Author Topic: Suggestions for line control  (Read 8978 times)

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Offline Dealrith

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Suggestions for line control
« on: September 22, 2012, 10:53:00 pm »
So one of the big things I've seen this year has been folks issue with the line control and getting the short end of the stick because folks decided to line up earlier than the 30 minutes before the start of the event.

Considering how many times I've seen this topic repeated in the rant and rave thread I get the feeling the directors, director candidates, and lower con management have gotten it that it is a point to be worked on.

So rather than continuing to beat a dead horse lets instead try to put out ideas for improving this so the team has things to work towards.


Now the main ones that I've been seeing are training and more bodies to man this stuff. Any other suggestions or more elaborate possibilities?



This is an open thread but lets keep this to constructive suggestions and criticism. No responses to say something is stupid or wrong please.


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Offline @random

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 11:24:26 pm »
Thank you for starting this thread. :)

I know echoing a previous suggestion doesn't do all that much good, but I think you've already nailed the crux of the matter. We need more people willing to be yojimbo*, more time to train them, and all the experienced yojimbo we can round up to serve as their mentors. First and foremost, though... we need more yojimbo.

If we can't find more yojimbo, then I'm not sure what the solution is. We could try delegating some of their responsibilities to other departments, but you'd have the same problem: We're all volunteers. People gravitate toward the responsibilities they think they can handle and enjoy. If people don't want to carry out the responsibilities of the yojimbo under the well-respected mantle of "yojimbo", would changing their title and department really help?

* - We didn't have nearly enough this year, and those who did show up did an amazing job of covering 2 or even 3 people's work per person. With more people, the workload would be a lot lighter - and we'd be less prone to burning out our best and most experienced yoji, making the problem worse.
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Offline TanisNikana

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 11:37:20 pm »
I'll just continue to holler and be loud and not use a cattle prod anymore. Got yelled at for that.

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 10:44:15 pm »
Re-stating this here:

1) If we're going to set a line rule, little yoji or not, it needs to be enforced, or it's not fair to those who follow the rules, and come to the line on time but end up the 100th person in line, for following a rule we asked them to, then not upholding it ourselves.

2) Possibly make the line up time longer. An hour wait time. It was stated that we cannot do this in another thread because it will create a mess of panel lines overlapping, but uh... if they do this anyway (while breaking the 30 min line wait anyway) I don't see the big deal. This does seem to be the general time that people want to start lining up.

3) SIGNS. Put the rules out there, before the con on the forums, at opening ceremonies, enforce them, and then get SIGNS. Post them outside of rooms, even in the con books and schedule (being at this location for this long we should have the lines pre-planned for where we want them to start and go) where the lines for any major events will be (Main, live 1, panel 1/2) and where they will start at what time. Give us maps for lines and the info on where lines will be up at info booth!!! =) Also, the maid squad's "Line starts" here and "line ends" here signs were great when we had them!!! You can even add the title of the event to the signs so people can see what event the line is for by looking at the sign (it can be a piece of paper taped on or something so we can re-use the same sign for different events, without permanently making a sign for a specific event)


Something to add that was nice this year- for the adult panels, either the panelists, or the yoji, remind the people in line (giving them enough time) that they need I.D AND stamps- and that if they had the stamp before it may have washed off- I know many people who were thankful for panelists/yoji doing this- otherwise they would have not been able to get in the the panel/lose their place in line. (one person would run and grab theirs while their friend waited, and then traded spots)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 10:48:23 pm by Kimiski »


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Offline LexManos

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 11:32:17 pm »
Every year there is a staffing issue, every year there are line issues.
There is really no way short of physically dragging people away to get them to not line up for certain things.
You tell them to move kindly, they move 2 feet, you tell them to move rudely {which as a staffer you shouldn't do anyways} you get in trouble and they get angry at you.

There were signs all over the place this year, there were yoji all over the place trying to break up lines, but people just don't listen.
Also, for those who think that the time should be extended to 1 hour, let alone the scheduling reasons, you know when you're driving your car. And you see a speed sign, you think "Well i'm only 5mph over the limit, cops don't care"
It doesn't matter if the sign says 50mph or if it ways 150mph. Extending the time would be like that, people would just show up an hour and a half early instead of an hour early.

What really needs to happen is for average attendees to get involved, make it socially unacceptable to break the rules, shun the people who line up early and  ignore the staff. Obviously don't go overboard, but if you see one of your friends breaking the rule, then make them aware of it. Everybody knows how to guilt your friends :P
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 12:56:09 am by LexManos »

Offline Kimiski

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 01:16:44 am »
Funny, I saw no signs about lines anywhere, and I was stationed outside main events all day, and did much walking back and forth between info booth and registration, where all the main events lines entually went. No signs. No signs for lines on wall. No hand held signs about lines. No info about lines at the booth. No info about where lines are going to be in the book/schedule. So, again, the signs can be improved and will greatly help.

