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Growtix Issues

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I heard a lot of complaints about the GrowTix site while at Reapercon. If we are going to see an improvement in the ticketing of Reapercon, we probably should compile an actual list of requirements/changes to the current tool. This would be good feedback for the people at Reaper when they are ramping up for 2020.

Please be specific, list what you were trying to do, what you were expecting, what didn't work the way you were expecting and what didn't work at all. What improvements would you like to see in the software?

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I am no expert on the subject but these were the issues I had problems with:

  • the ability to purchase and schedule multiple attendees through the same account.  Even though i had purchased 4 tickets, I couldnt make the system give more than one assignment per timeslot.
  • The ability to see and/or print a schedule showing what you had already signed up for
  • A better way of seeing what was available and what's full in the gaming groups
  • A better way of seeing the gaming in general. (I know there were table top games you could sign up for but i couldn't find them.

Again these were just me and the problems I had.  Other results may differ. 

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19 minutes ago, Kangaroorex said:

I am no expert on the subject but these were the issues I had problems with:

  • the ability to purchase and schedule multiple attendees through the same account.  Even though i had purchased 4 tickets, I couldnt make the system give more than one assignment per timeslot.
  • The ability to see and/or print a schedule showing what you had already signed up for
  • A better way of seeing what was available and what's full in the gaming groups
  • A better way of seeing the gaming in general. (I know there were table top games you could sign up for but i couldn't find them.

Again these were just me and the problems I had.  Other results may differ. 

 

1st bullet point: You can edit the names attached to each ticket so you can then schedule and purchase class tickets for each person. On YOUR growtix admission Confirmation page, click "edit" by admission ticket  to change the name attached to that ticket. You can then click register for class and view schedule for each person there. I've added a screenshot so you can see the different names attached to each admission ticket as this multi ticket attendee did last week.

 

image.thumb.png.03ad30677e87c198b191c917dc0329f1.png

 

 

Bullet point 2:   Under each ticket thee is a grey button with a pull down menu to print. See screenshot  Also, in the upper right hand corner (must be logged in) you can view your schedule there by using the pull down menu and selecting "my schedules", There you can also add manage your schedule, view your schedule, or customize your name (ticket holder) for that schedule

 

image.thumb.png.e97ca4ff51661f151a2cf47bd243b26a.png

 

image.thumb.png.19e32382091471b7588eafbaddead99b.png

 

 

3rd bullet point:   On the game schedule page, you can click "view" and then it would tell you if there were any slot available or how many have pre-registered for that game. See screenshot

 

image.thumb.png.77b8b70eef024e8e5c12b906eb5f73e0.png

 

 

4th bullet point:   Use the gaming filters to the left of page. Click on the day tabs on top of listing to select what day you want to play

 

image.thumb.png.e3ab3339be78412cd209ada7fddd339c.png

 

 

I hope this helps! :)

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There are lots of issues with GrowTix and it's hard to put into words. But, the biggest issue to me is the scheduling. I put things into the "schedule" as a wishlist and of course didn't get into all of them when I actually got to purchase. The trouble becomes, the "Schedule" shown when you click to view it are the ones you added to the "wishlist", so you can have things in your schedule that were full when you purchased tickets and are therefore not in and you can have tickets purchased for classes you didn't initially place in your Schedule. But, of course, once these classes are full, you can't add them to your "wishlist" schedule because they are full, but for some reason they don't show up on your actual schedule despite having tickets purchased. I've learned that the "Schedule" that you manage when you click "Manage Schedule" is this wishlist that you can create prior to registration being open. It has no correlation to the actual classes purchased. I tried to make this work, but it just didn't. I had multiple classes in my Schedule that I did not get into, but were showing up, and also classes that I purchased that weren't in my schedule. To be honest, I had to manually look up my tickets and write out my own schedule because the online tool just did not work. I don't like how much it's being defended when it has significant shortcomings and glitches. I've used it with multiple conventions and it sucks. It just does.

Edited by Dicey
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Honestly, I've seen much worse solutions than GrowTix, especially considering that there are two different event types going on here that require pre-registration (one paid, one not).   Check in was actually pretty easy, despite having purchased a 4 day pass, then a week later buying a pizza dungeon ticket, and then buying 3 different classes all on different days. 

 

Everything can always be better though, so I've a few comments on the annoyances for me this year.

