VIG info
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Posted by kaledor

I agree with hobbun, I am not in favor of limiting companion badges. I made a point of purchasing mine when they opened up. I did hear in the VIG room a couple of VIG were complaining that when the regular registration opened they could not get companion badges. Maybe the should have purchased them at the time of the VIG badge opening? Just a thought.

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Posted by kaledor genconkeeper

genconkeeper wrote:
One thing to point out is the rising price of the VIG with out any change in Product. Were paying quite a bit of change to quantee a downtown hotel room, a rare item, and other items. But the other item could be improve with little effort. Since the VIG is one the important venue streams we should be treated like one. Make the VIG Lounge alittle nicer, more comfy places to sit. Decorate, get some posters up.  Change the contracts with the dealers so were not getting their cast offs and dregs. Let us use the Exhibitors side Entrance during normal opening and not the normal attendee entrance. It seems the VIG program is something that is throw together at the last minute. Just a few thoughts.
Randu
Well limiting the number of companion passes, just make it that the number of available companion passes is x3 the VIG passes. Anything that is not purchased goes into the regular registration for those VIGs that want more passes than 3 can pick them up.

With the price of VIG continuing to raise each year, higher than inflation rate, but less bennies is interesting. Refer to my top comment, that is a nice bennie.

Agree with Randu about dealers, better items, would be nice, it is hit a miss each year on items. I dropped some stuff on the floor in the hallway (totally by accident), came back 30 minutes later it was still there, I would call that dreg!

I like the idea of Exhibitors entrance for VIG and companions...

- Arneson

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Posted by snowleopard

Regarding the change in companion badges available: I know you probably hate arm-chair quarterbacking or whatever the sports reference is, but here are some ideas you may want to consider for future years:


  1. Allow multiple companion badges, but increase the cost based on the number of companion badges purchased. This may prevent people from buying unnessesary companion badges, but still allow families to purchase what they need.
    Example:
    First companion badge is $150, second is $200, and third is $250
    Instead of three companion badges at $150 each

  2. Restrict all VIGs to purchasing one companion badge, then go through the list again and offer a chance to purchase a second companion badge, and so on. This would probably be an absolute nightmare to administer, but would make the process more even and controlled.
    Example:
    VIG #1 has a chance to buy ONE companion badge. VIG #2 then has a chance to buy ONE, and so on. After all VIGs have had a chance to buy a first badge badge, the process would start again for the second badge, and possibly third if still available.

  3. Break out the VIG program into the different benefits to allow more people to buy only the features they want and spread out the resources needed to provide them.
    Example:
    Hotel VIG - only get first choice at hotels - no VIG lounge, companion badges, swag, etc.
    Lounge VIG - only get access to VIG lounge and a limited number companion badges
    Merchandise VIG - only get swag bag and early access to Merchant's hall

Thanks!

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Posted by kaledor

I like the idea of raising the prices but not that drastic... first badge $150, second badge $175, third badge $200. Still profit for GENCON without the drastic change in pricing.

Even the second idea is great! After VIG badge purchase opens up, every 72 hours open up another companion badge. I believe we get 10 days to decide to renew or not. This way everyone has a chance, would not be a nightmare to control if you released another badge person based on time.

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Posted by kaledor snowleopard

snowleopard wrote:
Regarding the change in companion badges available: I know you probably hate arm-chair quarterbacking or whatever the sports reference is, but here are some ideas you may want to consider for future years:

  1. Allow multiple companion badges, but increase the cost based on the number of companion badges purchased. This may prevent people from buying unnessesary companion badges, but still allow families to purchase what they need.
    Example:
    First companion badge is $150, second is $200, and third is $250
    Instead of three companion badges at $150 each
  2. Restrict all VIGs to purchasing one companion badge, then go through the list again and offer a chance to purchase a second companion badge, and so on. This would probably be an absolute nightmare to administer, but would make the process more even and controlled.
    Example:
    VIG #1 has a chance to buy ONE companion badge. VIG #2 then has a chance to buy ONE, and so on. After all VIGs have had a chance to buy a first badge badge, the process would start again for the second badge, and possibly third if still available.
  3. Break out the VIG program into the different benefits to allow more people to buy only the features they want and spread out the resources needed to provide them.
    Example:
    Hotel VIG - only get first choice at hotels - no VIG lounge, companion badges, swag, etc.
    Lounge VIG - only get access to VIG lounge and a limited number companion badges
    Merchandise VIG - only get swag bag and early access to Merchant's hall

Thanks!

