Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by Jovankat » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:14 pm

Ratty wrote:All of the foreign tickets, (except Canada) are will call tickets.
Actually that has changed a bit this year. But it is still early day sfor people to pull out and put their tickets in STEP.

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by BadKittenOnARampage » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:27 pm

frontierpsychiatrist wrote:
Bemerritt wrote:Several people reporting on reddit that they got emails from STEP. It's finally happening!
yep, just bought mine!
Mazel Tov!!!

Who was the sender of the good news e-mail? STEP? BMORG? I just want to make sure I don't miss the message in the morass of e-mails I get every day - as I'm hoping the ticket/VP fairy will visit me too!

Any additional info you can share is greatly appreciated - thanks!

:mrgreen:

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by frontierpsychiatrist » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:46 pm

BadKittenOnARampage wrote:
frontierpsychiatrist wrote:
Bemerritt wrote:Several people reporting on reddit that they got emails from STEP. It's finally happening!
yep, just bought mine!
Mazel Tov!!!

Who was the sender of the good news e-mail? STEP? BMORG? I just want to make sure I don't miss the message in the morass of e-mails I get every day - as I'm hoping the ticket/VP fairy will visit me too!

Any additional info you can share is greatly appreciated - thanks!

:mrgreen:
Sorry for the late response. It came directly from ticketfly.com through a burningman.com email address--if that helps at all. Good luck!

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by BadKittenOnARampage » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:33 pm

No worries - thanks for getting back to me! Though when I glanced at the subject line and saw "STEP", I got SOOOOO excited (as I thought it was my Golden Ticket message - d'oh).

Anyhoo, your info is very helpful so I can know what to look/search for in my e-mails. Hopefully, I'll get one!

:)

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by The Hustler » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:05 am

melodiousdirge wrote:It seems a little more like you're legitimizing the conspiracy theory by decreeing 'thou shalt not share information about when your order got through' than anything else. JS.
I think it's more like keeping the morons who believe conspiracy theories (Burning Man is a for-profit corporation! Jade Helm! Chem trails!) from posting gibberish either asking about conspiracy theories or posting their own "evidence" of them.

There is plenty of that already on ePlaya.

We need to know about our fucking tickets.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by The Hustler » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:16 am

Ratty wrote:Hummmmm. At any given time there are approximately 80 people on eplaya. That's counting Mods and Bots. 75 to 90 percent of those are regulars. More than half of the regulars belong to camps that got their tickets through directed sales. There are less than 100 posts begging for tickets. How many people registered in STEP? 1,000? 10,000? 20,000? It may be a very long time before anyone in this small sampling gets their happy email. I consider myself lucky to have registered within the first few minutes. I'll post when/if I get my tickets. Good luck to all of us in limbo.

Disclaimer...All of these figures were pulled out of thin air or somewhere less desirable.
Direct distro or directed sale tickets often go to the friends of the camp, not necessarily volunteers (at least that's the case with Media Mecca). Maybe if they get desperate and all of their friends who had direct distro tickets sign up for their shifts, then maybe they may start to offer them to we lowly volunteers. The distro tickets are a secret like STEP. Nothing, nothing, crickets, nothing ... then "hey, do you need a ticket?" moments before giving up on going.

I was a minute early for the ticket queue only to be bumped several times from 12 or 17 or something to thousands more, then to no more tickets.

I appreciate the idea of giving everyone a fair chance to get tickets, and I imagine it's not an easy thing to do, but they can be more transparent.

I realize differences in time synchronization within the network of servers STEP uses, and the three-day wait time, makes it nearly impossible to tell us where we stand in the queue, but it would be nice to know.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by Ratty » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:42 am

Brian, When I arrive on playa early virtually MOST of the people there got free or directed tickets through the jobs they are doing. Gate, DPW, Greeters, census, ESD or with whatever camp they are associated. They are all working pretty hard at building or whatever their job/camp requires. You can look into it this year and plan for next year. (Although most of the depts. do advance scheduling.)

