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Summer of Sonic 2013

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Actually looking at the Cafe thing.

 

The cafe shuts at 4PM. I have no idea if that means just the service shuts, or if that entire seating area will be closed. So get your food/drinks before then.

 

I think theres a photo of it somewhere, I'll ask if theres any problem posting it here so you can see what it looks like.

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You know, I'm actually glad Sonic fans are less concentrated out here in the States. 6 seconds is just insane!

I hope some year the event expands; it clearly has quite a bit of demand! Though with expansion costing money and the event being free it runs into a bit of a conundrum in that regard...

Sorry to all the folks who didn't get tickets. I know it would have torn my heart in two if I didn't get a Sonic Boom ticket. sad.png

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Okay, so over on the facebook page, the issue of potentially charging for tickets has come up and led to a bit of a discussion (admittedly mostly by me, but still). Thought I'd copy and paste it here since I do feel like I've made a few relevant points;

 

 

 

Quite frankly at this stage I wish they *would* charge something. It'd certainly make tickets easier to hold of by making people slightly less click-happy. At least if they charged the tickets might last longer than six seconds. I'd be more than happy to pay if it meant I could actually secure a ticket with certainty rather than it becoming an increasingly random mad dash each year. Charging would also help prevent the inevitable people who sign up for a ticket and then don't even bother showing up, taking spaces that could have been used by people who genuinely would have attended if they could.

 

 Also, in most previous years, tickets have been non-transferable; meaning if someone registered and couldn't / didn't attend, they *couldn't* just give the ticket to someone else- it'd just be wasted. Not sure if that's still going to apply this year.

 

It doesn't have to be a huge amount, even something small like £5 would do, IMO. Just *something* to deter the "It's free, so I'll grab as many tickets as I can whether I end up using them all or not" mentality. 
 
Out of curiosity, I wonder what the actual figures are for SoS each year comparing the number of tickets versus actual attendees.
 

 I mean, maybe it's just me being paranoid, but even if it's not the case, you can't deny that the free ticket system is in theory massively exploitable. 
 
People with no intent of going whatsoever could easily coordinate an 'attack' of sorts on the site in which they simply try to get as many tickets as possible in as short a space of time to prevent people who genuinely want them from going. There's absolutely nothing as far as I can see to distinguish serious attendees from potential jokers. Again, I'm not saying that IS the case now by any means, but I fail to see how it's not hypothetically possible. 
 
Putting a price on the tickets would also help deter people who get a ticket on the grounds that they 'might decide to go'; like I said, something like £5 is small enough that it's not really going to prevent anyone from going if they really want to, but at the same time it'll definitely help filter out those who genuinely want to go.
 

Of course, one slightly lesser solution would be to re-implement entry without tickets as (if I remember correctly) every year prior to last did; in other words, let people in without a ticket, but only if and when there's space. 
 
Granted that's a bit of a risk in that there's a chance some people might not be able to get in at all, and people leaving the venue temporarily for whatever reason might not be able to get back in.

 

 

With absolutely all due respect to everyone involved, this is becoming a serious problem in recent years, and any ticketing system that allows 450 tickets to go within six seconds is seriously flawed and needs rethinking. :/ 

 

I'm basically going to be spending my weekend with this hanging over my head until tomorrow evening now, and the fact that they went so quickly doesn't give me much peace of mind at my chances of getting tickets tomorrow. I've been to every SoS so far and feeling absolutely gutted that I might end up missing this one. :(

 

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I agree; it's best to give a financial stake in the ticket so as to keep only people who are serious about going receiving them. The free market approach works well: the fee starts small and gradually grows until a good number is reached. As time goes on, the fact the event is covering its expenses will leave room for expansion (and thus, the ticket price can gradually be lowered again).

It'd help if there was some way to poll how many folks wish to go, of course.

But I discussed this before, and the biggest hurdle is tax issues. Once it's no longer free those hit like a speeding truck. Of course, given SEGA helps out, perhaps they could pick up the slack on that? It'd be worth their while too given they'd also make back some of the money spent on the event. I know Britain and America have different tax laws, but I honestly can't think it'd be too different from SEGA dealing with the ticket pricing/tax issues over here.