Need to add ALL VIG for those that want everything! But that would be another nightmare in all its own by adding different levels.

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Posted by sindee genconkeeper

genconkeeper wrote:
One thing to point out is the rising price of the VIG with out any change in Product. Were paying quite a bit of change to quantee a downtown hotel room, a rare item, and other items. But the other item could be improve with little effort. Since the VIG is one the important venue streams we should be treated like one. Make the VIG Lounge alittle nicer, more comfy places to sit. Decorate, get some posters up.  Change the contracts with the dealers so were not getting their cast offs and dregs. Let us use the Exhibitors side Entrance during normal opening and not the normal attendee entrance. It seems the VIG program is something that is throw together at the last minute. Just a few thoughts.
Randu
VIG is great but I don't think we are a major revenue stream. 250 VIGs at $550 is only $137,500. Gencon had over 60,000 unique attendees last year. If half those attendees purchase a $90  four day prereg that is already $2,700,000 then add in any single day and 4 days purchased later and I am guessing that number is over 4 million dollars. That makes our ticket cost around 3% of ticket sales (or less if I have grossly underestimated ticket sales).
I personally would love more communication. It has a soft cost of time which can of course translate into a portion of someone's salary but I don't think it would be that time consuming. So it would be noniminal cost for the amount of benefit, since communication is key in any business relationship. I think your ideas are great! Not sure how they work logistically. To allow us to use the side entrance, they would need to line up volunteeers for all hours that the exhibitor's hall is open to make sure that only badged VIGs and companions were entering. I am not sure how many volunteers GenCon currently utilizes or how overworked  those who manage the volunteers are. I am sure it is something they would have to look into. 

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Posted by general lopez

I’m sure I'm probably in the minority, but the VIG value really has been declining every year. Last year was the worst so far in my opinion. Most of the volunteers were and are always fantastic so please dont think it was because of them. There were very few VIG events. The VIG room was very quiet but alot times the family or I stopped in the refresments were out or warm. The Swag bag was horrible. We were told we were getting a second bag all weekend and ended up getting 1 small game deck of cards. Even the mixer was kinda of a let down, no separate room for the party we ended in the main bar of the restaurant with other patrons. The hour early has been a joke for a while with the amount of people that are allowed in early.

 I have bought 3 companion badges every year with no problem for my wife and my 2 kids. I’m not sure why there is a complaint here, these badges do not sellout in 10 minutes. Im not even sure they sellout in 24hrs. When that starts to happen then I can see changing it. Not sure what I will do with the family in 2017 as I cant buy them each one.  I spend around 900 in badges for this con ever year, you would think Gencon would look at the VIG's as some of there most loyal attendees. NO instead they stick it to us by raising the cost of the VIG every year. It was 450 when I started and over that time a $100 increase for what, just because they can do it. That does not sound like a company that cares about some of there most loyal attendees. For the Badge price alone of this con I can take my family to many other popular cons and pay for the whole trip including the hotel.  

Now obviously the hotel perk is the main reason at this point to have one, but after 20 straight Gencons and as much as I love the con, I am really starting to debate the value of the trip. I would of rather had posted this in the VIG only forum, but they did not set that up with the new forums. I wonder why? :)  With as popular as Gencon has become especially the last 2-3 years, I’m really starting to feel like Gencon regrets creating the VIG program, and are just trying to do the minimal possible for it. Canceling it all together might cause to much of an uproar at this point. 