Yes, at an hour people will still try and line up, but it's a more realistic time to enforce.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 01:21:07 am by Kimiski »


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Offline LexManos

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 02:45:48 am »
Interesting every time I walked around panel rooms, or in the main line up I saw 'No lining up 30 mins before event' as well as 'Main Event Line'.
Ya there could be a map labeling the line placements, maps are something I was speaking to a few people about during con. Having info about lines in the con book is kinda unrealistic, as a lot of those things are finalized/changed at con time. Ya there could be more signs plastered on the wall.
The hand held signs need more maid squad for that and to get the signs remade, as I read in the rant/rave that they were destroyed. They are rather useful.
As for the booth, they *should* of known .. all the lines for things are in logical places... AE right next to the doors. The only one that was really different was the main events line was outside on the sidewalk next to the door. {And when a few events got moved out there cuz the line grew large}

Anyways, how exactly do you propose line rules to be enforced? That's the real issue here.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 02:56:17 am by LexManos »

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 03:09:18 am »
This is starting to push the limit of what Dealrith asked for (constructive suggestions and criticism).

Brainstorming will always generate some ideas that are useful and some that aren't useful... but if you allow people to throw out their ideas in a free environment, you'll usually end up with better solutions than you will if people are afraid of volunteering an idea for fear someone else will think it's stupid or wrong.

TL;DR... what ideas do you think we should at least consider (even if they're not perfect), versus what's wrong with others' ideas?
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Offline Kimiski

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 08:40:42 am »

Anyways, how exactly do you propose line rules to be enforced? That's the real issue here.

See previous post >.> ?

The problem is more than just having a bunch of yoji walking around yelling at people (while that needs to happen too- having the yoji/line enforcers actually uphold the time limit given to them instead of saying "what the hey, only this much time left" because they don't "want to deal" with moving people away <--- I really don't know how I can rephrase this any more.

You want to hit a problem at the core, thus the signs. The more people can know and see something in advance, the less chaos there will be in forming the line. Managing the line once it HAS formed is what I think you want more ideas on. However, re-line control and organization will still greatly help.

As for us have needing to have known at info booth, as it was said, lines change all the time, first it was indoors, then outdoors, no one told us. So how were we supposed to know? I'm not going to tell an attendee something I do not know and lead them in the wrong direction. It wasn't till the second day we were told by the head of maid squad in passing conversation all lines for main events were to start outside. Something we should have known from day one- and could have been posted outside the doors so people knew.

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For controlling the line- yes more yoji would be nice but who knows if that is possible.
What would be really awesome is if we could rope off the line somehow, like we did down in registration. Not saying we have to use the same fancy roping that was used downstairs, but somehow. This way we can keep the line more closely to the wall (more single file) and it will be another way for people to visually see where the line is.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 08:53:44 am by Kimiski »


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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 11:32:39 am »
To clarify:  signs (30 min line, line starts here) were not posted until Saturday afternoon (I know, because I posted them.)  They were posted outside Main Events, outside for the main events line, and I believe outside live events (but I am hazy on that one... weekend is still a blur.)  So, they were up late, but they were up.

The biggest issue we are running into here is communication:  attendees need to know, staff need to know.  Did we do that this year?  Not the best we could do, and we are making notes on how to improve it for next year.

Yes, we are returning to the same venue for next year, which should help in planning out what it is we need to do.  But it is not as simple as saying "oh, we've been here before, so we should already know".  The layout on the first floor was different this year:  we added 2 panel room that we had to account for their lines as well.  There are the tables that are place in the area outside Main Events as well, and predicting what the traffic is going to be like is something we can guess at, but we don't know until con happens.