For example: Census gets you in early to attend training sessions and then work several shifts. Greeters gets you in to greet the early entries but you have to greet every day to get a guaranteed ticket the following year. You would have to register with greeters now. Make your plans known to the leader of the program. Sign up for shifts on a schedule that opens in a few days and not miss a shift. That's a lot of work to do on your vacation in the desert. I would bet there are similar deals with the major departments.

Or, you can have a kick-ass camp this year. Be a welcome contributor to the community and apply for directed group sales and placement next year. Do it your way but do it right. No guarantees.

All this info comes from my foggy demented mind so expect other people to jump in here and correct me. (But you get the idea.)

I have a kick-ass camp but there are just 2 of us providing our service to 50 or 100 people at our leisure. We're not organized enough to be placed and get directed sales. Then again, we don't have pressure to perform either.

When you get out there this year don't be afraid to ask questions. Maybe you can spare yourself this grief in the future and find the perfect job.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by The Hustler » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:48 am

Ratty wrote:Brian, When I arrive on playa early virtually MOST of the people there got free or directed tickets through the jobs they are doing. Gate, DPW, Greeters, census, ESD or with whatever camp they are associated. They are all working pretty hard at building or whatever their job/camp requires. You can look into it this year and plan for next year. (Although most of the depts. do advance scheduling.)

For example: Census gets you in early to attend training sessions and then work several shifts. Greeters gets you in to greet the early entries but you have to greet every day to get a guaranteed ticket the following year. You would have to register with greeters now. Make your plans known to the leader of the program. Sign up for shifts on a schedule that opens in a few days and not miss a shift. That's a lot of work to do on your vacation in the desert. I would bet there are similar deals with the major departments.

Or, you can have a kick-ass camp this year. Be a welcome contributor to the community and apply for directed group sales and placement next year. Do it your way but do it right. No guarantees.

All this info comes from my foggy demented mind so expect other people to jump in here and correct me. (But you get the idea.)

I have a kick-ass camp but there are just 2 of us providing our service to 50 or 100 people at our leisure. We're not organized enough to be placed and get directed sales. Then again, we don't have pressure to perform either.

When you get out there this year don't be afraid to ask questions. Maybe you can spare yourself this grief in the future and find the perfect job.
I do Media Mecca. I've never been on the playa without volunteering for them. I still have to pay for a ticket and I don't camp with them.

I'm actually signing up for volunteer positions now through the buggy Siftboard website. The volunteer coordinator was AWOL last year and isn't communicating this year. In the past I was offered an early arrival pass -- in 2012 they sent me one without saying anything, which I received after I made travel and work plans. I doubt this year they'll send one, but I'm at the mercy of Burner Express or some sort of ride from RNO.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by The Hustler » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:55 am

Super Evil Brian wrote:
Ratty wrote:Hummmmm. At any given time there are approximately 80 people on eplaya. That's counting Mods and Bots. 75 to 90 percent of those are regulars. More than half of the regulars belong to camps that got their tickets through directed sales. There are less than 100 posts begging for tickets. How many people registered in STEP? 1,000? 10,000? 20,000? It may be a very long time before anyone in this small sampling gets their happy email. I consider myself lucky to have registered within the first few minutes. I'll post when/if I get my tickets. Good luck to all of us in limbo.

Disclaimer...All of these figures were pulled out of thin air or somewhere less desirable.
Direct distro or directed sale tickets often go to the friends of the camp, not necessarily volunteers (at least that's the case with Media Mecca). Maybe if they get desperate and all of their friends who had direct distro tickets sign up for their shifts, then maybe they may start to offer them to we lowly volunteers. The distro tickets are a secret like STEP. Nothing, nothing, crickets, nothing ... then "hey, do you need a ticket?" moments before giving up on going.

I was a minute early for the ticket queue only to be bumped several times from 12 or 17 or something to thousands more, then to no more tickets.