 

@Dicey touches on this, but I'll try to state it simply.  Viewing my class schedule is not helpful when I can have classes on there I haven't purchased.  And because I purchased several classes on several different days, it was difficult to confirm which classes I had purchased and which I left on my schedule hoping to nab a spot if one opened up.

 

Also, it would be very helpful if the Gaming schedule and Class schedules would interact.  It is completely possible to purchase a ticket for a class, and then go register for a game in the same time slot.  The two schedules for the two are in seperate and the gaming dashboard in particular is in a rather non-intuitive place, making the only way I could have a unified schedule was to build one in a spreadsheet.

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  • Often, I had to log in to the site multiple times in order to access whatever information I was looking up. I'd log in, then go to the class or game list or whatever, and it would decide I was not logged in. It is not obvious from the landing page you end up on after logging in how to get back to the ReaperCon event pages and have the system continue to consider you logged in.
  • When submitting events, either classes or games, it's just good practice for the confirmation email to contain the details of what was submitted. It should include the content entered into every field on the submission form. The confirmation emails from GrowTix have just the name of the event and then the generic ReaperCon text. 
  • When submitting classes, there were fields to fill out that included things like what level a class was intended for (beginner, intermediate, etc.), whether it was going to be a lecture/demo or hands on class, and skills that a student should already have in order for the class to be most useful to them. This information was not visible in either the class listings or the detail pages for classes, and it should be.
  • As an event runner, it would be useful to have events you are running, whether they be classes or games, show up on your schedule.
  • Treating classes and games as completely different entities causes problems later when somebody is trying to figure out what their overall schedule is. It would be better if it was just one list of events that included everything available for registration. 
  • The overall usability of the site is very bad. If you have to provide detailed instructions and walk-throughs on how to perform tasks that are the primary intended use of the system, that is a usability failure. If the purpose of the site is to allow people to enter events, buy badges, and sign up for and purchase tickets for those events, it should be designed such that it is obvious how to perform those tasks successfully. It should also provide feedback that clearly indicates what your status through that process is - whether you are actually registered for an event or if it is just on your 'wish list', etc. 
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1 hour ago, Jen said:

The overall usability of the site is very bad. If you have to provide detailed instructions and walk-throughs on how to perform tasks that are the primary intended use of the system, that is a usability failure. If the purpose of the site is to allow people to enter events, buy badges, and sign up for and purchase tickets for those events, it should be designed such that it is obvious how to perform those tasks successfully. It should also provide feedback that clearly indicates what your status through that process is - whether you are actually registered for an event or if it is just on your 'wish list', etc. 

So much this.

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I'm am the Registrar for a national convention next year.  I have determined that our registration site will be nothing like GrowTix.  We are working on the site design now; I veto anything that smacks of GrowTix.

 

There seem to be two points of view on how to handle GrowTix.  One is to learn its intricacies, its work-arounds, its back passages, its conflicting summaries ... and then, maybe, you'll get what you think you are getting.  I was personally sure I had it down (after last year) and found out, at the registration table, I didn't.  I actually did better winging it last year than, after considerable study, this year.

 

The other is to replace it with a user friendly, transparent, straightforward system.  It doesn't seem that will happen.

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2 hours ago, Highlander said:

There seem to be two points of view on how to handle GrowTix.  One is to learn its intricacies, its work-arounds, its back passages, its conflicting summaries ... and then, maybe, you'll get what you think you are getting.  I was personally sure I had it down (after last year) and found out, at the registration table, I didn't.  I actually did better winging it last year than, after considerable study, this year.

 

The other is to replace it with a user friendly, transparent, straightforward system.  It doesn't seem that will happen.

This^^^

 

It sounds like at least some of my problems were with instructions and hopefully i can refer to this next year to help out.  However, as i say below:  I tried some of this, it didnt work

 

I will be the first to admit:  I go to reapercon to relax and have a good time with friends.  If i have to invest more time to figuring out how to figure out how to do things than i do for normal work activities, this is the exact opposite of relaxing.  the above notes are great.  Having those notes accessible to me before the con would have been even better.  Having all of it actually work would be the best of all.

