awesome games already. Register now if you want to get into them when game selection starts."


That is why we try and get those blurbs up - its the games which sell the con. "Come to KapCon, we're running... um, something" isn't as effective as "Come to kapCon, we're running Calling the King, Dead Man's Chest, and Press the Flesh" (to pick 3 games which people kept commenting on).
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Stephanie



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you'll probably get some people doing early signups if its available. For instance, all the people who've already promised to GM a game are probably pretty sure that they'll be there. Smile
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephanie wrote:
I think you'll probably get some people doing early signups if its available. For instance, all the people who've already promised to GM a game are probably pretty sure that they'll be there. Smile


You'd think that, but a fair whack of them don't bother to pre-register (or, in Zak's case, the website hated him and would crash whenever he looked at it). And if they're running both rounds, they don't have any incentive to do so.
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Playing: ArM5 - Fons Albae; Pendragon: Defenders of Sarum
Running: ArM5 - Fons Albae (rotating); The Laundry
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tog42



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
The downside is that people may be put off by the lack of games to sign up for, but if we're targetting larpers then it may not be an issue.


I'm not sure how many would be put off by this. I can see a particular game piquing the interest for someone who has never been to Kapcon before but less so for a past attendee.

Depending on how much earlier there may be the LARP to sign up for as well.

IdiotSavant wrote:
It also turns it into a year round job, rather than a three-month one at present.

I'm also not sure what the benefit is in registering for the con if you can't actually register for games.


Game registration wouldn't start any earlier so prior to that the only thing we'd need to do is the occasional new user?

Some potential benefits of starting registering early.

- An idea of interest in the main LARP earlier.
- An idea of the size of the overall con earlier. This will help plan how many games are required.
- People start planning to be at Kapcon and are more likely to able to adjust their schedules.
- Convention reminder emails can be targeted at those not already signed up.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
I'm also not sure what the benefit is in registering for the con if you can't actually register for games.


That's fair. Though it's mostly illusory as even now preregistration does little to stop people pulling out, I think you are correct.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tog42 wrote:
Depending on how much earlier there may be the LARP to sign up for as well.


I think the thing to take this year is that preregistrations should really start at the earlier of:

- LARP registration commencing or
- round 1 or 2 selection.

Ideally all three should coincide but if one lags then it shouldn't hold the other two up.
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icehawk



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
Luke wrote:
That way we could accept registrations from the day after Kapcon and then send out emails to those preregistered on 1 October for the LARP PCs and 1 December for game selection.


That is pretty much how it would have to work, but it would likely expose us to a higher number of dropouts than we have now.


I see plusses and minusses to early sign-up.

The LARP this year had a lot of early sign-up, filled very early, and had a very large number of drop-outs. I can't see that large number of drop-outs as unrelated to the LARP filling early.
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icehawk



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke wrote:
tog42 wrote:
Depending on how much earlier there may be the LARP to sign up for as well.


I think the thing to take this year is that preregistrations should really start at the earlier of:

- LARP registration commencing or
- round 1 or 2 selection.

Ideally all three should coincide but if one lags then it shouldn't hold the other two up.


I agree that there is something a bit odd about saying that you've pre-registered for the Kapcon LARP but not for Kapcon.
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icehawk



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tog42 wrote:

Some potential benefits of starting registering early.

- An idea of interest in the main LARP earlier.
- An idea of the size of the overall con earlier. This will help plan how many games are required.


I think those two are trickier than they seem. A rough guess about interest is possible. But not more than that.

Unless you have several years to baseline to, and you expect each year to follow a similar pattern, you don't know what having 60 people signed up in November means regards final numbers.

Look at this year's LARP: it filled in November instead of January. At that point they could have gone "Oh my god, we're very short on characters, they usually cast 20 to 30 people after this", or "Great, everyone is organised (partly because we're so organised) and has enrolled early", or something in the middle between those views. Reasonable people can reasonably reach different conclusions there.
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itowlson



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right that early registration would not help with prediction the first time it was used. But the payoff is three or four years down the track when you *do* have that baseline, and *can* use it to make predictions. (Assuming of course that early registrations do turn out to correlate reliably to final numbers, which might not to be the case.)
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