Author Topic: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?  (Read 39037 times)

Offline denny

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NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #90 on: February 27, 2013, 09:03:26 PM »
The two years I was the organizer up here I heard the same type of stories from many of our BJCP judges in the area. They didn't have a beer in the contest so they didn't feel the need to give back.

I'm speechless about that kind of attitude.

@ Denny.  My thought exactly.  I really enjoy & respect input on all the forums where I see your posts.  I want to shake your hand at NHC.

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Offline udubdawg

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #91 on: February 27, 2013, 09:05:59 PM »

The system errors that occurred yesterday are unfortunate. They came unexpectedly and quickly without enough time to make the appropriate adjustments. The AHA is holding meetings to remedy/rectify the immediate situation and the GC will convene for continued discussions on this issue, as well as a stategy to successfully move forward.


I am grateful for all the work that the AHA does, but I don't think I was alone in not being surprised with how yesterday went.  Sorry to pile on, and it really isn't about the AHA but rather the trouble with any major beer event where tickets go on sale at a certain time.  There's a lot of us thirsty beer lovers out there.  It'll take like 37 minutes to sell out GABF the way things have been going, that is, if we don't crash the system.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #92 on: February 27, 2013, 09:20:07 PM »
Well Stated but your numbers are a little off Ron
Jan 2010 17,621
Jan 2013 32,231
which is 83% Growth or 14,610 Additional Members in the 3 years since 2010. Nearly doubling. 
As Ron said, this is both exciting and challenging.  AHA Staffing has grown over this time and is continuing to grow to support our growing membership.

I can assure you that the AHA Staff and your Governing Committee planned for an uneventful and smooth registration. We wanted that more than all of you. Obviously that didn't happen.  I'll quote an official AHA release
Quote
The AHA is deeply sorry for the problems associated with NHC registration today. The AHA worked in advance with our providers to ensure that registration would be seamless. But as we all saw, that did not result as promised or planned. We accept responsibility for today’s failures, and we apologize for the headaches.

Other than "splitting" Seattle and Portland, I think everything that has been mentioned has been discussed, and more.  Going forward everything will be on the table, again, as we look forward to next year.   After things settle we will review what happened with an eye toward next year and making next year a better experience for all. 
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Offline noghri_vir

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #93 on: February 28, 2013, 12:56:17 AM »
Well Stated but your numbers are a little off Ron
Jan 2010 17,621
Jan 2013 32,231
which is 83% Growth or 14,610 Additional Members in the 3 years since 2010. Nearly doubling. 
As Ron said, this is both exciting and challenging.  AHA Staffing has grown over this time and is continuing to grow to support our growing membership.

I can assure you that the AHA Staff and your Governing Committee planned for an uneventful and smooth registration. We wanted that more than all of you. Obviously that didn't happen.  I'll quote an official AHA release
Quote
The AHA is deeply sorry for the problems associated with NHC registration today. The AHA worked in advance with our providers to ensure that registration would be seamless. But as we all saw, that did not result as promised or planned. We accept responsibility for today’s failures, and we apologize for the headaches.

Other than "splitting" Seattle and Portland, I think everything that has been mentioned has been discussed, and more.  Going forward everything will be on the table, again, as we look forward to next year.   After things settle we will review what happened with an eye toward next year and making next year a better experience for all.

This is the second year in a row there have been problems. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me....I'd like to think there's not going to be a fool me three times in there but with the current makeup of the boards and not much new blood in there to tackle these new problems I'm not too hopeful.

Online theDarkSide

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #94 on: February 28, 2013, 06:34:37 AM »
Was there problems registering for the competition last year?  I got my 4 entries in no problem and then remember watching the site to see how fast they filled up.  Not as fast as this year, but pretty quickly.  I just don't remember any issues with the comp registration, hotel, or conference.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 06:36:32 AM by theDarkSide »
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Offline hokerer

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #95 on: February 28, 2013, 06:43:06 AM »
We also considered the situation where only beers that qualified in other competitions could be entered.  Personally I think this goes against the spirit of the NHC, where anyone can win.  I think the inclusiveness is one of this competitions greatest strengths.

If that's the best reason that you've got to not use sanctioned BJCP comps as qualifiers then the solution is an absolute no brainer.
Besides, anyone can get a BJCP competition sanctioned.  You could register and host your own, not advertise it, have no one enter except you, and then you win all of the medals at this "BJCP sanctioned competition".  Congratulations, now all of your beers are eligible to enter. ;)

Yes, I missed a word there.  I should have said "AHA sanctioned BJCP comps".  Have a set of minimum standards (# of entries, quantity/quality of judges, years in existence, whatever else you want).  Minimal additional effort on the AHA's part to "ride herd" on something like that.
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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #96 on: February 28, 2013, 06:49:01 AM »
We also considered the situation where only beers that qualified in other competitions could be entered.  Personally I think this goes against the spirit of the NHC, where anyone can win.  I think the inclusiveness is one of this competitions greatest strengths.

If that's the best reason that you've got to not use sanctioned BJCP comps as qualifiers then the solution is an absolute no brainer.
You're going to have to spell it out for me then, because I apparently lack a brain.  If you are suggesting we go from an inclusive model to an exclusive model like the MCAB then I disagree that is the right direction.

I don't understand this statement at all.  As it stands now, the NHC is extremely exclusive.  The only folks allowed to participate are those that can take the time out of the middle of their workday to hope that they might, just possibly, get through the system far enough to enter the comp.

