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I'm starting this thread as a central place for the discussion of wristbands at BGG.con; they've been controversial in previous years.

They are being required at BGG.con (and a number of other conventions) as a security measure, to prevent badge-sharing and to help keep non-attendees out.

While for most people they are at worst a tiny annoyance, for some people they are uncomfortable enough to interfere with sleep; please, any discussion should acknowledge that.

For a $5 fee you can exchange your cut-off wristband for a new one; this should accommodate insomniacs and work requirements without while retaining some level of attendee accountability.

A few tips for improving your wristband experience:

(1) When your wristband is put on, hold a finger next to your wrist, to make sure that you have enough room after you take the finger away. (Two fingers is probably overkill, and may make the wristband loose enough that it is annoying in the other direction.)

(2) The wristbands are durable plastic, and will not be damaged in the shower. (You may want to wash both sides of the wristband once or twice, to make sure there's no dirt or soap sticking to it that might annoy your skin.)

(3) It's possible to slide a long-sleeved shirt under the band to keep it off your skin.

(4) A friend of Paul's, who is easily irritated by plastic, wears a tennis sweatband under their wristband. Details.

(5) BGG has always stated their willingness to make alternate arrangements for those with plastic allergies and other medical constraints.

CaptainQwyx wrote:
[...] wristbands. They are required. Required for the use of all convention facilities (library, events, flea market, use of tables to play games on, etc.). Required for access to the restaurant/shopping shuttles. Required to get a discount at Jacob's Grill. Required to get your parking stub validated.

They must be worn constantly around your wrist. When you come to the registration desk at the convention, the registration volunteer will help you attach the wristband at that time and it must be worn throughout the convention. In rare cases of medical conditions such as plastic allergy the wristbands may be pinned to the outer layer of clothing. These are the bands we use and I'm told are not a case for allergies except in the most rare of circumstances:
Ideal-Band® Plastic Wristband

And in the other rare case of job uniform requirements, we will have a few extras that may be exchanged for a cut wristband from the previous day.

We will try to be as accommodating as we can, but in the interests of security, fairness and logistics the wristbands are here to stay. If this is a problem for you, we respect your feelings but ask that you not register for BGG.CON.


There have been a few suggestions for future years already, including the possibility of photo badges, and the ability, for an extra fee, to cut your wristband off every night and exchange it for a new one in the morning. (Both of those would add a big layer of administrative overhead, and might be impractical, but all good-faith suggestions are being listened to.)

2012-03-15 added bullets items 4 and 5.
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Doug Faust
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The wristbands don't bother me that much, but for what it's worth, what other conventions require wristbands? I've been to GenCon, Origins, WBC, DragonCon, and a number of local conventions, and none of them required wristbands...
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Phrim wrote:
The wristbands don't bother me that much, but for what it's worth, what other conventions require wristbands? I've been to GenCon, Origins, WBC, DragonCon, and a number of local conventions, and none of them required wristbands...


Kublacon and Pacificon require wristbands. Perhaps it's a conspiracy of Western convention-insurance companies ;-)
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Abraham Drucker
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Idea #1:
Allow people to remove their wristbands at night, but then charge them $5 for each new wristband. This would allow BGG.con to cover whatever admin costs come from having to staff an extra desk for wristband haters.

BGG.con could also use whatever surplus funds it gets from this group of people to fund expansions to the game library (a necessity as the con grows). Waivers could be given to the group that currently has them (medical/work related), but would have to be worked out ahead of time.

I'm sure that people will still complain about about the wristbands and about paying, but some of the sting may be removed if the people taking advantage of this service know that their money is going to help support the game library.
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Phrim wrote:
The wristbands don't bother me that much, but for what it's worth, what other conventions require wristbands? I've been to GenCon, Origins, WBC, DragonCon, and a number of local conventions, and none of them required wristbands...


This is my major thing. If it's so necessary, why do all of these other conventions work without them? Is BGG such a hive of scum and villainy that we need to be babysat more than other convention goers?

And because it has no problem selling out, is badge-sharing really such a big deal?

And since BGG is not losing money from badge sharing, and they presumably have to pay for these wristbands, where in the world is the profit margin there? I just don't get it.

Jeff has at least said he is open to ideas so hopefully they will eventually be phased out.
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I'll admit that I don't like the wristband, but that's because I've got Fred Flintstonesque wrists. I wasn't able to fit a finger beneath it when it was wrapped around my paw last year, so it digs in pretty uncomfortably. I just kept tugging at it gently to get it to widen up a bit, while being careful not to tear it off.