This thread is not a "what went wrong" - we already know that.  Let's talk about how we can make it better, which is what we are all working together to accomplish, yeah?  Suggestions are wonderful, and much appreciated.  But let's now keep beating the same things into the ground over and over and over... it frustrates people, and it accomplishes nothing.
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Offline bunny_jean

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 12:41:56 pm »
Something to add that was nice this year- for the adult panels, either the panelists, or the yoji, remind the people in line (giving them enough time) that they need I.D AND stamps- and that if they had the stamp before it may have washed off- I know many people who were thankful for panelists/yoji doing this- otherwise they would have not been able to get in the the panel/lose their place in line. (one person would run and grab theirs while their friend waited, and then traded spots)

I was in line for the adult Whose Line panel, and NO ONE said that you needed a stamp and ID. To be honest, I don't understand why a stamp is needed at all if they're just going to check your ID. Checking for stamps and checking IDs takes the same amount of time, so saying that checking just for stamps is not an excuse, if you ask me.
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 01:16:17 pm »
Something to add that was nice this year- for the adult panels, either the panelists, or the yoji, remind the people in line (giving them enough time) that they need I.D AND stamps- and that if they had the stamp before it may have washed off- I know many people who were thankful for panelists/yoji doing this- otherwise they would have not been able to get in the the panel/lose their place in line. (one person would run and grab theirs while their friend waited, and then traded spots)

I was in line for the adult Whose Line panel, and NO ONE said that you needed a stamp and ID. To be honest, I don't understand why a stamp is needed at all if they're just going to check your ID. Checking for stamps and checking IDs takes the same amount of time, so saying that checking just for stamps is not an excuse, if you ask me.

This is something that really can't be said in any nicer way than this; please please please read the convention policies! Every attendee agrees to them when they register to come to Kumoricon, and you shouldn't just agree to something you haven't read! Our policies are in the con book and on the website. Needing an ID stamp isn't something new, we've been doing this for years. Sakura-Con does it, I can't think of a con I've been to who doesn't do stamps. And here is why!

Think of a Live events line: 300+ people that need to be seated in 5-10 minutes. Checking an ID involves a couple different things:

Verifying the picture matches the person
Verifying the ID is valid and not expired
Verifying the Age of the person

Doing that for all 300+ people whilst trying to get them in and get them seated so we can start the panel = no bueno. It's easier for us, easier for you and less stress all around if you have a place where people get their ID's checked and confirmed properly, and get a stamp that is UV paint (so it wont show in Cosplay Photos) than spend half the panel checking everyone's ID and wasting your time.

Hope that makes sense! :)
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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 01:29:39 pm »
Something to add that was nice this year- for the adult panels, either the panelists, or the yoji, remind the people in line (giving them enough time) that they need I.D AND stamps- and that if they had the stamp before it may have washed off- I know many people who were thankful for panelists/yoji doing this- otherwise they would have not been able to get in the the panel/lose their place in line. (one person would run and grab theirs while their friend waited, and then traded spots)

I was in line for the adult Whose Line panel, and NO ONE said that you needed a stamp and ID. To be honest, I don't understand why a stamp is needed at all if they're just going to check your ID. Checking for stamps and checking IDs takes the same amount of time, so saying that checking just for stamps is not an excuse, if you ask me.

As AllyKat has said, the ID stamp requirement is something we've been doing for about 4 years or so, and is in both our policies, the con book, and each event that requires it is listed in the pocket guide.  I'm not really sure what else we can do to get the word out about it.

Checking ID at the door is time consuming when you are trying to fill a room for a panel, which is why it is available most of the day, so you can get the stamp ahead of time.  We try to make it as easy as possible for people (moving it to the Programming Booth next to Info and keeping it there until midnight).
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Offline angryginger00

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 01:30:39 pm »
This thread is not a "what went wrong" - we already know that.  Let's talk about how we can make it better, which is what we are all working together to accomplish, yeah?  Suggestions are wonderful, and much appreciated.  But let's now keep beating the same things into the ground over and over and over... it frustrates people, and it accomplishes nothing.

Thank you for the comment Jackie,

I don't know if it might be to early to start this or how well it would work out.  I have seen other conventions have a separate team that is just line control.  Usually this team gets assigned to main events only.  However if we could create a sub-group under the Yoji team that was specifically trained to handle just lines and knew the schedule to know what folks should or shouldn't be lining up for.

The problem I foresee with this position is getting it staffed.  If we had some very strong dedicated coordinators to this position I think we could reduce some of the stress. 

Also I think as a con we need to help recuite for Yoji team this coming year to get people we know won't flake.  We are all here to accomplish the same thing. 
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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 04:09:47 pm »

Thank you for the comment Jackie,

I don't know if it might be to early to start this or how well it would work out.  I have seen other conventions have a separate team that is just line control.  Usually this team gets assigned to main events only.  However if we could create a sub-group under the Yoji team that was specifically trained to handle just lines and knew the schedule to know what folks should or shouldn't be lining up for.

The problem I foresee with this position is getting it staffed.  If we had some very strong dedicated coordinators to this position I think we could reduce some of the stress. 

Also I think as a con we need to help recuite for Yoji team this coming year to get people we know won't flake.  We are all here to accomplish the same thing. 

