- There are not enough face value tickets available for everyone who wants one
Secondary/scalper/black markets will make tickets available at above face value otherwise known as market prices
Major participation efforts (Art and theme camps) do not currently have the quorum of participants necessary to commit time and funds
Critical volunteer organizations may not have the needed staff commitment due to uncertainty (fire, medical, dispatch)
We cannot have an event without these folks. Guarantee tickets for the number of participants necessary by law or regulation.
The trouble is for those who come as couples. If one will not attend without the other is it better to loose the firefighter or help the FFs partner get a ticket somehow? This is a very small percentage of the population.
Organized participation efforts (theme camps, MVs, art):
We have to decide how important these things are to the community and we must put a number on it. If we decide that theme camps and major art projects are important to the event then we have to make them a priority. That priority must be reflected as a percentage of reserved tickets. From that point there will be a very unenviable task of determining how those reserved tickets are distributed and accounted for.
By reserved I mean available at face value prices. Not free.
What are the criteria for a theme camp deserving reserved tickets and how many tickets should that theme camp get?
I feel the current application and placement system can address much of this already. Only approved and placed theme camps should be eligible. Provide a minimum number of reserved tickets equal to their early entry numbers. Very large camps that can demonstrate a manpower need can petition for more reserved tickets on a case by case basis but must plan for the minimum numbers.
Protecting this system from abuse will be critical. Reserved tickets would need to be barcode tracked to ensure the EE folks actually come early. I'd recommend invalidating any reserved ticket that is not used by midnight Monday. No reserved tickets for anyone who is not participating in the construction of the city before the event opens. These tickets will need to be physically different from general attendance tickets.
As others have stated the current early entry system might be easily re-purposed to solve the theme camp and art project construction problem. Use last year's EE numbers to establish a starting point for reserved tickets.
Rich vs. Poor on the ticket open market:
The awful truth is that folks who can afford to pay inflated prices for scalper and other ticket sales will have a much greater chance of attending the event. The secondary problem is that those additional profits will not go back to the org to be put back into the event in the future. This market will exist as long as tickets are transferable. This is the market that provides profit to scalpers.
So... what's the priority for the community?
- Are we willing to accept as a person without a lot of money you will only have at best a 1 in 3 chance of attending the event?
Should the org seek to move the profits generated by the free market for tickets back into the organization?
Should we attempt to circumvent this market by tying ticket's to individuals?
Is the ability to gift a ticket a priority for the community?
Putting numbers on these priorities is again necessary to implement a solution.
What percentage of tickets should be made available to low income folks and how do we protect that system from abuse?
What percentage of tickets should be made available through lottery?
How about auctioning off a certain percentage of tickets?
Everyone not selected in the lottery submits a bid for a single ticket. This is simply the highest price you would be willing to pay period. No tiers. Tickets are awarded by highest price first on down. Biggest wallet has the best chance of getting a ticket. Scalpers will hate this system as it will have a huge negative impact on their profits. This is effectively what will happen with the scalper market regardless of how we feel about it. The only difference is that the money stays with the event rather than going into the pockets of scalpers. By setting limits on the number of auctioned tickets we can decide how large a role money will play in the selection of who attends. Currently there is no selection criteria and the open market will set the price and number of wealthy attendees for us. This won't eliminate scalpers though as they would still have other means of acquiring tickets. This will however draw away the top end of their market and drive down prices.
I'm interested in your thoughts and opinions on the idea of auctioning some percentage of tickets.
Tying tickets to individuals sounds like a great idea to me and it's been hashed to death here recently so I'm not going to dig back into it.
First come fist served favors those who happen to be available at the time sales open. Is this still worthy of consideration? What percentage?
I think it's important that we approach the distribution of tickets problem in simultaneous and different ways. Any single all or nothing approach will be gamed to the detriment of various folks. A mix of reserved tickets, lottery tickets, auctioned tickets, with the addition of ID tied to some of these will be a good start. The question is what percentage of tickets for each category?
An even distribution across categories would look like: (note I don't think this is the best distribution) What do YOU think?
20% Project reserved (Placed camps, Art, MVs)
20% Low income
20% First Come
Bonus question... which of these categories would be best served by linking tickets to identity? (some, all, or none)
Thanks for reading.