How to Run a Successful Board Gaming Event - Part 03 - Coming Down Off the Post Event High
In Part 01 (Planning and Preparation) I discussed the importance of planning ahead for your event (months and months ahead). In Part 02 (Game Day is Upon You) I talked about all of the various things that will be happening on the day of your event. In this final article I'll talk about the days after the event. You've rested, recouped, and now you're ready to close the books on your successful board gaming event.
Thanking Your Attendees
Yes, you did all the hard work planning for your event, but in reality your attendees are the stars of the show. The most well planned and executed event would be merely an empty room without them. Take some time to write up a letter which can be emailed to all of the people who came out that day(s). Make it simple, with some really great numbers calling out successful parts of the day. Add links to tweets you sent out during the day, perhaps with contest or tournament winners, and just say thanks for coming out.
A Short Survey
Considering including a simple survey in the email you send to your attendees. Make it dead simple with some free form questions. Google Docs (Forms) makes it dead simple to create a quick survey in just a few clicks. Click the "Start a new form" button at the top. Then give it a title, fill in a few questions, and you're off to the races. I selected "Paragraph" as the question type to get a nice large input box people could type into. Just copy the URL of the form and paste it into your email with a sentence or two asking attendees to fill it out.
Don't expect a large set of responses. I sent to everyone who registered and got a sub 10% response rate. But bear in mind that the people taking the time to respond are the ones most passionate about your event. