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RevInstant

Why not check ID at registration for wristbands and eliminate the 18+ line?

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I saw a thread about how crazy the 18+ line got and after trying to wrangle people together in it I would agree that some change is needed. So the idea I had is why not check ID at the door when picking up a pass and give them the wristband then and there? Some other ideas I mulled over included

 

-Having line staff ID check the pre-reg/reg line outside and handing out wristbands

-Creating an 18+ holo sticker for the badges to be applied at reg

-Allowing ID checks at the door for panels(may create issues with larger panels)

 

Anyone else have any ideas?

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Well, if you were in the 18+ wristband line you saw that it isn't staff that checked your ID.  It is a bonded security guard.  They would have to hire one for every registration booth if it were done at check in time.

 

An 18+ sticker doesn't sound to bad but it needs to be really noticable. Or it will hold up things in line when doing checks to get into the panels.

 

They did many years ago check ID at the panel door.  Even when there were way less people at Otakon then there is today this caused huge waiting issues and would hold up panels.

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I had this same discussion with someone on Facebook yesterday. I think it'd be great if they could have someone from the BPD run a one-hour training session with registration early Thursday afternoon to show them how to identify fake IDs. As they're checking ID anyway when you pick up your badge, I think having people who are trained at every booth will do wonders for eliminating yet another line for people to sit in.

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Because of the liability only our hired security (CES) is allowed to do this. This has been brought up at our feedback session and has been passed along to those who handle wristbands to look at for next year.

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Some idea I see for improving the wristband pick-up:

  • Expanded ID check hours - allows for 18+ events spread throughout the day
  • Make wristbands available Thursday night - not combined with registration, but a separate line area where those wanting a wristband can go after picking up their badges
  • More durable wristbands that last all weekend.  I've had the issue of them falling off in the shower.  Maybe look at the plastic wristbands that lock on - I've used these at various festivals and events and they don't fall off unless cut off. 
  • Maybe multiple pick up locations, near where popular 18+ events are occuring

I'll also add that I did not have any issues with the 18+ check.  I did not encounter any lines at the booth this weekend but I think the crowding has a lot to do with what time of day folks show up for wristabands (right before a popular 18+ event I'd assume).

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The only possible downside to this is what if someone lent their badge that had the 18+ sticker on it to a person that was underage? Other than I think it's a great idea.

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ErinErin, it looks like you are on the same wavelength as our staff! We've thought of these options and are currently discussing these and others in the debate on how to improve 18+ for the future. Thank you for the input!

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Wait!  If you have to show your id to Ota staff to get your badge, and they are checking for fake id's for 18+ events, I'm really confused as to why you can't do both at the same time.  What's to stop someone from using a fake id just to get in to the con?  Don't a lot of the people who check in come in their cosplay?  Do they look like their id?  The security guard who check my id barely looked at it and I was definitely in cosplay with a blonde wig, no less.  (yeah, there are African-Americans with blonde hair, but that didn't match the hair color on my id.)

 

At this point there are not that many 18+ events anyway.  If the con MUST use a trained security person AND that person can tell a fake id so quickly, THEN I see no reason why said person can't check ids while members are WAITING IN LINE with their ids in their hands ready to go.  At the same time, Otastaff can be counting the number of people in line and let them know when the room has reached capacity.

 

If things have to continue as they are, then Ota should put (hire?) more security people at the registration booths so the lines can go faster.

 

btw, I would also suggest the 'hospital' wrist band as it is *not* coming off until cut and it's definitely going to look cut if someone is trying to pass it on to an underaged member, if that's what they're concerned about.  But I really don't like any band for more than 1 day because it's hard to go to sleep with it on.

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Another thread on 18+ bands... well, I guess I'll finally state my thoughts:

 

-As has been stated, Otakon uses bonded security people to check IDs. These people are trained in what to look for on various IDs, both domestic and international. (A few years ago, I worked at a bank. I've seen the book on domestic IDs. And it's a lot to remember!) These officers protect Otakon in the event that a minor does get into an 18+ event. It's still not a good thing they got in, but using these officers shows due diligence on the part of Otakon. I'd be confident in saying that most gofers and staff are not trained in what to look for on an ID. If we removed these officers, and someone got in with a fake ID, well... the consequences could be anything from no more 18+ events for a few years, to no more Otakon, period. Likewise, staff checking IDs at panels is a bad idea, due to the increased need for these officers and the bottlenecking when loading the room. (Imagine how long it would have taken to get into Cosplay Burlesque if every single person's ID was checked?)

