These weeks in RustFest 4: RustBridge returns, lineup & final tickets soon


#1

RustFest Paris is coming closer and with that we’re preparing for the lineup announcement, the final ticket batch and workshops (including a RustBridge workshop!)

Find more info on the blog: https://blog.rustfest.eu/this-week-in-rustfest-4
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rustfest

And watch out for the last ticket batch and speaker announcements on Monday, 09:00 CEST!


#2

I got my ticket (yay!), but a friend of mine had to wait until the second batch was released to get his. I don’t understand what the advantage is of these batches – to us, it just added extra uncertainty to the process since we had already booked our hotel and flights before knowing if my friend would get his ticket.

I would prefer a normal system where all tickets are released at once (feel free to keep the Supporter Tickets as a separate batch and release those a little earlier).

For extra transparency, show how many remaining tickets there are – that might be helpful when organizing so you can judge if you (or your group) need to hurry up. Such a system might even make life simpler for the organizers.


#3

Thanks for your feedback, I’ll try to explain a little.

First of all, the system we use is definitely “normal”, it’s a standard procedure used by many conferences.

No, a plain system as you describe does not make life better for us organisers, indeed, it makes it harder. Much, much, harder. And that has to do with group dynamics, money and expectation management.

First of all, there’s multiple groups of conference-goers: Those that go to every event anyways and can’t wait to buy, those that need some time to plan and those that want to see the full program first. There’s also those that delay everything until the last moment. You’d be surprised how large the last group is, and it’s frequently businesses. On faster selling, international conferences, an additional problem shows up: ticket batches might sell out before certain timezones wake up.

Batches solve this problem: The eager can buy immediately when we have the dates. Those that need a little time have a date until when to make their mind up (the second batch). Those that constantly delay get their last opportunity communicated. They create a sense of urgency. Also, you can slightly change the time of day to accommodate for communities in other timezones. It also gives us - as organisers - the chance to focus on ticket sales at dedicated times and do the rest that we need to do later.

The sense of urgency is wanted, because the community we work in is great at “yes, I’ll probably come”, where “probably” often means “late or never”. Now, you might say that just opening the sales with consistent messaging (e.g. frequent reminders on the social media accounts) would fare better: sadly, it does not, at least not well. It communicates: “we absolutely need to sell tickets and will nag you every 2 days”. We did that at RustFest Kyiv partially and while it works, it’s incredibly exhaustive and is annoying to a lot of people. At RF Kyiv, we roughly sold one ticket per tweet. That means we need to send a tweet per day and nag people over the 60 days to the conference.

Also, while you want a good batch of tickets to be sold at the very beginning (we have bills to pay), you want to give people the chance to have a look at the program proper before buying, so you want to have a sizable amount of tickets for after the event.

I’ll see that we are more transparent about how many tickets are in the badges.

Finally, no system is perfect, and if you run into a situation like yours, it never hurts to contact the organisers. Usually, there’s people that want to give away a ticket in between the badges and organisers are also always a broker of that.


#4

Thanks for the thorough reply!

I’ve attended the EuroPython conferences which have a similar feel to them – community conferences with fairly cheap tickets. They have two types of tickets: early bird tickets and standard tickets. That is the only kind of batching I’m familiar with. What I like is that they don’t delay releasing the tickets to create the sense of urgency you talk about.

To be honest, I don’t really see how it is a problem that there are different groups of people that decide things in different paces. The group that tends to decide late must be used to not always finding a ticket – that’s kind of the result when you decide late.

The batches can have effects that go both ways. They could make an eager group wait longer, with some amount of frustration associated with the wait. When the second batch is released, this eager group will then compete with the late-deciders over the tickets. So some of the people who thought “don’t worry, I’ll just wait until the late batch” might suddenly seen themselves without a ticket, despite your best efforts :slight_smile:

It’s really not clear to me that this is better than the more straightforward system of just releasing the tickets and letting people buy them when they like. Babysitting people and making them wait artificially feels unfortunate to me.

Yeah, I see how that can be very annoying, but are we there yet?

It sounds like you had to “push” the tickets at RustFest Kiev, and that would indicate that the tickets would be available for multiple 24-hour cycles. That means that the lucky first-movers who are in a good timezone have no real advantage (since there were tickets for everybody in the end).

I hope the conferences will continue to grow like that: tickets enough for everybody so people don’t have to worry too much about when to buy :slight_smile:

Perhaps you could simply announce up front when the batches would be released? That would help a lot to make it feel less “scary”. In fact, I would even say that the batches become useful then: I would know that I have a good chance at getting a ticket if I book it quickly on the day of the next batch – I could put that date in my calendar and that would help me manage the uncertainty.

Thanks again for the reply and all the hard work that I know goes into organizing a conference!