I appreciate the idea of giving everyone a fair chance to get tickets, and I imagine it's not an easy thing to do, but they can be more transparent.

I realize differences in time synchronization within the network of servers STEP uses, and the three-day wait time, makes it nearly impossible to tell us where we stand in the queue, but it would be nice to know.
I need to add that volunteer coordinators don't have access to who gets tickets, and access is probably different in different camps or organizations.
I was a bit cranky earlier for some of my comments, which as always, weren't terribly nice or accurate.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by Eric » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:29 pm

With the small sampling of camps I personally know well enough to know how they deal with DD tickets, none of them use them for "friends of friends" - there aren't enough tickets to go around, and the tickets are purchased using a unique code that ties them to a camp. Our DD tickets go to the people we *need* to have them, just like I suspect most camps do. I'm sure there are bad apples, but if a camp is buying a huge block of tickets, the BMorg is going to know about it. If the system gets abused enough, it'll be changed again (it already has been once, with the camp-specific codes).
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by pink » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:39 pm

Our camps DD tix are closely guarded. We currently have a spreadsheet to match anyone that might have a spare (and vehicle passes too) with those that need them. We are also ride matching to get all of our peeps on the playa. So no, no friends of friends are getting them.

Maybe Media Mecca only gets enough for their admin staff? I don't know how it works for staff camps.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by remi » Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:44 am

STEP is terrible this year compared to last year. Not one person that I know that is in STEP (that registered soon as the clock hit noon,) has been offered a ticket, where last year the two people I know that were in STEP got offered tickets by the start of June. By the lack of posts on this thread, I'd say I'm not the only person who feels this way.

Here's to hoping I don't know what I'm talking about and we're about to see an influx of tickets being offered.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by Eric » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:54 pm

(note: all personal opinion)

Tickets only go into STEP if people decide they're not going. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing less & less tickets go in, as long as we stay at this population cap. The demand for tickets has soared, but we're at the same cap as 3 or 4 years ago. I know a few people who still aren't sure if they're going to make it, but they're clinging to their tickets as they try to make it work - they know if they release them into STEP there's no way they'll get more tickets if things change, and they know they can still sell them later if they can't make it.

It's not what anyone wants to hear, but it looks like the harsh reality of the new world. I still have hope there will be a bunch entered into the system, but realistically I know it's a long shot.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:56 pm

I know of a few people, and have seen a few odd posts, but Eric's right. The flow of tickets depends on a couple key factors that are out of Burning Man's control.

First - how many people sign up. In that first year, STEP closed the gates after 20 minutes or so, and never opened them again. Sure, everyone in the program got tickets, but only a fraction of people got in. As demand increases (and this year had the highest demand in the history of the event), that means more people are joining the STEP queue.

Second - how many people contribute tickets. That's an obvious big one, but the reason it's second is because of how many people are in the queue. If there were 10K people in the queue last year and 20K in the queue this year (no official data has been published, I'm making those numbers up), and last year 5K tickets were contributed and this year 8K tickets were contributed (again, I pulled those stats out of thin air), even though it's 3,000 ***more*** tickets, the chances of someone being successful in STEP are slimmer.

I hate to paint a bleaker picture, but that's what the data and anecdotal evidence suggests. STEP gets even more difficult towards the end, since once tickets have mailed out, only will call ticket holders may contribute their tickets. On the flip side, once tickets mail out we start to see a lot more activity from sellers in the after-market. This year has been tough going in the after-market so far, but hopefully that will improve in the weeks ahead.

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by asr9754 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:57 am

Has anyone gotten or heard of any STEP love lately???

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by The Hustler » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:11 pm

asr9754 wrote:Has anyone gotten or heard of any STEP love lately???
I got lucky with a ticket from a seller here on ePlaya, but I heard nothing from STEP.

I'm curious about how many tickets were sold through it, and conversely, how many tickets will languish unsold as the gates open.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by spacetime » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:45 pm

I had about 6 different parties all register for STEP the very moment it was open (none of us got tickets from general sale) and no one has gotten anything from STEP.