When people's resources are at stake they perform most efficiently, generally. Having to give a small fee would probably do wonders in keeping the demand more manageable. There's no reason this event should sell out faster than San Diego Comic Con.

I know how seriously people take conventions; I treat Sonic Boom like a Muslim treats a pilgrimage to Mecca. I can't imagine how many people are barred from going to SOS simply because the supply doesn't even come close to matching demand.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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Okay, so over on the facebook page, the issue of potentially charging for tickets has come up and led to a bit of a discussion (admittedly mostly by me, but still). Thought I'd copy and paste it here since I do feel like I've made a few relevant points;

 

 

With absolutely all due respect to everyone involved, this is becoming a serious problem in recent years, and any ticketing system that allows 450 tickets to go within six seconds is seriously flawed and needs rethinking. :/

 

Whilst I would happily play a small fee for entry, it has been said many times before it would create a huge logistical problem for the organisers. From the sounds of it, SEGA may chip in some cash and game pods, but aside from that its the volunteer team who run everything.

 

I've been three years (09, 11, 12), and the place has seemed full every time. I honestly don't think people registering tickets "just in case" and not going is actually an issue. There are instances of people who go but don't the stay the whole day, but I don't see priced tickets changing that.

 

For myself, the answer is just a larger venue. I think 2011, 12 and 13 have all been roughly the same size (800-1000 people), and demand seems to be double that. But again, without charging for tickets, it is difficult to get bigger venues. The more corporate money that gets thrown in, the less it will feel like the Summer of Sonic. Its a catch-22, almost.

 

The reason I believe the option to just turn up on the day was removed because 2011 was a horror show for pretty much everyone who did do that. Its bad enough missing out on free tickets - its even worse paying for travel to arrive on time, queue for and hours then still not get in. Demand is just too high for that (plus, it really wouldn't be fair to non-London people who wanted to go).

 

It is a very delicate and tricky issue, and I'm relieved I don't have to deal with it. All I can say is good luck for tomorrow.

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Another issue is people registering extra guests that end up not being used.

 

I'll admit, both my boyfriend and I were aiming for two places each, the reason being we figured that if one of us couldn't get a ticket, we could both attend on the same ticket of the person who managed. No doubt quite a lot of other people have tried this approach (understandably so), but at the same time it makes the demand problem even worse; for every person who gets an extra ticket just in case their friend can't, if that friend actually does get a ticket for themselves, the extra guest spot is then wasted (unless offered, I guess).

 

Maybe there should be a system where people can 'give back' any ticket spaces they don't need or otherwise won't be using on the day, to free up more spaces? I dunno. Not sure how that would work, mind you.

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Maybe there should be a system where people can 'give back' any ticket spaces they don't need or otherwise won't be using on the day, to free up more spaces? I dunno. Not sure how that would work, mind you.

 

That is already in place. Details are on the users ticket page.

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Well I didn't even try for a place as I don't know if I'll be attending. It all depends on when I get paid (as it affects the amount in paid). If I get paid later ill kick myself for not trying but if I get paid sooner I wouldn't have been able to go anyway.

I thought I'd leave it for those who know they can attend

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I think making tickets transferable, if they aren't already, would be a good start... having a ticket tied to a name always confused me (and beyond security measures I don't really see the rationale for it besides making more money).

As was mentioned, the more corporate it becomes the less SoS it is... the more clout SEGA gets the more likely it will start dictating the event. Before you know it it will be corporate held; while Sonic Boom is great and all, there are some things that the business perspective simply cannot compare to with regards to fan events.

I'd propose a radical idea: more than one event. The demand is clearly there. A fan-centered Summer of Sonic, and a more official venue called whatever.

Heck, could possibly just keep the Summer of Sonic name but add whatever city it's in. Summer of Sonic Edinburgh or something, for an example.

I sympathise with the fact it's good to not have to deal with these hurdles. Hopefully some day everyone who wants to go will be able to. smile.png

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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One thought that sprung to mind for me would be to do what is actually fairly standard practice for most conventions; namely, make it run for 2-3 days rather than just one.