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Posted by marimaccadmin

We didn't set up a VIG forum yet because they are brand new forums and it's just not set up yet because it's going to be tricky to implement.  It's on the list.

Piecemealing it to different kinds of VIGs would be a logistical nightmare that likely would not be worth the added cost in terms of additional hours to run it.

You guys get to use the side entrance for early access, don't you? I don't see the added benefit to use the side entrance for regular opening too.  The front door clears out in about 10-15 minutes tops.

You can't hang posters on the wall Randy.  It's just not allowed.  I can't even get permission for vinyl cling film stuff.

The thing is that the VIG problem is wildly popular, with many many people upset that they can't get one every year.  I don't think by any means that raising the price means they don't care about their most loyal attendees; keeping in mind that some of their most loyal attendees AREN'T VIGs.  I think raising the price can help up the quality of the program, and perhaps it can allow some other people to get a turn to be a VIG as well.  That's my two cents.

marimacc
Forum Coordinator

 

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Posted by general lopez marimaccadmin

marimaccadmin wrote:

The thing is that the VIG problem is wildly popular, with many many people upset that they can't get one every year.  I don't think by any means that raising the price means they don't care about their most loyal attendees; keeping in mind that some of their most loyal attendees AREN'T VIGs.  I think raising the price can help up the quality of the program, and perhaps it can allow some other people to get a turn to be a VIG as well.  That's my two cents.

I would say people willing to pay 6 times the amount or a regular badge year after year have to be considered some of the most loyal Gencon attendees, not to mention the purchase of the higher price companion badges. The cost going up has not improved the VIG program. It has has actually gotten worse the last couple years.  The demand is always going to be there when you only have 200 for 60,000 attendees. 

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Posted by general lopez general lopez

 

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Posted by frizbog

Well call me a capitalist pig if you like, but if people are willing to pay $600 for a VIG badge and they sell out in seconds, standard economics suggests that the supply is too small and/or the price is too low. The market would clearly bear a larger population of VIG's and possibly even another, more exclusive and expensive Platinum tier (PIG's?) ;-)  I doubt I'd be willing to shell out $1500 for a Diamond Gamer badge, but I suspect if they offered them there would be people that would buy them, and without a lot more benefits than are offered now.

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Posted by miked general lopez

general lopez wrote:
I’m sure I'm probably in the minority, but the VIG value really has been declining every year. Last year was the worst so far in my opinion. Most of the volunteers were and are always fantastic so please dont think it was because of them. There were very few VIG events.

And how many times have you ran events in the Lounge?  2 years ago I ran 3 events and they were all sold out because I had submitted early and was posted before event registration went live.  Another guy also ran events but didn't have his events out soon enough so no one went to them.  A lot of dealers demo events but if they don't submit them to have them when event registration opens they are unattended.  After a couple of events with no one playing I can see why the dealers will stop doing it.  And as for my first question there's and old saying if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.  If you are unwilling to take time out of your gencon to run events don't bitch because someone else won't either.

The VIG room was very quiet but alot times the family or I stopped in the refresments were out or warm. The Swag bag was horrible. We were told we were getting a second bag all weekend and ended up getting 1 small game deck of cards.

I started in in the VIG program the secound year it started we received ONE swag bag.  As the years went on there was more and more swag.  Some years more than others.  In all the times you were a VIG did you ever thank the company's?  Last year I did I sent emails thanking them.  In quite a few the response was thanking me for the feedback since they were not sure how the swag was apreated by the VIGs.  I know that through out the year gencon is working with dealers for the swag, the amount or lack of swag is out of their hands.

Even the mixer was kinda of a let down, no separate room for the party we ended in the main bar of the restaurant with other patrons. The hour early has been a joke for a while with the amount of people that are allowed in early.

last year was the first time I went to the mixer.  I wasn't impressed but I knew it wasn't my sort of thing.

