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imcaufieldholt

Signs, signs, signs ---Please more signs - digital too

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2 hours ago, Naboo79 said:

What extra staff? There’s already a crew member at each guest table updating the VQ sign. Whether that person types on a physical board or on a digital device (say a phone or tablet) makes no difference. If anything a digital update would be faster to make.

If they don’t want to make the investment, updating a Twitter account as someone suggest, or even this very forum with the latest guest info (VQ number, “on break”, “at shoot”) would require minimal effort. 

Indeed, if one person had to update this info on all guests it would be impossible. But as I said, there is already crew at each guest table and each photo session doing this exact job, just in a very old fashioned and somewhat ineffecient way.

The potential for a mistake is the exact same regardless of transmission medium and can be quickly rectified.

How exactly would it be faster to do a digital update than to update a board?

An update to a physical board takes ~ 5 seconds and a mistake can be corrected very quickly and before it has any impact, I doubt anyone would be able to update a Twitter account or the forum anywhere near that fast.  In addition, for a show like LFCC you would have 30 to 40 queues minimum being updated constantly which would swamp any specific information and make most of it useless.  You also need to address the issue (specifically for Twitter) of needing to give anyone updating information authorisation to edit and submit posts.

Also, and this usually comes as a surprise to people, not everyone is actually signed up for Twitter, Facebook and / or the forum or knows how to use all the features and interactions like flagging for specific information, or have fancy phones with lots of data and access to apps.  This applies to both the crew doing the updates and the attendees at the con, so the manual method would need to be retained as well.

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I remember during Michael J Fox’s shoot in 2015 the guy (Luke?) manning it had a whiteboard and wrote the batch numbers called on there rather than shouting, maybe that’s something they should invest in for all shoots. And definitely change the colour of the VQ boards so they’re easier to read maybe.

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14 hours ago, VikingGrrrl said:

Both digital board and app will require a lot of extra work for SM. They would have to have someone running around checking and updating the numbers. But do you know who does that? We, the attendes. So here is a quick and easy solution: We make a google sheet where we can update the batches being called for photo shoots, what VQ ticket the auto queues are on, as well as if there are any changes or delays. Obviusly you would have to take the information with a grain of salt.

Why didn't I think of that before the con!! *Facepalm*

There is a really good theme park app that does exactly that. The "crowd" updates the queue times.... far more accurate than the official wait times listed. I really liked it.

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1 hour ago, rayray_x said:

And definitely change the colour of the VQ boards so they’re easier to read maybe.

This I can agree with. I had to go so close to Peter Capaldi's board on Sunday that the blue shirt was about to chase us off by the looks of things before I had to say we were just checking his board. :smile:

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9 hours ago, Astro_Nut said:

Also, and this usually comes as a surprise to people, not everyone is actually signed up for Twitter, Facebook and / or the forum or knows how to use all the features and interactions like flagging for specific information, or have fancy phones with lots of data and access to apps.  This applies to both the crew doing the updates and the attendees at the con, so the manual method would need to be retained as well.

This.  They will still have to update the whiteboards in the queue anyway.  Not saying it's impossible but the constant updates in twitter would be a nightmare, your phone would be constantly pinging and you would have to check it every message that came through.  I can't be online all the time as it's battery draining and my connection is spotty so I need to check the boards anyway.  Slightly higher and clearer boards (maybe thicker dry wipes so the writing is a bit bigger?) would be a bigger help.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Astro_Nut said:

The real challenge with digital signage and displays for this type of show is to make the system simple enough that anyone can be shown how to use it in 5 minutes, but also be flexible enough to cope with changes to plans, schedules etc.  For the VQ idea, there then is the issue of having something that anyone can update, which would be a nightmare to control, or having dedicated people updating it which would require extra staff.  I also don't want to be around when a mistake gets made and 200 people turn up expecting to get in the autograph queue.

So whilst I agree, I find this to really be becoming an excuse, rather than actually tackling the issue.

