Feb 21, 2019 | HANSON

BTTI 2019 Follow Up Survey

If you attended Back To The Island 2019, we want your feedback. Please fill out the follow up survey HERE.

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Public Forums | News | BTTI 2019 Follow Up Survey - News Discussion

9

Hollybelle

Holly Snider
Conway, South Carolina, US

I've always been under the impression that BTTI was Hanson's individual spin on doing a Rock Boat type event. I've never been myself, but from what I've heard TRB very much caters to repeaters. I.E. the more times you've been, the earlier you get to book, the better room selection you get, and they get exclusive merch too. Basically, Hanson and Island Gigs didn't invent this method of booking and it's obviously worked well for other events. The concept of cultivating "brand loyalty" is a huge thing in the retail/sales world, which means giving the best perks to the customers that consistently spend the most money to try to make sure they're always choosing to spend that money on your brand vs. another one. Maybe BTTI is in high enough demand right now that they can afford not to offer any extra perks if they chose not to, but that might not always be the case and it makes business sense to build a solid repeat customer base while they can. Like Paola said, there are always rooms left for general sale, and at least with the Melia, the rooms left at the end have been the cheapest ones, so it's not even a matter of it being unfair because new attendees are left with the most expensive rooms. I might be spoiled as a repeater, but I can't imagine choosing not to go because a room type sold out unless I just plain couldn't afford what was left. All of the rooms are nice.

I also agree that I would enjoy it less if they made it bigger and let it be 3 people to a room. A big part of the appeal to me is how laid back and intimate everything is, and increasing the crowd size by a third would make it that much harder to see in the the crowd, that much longer of a M&G line, and that much harder to have a fair chance to participate in whatever events are happening.

1

believe1984

In order to be fair with everyone, Hanson/Island gigs should allow a number of each room type that fansons could book during the pre-sales, and keep a little of each roome types only for the general sales (let's say for example there are 60 level rooms,  only 40 would be bookable during the pre-sales period and the 20 left would be bookable during the general sales, and so for each room types) Don't you think it would be fair enough? 

7

eek_a_mouse

"All of the rooms are nice."  @Holly


"Damp rooms, damp bed sheets, leaky roofs, pools of water on the floors, broken toilets, no hot water."  @Rosalind


^^^ I don't know if the above description is an exaggeration but, after spending thousands of dollars for two people (plus flights), this is not something I'd want to deal with on a vacation.  It sounds like camping in a downpour.  These kinds of problems take time away from actually relaxing and enjoying your trip.  Could someone please elaborate on how many people have had this type of experience and if a particular block of rooms was involved?

10

lilzacbop

Katie Wanta
Orange, CT, US



My room both years was damp, but not enough that it bothered me.  All my clothes were still damp when I got them home but the all got dumped into the wash immediately anyway. My roommates passport was on the dresser and curled up. But again nothing major just a minor annoyance.  Our bathroom was fine, both years. It may be isolated to a certain building or floor. (I had the same room both years)


Also my comment on having trouble booking had nothing to do with getting the room that I wanted (yes I have always been in the first group as I have gone ever year) just that the act of booking was much more difficult when everyone was trying to get in at the same time versus staggering booking dates.

11

TheWanderer

Kaitlin Walbright
Columbus, OH, US

@believe:

But there are not that many of each type of room. And if you read what Holly wrote about brand loyalty, then it makes sense. You want to make sure those that have spent the most with you get exactly what they want. That only makes sense. And it's only fair as well. As pointed out, this is kind of like TRB: the more you've been, the earlier you can get the exact room you want. Nothing is held back. TRB has sold out during presale before. But that just means they are doing well at what they do and people want to go continuously. It's not being mean to first-timers, it is just rewarding those that go continuously.

Again, maybe I'm spoiled as a repeater, but I'm also middle of the pack: I will never get a stage view at melia. Those are always gone by the time I book. I was surprised I got Level this year. Last year most of level (save for suites) were gone as well. 

"Damp rooms": It's the tropics. Humidity is at about 100% at all times. I find Melia better on dampness than the Cancun resort, where i LITERALLY slid across my floor more than once because there was condensation EVERYWHERE. My room at Jewel was constantly damp as well.

I've never had pools of water on my floor, but I did experience the hot water thing. That did suck. But it seemed better this year than last and seems to impact certain villas more than others (villa 7 seems heavily impacted). 