-No, it should NOT be done with registration pickup. This year, we checked in 16,000+ people on Thursday. Over 8 hours, that averages to about 2 seconds per person. People keep saying that it would only add a second to the time. (Despite asking if they want one, looking closer at the DOB, and applying the wristband together takes longer than 1 second... but I'll run with the time for simplistic sake.) If 50% of the people want one, that would bring the average time to 2 + (50%*1), or 2.5 seconds, a 25% increase in average processing time. This number would result in a drop of the people who were checked in, to about 13,000. The other 3200? Out with everyone else in the Friday pre-reg line. And I imagine they would NOT be happy.

-Stickers (or ribbons, mentioned in another thread) are also not really plausible, due to the ease of moving them to someone else. Say you have Jim and his 16-year old son, John. Jim gets his 18+ item fine and dandy. They go to the hotel and sleep. John gets up earlier, and takes Jim's badge (intentionally or accidently, doesn't matter). John has a badge, so in he goes to the con. Jim wakes up later, takes John's badge, not noticing it, and also gets in fine. John goes to an 18+ event at 10 PM, and gets in with Jim's badge fine. Jim doesn't even notice the problem until he is sent away from his event at 11 PM for a lack of ID check. What do we do now? Jim can easily get another sticker, but little Johnny's running around where he shouldn't be.

 

So what can we do? ErinErin mentions some good ideas. I'd mentioned the possibility of using the sides of the Pratt street lobby for people to get one on their way out (Thursday only) in another thread, but other locations would be good, too. Perhaps with Panel 2's entrance moved next to Video 4, we can use part of the 4th floor lobby for some during the con? I don't know if there's an unused room down by the Maid Café in the Hilton, for over there? It may not be pretty, but maybe even the outside terrace on the 3rd floor? I also don't recall if Otachan closes early (if not, this is moot), but it may be converted at night to banding? The only problem I see with the current system is its limited availability, restricted by its current space.

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Wait!  If you have to show your id to Ota staff to get your badge, and they are checking for fake id's for 18+ events, I'm really confused as to why you can't do both at the same time.  What's to stop someone from using a fake id just to get in to the con?  Don't a lot of the people who check in come in their cosplay?  Do they look like their id?  The security guard who check my id barely looked at it and I was definitely in cosplay with a blonde wig, no less.  (yeah, there are African-Americans with blonde hair, but that didn't match the hair color on my id.)

 

At this point there are not that many 18+ events anyway.  If the con MUST use a trained security person AND that person can tell a fake id so quickly, THEN I see no reason why said person can't check ids while members are WAITING IN LINE with their ids in their hands ready to go.  At the same time, Otastaff can be counting the number of people in line and let them know when the room has reached capacity.

 

If things have to continue as they are, then Ota should put (hire?) more security people at the registration booths so the lines can go faster.

 

btw, I would also suggest the 'hospital' wrist band as it is *not* coming off until cut and it's definitely going to look cut if someone is trying to pass it on to an underaged member, if that's what they're concerned about.  But I really don't like any band for more than 1 day because it's hard to go to sleep with it on.

When you show your ID at badge pick it, it isn't checking for your age and how old you are.  Rather if the ID and the person in front of me are the same person who claims to be for this "membership" they are picking up. There is no point to having a fake ID here because under 18 IDs, school IDs, etc are fine...  

 

for 18+ wrist band, it's another level of checking and they want to keep under 18+ from getting it.  There is now a reason for people to use their fake IDs. 

 

And if you noticed, there aren't 30+ CES Security guys running 18+ wristband booths...  

 

And the bands that are given out for 18+ will survive 3 days of wearing, washing, and whatever you do to it.  It won't come off until you cut it due to the fiberous material it is made out of... 

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ErinErin, it looks like you are on the same wavelength as our staff! We've thought of these options and are currently discussing these and others in the debate on how to improve 18+ for the future. Thank you for the input!

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One idea I think could work. I think adding wristband checks to pre-reg/reg lines would just further slow them down.  However, I think what can be done is say Thursday during Pre-Reg, have 1 additional table or booth off to the side. After you receive your badge + swag bag, get told if you'd like to pre-reg your 18+ band, to go to that additional table/booths line.

Only those interested in getting it early / who can would go over, get checked, and move on. It'd cut down on at least some of the people getting it in the con, and if you need a replacement for it by day 3 at the con, you just go into line like everyone else.  But those with spare time on Thursday who don't mind waiting a bit longer in another (likely shorter) line, can do so once they have their official Otakon badge, without slowing down those who are still waiting for their own.

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And the bands that are given out for 18+ will survive 3 days of wearing, washing, and whatever you do to it.  It won't come off until you cut it due to the fiberous material it is made out of...

