Now that the rate of people getting vaccinated is increasing and the number of Covid cases are decreasing, people are going to start playing in tournaments again. In this article, we are going to discuss tournaments and how you can run an effective and fun and engaging event.
How to attract players?
So you are trying to organize a Malifaux or any nerd tournament. How do you attract players to your event?
- Make sure that the event is safe. Encouraging your players to get the vaccine and follow store policies.
- Choose a centralized location for players. I could have ran a tournament in Charleston, SC. However, that would have added an additional 1-2 hours for most players in the Southeastern US. Therefore, I selected a gaming store that is more centralized in Columbia, SC. For most players this saves driving time. The big thing about running a tournament is to remove as many barriers to play as possible. Getting players in the door is the biggest struggle.
- Remove entry fees. I would recommend removing entry fees until your meta gets off the ground and starts consistently running events. I would only include entry fees if you would like to add store prize support or the store requires payment for play space.
- Select a venue with plenty of space. The store that I am running the tournament this Saturday has tons of space. It could easily host a 40 person tournament. The more space there is the more pleasant the experience will be for your players.
- Prize support and raffles. I am conducting a raffle for this tournament coming up. Players have chances to earn prizes by putting tickets in a raffle. This means that every player will have a chance to win prizes, not just the top end.
- Show the prizes off! People want to see what they could win at the tournament. Show the players what prizes will be available AND let them know how they can win!
- I hate Facebook, but one of the reasons I still have it is to advertise and communicate with different Metas. Make sure that you are updating players and communicating expectations.
- Finally, I make sure that there are not any hard requirements like painted models, cards, etc. Make it as easy as possible for new players and casual players to play the game.
Organization and Things to Think About
The first thing that I always do as a TO is to figure out how many players we are anticipating showing up to the event. Facebook once again does a good job of giving me a general idea. However, I also like to reach out to leaders of different parts of the community. I ask them a few questions:
- How many players are you guys bringing to the tournament?
- Can you supply a few mats and terrain?
- Does anyone in your group need anything to play?
Now that you have a general idea of how many players you have, you will want to make sure you have that man tables, terrain, and mats. However, I plan to have 2 additional tables ready just in case we have a number of people show up that I was not anticipating. It is usually in my experience though that you have 2 to 4 less people show up than I estimate. This is usually because of life, sleeping in and whatever other excuses nerds can come up with.
As a TO you also want to have an idea what you are going to do if you have an odd number of players? Are you going to have a ringer? Are you going to have a person get a bye each round? If it is a big tournament, I tend to have myself be the ringer, if I cannot find a casual player to be the ringer. However, in a fun tournament like the one I’m running Saturday, I am going to play and we will have a bye for the person in last place. If we do have an odd number, I always take the bye round 1. That way everyone that travels gets a chance to play first.
Bring Spare materials like fate decks, rulers, counters, cards, and other resources. This is mainly for new players, but everyone forgets things once and a while.
Finally, reach out to your LGS to try and get stuff for you players to buy! Even if you can grab 3 to 4 things for your game that you are playing, this will be nice for some players to buy. Most game stores have no problem providing stuff for your players to buy. It doesn’t hurt to reach out to the company that makes the game as well. I have had some luck with companies sending me prize support for bigger tournaments!
I hope this was helpful for all of you that are planning on running events in the near future! I definitely am looking forward to running and playing in real life again! If you have any tips as a TO, please share here or on RQW social media outlets.