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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: Queues and Queuing: The Who, The Why, The Where and the When  (Read 15684 times)

Codewolf

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Hi all, its a day later than promised as i have had to read through a lot of posts however here is some feedback and some answers from my end.

Firstly for those of you who are going "who is this guy" - i am Codewolf, i am one of the the Team Leads for 'Crowd Control' in the security team. If there's a queue, or a large group of people, its my responsibility to look into the why, the how, the where, and the what for.

Answers to Questions and Feedback Points

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Queuing in general seemed a real clusterfuck this year.  With a cluttered as hell lobby, queues run through there hit massive problems, queues going out the front door meant people were cold.  Queues into the convention centre perhaps?  Also the time where an entire queue was forcibly disbanded, told to come back later, meaning there was no way you could guarantee your spot near the front, was very poorly handled.
You have no idea, unfortunately with a new hotel and a new layout we had issues where we had to try to organise the queuing for an event at the main stage at the last moment.  There were events that had queues we didn't realise were going to have queues which we had to sort out, also with the main stage being in the location it was in relation to registration and access to the Convention center we had to really think on our feet.

Queues going outside:  While not ideal we found this was one of the better ways of doing the queuing system this year as this meant that we weren't blocking access to any of the main routes to and from the CC, nor were we asking people to queue round into the bar, or by the 2nd block elevators and Con Ops.

Queues being Disbanded: This was a decision taken by me multiple times, this was due to an event being delayed by a significant amount of time (ie longer than 45mins).  I gave a time for people to start queuing again though, yes you lost your place in the queue that was there, but to begin with this meant that we could free up security for dealing with other events, it also meant that there wasn't a queue for one event that was intersecting with a queue for another event.


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Rearrange that queue. There will always be queues, so please put it somewhere where it's more or less bearable to wait.
Hopefully next year we will be locating the main stage in a different location (bear in mind this will be decided closer to the time), even if we don't move the main stage we now we have an idea of the kind of traffic flow and footfall of the hotel at certain times so we can plan a queue accordingly.

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So please set up a queue rope (with "wait here for next elevator" sign) in each elevator lobby and have a volunteer enforcing things when things are busy
As has been stated above, we now have a decent idea on the footfall around the hotel, unfortunately this year we (security) did not have the manpower to be able to have one stand at the lifts at all times, on the odd occasion when a large panel had finished we did try to dispatch a few people to the lifts to ease congestion as much as we could.

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Could the queues instead take turn to direction of rotunda
That is one possibility we would be looking into for next year if the main stage does not move.

Feedback from our side
Please note this is my personal feedback, not from the staff or security as a whole.

  • If a sign says "Please come back at X", or "do not queue before Y" then please take note of these, we usually state this so that we have a chance to set up a queuing system and get all of the barriers etc in place on time, unfortunately this year people queuing over an hour before the event was scheduled to start made our jobs that little bit harder managing the queues.
  • If a member of security asks you politely to step out of the lift so that a fursuiter can get on, please don't just give them a blank look, or stand there trying to do your best goldfish impression.
  • If you're talking to someone on the security team and we dart off or look blankly into space mid-sentence, we're not being rude; we're just listening to the voices in our ear, we are all wearing radios :)
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Lightfox

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This has probably been said already, but given how big the con has become, and how large some queues can be now, how about planning their management in advance? Like for instance, physically tracing a path using small pillars and strips, the way they do it in theme parks. This would make queues more ordered and easier to manage.
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Ralesk

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This has probably been said already, but given how big the con has become, and how large some queues can be now, how about planning their management in advance? Like for instance, physically tracing a path using small pillars and strips, the way they do it in theme parks. This would make queues more ordered and easier to manage.

I think that's something that Codewolf said they will do now that they know the crowd flow in this venue.
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Codewolf

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This has probably been said already, but given how big the con has become, and how large some queues can be now, how about planning their management in advance? Like for instance, physically tracing a path using small pillars and strips, the way they do it in theme parks. This would make queues more ordered and easier to manage.

I think that's something that Codewolf said they will do now that they know the crowd flow in this venue.
That is correct :) while we did have some basic plans in place for this year, without knowing exactly the numbers expected and the flow of the hotel it was very much a case of guesswork this year :)
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Venture

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Using matrix signs and / or LCD tv's for croud control is something we do often at our work. Might also help out. Also using EFPrime (which was already used sometimes). Keep it up, I think you all did your best given the circumstances!

RedFoxy

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My feedback for the queue is only about sponsor and super sponsor without reserved seat :|

Codewolf

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My feedback for the queue is only about sponsor and super sponsor without reserved seat :|
In previous years the reserved seating was the first 3 or so rows, the main reasons for not having "reserved" seating this year were as follows:

The number of sponsors + super sponsors: due to the number of furs in general this year there was a high number of sponsors and super sponsors.

Flexibility: this year we allowed people to choose where to sit, they could sit anywhere not reserved for VIPs and guests of the convention

The number of guests in general: in previous years we found that there were seats still available in the sponsor + super sponsor area when we started letting in regular attendees.

It is also worth bearing in mind that (in the main stage at least) we waited for 99.9% of the sponsors + super sponsors to sit down before allowing the regular attendees queue to start filtering in so you effectively did have reserved seating.
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yagfox

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Thinking outside the box. Why are people queueing up at all? I didn't queue for anything and attended the opening ceremony, the art auction, the fursuit gameshow and the pawpet show. Was there an event that you genuinely had to queue or you wouldn't get in to?