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The issue I see with a separate booth for 18+ bands on Thursday is that that booth ISN'T being used for pre-reg badge pickup.  There were lines until Thursday badge pick-up closed this year, so that means Otakorp didn't have the luxury of setting a booth aside for another purpose.

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...and put them where, exactly?  There are rules about how we lay things out.

 

We review this stuff every year, though, and always review these threads. They're working on it.

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...and put them where, exactly?  There are rules about how we lay things out.

 

We review this stuff every year, though, and always review these threads. They're working on it.

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...and put them where, exactly?  There are rules about how we lay things out.

 

We review this stuff every year, though, and always review these threads. They're working on it.

 

I suppose the better question to ask is why does Otakon put the booths at the top of those stairs at the 300 level?

 

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18+ stickers on a badge.  Trade badges with your 18+ roommates!

 

Given wrist band at registration means wearing the same one all weekend.  Not something I would particularly enjoy.  Plus slowing down the registration line.  Just handing the wristbands out...?  Save as the stickers!

 

Doesn't the line open long before the 18+ events?  Must you have it as soon as the booths open?

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Let me begin by saying 2013 is the first Otakon I have attended so I have no basis to compare this year to others.

 

It was already mentioned that due to liability the 18+ wrist bands required a third party to verify. Since this resource could not come from the volunteer staff the time to distribute were limited. There is little that can be done about this.

 

I received my 18+ band on Saturday evening. The line may have been surprisingly long but the processing time for this was much faster than the initial sign in process. I can’t say there is much of a way to improve this part of the 18+ process

 

If I could recommend anything for next year it would be to plan the panel and screening room assignments for 18+ events to be localized in the same area. This way an area can be partitioned off at some point and Otakon staff can begin filtering out underage people before they get to the area.  

This could be helpful to the Otakon staff as an initial gate keeper (Theory being that the gate is set at a natural choke point inside the convention center) and allow the staff members that were walking the 18+ lines checking for bands to be used in other matters.

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I think I saw 25 booths for registration, add 1 more for each letter of the alphabet, 2 or 3 more if you want to split Cs and Ms.  You go to the booth with the letter of your last name.  You presents your 'proofs' and after they check them, you get your badge AND your wristband.  They do make comfortable wristbands with holding power, Otakon should look into them.

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This sounds like a simple scalability problem to me.  Double or triple the number of CES personnel assigned to this and cut the times by 1/2 or 2/3.

A  more durable rubber/plastic wristband sounds liek a good idea too.  It would cost a bit more, but in the grand scheme of things that would not be significant.

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This sounds like a simple scalability problem to me.  Double or triple the number of CES personnel assigned to this and cut the times by 1/2 or 2/3.

A  more durable rubber/plastic wristband sounds liek a good idea too.  It would cost a bit more, but in the grand scheme of things that would not be significant.

 

2012 there was like 4-6 booths opened, however this year it fluctuated from 2 to 3 on Friday... which if it was already really busy with 4-6 on 2012.... 2-3 would be even more chaotic. (if my memory serves me correctly) 

 

The wristband is really durable, unless you are purposely trying to yank it or slide it off your wrist and break it.  Since it is paper/fibrous type, it will not cause skin reactions like the plastic or other types will do for those who can only wear platinum or 14k gold jewelry. 

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The band is Tyvec, Water resistant guaranteed for a really STUPID long time. (they wrap houses with it before they put Siding on)

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The band is Tyvec, Water resistant guaranteed for a really STUPID long time. (they wrap houses with it before they put Siding on)

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Yep same stuff fad. Infact.... If you look online there is a picture of a house Tyveck'ed entirely in USPS Envelopes as it was cheaper than actually getting a roll of Tyveck material.

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I think I saw 25 booths for registration, add 1 more for each letter of the alphabet, 2 or 3 more if you want to split Cs and Ms.  You go to the booth with the letter of your last name.  You presents your 'proofs' and after they check them, you get your badge AND your wristband.  They do make comfortable wristbands with holding power, Otakon should look into them.

 

Ehh. that means some booths would be swamped (J's, M's, and S's for example) while the only ones at the the "Z" booth would be the Zappata family from Columbia, MD.happy.png   Besides, which booth would 田仲さん go to? unsure.png

 

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Because of the liability only our hired security (CES) is allowed to do this. This has been brought up at our feedback session and has been passed along to those who handle wristbands to look at for next year.

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I understand the reasoning of why an outside company has to do it but I do agree it should be open earlier, even just on friday so it's not just chaos right away, but the best idea that needs pitched is some kind of barriers for the line to keep it under control, the way it repeatedly U-turns proved confusing and it seemed like cuts were likely in the confusion of it (which very well might have happened).

