« on: February 27, 2013, 09:39:12 AM »
There were obviously issues abound with the registration, hence the need to suspend it after just a few hours. I am certain those in the know of everything that occurred will come to reasonable solutions in the future.
I for one also took time out off of work to ensure I was able to get my beers entered. Not sure if any else had my experience, but the email with the links never made it into my inbox until after 5pm. By that time, I had already found the posting from Janis with the links, but late enough that the two closest sites to me were already over booked, but in enough time to get into a third. Unfortunately, I got as far as entering me into the system and they suspended registration before I got any beers entered. So now I am kinda in, but no guarantees - if the system comes back up while I am at work because I can't take the whole week off, guess I am out even though I planned time off to get in.
I am sure the 15 limit came after much debate and by looking at the number of entrants/entry over the past years is way above what the average brewer is submitting.
Over the past several years, I have tried some different strategies on my way to "fame and glory" of winning in the NHC. Best I've done is to win in the first round, but never the second. My excitement this year being that the finals are in my back yard had me double the amount of entries I wanted in compared to the past. To help my chances, what I have done was to enter as many of the beers into recent, local contests and planned on submitting those entries that had either won in those contests, or scored 38 or better in categories that were flooded with entries but didn't win. My theory is, I am upping my game in the NHC and giving myself the best opportunity to get as many of my entries to the second round as possible. So, one suggestion to help improve the quality at the grand poobah of contests may be to require entries to the first round have placed top 3 in category at an AHA/BJCP sanctioned contest in the year prior to the NHC it is to be entered. This may alter the number of entries or brewers, or not, but would up the ante.
If the issue is system overload, pre-registration could simply be get your personal info loaded and number of entries you have to submit and then get a voucher from the system to get people into and out of the it quickly and efficiently. Then, following the pre-registration period, which could be pared down from a week to a couple days, or not, provide a couple day window for folks to enter the particulars of their entries and pay. Once the voucher expires, it is forfeited and can go back to general enrollment based on first come/first served if there are spots available at the site you are registered for. You can limit the vouchers per entrant at any number, you would allow time for people to get all their intended entries in based on first in/first out for the pre-registration (i.e. remove the complaint that I can't type fast enough or the system didn't process fast enough for me to get all my entries in), and like now, if you don't pay, you are out and others can get back in and possibly enter all the beers they want.
If all of this was already considered or tried in the past, I apologize for redundancy, there are a lot of folks with much higher brain function than me that will figure this out!