Yes dwyer, please pull apart the yoji more...
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 05:22:57 pm »
I am inclined to agree with Tank on this point.

It's hard - because the whole reason we have our Yojimbo is because they do all the miscellaneous jobs that desperately need done that don't really fit into another department on its own.

The problem with separating out "Line Control Staff" from regular Yoji tasks is that it forces us to gamble that all the Line Control Staff will show up and attend all their shifts. Otherwise we once again default to our dedicated Yoji... but then we didn't train them to handle lines! Yikes!

What this year will probably focus on in ops (and I can only post conjecture, I am not Ops, although I do huggle my Yoji's every time I can!) is training each and every Yojimbo to feel like they have power and skills that are valuable and needed. The desire to be here, and the desire to display your special set of skills is what will help us retain Yojimbo. And training them to handle every situation, and having dedicated Yojimbo training nights/days where they can all ask the questions they want to ask and get familiar with the space will ensure that lines get controlled, stamps get checked, doors get guarded and most importantly, that Yojimbo eat and sleep and refresh themselves on a regular healthy basis. The Yojimbo deserve that focus, and I can already tell from the stellar management the Yojimbo had this year, they'll be looking to grow on that foundation for years to come!
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Offline Kimiski

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 06:14:27 pm »
^ In a kind of response to the post above me, kind of a suggestion/request

This is just a thought so don't everyone jump on me-
I know all Kumoricon staff are still volunteers, but that doesn't mean you can just sign up and slack on your job and do what you want right?
Is there anyway all staff (more realistically- as much as possible) have actual training from their department managers or directors?

Say the last two meetings before the con, after breakouts, day 0 for some departments- meet with your director/manager and get taught more of the ropes of what's going on, what you need to know, etc. Because this year was my first year staffing, and I thought there would be some form of training the last two meetings (at least there was a nice walk through of the hotel-optional for those who were staffing and wanted to know where things were) and I was just told, "You'll learns as you go"

Also, with Registration "training" we were so busy setting up, our actual training was not joking- a one minute quick speech on what to do, as the guests were being led into the garage and waiting, lining up behind us by yoji.

Maybe even make it required that to get all your staff benefits, you have to check in on day 0 or by a certain time? (That's more messy and complicated- but again an idea to think about- possibly refining it one day to where it could work)

This will help with communication
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 06:20:53 pm by Kimiski »


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Offline yelloweyedowl

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 07:35:43 pm »
^ In a kind of response to the post above me, kind of a suggestion/request

This is just a thought so don't everyone jump on me-
I know all Kumoricon staff are still volunteers, but that doesn't mean you can just sign up and slack on your job and do what you want right?
Is there anyway all staff (more realistically- as much as possible) have actual training from their department managers or directors?

Say the last two meetings before the con, after breakouts, day 0 for some departments- meet with your director/manager and get taught more of the ropes of what's going on, what you need to know, etc. Because this year was my first year staffing, and I thought there would be some form of training the last two meetings (at least there was a nice walk through of the hotel-optional for those who were staffing and wanted to know where things were) and I was just told, "You'll learns as you go"

Also, with Registration "training" we were so busy setting up, our actual training was not joking- a one minute quick speech on what to do, as the guests were being led into the garage and waiting, lining up behind us by yoji.

Maybe even make it required that to get all your staff benefits, you have to check in on day 0 or by a certain time? (That's more messy and complicated- but again an idea to think about- possibly refining it one day to where it could work)

This will help with communication


I like the idea of providing specific staff training before con and making it an expectation that people will actually be there.  Though. I think the logistics of actually having more structured staff training will be rather complicated.  For example, not everyone can attend the staff meetings or be there on day 0 (last year, for example, I wasn't able to get off work and my shift ended at 11pm), so there would most likely need to be some sort of contingency plan in place.  Perhaps video chatting/chat rooms could be utilized to train staff who can't make it to meetings, or there could be 2 opportunities to get training at con (on day 0 and early morning on day 1) where there is actually 15-30 min set aside for the purpose.  I'm just brainstorming here at this point, but my point is, in my opinion, the logistics of finding times to do more in depth training will be worth it.

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 07:40:28 pm »
^ In a kind of response to the post above me, kind of a suggestion/request

This is just a thought so don't everyone jump on me-
I know all Kumoricon staff are still volunteers, but that doesn't mean you can just sign up and slack on your job and do what you want right?
Is there anyway all staff (more realistically- as much as possible) have actual training from their department managers or directors?