But what can you do? I totally dig their reasoning, even though as a comically conspicuous fellow I couldn't sneak into the con if the life of the President depended on it...
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Nadine W
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They're uncomfortable but not terrible. It makes sense to offer the option of paying to take them off and get a new one, possibly even this year.
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OT sorry

Badge sharing isn't the end of the world, the capacity of the venue won't be overwhelmed, and it probably brings more money onto the dealer floor.
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » BoardGameGeek Related » BGG.CON
Re: Convention Wristbands
Well, I missed the con last year, but was there in 2010. I have no idea how the new venue will work out, but there were certainly times in 2010 that it was difficult to find table space to play games at. If people are sharing badges, this shouldn't really be a problem, but badges are generally a simple thing to copy and have non-registered participants sneak into the con with - this is most likely why the con is doing everything it can to keep out unregistered guests - not because they are losing money, but that they are then providing less of an optimal experience for those who have paid to participate.

That said, I would just as soon not have to wear a wristband for the duration, but don't have any reason for it other than the minor annoyance factor.

Also, I don't think BGG has a large enough focus on the dealer floor to warrant an attitude that unregistered attendees are actually a good thing. Again, BGG.CON is more about the playing than the purchasing.
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That is not Depeche but rather
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ze_stom wrote:
Idea #1:
Allow people to remove their wristbands at night, but then charge them $5 for each new wristband. This would allow BGG.con to cover whatever admin costs come from having to staff an extra desk for wristband haters.

This is a fine idea. The only concern I can think of off hand is just how many extras do they buy? I don't recall if the wristband colors changed from 2010 to 2011, but I assume they did, so getting stuck with excess could be a hassle.

Holmes! wrote:
...as a comically conspicuous fellow I couldn't sneak into the con if the life of the President depended on it...

Hehe, so much truth here. You know I loves you Holmes!
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Jpwoo wrote:
OT sorry

Badge sharing isn't the end of the world, the capacity of the venue won't be overwhelmed, and it probably brings more money onto the dealer floor.


That's completely on-topic. How does badge sharing hurt BGG or the convention? Someone want to share with us?

The only way it would hurt is if BGG.con didn't sell out, but it does, and quickly.

So not only is BGG paying money it doesn't need to (for the bracelets), the patrons of BGG.con must all wear these uncomfortable bracelets to try to prevent a very small number of people from doing something that doesn't even hurt the con.
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Shampoo4you wrote:
Jpwoo wrote:
OT sorry

Badge sharing isn't the end of the world, the capacity of the venue won't be overwhelmed, and it probably brings more money onto the dealer floor.


That's completely on-topic. How does badge sharing hurt BGG or the convention? Someone want to share with us?

The only way it would hurt is if BGG.con didn't sell out, but it does, and quickly.

So not only is BGG paying money it doesn't need to (for the bracelets), the patrons of BGG.con must all wear these uncomfortable bracelets to try to prevent a very small number of people from doing something that doesn't even hurt the con.

Here are a couple relevant posts from 2010. I think it's safe to assume they are still relevant:

Re: Is Time Sharing a pass allowed?
CaptainQwyx wrote:
We would know as we will likely be using wristbands this year in addition to the badges for security purposes.

And we would care as our seating models and table counts factor in a utilization percentage, so if magically every badge had 100% usage (due to time-sharing), it would get a lot more crowded. And see the security comment in the first paragraph - the person using the library needs to be the person who's name is on the badge.


Re: Is Time Sharing a pass allowed?
CaptainQwyx wrote:
Here is the disconnect. It is not assumed or planned that you will come for the entire con.

In fact, quite the opposite. At least on a macro-scale. We know that not everyone will attend for the entire con. Over the years we've gotten decently good at planning the right number of badges for the space and chairs we have access to, and it's not exactly one-for-one. Certainly one or two instances is lost in the noise, but when asked to make a public policy decision for all, we must be conservative.

However, the crowding is the "weaker" reason. It it much more important to us to have traceability in the use of the shared resources we provide at the convention.
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Progmode wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
Jpwoo wrote:
OT sorry

Badge sharing isn't the end of the world, the capacity of the venue won't be overwhelmed, and it probably brings more money onto the dealer floor.


That's completely on-topic. How does badge sharing hurt BGG or the convention? Someone want to share with us?

The only way it would hurt is if BGG.con didn't sell out, but it does, and quickly.

So not only is BGG paying money it doesn't need to (for the bracelets), the patrons of BGG.con must all wear these uncomfortable bracelets to try to prevent a very small number of people from doing something that doesn't even hurt the con.

Here are a couple relevant posts from 2010. I think it's safe to assume they are still relevant:

Re: Is Time Sharing a pass allowed?
CaptainQwyx wrote:
We would know as we will likely be using wristbands this year in addition to the badges for security purposes.

And we would care as our seating models and table counts factor in a utilization percentage, so if magically every badge had 100% usage (due to time-sharing), it would get a lot more crowded. And see the security comment in the first paragraph - the person using the library needs to be the person who's name is on the badge.


