Anthrocon 2017 Con Badge Changes

as announced on

As posted by Nicona Shadowwolf

here are several changes coming to registration this year so I am writing this post to let people know what to expect. In this post I will be focusing on the on-site registration and changes coming to the badges.

Last year, as several people are aware, we had issues at on-site registration on Thursday. The printers we use to print out badges had issues and caused several hours of downtime. The problems have made it clear to me that the way we are currently printing badges is not scaling well as we continue to grow. Having all of our on-site check-in stations printing to 2 or 3 printers is just not sufficient any more. And if one printer problem can bring down reg it becomes apparent that changes need to be made.

First off, the badge stock will not be changing. We will still be using the plastic badges like we have been. However, for on-site registrations we will no longer be printing directly on the badge. Instead of using the 2 to3 printers that every check-in station was printing to, each station will now have its own label printer. As a person is checked in, a label will print out right at the station and be affixed to the badge which then can be handed out immediately.

There are a few benefits to do things this way:

1. With the labels printing out right at the stations we will be able to process people through registration faster, which will mean shorter wait times in line.

2. Once you pay/check-in you will not have to wait for your badge to print out and listen for your name to be called. Your badge will be handed to you right then and there. We will no longer have to have people yelling out badge names to find who the badge belongs to,

3. With the old printers, when we had a printer go down it brought all of on-site reg to a halt. With the new printers if a printer goes down we lose one station, not all of on-site reg.

Now to answer a few questions you may have.

What will this look like?

Here is a picture to give you an idea of what the labels will look like. Please note that for this example the label was placed on a room key card and the layout of the label may be different.

Will the label be covering up the artwork on the badge?

No. There is going to be a slight redesign of the badges. The very bottom of the portion of the badges will be set aside as a lighter area where the label can be placed. All of the badge artwork will be above this area. That way the label will cover up very little, if any, of the artwork on the badge.

How durable are these labels? Will they fall off if they get wet?

I have been doing quite a bit of testing on these labels. After affixing a label to the keycard I have submerged it in a cup of hot water for over 15 minutes and the label did stay affixed to the badge. Now I am not saying you should go soaking your badges or taking showers with them but they should withstand the normal wear and tear of a convention, including getting damp during fursuiting.

Now any label will come off if you work at it. Just remember that without the label you will no longer have a valid badge.

What about pre-registered badges? Will they also use the labels?

No, pre-registered badges will not be using the labels. For pre-registered badges we will be printing directly on the badge as we have done in the past. However, we will most likely be re-arranging the layout of where we print the information on the badge to utilize the area at the bottom of the badge.

There are some other changes coming to registration but I want to limit this post to the badges. Keep an eye out for more information later.