You may ask yourself, what is Registration? You may ask yourself, how do I get there? You may ask yourself, how do I work this? Today is your lucky day, as we have some answers for you!
Many people see the Registration desk at the convention, but few think about what we do in the months leading up to it. This list is incomplete but it is a sample:
- Process all the comps our staff and volunteers earned the previous year (hundreds of entries)
- Flag all potential programming and event participants in the system (hundreds of entries)
- Comp all event and programming participants who will be on enough panels/events
- Respond to email and answer questions from other divisions and attendees
So even though you may not see us hard at work before the con, we are not idle, we are just quietly processing data.
Now that you know what it is we do before convention, what do we do during it? How can you get through visiting us the fastest so you can go on to enjoy the rest of the convention?
- Have your ID out and ready to show us (bonus speed points for having your badge #).
- Have everyone in your party present, as we can not give out any badges except to the owner (yes, even your kids).
- Register, update your info, and pay online. You can even do that while you wait (via PayPal)!
- If you are a staff member come and get your badge on Thursday night. It allows us to train our volunteers and allows you to get your badge before you have to start working.
Don’t forget to pick up your publications (Souvenir Book, Pocket Program, Restaurant Guide, and more) on the way out.
Now that you have gotten your badge – enjoy the con. But wait! What if… what if you lose your badge?
Lost badges happen, but worry not. Come to Registration and tell us. Bring your photo ID.
If someone found your badge and turned it in, we will reunite you with it. If it has not been turned in, as per our policy, we will re-print the badge for $5. This fee is refundable upon return of the original badge. The second time you ask for a lost badge replacement you will be required to purchase a replacement membership at full price.
And once the convention is over?
Well, if you volunteered, turn in your timesheet to Team Arisia HQ, so we can start the cycle all over again and process your comp for next year!
If you did not volunteer, never fear! Come see us on Sunday afternoon or Monday and buy your year-ahead membership! It is the cheapest a membership will be all year. Also available online until midnight Monday.
People often ask why we have some of these policies. Some of these are set by the corporation, such as our prices, or how the attendee cap is calculated. The cap calculation means we can only sell single-day memberships on the day they will be used.
Likewise, we are often asked why we ask for an ID. The reason for that is twofold: the more important part is that we simply do not know all 4500 of you. We would love to but we do not. And we need to know that the John Snow who is picking up a badge is indeed the John Snow who paid for it. The second and less important (but still handy) reason is that when we have your id in hand, we can see how you spell your name without needing to hear it in the hubbub of the space.
One of the most commonly asked questions is about picking up badges. Why, folks ask, do I have to be there? Why can’t my buddy get my badge for me? I trust him. The answer is actually similar to the one about IDs. We do not know all 4500 of you, nor that you trust your buddy. We can’t judge that your buddy will hand you that badge rather than hand it to someone who has been banned from the convention. We have no way to know that indeed that is your spouse/brother/grandma/buddy. All we know is that they are John Snow because they have an ID, so we can hand them their badge and not another.
Over the years, Arisia has grown from a small group of friends who all knew each other to thousands of fans who share common interests but cannot possibly all know one another. Our registration and badging policies have adjusted to reflect this. Even though we know that you personally would never do such a thing, we have policies and procedures in place that apply to everyone and our cashier staff have clear guidelines to follow so they can process everyone as quickly as possible.