The only aspect that is inclusive is that yes, anyone can enter any beer they feel like no matter how crappy or not it might be.  Adding a third round (preliminary qualifiers) in no way reduces that inclusiveness as again, anyone can enter those (and not be subject to the exclusiveness of the first paragraph).
Joe

Online theDarkSide

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #97 on: February 28, 2013, 07:07:02 AM »
I don't see where it's extremely exclusive.  Everyone had the same opportunity to experience 503 Service Unavailable errors as anyone else.  The brewer has to make a decision if it's important enough to take time off from work, shift their lunch hour, or call in sick to be available for the opening of registration.  Moving it to a Saturday or evening may work, but not everyone is working banker's hours, (2nd & 3rd shifts, working weekends, etc ), so you potentially exclude them.

I am against a prequalifier for the ability to enter the first round of the NHC.  That's potentially 3 brewing days for one competition depending on the style.  Now you exclude the people who try to fit a brewday in between work, kid's karate, family time, and all the other crap we save up for the weekend. 

I enjoy enter the national competition, but the rule changes proposed will exclude me from entering in the future (prequalifier, $30 entry fee, etc.)...so mission accomplished I guess.

I don't see an too much of an issue with lowering the limit to 10, but I would never enter that many anyway, so I'd hate to exclude the one who do.


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Online AmandaK

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Re: Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #98 on: February 28, 2013, 07:55:21 AM »
The two years I was the organizer up here I heard the same type of stories from many of our BJCP judges in the area. They didn't have a beer in the contest so they didn't feel the need to give back.

I'm speechless about that kind of attitude.
me too


Same here. Good thing we have people like that running for the AHA Governing Committee...  ::)
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Offline weithman5

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #99 on: February 28, 2013, 07:58:29 AM »


Besides, anyone can get a BJCP competition sanctioned.  You could register and host your own, not advertise it, have no one enter except you, and then you win all of the medals at this "BJCP sanctioned competition".  Congratulations, now all of your beers are eligible to enter. ;)



finally i could win a medal 8)
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #100 on: February 28, 2013, 08:19:52 AM »
Was there problems registering for the competition last year?  I got my 4 entries in no problem and then remember watching the site to see how fast they filled up.  Not as fast as this year, but pretty quickly.  I just don't remember any issues with the comp registration, hotel, or conference.

here's a thread from last year.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11258.0

here's one of several threads from earlier this year on conference registration
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14662.0

here's a thread on GABF troubles
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=12908.0

and here's a comment from you on conference registration last year:
"...Obviously the servers are overloaded but it will eventually go through.  It felt like I was trying to get Buffett tickets."   ;D

by comparison to this year, last year does seem like a walk in the park, but last year did surprise many people.  I got multiple e-mails from coworkers a year ago asking if I wanted to go in together for shipping our entries and had to tell them it was already full.  Not everyone lives on the AHA forum, or at least so I'm told.
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Offline rjharper

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #101 on: February 28, 2013, 08:33:01 AM »
There's no easy answer to any of this, demand clearly swamps supply. We've had good suggestions of caps, earned places, qualifying rounds etc, but what I focus on is who is entering. Anyone can enter, its all inclusive, but we should be setting expectations. I realize this may sound arrogant or elitist, so hear me out. If I you don't honestly think your beer can win BOS, then why enter?.  If you've got some score sheets back from other competitions with a 32 and "great beer" in the comments, well done, but that's not going to cut it in NHC.  Beers submitted to NHC should be labors of love, tweaked recipes that have been rebrewed and improved until they're perfect to their owners

If your beer isn't consistently medalling in AHA competitions / state fairs / MCAB qualifiers, or at least regularly scoring in the upper 30s / 40s, then all you're going to get from NHC is more feedback, and that's not what NHC is about. I've got six beers going into NHC that have medaled multiple times and regularly score hi 30s and 40s. I've been brewing for 7 years but havent entered in the past because I haven't felt my beers were good enough. This year I decided I was ready to step up to the plate. This year I think I'm finally good enough for NHC. I think NHC should be where the best beers in America duke it out. Maybe thats already taken care of with MCAB. Justs my 2 cents.

I apologize to anyone I offend with this; I'm very passionate about brewing, and don't want to see the AHA implode from unsustainable growth.

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #102 on: February 28, 2013, 08:35:47 AM »
Moving it to a Saturday or evening may work, but not everyone is working banker's hours, (2nd & 3rd shifts, working weekends, etc ), so you potentially exclude them.

That's why the only fair solution would be one that incentivizes fewer total entries (relative to the number of available spots, should that increase). The goal needs to be to get back to a >24 hour entry window before the contest fills up. That gives almost everyone, regardless of time zone or work schedule, a chance to enter at their convenience.
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Offline narvin

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #103 on: February 28, 2013, 08:39:58 AM »
There are two separate issues here.  Obviously, demand has been increasing every year... all regions filled up within 3 days last year, and a few hours this year.  There has been lots of discussion on how to fix this.

The other problem is that the registration software that the AHA switched to this year is garbage.  Looking at the company behind it (zkdigital.com), it's some guy in Colorado who probably knows beer but lacks any technical background other than some web design skills.  You need to be licensed to do my taxes but any random guy can still write server software?  C'mon, it's 2012.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 02:41:39 PM by narvin »
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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #104 on: February 28, 2013, 09:00:15 AM »
Maybe we just need to slow down the registration process.  If we limited the registration to one beer per member at a time (and then you need to get back into the cue and start all over), then more people would have a chance to register their 1st beer.  You could limit 5 individual entries per day, as well (if 5 is the magic number, it could be more or less).

If we staggered the region time slots less people would be entering at the same time (if this is/was the problem), or do a lottery or priority system (again that thing!) to get into the cue at certain times.  I remember when my college went from a card/stand in line system for registration, to a phone registration system.  As a freshman, I couldn't register until a certain time, as Senior's had priority.

I think it also needs to be closed to non-members now (not that that would change the landscape at all, but we have gotten to the point where membership has to have priority).
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