Oxford and Cambridge Universities: Varsity Trip 2010/2011 and Off the Piste
“Just wanted to drop you a note to say a huge thanks for everything over the past couple of months. Working with you this year was one of the best decisions we made this year! Every year in recent memory our systems have crashed during allocation but we’ve broken the curse today. Last year we received lots of complaints but this year all we’ve had are compliments.”
The Varsity Trip started in 1922, two years before the inaugural Winter Olympics, with the first joint ski trip between Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Since then the Varsity Trip has grown in size to 2,500 participants in 2010, and is now one of the largest snowsports events on the planet. The original purpose of VT was to stage the fierce Blues races between Oxford and Cambridge University ski teams.
When Varsity Trip opens up for bookings, thousands of students immediately enter the booking system. In previous seasons, this has caused several crashes and slowdowns of the system, delaying ticket sales for days. For the 2010 trip, Oxford and Cambridge teamed up with Queue-it to secure a much improved end user experience and a smooth booking process without fallouts.
Sam Kirsop, President of Varsity Trip, writes to his +10,000 receivers mail list: “Varsity Trip 2010 has now SOLD OUT. All 2,500 places were snapped up in under thirty hours, compared to 10 days last year.”
As the booking rush unfolded, status messages were posted to users in line, and the number of users redirected back to the booking system was adjusted dynamically as capacity opened up.
Once the hotel room allocation opened up, Queue-it was activated again, to prevent the traditional crashes as ticket holders rush to secure their preferred accomodation.
Varsity Trip 2011 also used Queue-it.
Varsity Trip 2011′s queue number design.
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