Say the last two meetings before the con, after breakouts, day 0 for some departments- meet with your director/manager and get taught more of the ropes of what's going on, what you need to know, etc. Because this year was my first year staffing, and I thought there would be some form of training the last two meetings (at least there was a nice walk through of the hotel-optional for those who were staffing and wanted to know where things were) and I was just told, "You'll learns as you go"

Also, with Registration "training" we were so busy setting up, our actual training was not joking- a one minute quick speech on what to do, as the guests were being led into the garage and waiting, lining up behind us by yoji.

Maybe even make it required that to get all your staff benefits, you have to check in on day 0 or by a certain time? (That's more messy and complicated- but again an idea to think about- possibly refining it one day to where it could work)

This will help with communication


I like the idea of providing specific staff training before con and making it an expectation that people will actually be there.  Though. I think the logistics of actually having more structured staff training will be rather complicated.  For example, not everyone can attend the staff meetings or be there on day 0 (last year, for example, I wasn't able to get off work and my shift ended at 11pm), so there would most likely need to be some sort of contingency plan in place.  Perhaps video chatting/chat rooms could be utilized to train staff who can't make it to meetings, or there could be 2 opportunities to get training at con (on day 0 and early morning on day 1) where there is actually 15-30 min set aside for the purpose.  I'm just brainstorming here at this point, but my point is, in my opinion, the logistics of finding times to do more in depth training will be worth it.

Yup! =) That's why I was thinking multiple opportunities (like the last 2 meetings/day 0) to take the training, much like when you sign up to be staff, the chair offers the orientation every time after breakouts. Doesn't have to be a depth hour detailed discussion, but anymore training would be nice. It could build as we go year after year, you know? As we get a hold of what needs to be taught, when we can do it, and how. =)


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Offline superjaz

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2012, 10:31:50 pm »
^ In a kind of response to the post above me, kind of a suggestion/request

This is just a thought so don't everyone jump on me-
I know all Kumoricon staff are still volunteers, but that doesn't mean you can just sign up and slack on your job and do what you want right?
Is there anyway all staff (more realistically- as much as possible) have actual training from their department managers or directors?

Say the last two meetings before the con, after breakouts, day 0 for some departments- meet with your director/manager and get taught more of the ropes of what's going on, what you need to know, etc. Because this year was my first year staffing, and I thought there would be some form of training the last two meetings (at least there was a nice walk through of the hotel-optional for those who were staffing and wanted to know where things were) and I was just told, "You'll learns as you go"

Also, with Registration "training" we were so busy setting up, our actual training was not joking- a one minute quick speech on what to do, as the guests were being led into the garage and waiting, lining up behind us by yoji.

Maybe even make it required that to get all your staff benefits, you have to check in on day 0 or by a certain time? (That's more messy and complicated- but again an idea to think about- possibly refining it one day to where it could work)

This will help with communication


I like the idea of providing specific staff training before con and making it an expectation that people will actually be there.  Though. I think the logistics of actually having more structured staff training will be rather complicated.  For example, not everyone can attend the staff meetings or be there on day 0 (last year, for example, I wasn't able to get off work and my shift ended at 11pm), so there would most likely need to be some sort of contingency plan in place.  Perhaps video chatting/chat rooms could be utilized to train staff who can't make it to meetings, or there could be 2 opportunities to get training at con (on day 0 and early morning on day 1) where there is actually 15-30 min set aside for the purpose.  I'm just brainstorming here at this point, but my point is, in my opinion, the logistics of finding times to do more in depth training will be worth it.

Yup! =) That's why I was thinking multiple opportunities (like the last 2 meetings/day 0) to take the training, much like when you sign up to be staff, the chair offers the orientation every time after breakouts. Doesn't have to be a depth hour detailed discussion, but anymore training would be nice. It could build as we go year after year, you know? As we get a hold of what needs to be taught, when we can do it, and how. =)

I don't mean this but when reading about line control get me a fire hose and I will take care of those too early line.
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But yes I totaly agree about more training and such, really it boils down to comunication

I know everyone can't make a lot of meetings but I feel like there should be a min number meeting attended  (if you have never been staff before)to be staff say 2? or something like that.

 chat/ or say scype sounds like a good idea, and if nothing else mail, it would be a bit of work but set up a line of communication and send the jist of things "its suppose to go A-B-C bla bla bla, any questions?" or even make a youtube video that is avalible to invites only (say kcon staff) and going over stuff.

