Registration Tops 6,000
As of 5:30 p.m., the registrants included 2,092 adults; 3,596 youth and sponsors; 193 junior high youth and sponsors; 289 infants, preschoolers and children K-5; and 257 volunteers. The total registration count was 6,427.
The turnout for Pittsburgh compares favorably with attendance at past conventions: 7,517 people registered for Columbus in 2009; 6, 247 for San Jose in 2007; 8,541 for Charlotte (a joint convention with 7,720 U.S. Americans and 821 Canadians) in 2005; and 7,867 for Atlanta in 2003.
In the early going, adult registration is down about 10 percent from the Columbus convention, when about 2,326 attended; youth registration is down about 14 percent from two years ago, when 4,197 youth and sponsors signed up.
Registration opened on Jan. 25 this year, with a flurry. On the first day, 1,702 people registered (that was below the first-day total for Columbus, 2,614); by week’s end, there were 3,180 registrants.
In an effort to resolve some difficulties with the registration process in previous conventions, the planners this year separated general registration from housing reservations. In previous conventions both housing and general registration were done on the same day.
By the old method, youth groups would rush to enter their registration information, and then quickly move on to the housing reservation system. People would swamp the system, trying to sign up for the best housing — that is, the housing located nearest to the convention center.
But the new system, which was in place when housing registration opened on Feb. 1, was not without flaws. Within the first few hours, the system had to be shut down. The new system, like its predecessor, had become overwhelmed by registrants and stopped running.
Though some people were able to get their information into the system, most could not and called the planning office to ask why they could not register. In order to handle this problem, planners disabled the system for a few days.
Even with the beginning issues the convention planning, the team heard a good deal of positive feedback on the new system. Scott Hartman, the office manager for convention planning, said, “We’ve heard nothing but good comments about separating registration and housing like we did this time. People were very understanding through the process.”