As for the bands themselves they weren't a problem, I showered in mine just fine, I know for a fact that wristband material is stong after wearing one of the same material when testing the American Ninja Warrior course for their Baltimore regional.

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Besides, which booth would 田仲さん go to? unsure.png  LMAO!!  

(with the 田's, of course!)

____

 

If I could recommend anything for next year it would be to plan the panel and screening room assignments for 18+ events to be localized in the same area. This way an area can be partitioned off at some point and Otakon staff can begin filtering out underage people before they get to the area.  

 

I absolutely can agree with this!

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Hall D is in use starting Thursday for musical acts to set up and rehearse. Can't put it there.

See why we have to move?

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I have no problems with the wristbands themselves but what about changing the color year to year?  You use the same blue every year, I mean what's to stop someone from positioning their arm when they receive the wristband just so so that they can slip it off without cutting it and saving it for next year to give to someone underage?

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My idea:

Before the con, 18+ Registration on website for an Official Otakon ID (like a drivers license). Include a photo of yourself in the registration. Pay the additional cost for the ID on the site. Prints out a preregister barcode for ID pick up.

At the con, proceed to specially marked 18+ wristband with barcode. Barcode is scanned and you government issued ID is verified for age and the picture on the screen. Otakon employee bands attendee and marks 18+ certified in their computer.

After the con, ID is sent in mail. ID includes name, address, picture, member ID number, and unique ID barcode.

For the next con, ID can be used for preregister look up. ID can be used to speed up 18+ wristbands. Scan the barcode, verify it matches persons picture. Since government ID was already verified, no need for CES. Band the person.

Can have people just scanning IDs and looking at the picture on the screen. Then have another person banding them.

This was just a quick brain storm. Would still have to weigh pros and cons. First year for verification may be a mess, but long term I could see this working nicely, and I'd have an otakon membership card =P

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My idea:

Before the con, 18+ Registration on website for an Official Otakon ID (like a drivers license). Include a photo of yourself in the registration. Pay the additional cost for the ID on the site. Prints out a preregister barcode for ID pick up.

At the con, proceed to specially marked 18+ wristband with barcode. Barcode is scanned and you government issued ID is verified for age and the picture on the screen. Otakon employee bands attendee and marks 18+ certified in their computer.

After the con, ID is sent in mail. ID includes name, address, picture, member ID number, and unique ID barcode.

For the next con, ID can be used for preregister look up. ID can be used to speed up 18+ wristbands. Scan the barcode, verify it matches persons picture. Since government ID was already verified, no need for CES. Band the person.

Can have people just scanning IDs and looking at the picture on the screen. Then have another person banding them.

This was just a quick brain storm. Would still have to weigh pros and cons. First year for verification may be a mess, but long term I could see this working nicely, and I'd have an otakon membership card =P

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And for every person who forgot their ID, Otakon would have a useless "Otakon ID" that they would have to treat just like currency..

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@deathnote666

No SSN needed. The point of the idea is that a bonded security firm must verify you're older than 18 once, then you are issued a permenant ID (like a license). Then for future Otakons, the just need to scan the barcode on your Otakon ID rather than have your gov't ID inspected, which any otakon staffer can do. This eliminates the need for yearly Gov't ID inspections, eliminating the need for multiple security agents. It also opens the possibility for getting your wristband before 4 pm, as your ID has already been verified

@Fadamor

I'm sorry I don't understand... Like any ID the user would jut have to pay a replacement fee? Or am I misunderstanding your post?

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Just like to add, I went at 6 pm to get my wristband and it took no more than 5 minutes. I really don't see much problem in the current method. Maybe the way of the future is microchips!

Everyone gets a mandated microchip in their arm!

They will be named after their creator and be called michaelchips! :D

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Otakorp's Lawyer has advised us for Liability purposes to have our Paid, Trained Security doing the ID checking.

It needs to be done on site and in person.

 

We can only run the 18+ banding when we have both the extra staff and Security personnel to run the booths.

 

We can't have reg somewhere else because all the other large space is already being set up Thursday morning, if not wed.

 

If we had pre-reg somewhere else for Thursday, then we'd have to pay for it to be moved to it's rest of con home.

 

We have a lot of the current 18+ wrist bands and it does not make good financial sense to replace them.

 

Most of the ideas floated so far would cost us a lot of money. Which means either cutting something, or raising membership rates, something we try desperately not to do.

 

 

However, this doesn't mean we are not looking into options to improve this, we know there were issues and we're looking at ways to fix them. 

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