The problem is that I as an attendee have to mill around in a mob, trying figure out and hear staff shouting numbers. This creates completely unnecessary stress. If I was challenged in hearing, height, sight, mobility, have young children etc, this is additional stress. All this can be avoided, especially for the photos but also VQ, with something that can be seen from a distance, up to date, clear to read (virtual or physical).

As an organiser, I would prefer not to have stressed staff with possible hoarse voices talking time off, having been mobbed by visitors.

As a stall holder, I want people to be spending time looking at my stall buying stuff, rather than hanging around the queuing areas for their number to come up.

The solution can be high giant handwritting all the way to a digital app, I don't care. The problem is one of clarity. The giant letters for the photoshoot areas are a really good start.

I would be really disappointed if next year I am writing, or I read, about the same issue.

Edited by imcaufieldholt

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48 minutes ago, imcaufieldholt said:

So whilst I agree, I find this to really be becoming an excuse, rather than actually tackling the issue.

The problem is that I as an attendee have to mill around in a mob, trying figure out and hear staff shouting numbers. This creates completely unnecessary stress. If I was challenged in hearing, height, sight, mobility, have young children etc, this is additional stress. All this can be avoided, especially for the photos but also VQ, with something that can be seen from a distance, up to date, clear to read (virtual or physical).

As an organiser, I would prefer not to have stressed staff with possible hoarse voices talking time off, having been mobbed by visitors.

As a stall holder, I want people to be spending time looking at my stall buying stuff, rather than hanging around the queuing areas for their number to come up.

The solution can be high giant handwritting all the way to a digital app, I don't care. The problem is one of clarity. The giant letters for the photoshoot areas are a really good start.

I would be really disappointed if next year I am writing, or I read, about the same issue.

The App idea has been discussed here many times but it seems clear no effort is going to be made to develop one at this stage.

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I'd imagine having a good clear indication of batch numbers, VQ numbers, etc. would be good for the sanity of staff who must have to answer that question over and over! I've done a con where an app was used and it was great... until you were in the part of the venue where there was no signal so you missed updates. Plus not everyone is tech-savvy or has the eyesight for reading info off of little screens... I think a nice big whiteboard with nice big clear numbers on would be a good idea though!

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Do not think going digital is required,  just put the signs about 6ft up, barring Predator or Wookie Cosplayers that should be above most head heights ........ and correct me if I am wrong but last year, the photo shoot areas did have white boards, and were change with Guest and batch. Each booth also had a list of Guests and Times, but this was replaced this year with a full event schedule.

 

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See my suggestion of using Whatsapp broadcast groups in the 'Highs & Lows' thread....

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3 hours ago, Raylenth said:

This.  They will still have to update the whiteboards in the queue anyway.  Not saying it's impossible but the constant updates in twitter would be a nightmare, your phone would be constantly pinging and you would have to check it every message that came through.  I can't be online all the time as it's battery draining and my connection is spotty so I need to check the boards anyway.  

You wouldn't need constant updates, just a round up once ever 20-30 minutes. If it kept 25% away from the queues until their turn it would be easier for you to get to the boards to check.

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Related to signs is space.  Guy at Photo G on Sunday (aka my hero) loudly demanded everyone stand at least a few feet back from the taped queue.  He then called out to raise your hand if you were in batch whatever, and pointed at you one by one to join the queue.  We could all see and hear exactly what was going on, and nobody mobbed him.

Compare to Green Screen area where, for the Tennant TARDIS shoot, it was so crowded I didn't know where the taped queue was, or certainly not where to join it.  When a batch was called, people would run into the taped area from all sides, with little semblance of an actual queue.  And nobody could see or hear what was going on.

tl;dr:  if you order people to stand a couple feet away from the queue, people can read the smaller signs and see what's going on better.

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This could be as simple as a dedicated twitter account where VQ numbers, timetable changes are posted regularly and displayed on screens around the venue aswell

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Except some of us don't do Twitter (I certainly have no intention). Some people don't do social media at all. Should be a solution that doesn't require it.

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Years ago, before apps and stuff, Disneyland came up with this cool idea of how to let you know how long the lines were at your rides.  They put up a big board right at the end of Main Street listing the 8 or 10 busiest rides.  Someone stood there with a walkie talkie and a pen.  Folks in charge of the ride queues would call in a change in wait time, and the person would update the board.  