 

Of course, the huge problem with that is that it would be much harder to organise (and have the guests around) for two days in a row, meaning that if there were different guests on each day, or some guests could only make one day, then demand for one of the days would still massively outstrip the other. Also I imagine one day would me more convenient/ popular etc, or people would want to go on the same day as certain other people they were trying to meet.

 

It'd solve the demand problem in some ways, but it would also cause a load more. I know its not really a feasible option, sadly.

 

 

I know how seriously people take conventions; I treat Sonic Boom like a Muslim treats a pilgrimage to Mecca. I can't imagine how many people are barred from going to SOS simply because the supply doesn't even come close to matching demand.

 

This. I'm going to be totally devastated if I can't make it this year. :( It's easily the highlight of the year for me.

 

*sigh*

 

Oh well, guess all I can do is hope like hell that I luck out tomorrow evening. Is there any kind of waiting list system put in place for those who can't get tickets so that they can be in line for any that might become available?

Edited by -Mark-

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I think making tickets transferable, if they aren't already, would be a good start... having a ticket tied to a name always confused me (and beyond security measures I don't really see the rationale for it besides making more money).

As was mentioned, the more corporate it becomes the less SoS it is... the more clout SEGA gets the more likely it will start dictating the event. Before you know it it will be corporate held; while Sonic Boom is great and all, there are some things that the business perspective simply cannot compare to with regards to fan events.

I'd propose a radical idea: more than one event. The demand is clearly there. A fan-centered Summer of Sonic, and a more official venue called whatever.

Heck, could possibly just keep the Summer of Sonic name but add whatever city it's in. Summer of Sonic Edinburgh or something, for an example.

I sympathise with the fact it's good to not have to deal with these hurdles. Hopefully some day everyone who wants to go will be able to. smile.png

 

One of the issues I have is the location. London is soooo expensive. (Well compared to Prague the entire UK is expensive but whatevs.) Has the team ever considered other locations such as Birmingham or Manchester, that would have equally big venues but some of the costs of attending might be less? Such cities have airports so it's not like international fans would be unable to attend.

 

Also I think the idea of charging sets a rather risky precedent. Sure I don't like this system. It stresses me out and it's meant I haven't been able to make any solid plans, given that it's not guaranteed I can go. But I would reckon starting to charge would change the nature of the event.

 

I think the announcements being so late is the worst problem SoS has had this year, but I realise it's probably not the organisers' fault.

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I did actually wonder if introducing a deposit system would work for it.

 

So you would put some kind of incentive, say... £10 to reserve a ticket, but that deposit would then be returned to the attendee once their attendance had been confirmed. It would definitely deter those who are in the 'get now, worry about whether I go or not later' crowd.

 

At the same time, this would keep the event 'free' for those who attend, and make the process less of a race.

 

Chances are then that the deposit returned would then be used to buy things like food/go towards merchandise at the event and what have you.

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The issue isnt tickets, its not having enough tickets. But there is only so much they can do. I would love to have a venue that fits every single sonic fan in the UK... But things cost money. 

 

It's been stated that SoS doesnt charge cos they dont want to. It's different to Boom in the fact its an event run by fellow fans.

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Personally I don't think it should surprise anyone that the tickets went in 6 seconds this year.  The only reason they went slower last year was because you had to fill in the form, it was the exact same amount of people on the site, just they had less to do this time.

 

 

 

I also think it's overly paranoid to assume there's a significant number of people who only "might" go or are actually spitefully taking a ticket they don't plan to use for... whatever crazy reason.  People like that, wouldn't care enough to be there for that intense 6 seconds, surely?

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I must admit I did panick when trying to book my ticket and even though I succeeded, I gave mine back as one of my friends had put my name down on their group ticket but I don't feel bad about giving mine away as it means that a few more people will have a chance come wave 2 :) I'm still going though :) I cannot wait for August 3rd :D

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I also think it's overly paranoid to assume there's a significant number of people who only "might" go or are actually spitefully taking a ticket they don't plan to use for... whatever crazy reason.  People like that, wouldn't care enough to be there for that intense 6 seconds, surely?

 

It's not really a case of people taking the tickets out of spite, it's more the nature that if they have a ticket, then they can at least consider going and then decide whether to go or not later on.

