Convention Registration

Ryan Kopf's Blog

Recently Otakon released a form asking attendees if they would be interested in receiving their badge in the mail, and asking how much they would be willing to pay for it. I think this is a great move, as Otakon has had registration line issues for years, and it may be one of the best ways for them to prevent this issue in the future.

However there are a few drawbacks – for example, people could more easily make fake badges if they receive their badge early in the mail. Some conventions, such as NYCC have started using RFID chips and complicated scanner systems to check people in and out of the convention areas, which is an excellent way to prevent counterfeits (as each chip could have a public/private key setup that makes it impossible to duplicate without being detected).

Sometimes it seems like registration is an underappreciated aspect of any convention, as I’ve been to far too many conventions with really long registration lines. To counter that, I spend 10-20 hours a week on my convention registration software, which is entirely online and integrated with all my websites.

Some companies contact conventions many times a year to convince them to signup for expensive systems that get 3% or more per registration, which is a ridiculous amount considering how little work these companies actually do beyond sales.

With my registration system’s latest updates, we’ve recorded convention registration badge pickup as fast as 1 person every 10 seconds (or 6 people per minute per computer). We’ve integrated label printing software with really cool HTML5-style databases.

We were able to process just under 3,000 people for Meta Con with only three to four computers running at any given time.

Hopefully I’ll see you at an convention soon!

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