I think it would be good to get some guidance from BMORG about the throughput of STEP to help set people's expectations. If there are virtually no tickets getting posted that would be nice for people to know.

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by sesame » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:04 pm

Interestingly I have been trying to SELL my will-call tickets via STEP and it won't let me. I've contacted ticketing about the problem a few days ago but still no word.

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by danibel » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:16 pm

sesame wrote:Interestingly I have been trying to SELL my will-call tickets via STEP and it won't let me. I've contacted ticketing about the problem a few days ago but still no word.
Bless you for putting your tickets into STEP. I hope and pray the technical issue gets worked out and some deserving burner gets the tickets they need! I have friends and campmates praying for an opportunity to buy.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:09 pm

@sesame - if the tickets were originally purchased by you on that burner profile, it should be pretty seamless (click the link on your burner profile page), if you got them from a third party it would likely require assistance from the ticket team. Do get in touch with them, perhaps they could help.

Remember though, contributing tickets is not a guarantee of a sale. When they go in, they're offered to the next person in the queue - who then has 3 days to make a purchase. If they've purchased through some other means and not left the queue, or they've just changed their minds and don't respond.. the tickets will sit there until the timer runs out. Then and only then do the tickets go to the next person in the queue, provided that the program is still open. STEP closes in less than 3 days from now.

My personal recommendation at this point would be to read the posted information we have on the boards and sell them directly to a member of the community. You can either check out the guidelines and post a ticket offer thread (and soon be swimming in responses), or you can peruse the pages of tickets wanted posts and find someone that you'd like to offer your tickets to.

@spacetime - it should come as no surprise that STEP is a long shot. The only time it wasn't a long shot was the first year, when the gates got shut as soon as they hit a certain number of signups. The plan was to re-open the gates again as soon as enough tickets had flowed in to clear the backlog, but as it turned out they never had enough tickets flow in to completely clear the backlog. It was only through the luck of the BLM allowing Burning Man to offer more tickets that everyone who was in the queue in 2012 was offered tickets. Since then, it has been a long and uphill battle. It also completely depends on two things that Burning Man has zero control over. 1 - how many people sign up, and 2 -the flow of tickets coming in.

We knew from last year that people who had signed up for STEP on day one didn't get tickets, even though they'd had several thousand tickets contributed. We also knew from blog posts made before the STEP queue opened that this year's main sale saw record levels of demand for tickets. Nearly 80K people registered for that sale. The average was 1.87 tickets purchased per person who was successful in the sale, which works out to demand for something in the neighborhood of 149,600 tickets in a sale that only had 40K to offer.

You don't need Burning Man to set your expectations for you, the internet and the Burning Man community is a pretty solid barometer. From the info above, it seemed back in February like this was going to be a really challenging year.

This year, what we've been seeing on the boards, and I've been seeing in my own circles of friends... is very few people with tickets deciding that they don't want to go. You can see evidence of that on the tickets offered board. Usually the first tickets offered are pre-sale tickets. Some genuinely can't go, but many of those are people who had means to buy presale and scored something cheaper, so they're looking to pass the premium price onto the less fortunate. Then shortly after, we start to see a trickle of regular priced tickets, and the flow picks up as the tickets mail out. That's happened at a ridiculously low level this year. This past weekend was our very first posting of a regular priced ticket.

I didn't think I was sugar-coating things before, but just to be clear I am both disclaiming this as my own personal opinion and as being as close to sugar-free as I can make it. Chances of getting a ticket at this stage are incredibly slim. As I'd mentioned above, STEP closes in less than three days. The odds of success there were never great, but they're at just about zero at this point. The OMG sale is coming up, but based on more than 250 threads from people seeking tickets and only 6 threads offering... plus chatter that I see on other social media outlets, there is still HUGE demand... meaning dozens and dozens of people potentially competing for each available ticket.