11

skyblue17

Joanne Villani
New York, NY , US

Part of it is that I am probably lucky, but I haven't experienced issues with the rooms in the Melia. Sure, it's humid, which can make it difficult for the rooms to stay completely dry, but it's a tropical locale, right on the water. I don't like AC, so I don't use it much, and we leave our door open when we're in the room. And even with that, I don't find the beds/room uncomfortable in any way due to the climate and humidity. 

The water situation is definitely a pain for those who experience it, especially those who have had issues both years. I have stayed on the ground floor in two different blocks of rooms and have not had water or flooding issues. When it rains significantly, yes, the paths flood. Luckily, it didn't rain much this year after the first day, and it wasn't a problem (and even when it did happen, I found that staff was quick to try and remedy the situation). 

I've stayed in Level and Non-Level rooms and yes, the rooms are designed to be nice. They are comfortable, bright, spacious. It's not camping. Why the hotel has issues that linger, I'm not sure, but it is still, in my opinion, a nice hotel with beautiful grounds. Your mileage may vary as to how the price equals the value, how much you need/are willing to overlook, etc. I like the Melia a lot, personally. 

8

asphodelia

Paola Rizzato
Heysham, Lancashire, GB

Like @Kait said, damp is going to be an issue at the tropics wherever you go. In Cancun the whole place felt damp and dank (my room was fine but I know a lot of people in the cheaper rooms had issues). In Cancun on our first day we stayed somewhere else (a Holiday Inn) and the rooms smelt really strongly of damp/mold. A friend of mine who goes to Cuba every year said it's the same over there.

@Claudia - I've been in Block 15 both years at the Melia - last year I had scalding hot water, this year I had lukewarm water. In both occasions, letting the water run for 10 minutes fixed the scalding/lukewarm problem, apart from the last morning when I guess everybody was showering at the same time. Not ideal, but I made do with the workaround (despite the fact that some friendly fan on FB accused me of being wasteful...).
The sheets on my bed never felt damp, but clothes do take ages to dry in the closet. I.e they don't. It's the tropics.

Leaks: on the first night this year, I had water coming in from one of the windows. It was raining really heavily (it's the tropics...) and that particular side window (and the one on the other side didn't have a glass pane, just wooden slats. I think it was the direction the wind was blowing. So I put towels on the floor. I called housekeeping and when they turned up they offered to mop, but by that point I didn't think it was necessary and I just asked them to bring me some more towels. 

I'm never going to be a fan of the Melia for the simple reason that I don't think that having a separation between fans is a good idea (Level/non Level) and I also find it too spread out. But it's not horrible, by any stretch of the imagination.

Aside from all of the above, I find it really staggering how people are complaining about the presales when either they're not going or intending to go, or they haven't even tried to book on general presale. Just because you won't have a Level room it doesn't mean that the whole event is written off - that's simply absurd and it's almost like arguing for arguing's sake rather than being rational and saying, "I want to go to BTTI and there will be rooms on Monday 18th March, so let's book."

One final thought for those who would like a bigger event with bigger numbers: this year the guys took photos with just under 400 people (Bryant told me it was something like 360 or 380... can't remember the exact figure but it was just under 400). It took them like 3 hours. We queued in the hot sun. Do you really think they'd enjoy doing that for say 600, 800 people? Would you be happy to forego your individual picture with the band, which is one of the nice perks of BTTI? Would you want them to dread Pictures Day even more than they probably do already? Would you want Hanson to be even more swarmed by fans, and would you like to have an even slimmer chance to bump into them for a quick chat? 
There is a bigger members' only event, it's Hanson Day. There you can battle it out with another 1,000 people and have group photos, all for a fraction of the price of BTTI. There is a choice.



11

TheWanderer

Kaitlin Walbright
Columbus, OH, US

@Paola said, the main complaint i have (and have really noticed) about Melia is the set up itself: its really spread out, and theres some separation of fans (though ive never done level and have never ever had a problem going to the level side and seeing my friends. it might be more separated normally but for this event they dont even try).

We stayed at the Holiday Inn for a few days after BTTI a couple years ago. Again, room was damp. It's Jamaica. But if you work at it, you can get a swimsuit to dry overnight on your balcony. Or at least dry enough to want to wear again. 

