‘Full’ doesn’t mean ‘don’t bother showing up’

As Josh and Dawn have mentioned in prior blog posts, we have generated a greater interest in the event than the venue can sustain. Fire code is 297, and we capped Upcoming at 325. I’m sure the numbers would have exceeded 400 by now. Based on the limitations of Upcoming, it was too difficult for us to implement a true RSVP system where those who pre-registered were given priority. Upcoming does not give us a username to real name mapping and many of those who RSVP’ed will end up being no-shows. The best solution was for us to simply make the event first-come, first-served. We will close the doors once we hit the magic fire code number. Yes, having to turn people away at the door is going to suck. The alternative was scrambling to find another venue which would have added far too much complexity with only a week remaining before the event and even worse, having to get the word out to everyone who already expressed an interest.

The flip side to hitting capacity is that a number of you might be thinking, ‘why bother even trying to get in?!’ We run the risk that we’re not going to end up with a packed house because no one wants to ‘race’ for a spot. The solution? Show up early. If you’re there at 5:30pm when the doors open, I am pretty sure that you’re going to get in. You’ll also get first dibs on the food and drinks. If you’re running late, trying to find a parking spot, stuck in traffic, waiting for public transportation, whatever the delay may be…we’re sorry, but we cannot offer reserved seating.

What we are going to do, however, is keep a live head count update on the Ignite Portland Twitter account. What you can do is add Ignite Portland as a friend on Twitter, turn on notifications for this account, and make sure you have notifications setup in your Twitter preferences to be sent via SMS to your mobile phone. This will provide you with a live head count to your mobile phone while you’re busy making your way to the event. If you aren’t on Twitter, go sign up and follow these instructions. If this is too complicated, then just show up. We’re providing this to Twitter users as a convenience. It’s the best we can do.