Re: Is Time Sharing a pass allowed?
CaptainQwyx wrote:
Here is the disconnect. It is not assumed or planned that you will come for the entire con.

In fact, quite the opposite. At least on a macro-scale. We know that not everyone will attend for the entire con. Over the years we've gotten decently good at planning the right number of badges for the space and chairs we have access to, and it's not exactly one-for-one. Certainly one or two instances is lost in the noise, but when asked to make a public policy decision for all, we must be conservative.

However, the crowding is the "weaker" reason. It it much more important to us to have traceability in the use of the shared resources we provide at the convention.


None of this should matter with the new, much larger venue, so we're back to square 1.

 
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I'm appreciating the conversation. Two quick points:

1. Wristbands are not solely to eliminate badge-sharing - they provide other services such as quick and unobtrusive visual identification.

2. No matter the size of the venue, "It it much more important to us to have traceability in the use of the shared resources we provide at the convention."
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Jeff Anderson
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Oh, and a number #3, it is not axiomatic in our plans that we will always sell out.
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Shampoo4you wrote:
the patrons of BGG.con must all wear these uncomfortable bracelets

I'm still wearing mine from last year. In fact, here's a delightful picture of me taken yesterday in which it's visible.

(That picture may not be, uhh, totally suitable for all audiences, but it made perfect sense for Chit Chat.)
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Shampoo4you wrote:
None of this should matter with the new, much larger venue, so we're back to square 1.
Excellent, can you pass me your badge and bracelet? There's a few games I'd love to check out...
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leroy43 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
None of this should matter with the new, much larger venue, so we're back to square 1.
Excellent, can you pass me your badge and bracelet? There's a few games I'd love to check out...


Eh?
 
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Shampoo4you wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
None of this should matter with the new, much larger venue, so we're back to square 1.
Excellent, can you pass me your badge and bracelet? There's a few games I'd love to check out...


Eh?
Clearly you don't get the idea of traceability. Badges are sold to individuals, and so any games they check out using it are their responsibility until they're returned.

If you think badge sharing isn't a problem, then you should have no problem being responsible for all its uses, intended or not.

By the way, your complaining about the lack of badge sharing I think really makes your claim that you find them uncomfortable quite disingenuous.
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Cindy Nowak
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People mention GenCon and Origins and no wristbands. One significant difference is that these Cons are set up to offer day passes. There are multiple hotels affiliated with the Con and a much higher attendance as well.

BGG Con is basically at a single hotel (yes, I know, some people don't stay at the Con hotel and of course there are local people who will drive in each day).

With attendance being kind of an all or none proposition - with no day passes - and a usage model based on a certain % of individuals being present at any one time, preventing badge sharing becomes a more critical issue.

I missed last year, but two years ago when they were having the drawings for the prizes, you couldn't move in the ballroom. I don't wonder that we were in violation of the fire code for occupancy.
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I have to say, I much prefer the wristband to something I have to pin to my clothing or hang around my neck. yuk

When it came out, I purchased the lifetime membership to Kublacon and the ID comes in the form of a laminated badge/card on a neck lanyard.
When I have checked in to the con since then, however, I always ask for a wristband so that I am not forced to wear the lanyard.
I keep it in my wallet for those instances where the lifetime badge is required, but for most things I can give a quick fist pump (showing my wrist) and I am in like flynn.
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I have to admit, I was not a fan of the wristband when they were first announced. I generally don't like things touching my skin, hate jewelery and wear loose fitting clothes. In 2010 I did not wear it much, but that was because my daughter was born just a few days prior to the start of the con and I only attended a total of a couple of hours.

In 2011 I spent most of my waking moments at the con and wore the wristband 24/7. I found that I really didn't mind it, I made sure it was installed loose and after a couple of hours did not even notice it was there. It was made out of a tuff but flexible plastic, stayed clean and neat and didn't bother me at all.

Therefore, this year I don't care, bring on the wristband. It is a a VERY small inconvenience to pay for the 5 days of solid gaming.
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Shampoo4you wrote:
... Is BGG such a hive of scum and villainy that we need to be babysat more than other convention goers?...


What? BGG.con is at Mos Eisley this year?
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Is BGG such a hive of scum and villainy

If you have to ask, you can assume the answer is 'yes'...

I don't like the wristbands at all. If I'm at a strip club for the night, ok.
To try and make this thing go 4 days? Come on, bgg. Believe it or not, some of geeks who have wives, regular sex, and we shower daily. I say that last part not jokingly because BGG con 11 got progessively 'funky' despite the good AC system and I heard several gamers talk about not even having time to take a shower. Huh?

What is the benefit over regular 'around the neck' badges?

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sduke wrote:
What is the benefit over regular 'around the neck' badges?


They add some evidence that the person wearing the badge is actually the person whose name is on the badge.
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