Over the years and through a ton of trial and error, we've used a ticketing method that helps the movement in the room and ensures that each reader can use the time during the event wisely. We don't want a reader to come and stand in 1 line for 2 hours. So we do our best to resolve that issue by ticketing the lines that may have more than 10-15 readers consistently throughout the event. By ticketing, it gives the reader a placeholder of a sort to allow them to wander the room and visit other authors while waiting for their number to be called. Not all authors will be ticketed. In fact, most will not; however, we're always ready to ticket if needed.
So how's it work? Well, let's talk it out.
When entering the event space, the first 10-15 readers at a ticketed table will be allowed to stay put. Beyond those 15, you'll find a volunteer placed at the end of that specific line with color-coded and numbered bracelets. For example, red will be Cherry, baby blue will be Hart, etc. The bracelets will also show what number you are in that line, so it will read as "Cherry 12" or "Hart 46", etc. If you do not see a volunteer handing out bracelets for that line, there is no ticketing in place for that author currently and anyone can walk up.
As you approach, the volunteer will hand you a bracelet. You don't have to necessarily put it on but pretty please don't lose it since that is your placeholder for that author. If you lose it, you'll have to get another and that's a bummer.
Once the initial 10-15 readers have reduced to approx. 5 attendees, the volunteer will notify an event host or Lead Volunteer, who will then update accordingly (more on that below!) with the next set of 10-15 numbers in the sequence. When those 15 reduce to 5 once again, we'll call up another 15. From that point, it's rinse and repeat for the remainder of the event. If you're in another line when your number is called, don't stress. Your number is valid from any point up to the highest number currently called. Ideally, if the lines are flowing correctly, the numbers called should be pretty close to accurate. For example, though, let's say you've got a bracelet of Cherry 24. You get busy sorting books or talking to buddies and you don't realize that Brittainy Cherry's line is up to 40-50. You're 100% okay to get in line, as most numbers will have already been through. When you get to the line, the volunteer will check your number, and voila! Good to go.
You’ll find postcards at registration, as well as signage down the line and in the event space. On these products, you’ll find a QR code. Scan that code with your phone and boom, the line status updates will appear in your hand. This QR code will lead you to a page on the event website with the ticketed lines shown and their current range i.e. “Cherry 1-60”, etc. As lines update throughout the day, simply refresh the page for the most up-to-date line status. Behind the scenes, we use a very simple Google Sheet to maintain lines. We know that weird things happen on the internet so you’ll also find a link on the postcard/signage that will take you directly to the viewable sheet in Google Drive. If you're familiar with our events and have attended in the past, you're probably thinking, "But what about the monitors?" The monitors have now been replaced with the digital-only format. It’s the same info as what you would have found on monitors throughout the room, just hopefully a bit handier for everyone. This ensures that if you want to run to your room, grab a bite to eat, or simply go rest in the lobby for a few minutes, you're never out of the loop.
A ticketed author will have a limit of 10 books per number. If you have...say 30 books for Toni Aleo to sign, you'll need 3 bracelets. The bracelets will be handed out in breaks of 10, so you would receive #14, 24, and 34. This will allow the line to continue flowing as normally and easily as possible. Also, pre-orders are not counted in that limit since you will pick those up directly from the author. If you arrive at a table that is not ticketed, there's no book limit on that table at the current moment.
The attending authors who will be ticketed from the onset of the event will be announced below approx. 1 month prior to the event date.
If an author you're really excited to meet is shown above upon announcements, we would suggest entering the event space and going directly to their table in order to get the lowest possible bracelet number you can. Grabbing a bracelet ASAP once the doors open will ensure that you don't have to worry or stress about it for the remainder of the event. Some authors that are ticketed from the beginning may not need line control throughout the event. If they catch up with the numbers that have been handed out and stay caught up for a number of minutes, we'll open their table as a free for all like the other authors. If we find that their line begins to grow, we'll make the decision to add ticketing to their line once more. If an author that was not ticketed in the beginning has a consistently long line and we feel it's in the best interest of the readers to start ticketing, we'll absolutely do that. The biggest point of all of this crazy wordiness is that we want you guys to enjoy your time. We want you to walk away with a smile on your face because you met your favorite authors. Not 1-2. Not 5-10. We want you to meet as many as possible in the timeframe allowed, and we'll do what we need to do to make it flow seamlessly for you.