 

To whit:

  • changing the name of the person on the ticket wouldn't let me schedule correctly.  I did try that and it didnt work.  every time I tried to register for a game it reverted back to the first ticket on the list no matter which ticket i chose to assign to that class.  For me it did this without fail every time until i gave up and let my son schedule his games
  • I did not try bullet point 2 because of bullet point 1 so I just didnt know how
  • having to look at each class or game for each day across 4 days can be a tad time consuming. It works but its really clunky.
  • the filters didn't work.  at all.  maybe it was just me but the only filter i got was Dungeons and Dragons or other.  except for the week before, then i got pathfinder D&D and other.  i never got any scheduling for the tabletops at all.  People had said they had created games of this type but i was not able to filter for them.

and getting instructions was pretty difficult.  it actually took me a few tries to even get to my tickets to schedule anything because every time i logged in it took me to a blank growtix page with my orders in small print in the upper right corner.  Normally white pages with no information on them are reasons to run due to misdirection phishing attempts.  Since my company had just been through one of those, I might have been a bit more jumpy than usual but still,  a simple welcome page with a list of basic instructions instead of a blank page would be much more helpful.

 

I understand we have to use something and that Reapercon has grown significantly in the last few years and requires a better management system than Reaper can afford to develop on their own.  This forum was created to develop ways to make it better and figure out where people were having problems, so i am giving you where I had problems.  Its not going to stop me from coming back next year and trying to use Growtix if thats what gets used but i can provide problem areas and hope they will be fixed.

 

Thanks for the assistance

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On 9/5/2019 at 5:29 PM, ReaperAHawk said:

 

1st bullet point: You can edit the names attached to each ticket so you can then schedule and purchase class tickets for each person. On YOUR growtix admission Confirmation page, click "edit" by admission ticket  to change the name attached to that ticket. You can then click register for class and view schedule for each person there. I've added a screenshot so you can see the different names attached to each admission ticket as this multi ticket attendee did last week.

 

image.thumb.png.03ad30677e87c198b191c917dc0329f1.png

 

 

Bullet point 2:   Under each ticket thee is a grey button with a pull down menu to print. See screenshot  Also, in the upper right hand corner (must be logged in) you can view your schedule there by using the pull down menu and selecting "my schedules", There you can also add manage your schedule, view your schedule, or customize your name (ticket holder) for that schedule

 

image.thumb.png.e97ca4ff51661f151a2cf47bd243b26a.png

 

image.thumb.png.19e32382091471b7588eafbaddead99b.png

 

 

3rd bullet point:   On the game schedule page, you can click "view" and then it would tell you if there were any slot available or how many have pre-registered for that game. See screenshot

 

image.thumb.png.77b8b70eef024e8e5c12b906eb5f73e0.png

 

 

4th bullet point:   Use the gaming filters to the left of page. Click on the day tabs on top of listing to select what day you want to play

 

image.thumb.png.e3ab3339be78412cd209ada7fddd339c.png

 

 

I hope this helps! :)

This information needs to be available at the Reapercon.com website no later than when ticketing goes live.

Not just available, but PROMINENTLY flagged so that people can find the tutorials information easily.

The entire Growtix system is Byzantine in the mindset involved in its design, which is why so many people are finding it difficult to use.

It appears to be designed for GrowTix convenience, not for the convenience and ease of use by those attempting to buy tickets and make reservations through the system.  I say this as someone who has seen digital computers and the attendant software grow from "magic rocks" and Hollerith Cards to today's mostly intuitive object based interfaces.  GrowTix is at least two generations behind where the system should be for use by the average ReaperCon attendee.  The system may work just fine for Computer Related Conventions but it absolutely suckx for use for an arts and gaming related Convention.  The mindsets and skillsets involved are different enough that it is tarnishing Reapers Image by association without detailed and easily accessed from the Reaper end tutorials.

GEM

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:unsure:  Are Growtix and Embassay Suites corporately related in any way ?  I hope it isn’t part of the overall contract with the venue to use Growtix... 

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10 minutes ago, TGP said:

:unsure:  Are Growtix and Embassay Suites corporately related in any way ?  I hope it isn’t part of the overall contract with the venue to use Growtix... 

 

I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Growtix has no connection with Embassy Suites.

 

Growtix has a software system for managing conventions, and Reaper is one of the Con organizers that use it.  Comicpalooza in Houston uses it too.

 

When I look at my order history in growtix  I see the last 2 Conicpaloozas and Reapercon 2019.

 

It works a bit better for CP, but still has a pretty horrible UI.  I think CP has an upgraded version of GrowTix with more features, because they have a dedicated app each year.

 

My impression is that GrowTix works pretty well for organizers as far as planning and running the Con, but they don’t put much emphasis on the attendee experience.  The organizers are their customers, so that isn’t too surprising.

 

I don’t know if a better system is available.  Maybe not, as this must be a pretty small niche.  Or it might be cost prohibitive.  I have to believe Comicon uses something better, but they might have their own system.

