AFTERBURN REPORT 2002
The cycle of the ticket process actually starts each year right after the previous year's event. The team starts thinking immediately about every aspect of this very intense cycle pricing structure, image ideas for the physical ticket, and how to share information including any new message that needs to be communicated to smooth the process.
Burning Man is enriched by the most amazing creative community, and participants continue this tradition by decorating the envelopes that bring us ticket requests. We love the decorated envelopes! They are exciting rewards during the adventure of fulfilling ticket orders. We never know what will come through the post office, but we know it will always be full of delightful surprises. We showcase all the great envelopes at the office for all to see.
Other parts of the process slow us down (and drive us up the wall):
- Calling us and asking, "Where's my ticket?"
- Calling us and asking "Have you received my money?"
- Not reading the information printed on the ticket postcard, which means that we end up answering the same questions over and over again. The Ticket FAQ answers almost all questions that we hear. If someone has a question that is not answered there, then a simple email to partiserv(at)burningman(dot)com will get that answer.
- Sending in a ticket request before the opening date. We feel that the only way to make the ticket process fair is to eliminate requests sent in before the official start date.
- Did you move recently and forget to notify us? And now are you wondering where your ticket information postcard is? Do you suppose it went to your old address?
We continue to simplify the ticket process:
- Only money orders and cashier's checks are accepted. Since we no longer accept personal or business checks, ticket orders no longer sit in the hold pile while we wait for the check clearing process. This policy change eliminated much confusion in an already complicated process. It also means we can process orders faster and get them out the door and into your hand.
- We group orders by postmark date. We give equal treatment to each piece of mail that has the same post mark date. No matter where you live, be it Alaska, Russia, or Antarctica the mail is sorted by the postmark date, not by arrival date.
Ticket distribution is still a manual process in which we handle each piece of mail 12 times. We gather mail from the post office, sort by postmark date, open and sort by price request, photocopy each piece of information, create a data entry stack, enter the information, print out a receipt, double-check all information, attach ticket(s) to the receipt, fold & stuff into the envelope, add postage, and finally haul it back to the post office. By taking so much care, we make sure you receive your ticket.
The process for 2003 will be further tweaked and honed to ensure that you receive your mail-order tickets in a timely manner. In 2002, unfortunately some participants didn't receive their tickets within the four-week period that we had committed ourselves to achieve. Staffing and training were ramped up as quickly as we could at that time. For 2003, we've already begun training volunteers and have further streamlined the fulfillment to make sure you receive your pretty little tickets in a timely manner.