Don't take the above sugar-free message to mean that I suggest giving up. Life is all about longshots and determination, and even an incredibly slim chance is still a chance. I wish you (and everyone else out there) luck in finding the tickets you need.

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by nikster » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:39 pm

FWIW I thought STEP was great every year before this one. I kept telling everyone don't worry STEP will come through for you - as we get closer to the event more people decide they can't go or abandon their ticket last minute. My guess is this happens this year too, except that everyone is holding on longer. And STEP closes and then can't be used for that anymore. No one I know has gotten a STEP ticket this year.

I don't quite understand why STEP has to close - does it take that much effort to maintain? It's a great service, it should be open right up to the last minute?!

I've gotten my tickets through STEP ever since the event first sold out - this year will be the first I've actually gotten a ticket in the main sale.

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:01 pm

Please don't take this the wrong way, but that was really unhelpful advice to give your friends nikster. I don't doubt that you meant well, but there certainly were no guarantees and last year we had pages and pages of people hitting the boards to start looking for tickets because someone had led them to believe STEP was some kind of sure thing. This year it's been worse, though we won't really start to see the STEP outrage start to arrive until the weekend.

STEP has to close because it does take effort to maintain and the people who run it also have to handle the OMG sale and then go pack everything up and go build and run the Burning Man box office in Black Rock City.

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by asr9754 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:54 am

A suggestion, a wish, or maybe just a dream: STEP Lightning Round! Keep STEP open for another week, but only give buyers 24 hours to respond. Zap!

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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by dragonpilot » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:57 pm

That's it on that (STEP) for 2015.
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Re: Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

Post by spacetime » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:49 pm

@spacetime - it should come as no surprise that STEP is a long shot. The only time it wasn't a long shot was the first year, when the gates got shut as soon as they hit a certain number of signups. The plan was to re-open the gates again as soon as enough tickets had flowed in to clear the backlog, but as it turned out they never had enough tickets flow in to completely clear the backlog. It was only through the luck of the BLM allowing Burning Man to offer more tickets that everyone who was in the queue in 2012 was offered tickets. Since then, it has been a long and uphill battle. It also completely depends on two things that Burning Man has zero control over. 1 - how many people sign up, and 2 -the flow of tickets coming in.
It sounds like STEP has to be around for contingency ticketing if BLM changes the game unexpectedly? This information about 2012 resulting in everyone getting offers is pretty important. I was not aware of this.
We knew from last year that people who had signed up for STEP on day one didn't get tickets, even though they'd had several thousand tickets contributed.
Can you give guidance on how many tickets were recycled into STEP this year?
You don't need Burning Man to set your expectations for you, the internet and the Burning Man community is a pretty solid barometer. From the info above, it seemed back in February like this was going to be a really challenging year.
Indeed. I think there is some reasonable amount of "it's hard to get tickets to Burning Man" and some reasonable amount of "the procedures for buying tickets directly from BM are hard to make useful."

If BM isn't going to set expectations, I think it could still do more to make ticketing more efficient.

For example, General and OMG ticketing now require you to pre-register, show up and click at just the right time, then wait until the end. The system sucks a lot of time from the world, (my rough calculations based on your numbers are about 1.6 years of human life staring at the little green man only to fail dissatisfied)

Also the scaling requirements of this system in place are also obviously challenging for the vendor.

It would make more sense to have a pre-registration, a short window to opt-in and payment information submitted to the lottery, followed by a later email or notice that you had won or lost. Perhaps only people who tried for the lottery and failed would have a first chance at STEP, or they would be in the first "tier."

MusicToday got good at this style of system in the early 2000s, particularly in assigning lottery tickets on DMB and Phish tours. Apple uses a system like this today in the sale of their newly debuted products. It is efficient to handle supply demand imbalances.

Mod Edit: We're closing this thread up as the STEP program has closed for 2015. If you have questions/concerns about STEP please visit the ticketing support site.

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