 

For what it’s worth, if there is a better system available I’d happily pay more for a Reapercon pass if they change to it.  I think an extra, say $10, per attendee would be money well spent if it addressed the issues because I’d get more out of the event.  I spend a lot more to travel and stay, etc.

 

This was our family’s first Reapercon, and we loved it!  We’re definitely going back next year, but the GrowTix system definitely detracted from our experience for all the reasons others have covered very well.  If anyone is tallying votes, count 4 for my family in the “please fix the GrowTix problem” column.  I won’t be mad if they can’t though.  I understand - software’s hard.

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54 minutes ago, TGP said:

:unsure:  Are Growtix and Embassay Suites corporately related in any way ?  I hope it isn’t part of the overall contract with the venue to use Growtix... 

Good question, but I think the answer is a definite No.

Embassy Suites is part of the Hilton Hotels collective of Hostelries.

Grow Tix is a business that has built ther business model on an online platform that is Byzantine in its design and implementation which is usable by people who work on computers on a full time basis but is basically a PITA for anyone outside of the computer industry.  The senior management and BoD of Hilton would have long ago booted the principals of Grow Tix and replaced them with people capable of designing and implementing a User Friendly, not just Computer Nerd understandable system.

GEM

23 minutes ago, rubegon said:

 

I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Growtix has no connection with Embassy Suites.

 

Growtix has a software system for managing conventions, and Reaper is one of the Con organizers that use it.  Comicpalooza in Houston uses it too.

 

When I look at my order history in growtix  I see the last 2 Conicpaloozas and Reapercon 2019.

 

It works a bit better for CP, but still has a pretty horrible UI.  I think CP has an upgraded version of GrowTix with more features, because they have a dedicated app each year.

 

My impression is that GrowTix works pretty well for organizers as far as planning and running the Con, but they don’t put much emphasis on the attendee experience.  The organizers are their customers, so that isn’t too surprising.

 

I don’t know if a better system is available.  Maybe not, as this must be a pretty small niche.  Or it might be cost prohibitive.  I have to believe Comicon uses something better, but they might have their own system.

 

For what it’s worth, if there is a better system available I’d happily pay more for a Reapercon pass if they change to it.  I think an extra, say $10, per attendee would be money well spent if it addressed the issues because I’d get more out of the event.  I spend a lot more to travel and stay, etc.

 

This was our family’s first Reapercon, and we loved it!  We’re definitely going back next year, but the GrowTix system definitely detracted from our experience for all the reasons others have covered very well.  If anyone is tallying votes, count 4 for my family in the “please fix the GrowTix problem” column.  I won’t be mad if they can’t though.  I understand - software’s hard.

Only when you have Systems Analysts who don't understand People.

When you understand People, not just Computer Nerds but actual everyday  people with limited facility with computer systems, the software becomes much easier.  If you don't understand the people side of the system then, yes, it becomes very hard because you are trying to program people to fit the system instead of making the system fit the people.

GEM

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On 9/8/2019 at 1:03 AM, TGP said:

:unsure:  Are Growtix and Embassay Suites corporately related in any way ?  I hope it isn’t part of the overall contract with the venue to use Growtix... 

 

 

No.  The Embassy Suites are a quality organization.

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We had a similar problem trying to change names on tickets. The GBO is a Computer Nerd, but we just gave up for similar reasons to many others. This is a relaxing thing for us, and at some point it isn't worth the irritation.

Our specific issues were:

1. Schedule shown was not necessarily what we paid for as others mentioned.

2. Server reloads were so clunky that we missed out on several classes between putting them in the cart and paying for them. (Minutes matter in the fray!)

3. Being unable to sign up for classes at the 9 or 10pm the night before, and inability of Reaperpeeps to sign us up for classes. At some point I just gave up. I had several instructors tell me I should have just shown up, as they had empty seats.

4. The GBO didn't end up playing games because I had registered us both and he didn't have access to sign up. He didn't want to inconvenience a DM if he hadn't signed up. We will remedy this in the future by registering separately. 

5. Just a note, I managed to pay for one class separately (somehow, someway I will wreck the machine), and it always showed up as a separate ticket. I could never get it to add to my schedule. 

 

I hope this is helpful. It is not meant to be a diatribe, but a concise list to help for the future. If it's Growtix again, we will persevere, but we don't have to love it.

FWIW, the GBO offered to help with tech stuff. ::D:

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