 

Basically, once they have the ticket, they don't have to worry about anything else really. If they can't get a hotel, afford the travel or anything else, then they simply won't go. It's not cost them anything after all, but they at least have the means to go there and not be turned away. I have a feeling there is a proportion of people who decided to try and grab tickets 'just in case'. After all, if they hadn't then there's no chance of going whatsoever.

 

Think of it between choosing between there being a tiny chance of being able to go Vs. an absolute zero probability of going. I suspect people would likely take that chance no matter how small it is.

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Personally I don't think it should surprise anyone that the tickets went in 6 seconds this year.  The only reason they went slower last year was because you had to fill in the form, it was the exact same amount of people on the site, just they had less to do this time.

 

It doesn't surprise me at all, I totally agree with you that it's the streamlining of the booking system that made it so quick. It shouldn't be see as an entirely bad thing.

 

Tbh when I saw the main room of the venue could hold 2000 people I wondered if perhaps SoS had just doubled in size, meaning more of us could go and there wouldn't be such a mad scramble for tickets.... but as someone on STCO pointed out; too many people squeezed into a venue could make it unpleasant. I totally understand why this event is kept small, but it is very harsh on some fans who would desperately like to go.

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Kinda proves how massive of an event this has become, I honestly think even if there was a paid ticket system, it'd still go just as fast, although this years SoS lacks C40 and is pretty much the same returning cast of characters (besides one special guest) it just proves there is clear demand from across the country and across the seas even.

 

If I tell you my pet peeve from last years it was people who had travelled from the likes of America or none EU countries, came here just to fucking sit upstairs in the artist corner ALL day and bug people for commissions, completely ignoring any and all the events downstairs, EVEN the C40 performance at the end, that to me, is a waste of a ticket, to come to a Sonic fan convention with a portfolio of furry works, and take up an artist's seat all day, and when I was walking past the entrance I seen sad kids wanting to get in and try out the events and meet the guests, play the game pods etc. And you had selfish fucks sitting upstairs with a ticket, with no intent to actually be a part of the SoS experience, really boiled my blood.

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Yeah, it's a bit annoying. Shame there's not really a way to accurately or fairly gauge how badly people want to go; that way they could potentially prioritise people who desperately want to go ahead of those who want to, but won't feel too disappointed if they don't. 

 

Must admit I'm a little irked that a couple of people who have got tickets have more or less said "I'm not massively interested but I may as well check it out" or similar things; if you're not desperate to go, save the ticket for someone who is. That might sound petty and selfish, but there are people, myself included, whose year will be ruined considerably if they can't attend. I'm not saying myself or people in a similar situation are any more or less entitled to go by any means, but it feels a little unfair for people who aren't even all that interested to snap up tickets at the cost people who are. 

 

EDIT:

 

Also, how does the form work in terms of bailing out and releasing the tickets for other people? I've had a couple of people offer to try and get tickets on my behalf in addition to myself tomorrow to up my chances; but of course, I don't want this to hinder anyone else's chances, either. As long as at least one of us can secure the tickets, anyone else applying on my behalf can simply not proceed any further. Is there a way to cancel after the initial ticket selection?

Edited by -Mark-

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It's currently very much touch and go that I'll be able to make it at all, but I'm glad I've got the opportunity if I'm able/want to.

 

It is a shame they can't distribute tickets via monitoring enthusiasm, but that would require invasive and illegal surgery, most likely.  So, thankfully, it all came down to clicking fingers.  Maybe if y'all spent less time playing Sonic and more time in the gym, your clicking fingers wouldn't be so rusty. ;D  Good luck for Sunday!

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Cool, I just got a ticket for SOS... now to sell it on ebay.

 

Free market. If someone wants to pay for it, let them. tongue.png

 

One thought that sprung to mind for me would be to do what is actually fairly standard practice for most conventions; namely, make it run for 2-3 days rather than just one.

 

Of course, the huge problem with that is that it would be much harder to organise (and have the guests around) for two days in a row, meaning that if there were different guests on each day, or some guests could only make one day, then demand for one of the days would still massively outstrip the other. Also I imagine one day would me more convenient/ popular etc, or people would want to go on the same day as certain other people they were trying to meet.