I am not yoji staff but I the know the value of open lines of comunication or just as simple as telling some one 'hey got a question please ask' 'or any suggestions/ideas?, its a big help,

Just as an example as VIP manager I track down and provide all the convention info a VIP might need  and email it to them before con, and then ask if there are any questions/concerns/etc(as at con can be too late to do anything)

It allows me the time to address snags before con, making for a smoother convention experince

Cuz lets face it snags happen, can't be at a 4000+ convention with out em
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Offline kiichain

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2012, 11:31:06 pm »
oyos

from my experience, having signs made things a bit easier at least in spotting key areas in the line as well as making it easier for attendees to know who was actually a maid to help out in the line that were not doing water service (i wish they didn't go MIA, but alas).

i made a point during all the main event line up on saturday to remind attendees that all main events line up was outside, which did inform a good chunk of people (some who did end up being the ones who would line up earlier than 30 mins; yes i recognized some).

i would love to have more maids for next year to at least keep any main events line up and seating handled. i had a full group of staff maids but some were part of other departments and couldn't make it to all of the shifts i could have used more maids with and i didn't expect certain panels to be as popular as i thought either and simply didn't have anyone working that line.

my random idea for how to limit when people can line up for main events is to actually make all of them 'ticketed' or 'stamped'. when i say ticketed, i don't  mean as a means of capping the attendee count. also, when i say 'stamped', i don't mean like the adult panels. basically, have an extra 'requirement' for lining up but then to also hand out such 'requirements' by only 5-10 minutes prior to line up. this 'requirement' would continue for the duration of the 'line up' time until seating starts. so by making this requirement available shortly before line up, the attendees would have to at really wait before they can wait in line. then yoji or maids would simply have to ask, "do you have the right stamp to wait in line... no? well you need to get one. you can find them over at x" stamps could work by doing a system of different image per event, like a smiley face for a guest panel, a strawberry for a different panel.

these requirements are simply to funnel the timing of when line up can happen. if you post a notice in the guide book, announce in the opening ceremony rules video, as well as have a note on the signs posted along where people line up that they need to go to 'place x' to get the stamp in order to wait in line, then we will cover our bases. from managing lines as maid squad, i have rarely come across an attendee that didn't have their ticket or adult stamp before getting in line (at most it was 3 people out of hundreds that forgot to get theirs). we already make the attendees go through quite a few hoops for certain events... adding this to all main events and popular panels won't be stretching it too far in asking the attendees to do for us.

if we are worried about causing a tidal wave of attendees going to the info booth for a stamp, we could filter it to a secondary place or possibly have reg line with those stamps. after the initial wave of registration, (late afternoon of first day and all preceding days) the reg area is rather empty. it would be better equiped for handling a wave of attendees looking to get a stamp to be allowed to wait in line for some event. it wouldn't take long either if you had 2 or 3 people giving out those stamps, it would be a simple, where's your badge (to prove they are an attendee) then stamp on the hand and move onto the next person. no need to count (unless we want to use this moment to get a rough head count so as not to overly go past the max occupancy). those people will be coming in from a better direction for any main events line up because they will be coming from the 'back area' instead of the front and searching for the end.

anyways, that's my random suggestion...

Offline veraca

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2012, 06:20:11 am »
If not Skype, what about uStream? That'd be a great way for people thinking about staffing could watch a meeting going on and hear questions being answered and get a more realistic gist of what to plan for and expect. As for a min staff meetings to attend, what about the people who just show up at a con and are like "hey I have nothing to do really, can I staff?"
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Offline angryginger00

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2012, 08:29:03 am »
I am inclined to agree with Tank on this point.

It's hard - because the whole reason we have our Yojimbo is because they do all the miscellaneous jobs that desperately need done that don't really fit into another department on its own.

The problem with separating out "Line Control Staff" from regular Yoji tasks is that it forces us to gamble that all the Line Control Staff will show up and attend all their shifts. Otherwise we once again default to our dedicated Yoji... but then we didn't train them to handle lines! Yikes!

What this year will probably focus on in ops (and I can only post conjecture, I am not Ops, although I do huggle my Yoji's every time I can!) is training each and every Yojimbo to feel like they have power and skills that are valuable and needed. The desire to be here, and the desire to display your special set of skills is what will help us retain Yojimbo. And training them to handle every situation, and having dedicated Yojimbo training nights/days where they can all ask the questions they want to ask and get familiar with the space will ensure that lines get controlled, stamps get checked, doors get guarded and most importantly, that Yojimbo eat and sleep and refresh themselves on a regular healthy basis. The Yojimbo deserve that focus, and I can already tell from the stellar management the Yojimbo had this year, they'll be looking to grow on that foundation for years to come!