The appeal of BTTI (at least for me) is in how small it is. It's intimate and it's supposed to be. Allowing more people would turn it in to Hanson Day: Jamaica. That's not what I want out of something I'm spending this much money on. It was bigger in Cancun and, looking back, was too big for what BTTI is. While there was only probably about 500 there, it felt too big. The intimacy was lost. Where else can you lay on a lounge chair on the beach and watch Hanson and still see because there's SO FEW people there? 

It seems that most of the complaining comes from people that can't go to the Island for various reasons and want Hanson to make it so they can. Newsflash: no matter what Hanson does, it will be unfair to someone. You're going to have to learn to live with it. Hanson is not CATERING to fans with more money, they are simply giving people the option to have an amazing experience with them. And I appreciate it. 

There are many ways Hanson COULD cater to fans with money (selling VIP experiences, for one), but they choose not to because they want to remain accessible. It is one of the things I love about the band, because most bands of their size would be cashing in on M&Gs / VIPs / Early Entry passes / etc. But they don't. 

I also hate that people are simply "If you don't like the resort, don't go." Some are making that decision, which is their choice. Others of us are voicing our opinion, but going anyway. Ultimately, I'm allowed to have an opinion on where we stay (I would say the same thing to my friends if I had an opinion on a hotel) but like the end result regardless. 

8

asphodelia

Paola Rizzato
Heysham, Lancashire, GB

To add to @Kait's point and to clarify for those who haven't been to the Melia: the Level separation is waived for our event. So people can still use pretty much all of the facilities apart from the lounge and the grill restaurant. My issues is that inevitably people tend to stay put in their section so there are people I never even see (like, @Kait, I actually had to go on a search mission for you that day to find you - although it wasn't difficult ;) )

Also, 100% with @Kait on how Hanson could cater to the more affluent fans if they really wanted to. I totally, totally respect that they're not selling M&Gs despite the fact that pretty much everybody does that now. 
In fact, our event offers interest-free monthly payments (which makes things a lot easier) and the possibility of selling your spot if you can't go. 

11

TheWanderer

Kaitlin Walbright
Columbus, OH, US

I mean, I just stay at that bar because it's the closest to breakfast lolololol

9

Hollybelle

Holly Snider
Conway, South Carolina, US

@eek_a_mouse My comment about all of the rooms being nice was more referring to people complaining about the pre-sales being unfair when room types sell out than defending the resort itself. I was trying to say that a certain type of room selling out before the general sale shouldn't deter someone that really wants to go from booking another type of room, since all of the rooms are a decent size with comparable amenities. As far as I can tell, they're all very similar on the inside. The nicer more expensive rooms are just bigger or are a closer walk to the stage.

Now in terms of every room being functional and to the same standard for hot water, working appliances, etc., that's a mixed bag and I don't think there's any safe room type for ensuring those things are up to par. Some people have had no problems whatsoever, and the water complaints I've heard came from multiple room types in different buildings, so it doesn't seem isolated to one spot (though like others have said, humidity and dampness have been present at every BTTI regardless of location so I wouldn't fault the resort for that). I've been in a level room in the 1500 building both years. The first year the water was very slow to heat but was fine after several minutes. This year I took two cold showers even after knowing all the little temperamental tricks to get the hot water working. Yes, that's sub-standard and I'm not sure why that's acceptable to an award-winning resort. I hope it's fixed when we go back, but I'll go into it with realistic expectations knowing what I'm getting myself into at least. Hopefully they won't go back for a 4th year if it's not, though with the amount of complaints I'd be amazed if we go back for a 4th year even if the water is fixed. The water temperature is the only room issue I've dealt with personally, though. Everything else was fine.

7

eek_a_mouse

OK, well, I still think it would be nice to be able to choose the room you want vs. whatever is left over, but my biggest concern is ending up with a very expensive room with problems (if the place is fully booked and there's no option to move elsewhere).  Anyway, I'll have to discuss it with my husband.  (If this were a Secrets resort, I wouldn't hesitate.  We've stayed at two of them.  They're the absolute best all inclusive resorts we've been to, so far.)


"I totally, totally respect that they're not selling M&Gs"  @asphodelia


I hope that never happens. 