If people just enjoy standing in line. I can't understand why they complain about it so much.
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Santa fox

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Thinking outside the box. Why are people queueing up at all? I didn't queue for anything and attended the opening ceremony, the art auction, the fursuit gameshow and the pawpet show. Was there an event that you genuinely had to queue or you wouldn't get in to?

If people just enjoy standing in line. I can't understand why they complain about it so much.

I stood in line to actually hope to snag a good seat for mainstage events, as for the dealers den, I really wanted to see what was on sale, even more so since the line was already the longest I have seen for the early access to it.
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OmniSable

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Thinking outside the box. Why are people queueing up at all? I didn't queue for anything and attended the opening ceremony, the art auction, the fursuit gameshow and the pawpet show. Was there an event that you genuinely had to queue or you wouldn't get in to?

If people just enjoy standing in line. I can't understand why they complain about it so much.

Excuse me for the stupid question, but it was possible to access the main stage during the event? I thought that I couldn't just walk in after everybody had seated and the show had started.
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Cheetah

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Re: Queues and Queuing: The Who, The Why, The Where and the When
« Reply #10 on: 03.09.2014, 11:44:44 »

Excuse me for the stupid question, but it was possible to access the main stage during the event? I thought that I couldn't just walk in after everybody had seated and the show had started.

It's possible, and perfectly acceptable to enter and leave whenever you like - as long as you do so quietly.
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yours,

Cheetah

Tinka

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Re: Queues and Queuing: The Who, The Why, The Where and the When
« Reply #11 on: 03.09.2014, 11:46:11 »

The Queueing for Pawpet Show

Disclaimer: some or all of these things might not have happened - but they happened for us on that epic night...

"Let's go!" "We can't" "Why not?" "We're waiting for the pawpet show."

...it must've been days since we had last seen the end of the queue disappear somewhere behind around the corner of the hotel car park - and continue along the river towards the Polish border.

Dusk had gone and turned into a starry night sky filled by bats and the occasional howl of desperation by some newbie furry who'd accidental entered the queue not knowing the consequences of his actions...

The sound of old Mistyfur doing the rounds with his trusty drinks trolley was interrupted by a pizza taxi someone had ordered. As the night closed in, camp fires where lit, and then quickly extinguished by panicking security staff, afraid it would attract beast of the night (and also something about fire-safety)...

Juggling, group exercise and singing motivational songs - they were all we had after our cell phone batteries had dies. Up until then a new wave of making up memes about the queue had briefly overwhelmed the internet. Ones the power was gone there was only that one guy who went around handing out a newsletter called The Queue Times...

A furry volunteer organization had also sprung up headed by Alexander James Adams and a lab coat wearing microphone stand they call Kage - to entertain and help stranded furries in queues by bringing them drinks from the bar and reserving their place while they went to the toilet.

Most of the furries at our section of queue were veterans of old pawpet queues, with sturdy worn paws on the ground, used to the hardship of shuffling your weight around and taking the occasional step when the queue suddenly a moved a bit - and then stopped again for hours. Sometimes shouts from the head of the queue would would bring our hopes up - but they were for someone dropping a glass or bottle...

The veterans began telling stories of the queues they'd been in - back in EFxx where they had lost half the queue to a mountain flood... stories which got absurdly more ridiculous - but yet still tantalizingly more believable as our predicament pressed down on us...

There was nothing but to watch the anguished expressions on the faces of security furs. They were like mirror to our souls - terrifying but at the same time comforting. Each announcement of a further delay brought us closer to each other...

"The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugher." - Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Credits to Alterlane and makarov223 and to all those furs who survived the queue with me! *hugs*

PS: Next year don't be surprised when I bring a foldable chair with me >:3
« Last Edit: 03.09.2014, 11:56:44 by Tinka »
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OmniSable

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Re: Queues and Queuing: The Who, The Why, The Where and the When
« Reply #12 on: 03.09.2014, 11:46:33 »

Excuse me for the stupid question, but it was possible to access the main stage during the event? I thought that I couldn't just walk in after everybody had seated and the show had started.

It's possible, and perfectly acceptable to enter and leave whenever you like - as long as you do so quietly.

*headdesks* I missed out so much. So stupid of me X(
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Cheetah

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Re: Queues and Queuing: The Who, The Why, The Where and the When
« Reply #13 on: 03.09.2014, 12:09:31 »

Excuse me for the stupid question, but it was possible to access the main stage during the event? I thought that I couldn't just walk in after everybody had seated and the show had started.

It's possible, and perfectly acceptable to enter and leave whenever you like - as long as you do so quietly.

*headdesks* I missed out so much. So stupid of me X(

I'm sorry! *hugs* But at least you get extra points for being super-polite :)
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yours,

Cheetah

Cheetah

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Re: Queues and Queuing: The Who, The Why, The Where and the When
« Reply #14 on: 03.09.2014, 12:14:53 »

The Queueing for Pawpet Show

*sigh*

To everyone in that queue: We are sincerely sorry! We felt like we had things under control when we started setting up, but we completely underestimated a couple of things. We are very impressed that so many peple STAYED in the queue, though! By the time we started, we thought we had lost at least half of our audience - and still the room was packed to the last row. I mean, it's not like we forced anybody to stay in that queue for four hours - there were many other things to do.

Expectations seemed to be really high, and I hope we were able to deliver - albeit much, MUCH too late.

Thank you so much for your loyalty, your patience and support!
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yours,

Cheetah
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