 

It'd solve the demand problem in some ways, but it would also cause a load more. I know its not really a feasible option, sadly.

Never mind I don't think Sonic's that big, even in the UK. Most large conventions have tons to do... Sonic's just too niche to support that long of a convention I'd think.

 

This. I'm going to be totally devastated if I can't make it this year. sad.png It's easily the highlight of the year for me.

I can understand fully. For a while there I was sweating it out that SEGA wasn't going to hold one here, so I was actually planning to fly ALL the way across the ocean just to go to SoS if necessary. I don't care what my mother would say, I was not going to give up such a thing.

 

Also I think the idea of charging sets a rather risky precedent. Sure I don't like this system. It stresses me out and it's meant I haven't been able to make any solid plans, given that it's not guaranteed I can go. But I would reckon starting to charge would change the nature of the event.

It really would. This is why I'd propose, instead of expanding SoS (which runs into its own problems, as you need money to expand but the event doesn't want to charge money), to set up a separate event, possibly more administered by SEGA. If Boom can do well enough I'm sure any secondary, small price ticket SoS would do just fine over in the UK.

 

I think the announcements being so late is the worst problem SoS has had this year, but I realise it's probably not the organisers' fault.

It goes for me as well. I was actually getting ready to just forget about Boom entirely and either plan a trip to the UK or something else; SEGA made me sweat it out for insane lengths of time.

 

I did actually wonder if introducing a deposit system would work for it.

 

So you would put some kind of incentive, say... £10 to reserve a ticket, but that deposit would then be returned to the attendee once their attendance had been confirmed. It would definitely deter those who are in the 'get now, worry about whether I go or not later' crowd.

 

At the same time, this would keep the event 'free' for those who attend, and make the process less of a race.

I actually really like this system! Eliminates the problem of anyone buying the ticket and not planning to go, certainly. Though as stated, it's probable most folks waiting on tickets are really devoted and have every intent on going. An expansion would be the best idea... but how do you do that without raising startup revenue or asking SEGA for more money?

It's really unfortunate, but Summer of Sonic's basically run into what happens when a small business gets too many customers: it has the option to expand but is liable to lose what made it special in the first place.

Hence my idea: instead of expanding the current event, make a separate one entirely. Instead of making this "restaurant" larger, set up a different "restaurant" entirely.

 

Chances are then that the deposit returned would then be used to buy things like food/go towards merchandise at the event and what have you.

Thus allowing SEGA to get the money anyway, allowing them to turn a profit on the event in a more subtle manner... I like it! After all, let's face it, a company needs to profit in some manner; the two conventions are pretty lucrative ways to market things. If SEGA has a great deal of merchandise at SoS, I can see why the tickets being free wouldn't be a problem for them.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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I think making tickets transferable, if they aren't already, would be a good start... having a ticket tied to a name always confused me (and beyond security measures I don't really see the rationale for it besides making more money).

 

Hogfather made a point about selling, but I'll make another point - You give your ticket away? Okay...so who do we contact if there's a fire and the person who now has the ticket is stuck inside?

 

---------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

There's many issues surrounding tickets, people are happy to sit and think about it as a "It would be fair to do it this  way" which is the wrong way to go about thinking about it. You must put all legal problems and logistic/financial problems FIRST. Then work out the most fair way to do tickets with what we have available.

 

The current system is the one we've found to work, and we've improved it year apon year. Example: This year you reserved how many tickets before filling out the ticket. This made it easier for people to know they've actually secured the ticket itself. Many people last year commented about being worried about tickets going while they were filling in the form. So that was a change we made to try and benefit the attendee's.

 

Next point: Adding charges. Well, this then brings in an issue of "How do we charge" for it, there's many route's there, each with it's own set of problems of varying types.

 

Summer of Sonic is run BY FANS For Fans with the aid and approval of SEGA Europe, that in itself already causes logistical and legal issues that we have to work through each year and to this end we've decided each year that keeping the event free is the best way to MINIMISE the issues for both us AND attendee's.

 

I hope you can understand our reasons why we choose to run the event in such a way.

 

 

(Sorry, been a long time since I posted on the SSMB, I thought I should make it on the lines of important-ish)

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