11

TheWanderer

Kaitlin Walbright
Columbus, OH, US

okay if they held back rooms and those with prior presales didnt take up all the expensive ones, it would actually be MORE likely that you would end up with something super expensive. 

think about it this way:
if you want the best, and its held back, you will take next best. and so on down the line. so now you have very few of every level left by public onsale. most people that havent been before go for cheapest they can (i did first time). so those are gone in seconds. so now you're going to hae to go up the ladder of rooms. because those that wanted the expensive rooms werent able to get them because they were held back.

everything stage view is gone. those are most expensive. 
cheapest level is gone
everything "cheap" is still up for grabs. and i really doubt that'll change before public onsale. if anything, the most expensive "regular" room will be gone. 

14

taysbear

Carrie Nairn
Hagerstown , Maryland , US

im so disappointed . i wrote all that in my survey for nothing ./ why do they bother writing those if they dont consider anything.

6

kellylizbeth

Kelly Davis
Astoria, New York, US

If demand for BTTI is increasing, but you don't want the event to get bigger, and you also don't want to give newcomers (or even less-often-comers) an equal chance to book the rooms they want, that limits the accessibility of the event and its full appeal to the same increasingly exclusive pool of people year after year. I'm never going to "catch up" to someone who's gone every year since 2013, so I'm always going to be stuck with the same people's leftovers in terms of what's available to me. That is discouraging, and makes me less eager to participate.


Maybe to Hanson it's worth it to keep repeaters happy at the expense of accommodating other attendees, who are also fan club members and whose money is just as good. I'm not a fan of that approach. I understand that people who enjoy BTTI and are attached to their return-customer perks don't want to see it change. I'm just pointing out that for those who didn't "get in on the ground floor," it's not as good a deal. There don't seem to be many people with that perspective chiming in here, but that doesn't mean it's not a valid opinion. To each her own.

11

TheWanderer

Kaitlin Walbright
Columbus, OH, US

There is not 100% fair way to do it, kelly. Nothing will be fair to everyone. The way they do it makes the most sense for the kind of event it is.

This kind of booking is not unheard of. As Holly pointed out, TRB (really all Sixthman cruises) do the same. Those that have been the most get their pick of rooms. Nothing is held back. No, you will never catch up, but you're also not meant to. It's like a line: they got there before you, they are in front of you, they get to pick where they stand before you. 

9

Hollybelle

Holly Snider
Conway, South Carolina, US

@Kelly It's a valid opinion and it's fair to express it. I'd always rather people with different perspectives express them and not feel like they have to stay silent just because others that feel the same aren't necessarily speaking up, and I'm sure you're not alone in feeling that way.

I guess overall the amount of people being left out and unable to book after the general sale starts feels like it's overall a bit exaggerated to me. Not on purpose or by anyone in particular, and maybe I'm completely wrong? I'm not sure any of us actually knows, but to me it feels like most of the people posting concerns (here and elsewhere) about not being able to get a room after the pre-sales are those that haven't been before and haven't actually been through the process of trying to book and being unable to get a room. I get where the concern comes from and I'm sure I would feel the same anxiety when you know things are starting to sell out. And like I said, I could be totally wrong, but most of the things I'm seeing are people saying they're worried, not that it happened to them or that it even happened to someone they knew. Even past years they seem to eventually make it all the way through the wait list and still manage to have random rooms for sale by the end that don't always get filled. Obviously that's not an ideal way to book and have to wait for an opening, but I never get the feeling that the demand is so huge that many people are cut off from being able to book, and it seems like those that are willing to wait a bit can always get a room. 

9

hfreezerburn712

holly frees
Nashville, TN, US

@eek

my biggest concern is ending up with a very expensive room with problems (if the place is fully booked and there's no option to move elsewhere)
.

In 2018, a friend of mine had a problem with the a/c not working in her room. They were able to move her and her roommate to a different room, so I think that even when it is "sold out", the resort or IG holds back a few rooms just in case. Maybe I'm wrong and that was a fluke, or maybe someone came late and ended up in my friend's original room or something. But, it's a thought.

"I totally, totally respect that they're not selling M&Gs"  @asphodelia

I hope that never happens.  

Me, too, and I don't think it will. For the record, at one of the MOE's on the MOE tour (could that be more confusing?), someone asked them about this at the Q&A. Zac had a great response, saying that when they sell a concert ticket or an album, they are selling their art. But if they sold a M&G, they'd feel like they were selling themselves. He definitely left me with the impression that it's not anything they'd ever be interested in doing.

