Further to the earlier statement from the ConFuzzled Board of Directors, and in response to some of the questions we have been receiving, we wanted to provide a further follow up to establish some additional facts and information.
Rumours of Room Assignment
To ensure that this rumour is addressed, please be assured again that every person that signs up to attend ConFuzzled is party to the exact same process. There has been no preferential treatment given to someone that is “popular” or otherwise. The only attendees that are not party to this process are our guests of honour. We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed a process that sees favoritism given to individuals based on any status within the community.
Cancelling Early or Late Guarantees a Room
This is another rumour that is untrue. Currently, we have a room block of available rooms for both early arrival and late departure. Demand currently is higher than the block available. Whilst we are working with our hotels to try and increase this, some attendees have been informed that we may not be able to accommodate their desire to attend early or late due to lack of bedroom availability. It does not in any way guarantee or ensure a space for the main nights, and this discussion is only being had with individuals who have already secured a space.
Passing on Responsibility
There have been strongly felt opinions directed to ConFuzzled stating that we have adapted our system to accommodate an “error” on our part. As per the original statement, this is factually incorrect and we would like to reiterate that the process of room allocations has remained unchanged.
Historically, we have had the flexibility to accommodate a more relaxed approach to handling room demand and moving people to other options due to supply being greater than demand. Whilst we have seen a trend of growth year on year, nothing prepared us for the unprecedented demand we saw on opening that has seen us outstrip last years requirement by 60 %. Put another way, this was an increase of 626 people in a 5 minute window. Reacting to the demand has been challenging, and a slow, lengthy process, for which all we can do is once again offer our sincerest apologies.
We again accept wholeheartedly this leads to frustration and disappointment, but we need to clarify that we have not passed on any “errors” to you the attendee. With the best will in the world, even if we had a perfect process in place, demand has still exceeded availability, which inevitably leads to disappointment for unlucky individuals unable to secure a space.
We acknowledge that our current process has not stood up to this demand, which is now an urgent issue for us to remedy for next convention cycle.
Remedying the Issue
As per the original statement from the Board of Directors, a new registration process is already in the works. Due to the other operational challenges we faced with adapting our system this year, it was felt this could be afforded an additional year of development, to implement gracefully and undergo more testing.
Regrettably, this does not remedy this years situation, but for clarity purposes, the new process will aim to separate out the process of registering personal information and the room booking. This will allow a relaxed approach to the attendee of recording details, before staggering room sign up at a later date.
A significant challenge is ensuring a more visibly fairer and transparent approach. Whilst it is reiterated our approach this year has remained unchanged and what is felt to be a fair allocation of rooms, it has not been clear enough to you the attendee that this is how we have always operated – largely owing to this being a back of house process that has not caused us issues in the past. Any new process we implement going forward will look to tackle this head on.
Here and Now
The executive team are putting in all the effort possible to look at solutions to the current problems. This includes logistical issues faced by dealers who may not have secured space in the Hilton, to negotiations with 6 other hotels in the area to increase bedroom space. Regrettably, these all take time and an element of careful planning and cost consideration. However, please rest assured we are exploring all avenues available to us and people are taking time out of their work day to try and facilitate everyone. We no more want to be in the unhappy situation of turning you, our attendees, away than you want to hear that news. The moment we have any updates, good or bad, you will be informed.
Allocation of the overflow spaces at Crowne Plaza will be starting imminently. This was not clear in the previous statement and want to ensure you all that our reg team are working flat out to allocate and confirm registrations. Please be patient with them as they work through this back log.
Abuse of Staff
We very much appreciate the support that this has received, be it from people impacted and those who are not. This remains a highly pressured situation for all those involved working to try and remedy what has been an unforeseen set of circumstances, and your gratitude and encouragement has been received and welcomed. This helps drive the team and see the positive of why they do what they do, for free.
We again ask for restraint and patience. We accept we may not be able to satisfy everyone, and this will be to our own disappointment, but please do not take this out on our team. Abuse is not tolerated and only serves to cause them more stress at a time they are trying to help.