There’s a registration lottery this year
Starting May 15th, you can sign up for the registration lottery to attend Campfire Tails 2017.
Every week, the entries are shuffled and added to the queue for getting a spot.
If you miss the first/second/etc week, it's not necessarily too late, but you will be behind everyone who signed up in an earlier week than you.
When you get a spot, you'll be notified by email then have 48 hours to complete and pay for your registration.
You can get a refund if requested before the deadline.
We no longer allow registrations to be transferred.
The +1 system from last year's wait list is returning.
You'll be able to make sure that your ride/mate/bestie is able to come too, if they were signed up but didn't get a spot.
The cap for this year is 200 attendees, but we believe interest is likely to exceed that, which is why we're instituting this this lottery-based process.
There are a lot of details in the updated registration policy that could impact you, depending on your situation. Please take a look.
If you worked two or more meals in the kitchen last year, please send @Koinu a PM here on the forum with the username of who you want to give your extra reserved spot to. The deadline for doing so is May 15th, but the sooner I can get that sorted the better.
Note that this is entirely separate from the way +1 spots are given out with all registration opportunities. Both you as a volunteer and the recipient of your extra reserved spot are treated as having reserved spots.
So, why all this?
When we sold out last year, it was a surprise to us
We did of course see it coming several weeks before it actually happened, but the attendance cap had always been a sort of theoretical thing—a safeguard to prevent us from being overwhelmed. The registration system didn't even have the functionality to limit the number of sign-ups until a few weeks before we hit the cap.
We tried to handle it fairly, giving preferential notice about the upcoming early closure of reg to volunteers who hadn't signed up yet (and setting a deadline for them to do so), and conducting the wait-list lottery for when some of those spots came available, but we believe it could still have been handled better.
First-come first-served kinda sucks
The reason we didn't do the wait-list last year as first-come first-served is that it would have given an unfair advantage to the people who found out about it first, and there wasn't really enough time to announce it far in advance of it actually opening.
Favoring those who are enthusiastic about an event (versus, say, those with the deepest wallets) is something we find appealing, but even when announced far in advance, first-come first-served still has some downsides. It disfavors those who can't get away from a job or other obligation at the exact time the sign-up for something goes live, which is deeply unfair.
We want this to be a low-stress experience
Having a rush of activity all at the same moment is stressful for everyone involved, and when the system handling that activity can't handle it, it gets even worse. Having spots go preferentially to people who can avoid work and spend all day mashing F5 is extremely unfair, and even when the system can handle it and it's over in a matter of minutes, it's still hella stressful.
Although somewhat complex, the system we're adopting this year should be very low-stress. If you're super-excited about CFT and want the best chance you can get to go (barring having volunteered last year), all you need to do is be sure you sign up during the first week. It doesn't matter when during the week you take care of that, you're on a fair and equal footing as everyone else.
Likewise, when it's your time to finish and pay for your registration, 48 hours should be more than enough to do that and coordinate with whoever you're giving your +1 spot to.
Finally, the biggest feature of this system is that it's adaptable to however much interest we actually have this year. We expect interest to exceed our raised cap of 200 this year, but that's not a given. If we did a period of first-come first-served then transitioned to having a wait list, that'd still have all of the problems of a rush in the form of trying to beat the transition to having a lottery/wait list.
I (Koinu) have had a few collaborators help with developing this process and debugging the details, but I'm still very much interested in feedback from the community at large, particularly regarding how this compares to other events' handling of sell-out conditions.
Feel free to reply here with questions as well, although please do read the full registration policy first. This post and the registration page are just summaries of the process, and there are several details that are addressed only in the policy itself.