Every BJC requires a pass, this is a means of seeing who has paid to enter the convention in a nice easy to view way. Usually something on a piece of string/ribbon that convention-goers can wear around their neck. Some convention have used non-removable wrist bands to stop the attendees throwing their pass over a fence to a friend to let their friend get in free, but wristbands can be unpopular with jugglers as they can hamper some peoples juggling.
The more visible and easy to wear the pass is, the faster the convention-goers can pass through security checkpoints.
It also gives the convention attendees a souvenir that they can keep.
BJC Huddersfield had 3 laser cut juggling clubs one of which worked as a bottle opener.
BJC Norwich had a specially printed Buff.
BJC Doncaster had Mr Bollox.
Consider the cost of your passes;
the Buffs at Norwich BJC 2009 were £4.50 each,
the Mr Bollox for Doncaster BJC were 90p each,
the Clubs for Huddersfield BJC were 47p each.
So you can see there are some savings to be made if you are working with a tight budget.
You need to have a clear policy whether you will replace lost passes and what people should do if they lose their pass. Some conventions encourage people to write their name in indelible ink on their pass or its ribbon, so if the pass is lost and handed in, the pass can be reunited with its owner. Getting parents to write their mobile phone number on their children's passes will help if the children lose their parents and are brought to reception.
If you are going to replace broken passes you will need to have some spare.
Other things to consider; the pass should:
- be robust enough to survive a seven day festival,
- be unique enough that it cannot be easily forged and be distinguishable from non-passes,
- have no sharp edges,
- not be made of something that might react adversely with peoples skin,
- be suitable/appropriate for children (unless you are giving a different pass to children),
- be large enough to be easily visible at checkpoints and not too easy to lose, but not be so large that it becomes cumbersome to carry at all times,
Previous passes have included; Badges, laminated cards on string, security wristbands, plastic ducks, yo-yos, laser cut metal passes, plastic puzzles, bottle openers, passes with LEDs in them, compasses, perspex cut-out passes and buffs.
Different types of Passes
As well as the full pass you will also need Day Passes for people who just come for one or two days (generally these are simpler and cheaper than the full pass).
You might also need child passes or some way of distinguishing adult passes from child passes, in case an adult purchases a (cheaper) child pass by mistake. This can be sometimes be a different colour ribbon.
If you are running other events like British Balloon Modelling Convention which people can visit separately from the convention then you will need some kind of pass for that as well.
More details about these passes can be found on Previous Convention Passes page.