I'm pretty sure if you did that JUST FOR THE PHOTOS, it would require One Big White Board and One More Crew Member.  Since there are already two people managing each queue, one of them could be in charge of, say, texting the white board person with the updates.  You wouldn't need wait times, just update it as each new batch is called.  A quick text:  Area B, now on 7.

And the white board would read:  Area B: Peter Capaldi; Currently on Batch 7.  

That alone would be really helpful.  We could get fancy with people keeping the internet informed later, but, yeah, I'm thinking the board itself would help keep a lot of people out of the very crowded photo queueing areas.

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I’m amazed that the VQ boards are still so low. It i such a simple thing that can make a huge difference. It’s not like it has never been mentioned before. In fact I seem to remember DST in 2017 had the same issue. On the Saturday they had so many complaints about the height of the signs that on the Sunday they were all a foot or two higher. It was much better. Next big con I went to they were back at the lower height. I just don’t understand that

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Posted (edited)

It is so easily solved. I will say the same as the last 5 years I have been going.

 

PUT THE SIGNS HIGH UP.

Write in BIG writing.

 

Everything is solved then. So simple and easy to do I just do not get why no one listens :-( you do not need LED or fancy stuff. Just put the signs hight up, not below head height....

Edited by RomeroSavini
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On 31/07/2018 at 5:10 PM, Mayhem said:

Except some of us don't do Twitter (I certainly have no intention). Some people don't do social media at all. Should be a solution that doesn't require it.

Sure, but Twitter is used in at least one other smaller convention to announce VQ ticket batch numbers. Those at LFCC who do use Twitter (I am one) can check on their mobile phones and they won't need to walk up to the signs and that can save some congestion.

There won't be a magic wand one size fits all solution but a combination of bigger signs, a big TV screen like a train station or airport departure screen displaying current autograph/photoshoot batch numbers and a dedicated Twitter feed (not allowing fans to post questions otherwise it would be flooded with Tweets and make finding out the current batch call number very difficult) should solve this problem.

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Or they could just leave it as it is and we can put up with a bit of inconvenience.

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4 hours ago, natedammit said:

Or they could just leave it as it is and we can put up with a bit of inconvenience.

Well never mind if people miss things they've already paid for because they are stuck in other queues, it's only their money after all. :rolleyes:

Of course the more efficient the queues are, and the less time wasted, the more chance people have to spend money. That's not a bad thing, is it?

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2 hours ago, TerraHawk said:

Well never mind if people miss things they've already paid for because they are stuck in other queues, it's only their money after all. :rolleyes:

How many people actually missed out on things they'd paid for? What people here are talking about is making it a bit easier to do the things that they are actually managing to do anyway.

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I missed half a talk I'd paid for.

(I don't think better signage would have helped it, but internet updates would have.   The photoshoot was SUPPOSED to finish well before the talk began, but it didn't actually get started UNTIL the talk did.  If I could have seen batch numbers on Twitter or something, I could have gone to the talk when it started and kept an eye on the photo shoot's progress.  Instead, I did the photo shoot first and ran to the talk, late, missing half of it.)

 

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I agree with this completely.... it's so annoying having to push through a queue to ask the crew member what number they are up too...

 

Another thing that really got to me this year was the queuing system.... for some guests eg meatloaf the queue was so big u couldn't get passed. The queue never got cut down and was really hard to get around. I thought the whole idea of the vq system was to stop the queues getting out of hand. The crew members didnt do anything about the queues one bit.

 

Sorry that was the only thing that got to me over the weekend. I did have a great time other than having tonsillitis and nearly fainting haha

Tom

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11 hours ago, theentsrgoingtowar said:

Another thing that really got to me this year was the queuing system.... for some guests eg meatloaf the queue was so big u couldn't get passed. The queue never got cut down and was really hard to get around. I thought the whole idea of the vq system was to stop the queues getting out of hand. The crew members didnt do anything about the queues one bit.

You try getting stubborn people to move away when the only weapon you have is the word "please".

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