Dear Gen Con organizers,
To preface: I know you have a couple one time events that cause huge server loads, the opening of event registration is one of these times.
That said, the wishlist system you're using, and which thousands of people are fighting against this morning, is terrible. I'm writing this in 3382nd place in line to try and reserve tickets to an event that's already sold out. I'll be in this line for probably another hour. There is no way to leave this line even though I know the only thing at the end of it is disappointment. This brings me to my first suggestion for next year:
1. Allow your users to cancel waiting on a wishlist to process.
Now this leads into another issue with your system: it's overloaded. That's why the lists take so long to process, and of course additional database or memory operations would be required to allow cancelling, adding to the already great load on your servers. Clearly it would be overkill to invest in a big server cluster for the two times per year, housing registration and event registration, that you get this kind of traffic. Which brings me to my second suggestion for next year:
2. Make use of a 3rd party system to scale and load balance these two yearly events.
There are plenty of services available that will enable you to run this wishlist system or the housing lottery on their servers. These services allow you to scale up automatically as traffic increases and you pay for the time you use, paying extra for only these high traffic events rather than investing in the hardware to handle this kind of traffic at any time.
I think these are two fairly simple, although nuanced, steps that GenCon LLC can take to improve your customer's experience at a reasonable expense. I understand that handling this many customers at once is a big problem and I appreciate that you provide the service at all, these are my observations as an end user.
Thank you for all you do to make an amazing con,
A currently frustrated, but otherwise satisfied customer.