 I have bought 3 companion badges every year with no problem for my wife and my 2 kids. I’m not sure why there is a complaint here, these badges do not sellout in 10 minutes. Im not even sure they sellout in 24hrs. When that starts to happen then I can see changing it. Not sure what I will do with the family in 2017 as I cant buy them each one.  I spend around 900 in badges for this con ever year, you would think Gencon would look at the VIG's as some of there most loyal attendees. NO instead they stick it to us by raising the cost of the VIG every year. It was 450 when I started and over that time a $100 increase for what, just because they can do it. That does not sound like a company that cares about some of there most loyal attendees. For the Badge price alone of this con I can take my family to many other popular cons and pay for the whole trip including the hotel.  
Now obviously the hotel perk is the main reason at this point to have one, but after 20 straight Gencons and as much as I love the con, I am really starting to debate the value of the trip. I would of rather had posted this in the VIG only forum, but they did not set that up with the new forums. I wonder why? :)  With as popular as Gencon has become especially the last 2-3 years, I’m really starting to feel like Gencon regrets creating the VIG program, and are just trying to do the minimal possible for it. Canceling it all together might cause to much of an uproar at this point. 

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Posted by general lopez miked

please delete

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Posted by general lopez miked

please delete

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Posted by oldman mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
Two points of clarification.
The limit on the VIG companion badges for 2017 is for the exact reason that sindee pointed out. Feedback from our VIG's indicates that many of them are not able to get a companion badge because the badges are sold out.
...
Mike Boozer
Customer Service & Volunteer Manager
Gen Con LLC

IN 2017 will VIGs be limited to only one hotel room or still two? (I would guess one, as that would make sense given less Companions.)

Oddly enough, we thought last year's swag was pretty good compared to prior years.

Regards,
Old Man

 

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Posted by ematuskey

Honestly, the fact that there's discussion over whether the VIGs are "the most loytal" is a good enough reason to end the whole program, IMO--I hate this kind of mindset, but it's inevitable when you have an exclusive subset like this (especially one that's built to not allow in new members unless old ones don't re-up).  Gen Con certainly doesn't need the extra revenue anymore (assuming that's why it was originally created), and it sounds like the perks don't really meet expectations (at least for some) anymore.  End it, release the VIG rooms back into the main room block, and let folks spend the extra money in the exhibitor hall/art show.  :p 

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Posted by hplustcraft

Aside from the issue of price going up and quality/benefits going down (with the demand making sure that doesn't actually change), will the program now actually be bringing in less money overall, thereby dropping quality even more?

After all, there will probably be at least a few VIGs choosing not to use their Companion badge and just rocking it solo...And those badges can't get snapped up by anyone else. It's one or none. 

L-

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Posted by a dark rider on a pale ... unicorn? hplustcraft

hplustcraft wrote:
... there will probably be at least a few VIGs choosing not to use their Companion badge and just rocking it solo...And those badges can't get snapped up by anyone else. It's one or none. 
L-

There was already an amount of "I need an extra Companion badge" on the VIG subforum, so I'm picking that'll happen even more under the one-companion system.

Assuming it's OK with the Forum Mods/Gen Con, I'd hope that VIGs who won't be using that badge could just make a post saying so, to make it easier on the larger groups.

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Posted by kaledor

I like the perks of the VIG, hence why I have it and have not given it up in 6 years and will continue to renew it. Do the perks always meet expectations? No... does your favorite TV show meet expectations everytime? No... but you still watch it.

I was lucky to get my VIG badge, totally by accident while on a horrible connection in Afghanistan. We pay more for some extras than the regular attendee. It is up to the person who has VIG whether or not they want to continue. Each year many of the VIG give up their badges to the other attendees, who can get a VIG then. It is popular for many reasons and a service that GECON provides for the attendees if they want it.

As for a post for those not using their badges. If they are not using them they should be released back into the system for others to purchase the badges.

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Posted by drushi

Agree with Kaledor.

I got mine through the lottery last year and I'm super excited to renew this year.

I LOVE GENCON.

Everyone wishes for more things for less money but realistically the price of having the convention is probably increasing dramatically each year as the participants increase.  The VIG program is small in the grand scheme of the con and I'm just glad they're still doing it.

 

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