Organization 101 or how to be a good host and not die trying
Come in! Come in!
Come in to my humble Elyseum and enjoy the party! Everyone is welcome!
Today I will talk about tournament organization, which may seem an easy and trivial task, but that’s why we must distinguish between a tournament and a GOOD tournament.
Tournament are the meeting point of players, they meet other players outside their playgroup, and even for some players it’s their only way to play V:tESm that is why a good organization is key.
First of all you have to choose a date and a place.
More than a few times, someone has placed it’s tournament long ago, just to suddenly find that someone is planning a tournament on the same date. That is totally counterproductive for both tournaments, cause it will split the players, it will create friction between the community and may end up in vendetta, specially for the first organizer, and no one knows what can be lurking around on a cold night when you turn the next corner…
It will help quite a bit to organize with the other princes from neighbourhood cities and distribute the calendar.
Having a good place is also very important. It’s not the same to meet with your playgroup at a bar or someone house’s than to organize there a tournament.
That doesn’t mean that a bar is not a good place, if it’s big enough, has enough tables, you arrange a menu at a reasonable price, and you have a quite space apart without interfering with the regular clients it can be a good option. If someone has a cottage sure it will lure many gangrels to the party!
A shop or a club are the common options, because they already have a suitable space for the activity.
Other good choices are municipal facilities that town halls usually cede to local associations.
What it’s true is that with 4 tables and a few bunch of chairs you can have a tournament, but players will thank you for a good space, quite where they can play without anyone looking at them strangely for playing with children games, etc…
Second point which is vital, are the players. Obiously without them there will be no tournament, and therefore making a good propaganda is very important.
There are several ways, accessible to everyone, we can use. First of all is the calendar at the VEKN website (http://www.vekn.net/event-calendar). That is also mandatory in order to make the tournament official. And while we are at the VEKN website wecan make an announcement at our regional section.
If there is a website or forum dedicated to your community, for example a Spanish Forum, make also a post there.
Depending on how the community flows you can do an event on Facebook, but you will need to have quite a few contacts.
If you have Whatsapp or Telegram groups, eitherway the general for the country or the local groups is very usefull.
If there are local shops that suport the game you can ask them to hang a poster.
And with this you may think we are don’t, note ven close!
First you have to be sure that we have given enough information for the people to come to our tournament. Many times the address is forgotten, or the schedule are not clear or any other relevant information. You should always inform of:
- Place (exact address and a Google Maps link if you can)
- Incription price
That is the minimal information, you can add more things, we will talk about it forwarr in THE COMPLEMENTS.
In second place, keeping track of the participants, or at least the probable players will help us encourage others and will mark the path of the tournament. How many times have you arrived to a tournament and you were less than 12 so it turn to be a multideck tournament and you weren’t prepared?
Or even worse, only 11 players show up (the cursed number) so someone has to drop or make weird combos with the archon(1)?
Once we are done with the preparations at long term, we can start the short term for the specific day.
Having access to a computer will help.
In case of larger tournaments, more than 25 people, a printer is very helpful, cause we will be able to print the rounds so everyone can check it easily. Also a microphone, or a small megaphone (10€), Will be very useful to communicate the rounds to everyone and not having to shout very loud.
If we have kept track of the players, we can have their data (name, vekn number, etc..) already on the archon, so the registration process will be much faster, and from here we jump to the next point, the schedule.
The Schedule is also very important, not just to know at what time you have to be at the tournament, but to estimate at what time it will end and plan the trip back home, furthermore if you come from far away.
It’s important to plan the resgirtration time, and that it doesn’t overlap with the first round. Specially in big tournaments. I will explain myself, for example:
In the EC 2017 in Berlin, the registrations where scheduled until 10:00, and the first round started also at 10:00. obiously at 9:55 there was a long line of people waiting to register and give the deck list, so the tournament start with a 1 hour delay.
The ideal would be:
9:00 – 9:30: Registration
10:00: Round 1
And leave some time for stragglers and unforeseen things. For smaller events with 10 o 15 minutes it will be enough.
It’s also important to be punctual, for the organization and for respect towards the players that have been punctual, the tournament should not be delayed because some players are late for it.
Of course there are always exceptions, maybe a prick of a wheel, but if someone is late and the rest waits for the player, he7she will be late every tournament knowing that he will be able to play and without any penalty.
With the things we have expose, we have a solid base for our tournament, everything that comes from now on are additional things, but that make the tournament even better, what we call the complements.
At organizacional level, small details like having the tables prepared the day before, arriving to the place a bit early than the players, having change for the inscription even if it’s a rounded price (5 or 10€) there will always be people who pay with 20€ or bigger. All of these details help that everything flows better.
External organizational level if we search a good lunch option, or a couple of restaurants nearby, players from outside will thank it.
The same could be said about accommodations in case of big tournaments like Nationals, Grand Prix or EC were many people come from outside, pointing them some good hotels or hostels will be very helpful for them.
Also giving some indications on how to get to the place, or the city from airports or train stations it helps to easy the travel, specially for foreinger people who don’t speak the language.
For local tournaments, indicating viable free parking areas is usefull and will avoid people from losing time searching for a place to park the car.
Having good prizes encourage people to attend, even more if there are prizes that will be sorted among the attendees.
A good way to have them is with patronages, and not everything has to be directly related to V:tES, there are many shops that will give you some products in exchange of having their logo on the poster and get some publicity on social media. T-shirts, some comic, or other things are good complementary prizes.
There are also prizes that are discounts for local shops, like restaurants, or nothing relates at all like little snack bags or beberages.
In the Spanish National Championship 2016 in Reus, the organizers manage to get chocolate smoothie and small snacks of nuts, that they give during the tournament as a mid day snack.
And up to here the class of the day on the basis on how to run a tournament. Anything you will like to add, or any suggestion on how to improve the tournaments is welcome, just leaves us a comment with your idea.
(1)Excel used to organize tournaments. Introducing the players gives us the rounds and the sitting position and the final round.
by Miquel Jorge ‘Gatocion’