Please consider your words before you put them down.  I put a suggestion out on the table because no one else was.  If my suggestion get's rejected then all right fine.  That's all it was.  But to bash my head in because you didn't like it was completely inappropriate and I expect better from a former directors.  It's these types of comments that make me question weather or not I should staff again.
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Offline Tank

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2012, 10:13:03 am »
AngryGinger:

While my comment was directed at you, it was more to express frustration with a lot of the thinking that's going around that the yoji are just there to be more selectively ripped apart into smaller and smaller groups when we already have almost no yoji to dole out to other tasks that require bodies on top of them.

I'm speaking from experience from this con because a group of mine were pulled out and i never heard results from that group or that they did anything.  I feel that the yoji pulled out for that group used it more as an excuse to slack than to apply their skills in a new direction.

If that is wrong, feel free to correct me, but that's how i saw it this year.
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Offline angryginger00

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2012, 10:45:02 am »
AngryGinger:

While my comment was directed at you, it was more to express frustration with a lot of the thinking that's going around that the yoji are just there to be more selectively ripped apart into smaller and smaller groups when we already have almost no yoji to dole out to other tasks that require bodies on top of them.

I'm speaking from experience from this con because a group of mine were pulled out and i never heard results from that group or that they did anything.  I feel that the yoji pulled out for that group used it more as an excuse to slack than to apply their skills in a new direction.

If that is wrong, feel free to correct me, but that's how i saw it this year.

Tank your comment didn't offend me.  It was straight to the point and that is something I encourage. 

But whatever
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Offline Kimiski

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2012, 11:09:29 am »
If not Skype, what about uStream? That'd be a great way for people thinking about staffing could watch a meeting going on and hear questions being answered and get a more realistic gist of what to plan for and expect. As for a min staff meetings to attend, what about the people who just show up at a con and are like "hey I have nothing to do really, can I staff?"

You actually can't become staff AT con. You can only volunteer. You have to sign up to become official staff by a certain time before the convention.
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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2012, 12:08:37 pm »
If not Skype, what about uStream? That'd be a great way for people thinking about staffing could watch a meeting going on and hear questions being answered and get a more realistic gist of what to plan for and expect. As for a min staff meetings to attend, what about the people who just show up at a con and are like "hey I have nothing to do really, can I staff?"

You actually can't become staff AT con. You can only volunteer. You have to sign up to become official staff by a certain time before the convention.

A director can make an exception for some cases, but Kimiski is correct: to become staff, you have to sign up before the convention.  And this is a big reason why - training.  Many of the problems that pop up at con is because staff have not been given enough information about how things are done, or what to do in a given situation, and at con is not an ideal time to try and train people.  Having staff sign up in advance of the convention gives us more time to explain how the con works, and lessen the problems of just not knowing things at con.

Have we done this perfectly in the past?  No, it is something we continue to work on and improve.  But I think we have made progress, and threads like this that offer suggestions, especially from staff, on how to improve it even more.

And once again, a reminder:  we know what doesn't work, let's focus on suggestions how to make it work, and not place blame... that isn't helping anyone.
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Offline JaegerDarkness

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2013, 05:55:42 pm »
Also, with Registration "training" we were so busy setting up, our actual training was not joking- a one minute quick speech on what to do, as the guests were being led into the garage and waiting, lining up behind us by yoji.


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Offline Tarvok

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2013, 07:16:35 am »
I'm new to Kumoricon, but not to cons generally, having attended KubleiCon for two years and Otakon for another two. Lines are a big complaint. Of course, the best advice to con goers is to be patient and tolerant of the things other attendees must do to pass the time (don't get pissed just because people start playing "marco polo", etc.), but that's hard to do when you have arbitrary rules making the lines not work.

Hear, perhaps, the suggestions of an amateur economist.

Saying "you can only line up 30 min before" won't work. If it isn't enforced, you reward rule breakers. If it is enforced, people will find nearby areas to linger until the "legal" line-up time... and then you get a stampede. Not good. So depending on the popularity of the event, you basically have to go SS on your attendees, checking an ever wider radius for "cheaters". Far better to just let people line up hours before if that's what they want, and manage the locations of the lines.

However, there is another possibility. Wherever a line is the problem, money can be the solution. The lowest (adult) registration fee is $35. How about, when we come into the con, each of us gets a set of tokens, "Kumoricash" or whatever, broken up into ones, fives, tens (a ten, three fives, ten ones). Any event can have multiple lines: the free line, the one line, the five line, the ten line. You then let people in according to line priority, with those paying the most getting in first.



The tokens would reduce the need to line up early. You can show up an hour before if you really want to be at the front of the "free" line, or you can attend another (probably less popular) event while you wait, then show up with a five or ten in hand to bypass the free or even the one line. Fewer people have to line up, early, hence less sprawl. Additionally, it gives staff a metric by which to measure the popularity of events not only in terms of quantity (how long the line is) but also intensity (how much Kumoricash people are willing to put out to "cut"), allowing for better planning in the future.

