NEW Lottery process for residential registrations

Today, ConFuzzled would like to announce some changes we’re bringing to registration. These changes are being introduced to help improve the experience you have, and to help make room allocation fairer for everyone.

We’re not able to share every detail right now (for example we’re not quite ready to share pricing, or the dates for registration just yet), but we wanted to get the news out there, so you could have some time to prepare, and share your feedback.

The basic headline is that for ConFuzzled 2022, room allocation will move to a lottery system.

This means that your window of opportunity to register for a room at the convention will expand from (effectively) a few minutes (or less!) that it has been previously, to a couple of weeks.

Here are the basics of how residential registrations will work under the new system;

  • When you register, you’ll choose your preferred room type, and that will include our rooms in the Hilton, and the Crowne Plaza – both will be incorporated into residential registration during the lottery opening window. 
  • If you’re selecting a two-person room (twin / double) – both yourself, and your room share partner must submit your registrations, and setup your room-share partnership. (No ‘random assignment’ option will exist). If only one person registers, but selects a double/twin room option – your registration will not be entered into the lottery. 
  • You can only choose a single room or a two-person room option, not both 
  • When the lottery runs, one of three things will happen;
    • You’ll be selected, and offered your chosen room type (as will your room share partner)
    • Or, you may be offered a room of the same capacity, but a different type (for example you might have chosen exec, but be offered standard).
    • Or, if you do not win a space, you will not be offered a room, in which case you’ll be advised of your next available options 
  • If you are offered a room, you’ll have a short period to either accept, or reject the offer. The pricing profile of the room type you’re offered may differ from that of your preferred room if you didn’t get your first choice. At this stage, you’ll always have the option not to take the offer. 
  • If you accept, you’ll have a standard period of time (typically 2 working days) to pay.
    • Non-payment will result in the registration being cancelled, and your lottery-assigned room space will be lost with it.

Through this approach, we expect to be able to offer several advantages.

First, you won’t have to throw yourself into a mad-scramble to get a room right away when registration opens. Instead, you’ll have a much broader period of time to register. When you register will no longer have any impact, and the ‘first-come, first-served’ element will be removed.

Second, we’re hoping this process will make things faster, and that we’d be able to get you a room offer much sooner than had previously been the case. As this is the first time we’ll be running the lottery process, we still anticipate that delays may occur – we’ll be seeking to find opportunities to improve the efficiency of the process for future years.

Also, it makes it easier for room share partners. Since it removes the element of uncertainty around you both securing your room space. This aspect of registration had already begun to undermine the first-come first-served approach anyway.

We know that a lottery is not a perfect approach. No approach could be, however we feel it’s the best way to tackle the demand for rooms outstripping supply.  With our official second hotel, the Crowne Plaza, we are able to of course deliver some additional capacity. Beyond this, there are other, unofficial alternative hotels nearby, such as the Moxy. These may be able to offer alternative accommodation (please note, you will be entering into a direct, self-booking arrangement with such hotels. This will be handled entirely separately from ConFuzzled).

We’ll share more news in due course about our opening dates, and our pricing for ConFuzzled 2022.  In the meantime, we’ve compiled some answers to common questions we think you might have below. If your questions are not answered below, we do encourage you to contact us using: registration@confuzzled.org.uk

Why have you switched to a lottery system?

In a nutshell, fairness.

The old ‘first-come, first-served’ approach worked well when we still had some capacity to be able to find people rooming options, but demand really had outstripped supply.  This was putting pressure on our registration systems and processes.

For example, registration for the (ultimately cancelled) 2020 convention saw rooms sell out in just seven minutes!

Also, it was no longer really working. This was especially true for room share partners, where there were high levels of uncertainty around both being able to secure a room. Plus, it placed significant pressure on people with poor internet connectivity, commitment-clashes (such as work), or those who had a longer reg-form to complete, such as dealers.

These were just a few of the examples of those experiencing added difficulty with the registration process. As such, it was time to move to a different approach, and one that would be a lot less stressful for you, our attendees.

OK, but why not just move to a bigger venue?

This is not so easily achieved. The Hilton Birmingham Metropole is actually the largest combined hotel and convention facility outside London.

Whilst we have moved venues several times before, the convention has now reached the size and maturity where transplanting it again is not so easy. We always keep other options under regular review, but for 2022, ConFuzzled is going to be at it’s usual home, and as such, we feel the best approach is to focus on our processes for room allocation.

Can I submit more than one entry?

No, and we will be actively checking for duplicates. Such duplicates will be removed, and you will have one entry to the lottery.

Remember, you must present ID to attend ConFuzzled, and we will be checking to confirm that false details are not being supplied to us to try and circumvent our rule that you may only have one entry.

What about disabled / accessible rooms?

We are reviewing this aspect of the registration process, and will have more to share on this in due course.

Will there still be triple-rooms?

No, this option no longer exists for ConFuzzled 2022.

What happens if I don’t get a room?

We’ll be trying to advise you of next steps at the point we notify everyone of their lottery outcome. You may be able to go onto a waiting list in case of cancellations.

We’ll always try to advise you if we feel you’re just not going to get a room. We feel this is only fair, as it allows you to more rapidly switch to seeking alternative accommodation, rather than having to wait and then potentially missing out on even this option.

What about the situation with the pandemic? I’m unsure I can attend

We know that there is still a lot of uncertainty in the world at present.

We are monitoring the circumstances closely, and fully intend to review things on a regular basis.

We feel that the convention can go ahead in 2022. However we also appreciate that circumstances can change, and that this can be on an individual level. As has been the case in previous years, no reasonable request for a cancellation & refund will be ignored.

Will I need proof-of-vaccination or a negative test to attend?

More information will be provided in due course. Watch out for further announcements on this topic.

What about reg-only and day ticket options?

These will be unaffected, and will be offered as usual. A change from previous years, is that we’ll be offering all our ticket types right away when registration opens.

Will I be able to upgrade from attending only, to residential later?

If you register as attending only, the option to upgrade to residential will only exist during the lottery ‘open’ window.  After this window has closed, there will no longer be any option to request a room.

What about dealers? Will there be priority registration?

There will be no priority for dealers.

We will endeavour to provide the best possible experience for all our dealers, including those who are not successful in securing a Hilton space. More information will be shared in due course on this.