We're talking about rules changes related to getting beers entered into the NHCompetition, not getting tickets to attend the NHConference. But yeah it looks like the conference is going to a lottery system too.
Two different problems. The NHCompetition not being able to judge all the beers that people would like to enter is (IMO) a matter of not having the (willing) judge pool capacity. It seems to me at least that the changes they made will address the judge pool / site side of the equation and # of entries.
The NHConference running out of tickets is a case of demand outpacing supply. The places lined up to host the conference two years in advance now have to be what, 3000? 4000 capacity places? That's big and by the time it's determined that the place is too small, it's too late. Can't move the location. It will really start to decrease the list of cities that are even able to host, JMO. Not much you can do about that except maybe jack up the ticket price to limit demand.
Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC. I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up. In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis. Now I am concerned that I won't get in as others are to. Like many I have vacation and family activities planned around the event. A friend and I plan also to meet up there but the lottery throws a lot of uncertainty into the mix. Seems as though the 20% more additional slots alone would help alleviate the problem and should be evaluated before imposing a lottery.