Finally, if we want to provide a potential bonus for panelists and staff, people could buy more Kumoricash if they wanted to (possibly including even higher denominatoins if somone thinks they need it). The extra would go to staff and panelists according to some previously agreed upon percentage, with panelists maybe getting the extra according to how much Kumoricash they turned in relative to other panelists. I'll bet people would show up to training meetings if there was a possibility of getting paid some small amount after the con.

Offline Valkyrie542

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2013, 11:04:14 am »
I remember last year, as I was lining up for the Story Story Die game, there was a line of about five or seven people near the door.
I went to the back of the line and asked what was going on and was told that the session that should've been over a half hour earlier but it was still going on - people were waiting outside for the next session and got chewed out because they were talking too loudly and the door was slammed shut.
First of all, I think there should be a type of  'timer' person that keeps track of the time limit per con event (one person per room); this way, things will move more smoothly and people won't have to wait outside and make long lines. Also, I think it might be a good idea to have a type of sign system; maybe put up a red sign to let people know that there's still a half hour left before the next session starts/or the session needs a bit more time to wrap up before lines are allowed to form by the door. Then, a green sign can be put up to let people know that the session is over and they can start lining up or head inside as the event hosts are getting ready for the next session.
People are only lining up so that they can make it to the event on time; unless they are being inappropriate or disruptive, don't punish them.
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Offline veraca

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2013, 01:39:55 pm »
A lot of the problem regarding where Whose Line and a few other larger panels, is that area where the room doors are located. Even though the doors were moved to be somewhat away from each other, the area also was 'part' of the main event's lines. This caused a lot of congestion in the area.

They thankfully have tried it different ways on different days for the last few years, letting the line circle the inside of the building going -toward the congested hallway- and then snaking back around until it had to be forced outside-- but then the people at the door would refuse to let you in, assuming that you were wanting to line up, not go upstairs to a different panel, and you'd have to explain to them or go around the building and bypass that set of doors all together. Either way would still result in congestion going down that one hallway of people in line on both sides, people trying to walk through and then the loiterers are caught in the middle and everyone is yelled at by the staff when they see no one moving through this tiny little area.

A really big issue, no matter how uncomfortable, try to stand right against the wall- as in have your back or shoulder touching it. And try not to stand in little groups in a 'line'. I know it's fun to stand next to your friends in your own little pod to talk, but just four people doing this can create an issue that others have to walk around, and gradually you'll wander away from the wall and into the area for walking.


Really there's a large problem with signs of any sort. One, people don't read them and prefer to ask people who look like staff. And two, the staff and con will have to make said signs and budget for them- something easier said than done. The same applies to little tokens, budgeting. It seems like a little thing to get, but five 1's, two 5's and one 10 for each attendee-- well is it made out of monopoly money, paper, plastic-- is it color, is it black and white, who will design it? And would the attendees even hold onto the funny money. Last I checked, I don't even like to carry around my snacks, essentials and a water bottle- but I still do. I know people who don't even grab or hold onto the swag bag that has the schedule and large book in it, or don't carry it with them after they can drop it off in their car/hotel room.

We should be happy the convention even has signs for 'End of the Line'. If one staffer sees people sitting in front of a panel room door, they assume they're lining up and must promptly tell them not to. From what I've seen, the person who tells you not to line up is usually a line-control person who arrives 'late' to the lining up process. And what do you do with a group of people who are just sitting to rest by the door in that hallway and don't want to go in? You tell them to leave, but then another group 'just sitting' will go and take their place unless a staffer is watching that area next to the door like a hawk. Some people are 'just sitting' and some are trying to ninja their way into forming the line 'early'.
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Offline bigdadytid

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Re: Suggestions for line control
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2013, 12:35:10 am »
I'm a members of the Timbers Army, the supporter group for the Portland Timbers.  Because the Timbers Army gets in 2 hours before the game to set-up/drink up before the game, there is alot of competition to line up early to get the closest seating sections.  To eliminate people from standing in line for 5 hours before the game, the TA has instituted a numbered wrist band policy.  Numbers wise, only 1/2 of the entire seating are given out.  Those that arrived early get a wrist band and can leave the area.  2 hours before game time, people line up by number and enter.  Those with numbers out of sequence after their number has already entered will line up before those without wrist bands.  However, people still "hover" to get wristbands and there are still lots of lines, but it pretty much eliminates people camping out to get a seat
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