September 14, 2012

SS class registration nightmare!

O.My.Heck… Sewing Summit class registration on Tuesday was a mess and then some!

Let me start by saying that this was a system error and outside of one of them being a programmer and developing their own system, there isn’t much the SS team could have done to prevent these problems. However, wow… frustrating to the max for everyone involved (including them!).

I logged in right at 2MST – test data is still there from testing that was done earlier. When that testing was being done, people thought it was real registration time so they hurried to sign up – I think they got to keep what they picked during that time which kind of made it unfair to those who actually waited until 2MST to sign in.

I had to log off and in a few times to finally get it to give me real data and not the test data (you could tell it was test data because everything was full and that isn’t possible with the lectures). At that point, there actually were a lot of classes already full. I signed in right at 2MST… how were half the classes full at that point? So I picked what I could, went to the CC section to pay, and o wait… now one class is full. Why doesn’t it save my choices so no one can take them while I fill in my credit card information? That doesn’t seem right nor fair.

SO… you have to go all the way back, find new classes (at that point 4, not just 1, were full from what I originally selected!). So I pick new ones, went back to the CC screen, same issue. This happened approximately 11 times for me in the first 35 minutes… I was so irritated I wanted to cry. FINALLY I got it to give me a bunch of random classes, only 1 of which I actually wanted. And then I spend another 30-40 minutes logging out/logging in, and trying to get better classes 1 by 1. What a MESS. In the end I got about half of the classes I wanted – not so exciting but a lot better than some people who still only have 0 or 1 class they really wanted :(

Amidst all of this mess, people were spamming the discussion board like crazy with complaints; I will admit I sent a couple too! In between people would log in and say “wow, I got every class I wanted, so wonderful!” and we’d want to kick them lol. That is great for you but when so many people are sad and frustrated – don’t rub it in, k?

It was a really awful experience for a lot of people and although I’m glad I finally have 75% of my schedule that I’m happy with, I feel sooooooooo bad for people who still have an awful schedule and are not excited about the conference. Although I can’t say there are any BAD classes, there are several I am not interested in at all and I didn’t pay $1000 total to go take classes on subjects I don’t care about… so I understand their frustration and pain. Lots of people keep saying “inspite of not having and classes you want, the socialization will be great and totally worth it!” which honestly isn’t helping either – we paid for classes, not for friends and while meeting everyone is going to be awesome and a great bonus to this whole conference… you can’t justify the expenses to your husband/family/budget by saying “well, I didn’t learn anything I wanted to but at least I met nice people!”.

*sigh* O well, at least it is over, I have some classes I want, and I’m super excited about the upcoming experience. Hopefully next year they will be able to make some adjustments and make the process smoother for everyone involved. This is only their second year and they are doing an amazing job organizing such a big event for all of us bloggers/sewers and I’m so grateful for all the hard work and effort they’ve put forth. I really do think this is going to be a wonderful experience for everyone – but still hope something can be done for those who are still really upset and sad about their schedule.

Speaking of which – a lot of teachers ARE offering “unofficial” classes in the evenings to share information from the really popular classes like English Paper Piecing, Shapes and Angles, Foundation Paper Piecing, etc. so that is super nice of them and really awesome for those of us who didn’t get into those classes! They are there to get in fun classes too, not just for teaching, so it is nice of them to give up some of their freetime during and after the conference to help everyone out!


**nicke... said...

i am thinking of just driving up for the weekend and crashing the whole party! so sorry you had such a headache! xo

Katy Cameron said...

I'm so sorry, watching from the sidelines it was totally painful. The irony was, for me, I wanted 7 lectures, so in fact even though I got in in that first round, it would probably have made no odds when I tried to register! The other 2 I was registering though wanted more hands on, and I also had that frustration of kicking round about 10 times total with the CC info in both sessions, except I had to put my billing address in each time too o.O I got them each about 5 of what they had as first choice, and left it at that, if they want more, they can fight that out themselves ;o)

I do agree about the whole 'but it's all about the socialising' thing, I cringed at each of those mails - I'm spending around $2000 to come to this weekend, and if I had been caught without anything I wanted I'd have been devastated too! I did keep my mouth shut on the forums about 'Yay I got what I wanted' I know I was lucky I got in in that test phase, I really didn't think you all needed me to be shouting that from the rooftops!

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you there :o)