14

taysbear

Carrie Nairn
Hagerstown , Maryland , US

I think they would think about making more music if they want brand loyalty it’s what they’re supposed to be doing 

7

eek_a_mouse

"In 2018, a friend of mine had a problem with the a/c not working in her room. They were able to move her and her roommate to a different room, so I think that even when it is "sold out", the resort or IG holds back a few rooms just in case. Maybe I'm wrong and that was a fluke, or maybe someone came late and ended up in my friend's original room or something. But, it's a thought"  @Holly F.


Thanks!  That's good to know.


"Me, too, and I don't think it will. For the record, at one of the MOE's on the MOE tour (could that be more confusing?), someone asked them about this at the Q&A. Zac had a great response, saying that when they sell a concert ticket or an album, they are selling their art. But if they sold a M&G, they'd feel like they were selling themselves. He definitely left me with the impression that it's not anything they'd ever be interested in doing."



^^^ That, too! ^^^


8

asphodelia

Paola Rizzato
Heysham, Lancashire, GB

@Kelly, if you had wanted to go this year you would have been on tomorrow's presale (groups who have been 1-2 times) and there were still Level rooms left. Most importantly, you could have come with me and you know that (I messaged you....subtly...). Yes, I know you are arguing about the principle but this brings up another valid point: a lot of potential first timers or people in the latter presales, will know people further up in the queue and will have a bigger choice of rooms. After I tried and failed to get you as a roommate [ ;) guilt trip, guilt trip] I found my new roommate through friends and she would only have been able to buy tomorrow (Friday) as a 2nd timer but got a room with me (6th timer). Everybody is happy now.

I don't even know why it's such an issue when there are enough rooms, most of the rooms left to general sale will be a lot cheaper, and as for Stage Front, who wants to watch the show from their balcony? I certainly don't give a monkey's about that and my only reason for wanting to go Level is to be close-ish enough so that I can freshen up between shows, use my bathroom, that sort of thing. For that, I don't need a stage view anyway and the Level room I had this year was perfect. Some friends of mine didn't have Level and they left their purses in my room and went to use the bathroom when they needed to (it was on the ground floor so I left the patio door unlocked for them. 

My point is, there are enough rooms, everybody knows everybody, non-Level can use most of the facilities anyway, and I have yet to hear of anyone wanting to go but not being able to because of availability - one quick look at the BTTI FB group will prove that by the end of the year, people were still selling not just spots but entire rooms.

What are we fighting for?

11

TheWanderer

Kaitlin Walbright
Columbus, OH, US

uh....i watched almost all the shows from tiff's balcony this year. it was amazing. planning on doing it again.

10

lilzacbop

Katie Wanta
Orange, CT, US

I've also needed a roommate 3 years so far (and may again this coming year - waiting for my friend to get back to me) and 2/3 I've had a first timer in a so called "best" room.  So it can happen.

9

TheGlam_Squad

Susannah Robertson
Dallas, TX, US

As some one who’s smack dab in the middle of the booking (I’ve gone 4 times) line and wasn’t able to book till this AM, my roommate this year has only been once and SHE MADE ME BOOK A NON LEVEL room :/ which for all the complaining I have done about it honestly the room we did agree on is still close to the main pool and bar. It’s a short walk to stage and tbh it did save me $250 bucks. But honestly I don’t expect to be in our room only to pass out after to many glasses of champagne like a grown up and get ready for the shows/pictures. In 20/21 I’ve got the hook up and get to book earlier cos I get to have a bomb A roommate ;) then. 

And in all honesty I’m really grateful that I’m able to afford to attend regularly , that my friends still wanna hang out with me even after seeing my thighs in a bathing suit. Although I suspect most of them keep me around because I’ll do their hair and Im typically the most sober one  to run and find towels when they fall in the hot tub fully clothed ;)p . I don’t really want the band to fix something that I don’t believe is broken to begin with. Sure they could improve on things but let’s be honest BTTI isn’t the only area of the fan experience that could be improved upon. 

11

TheWanderer

Kaitlin Walbright
Columbus, OH, US

@suze: 

make sure you request a close villa. i had deluxe beachfront the first year at melia and was literally half a mile away from the stage. last year, i made sure to request villa 1 or 7, as they're the close ones

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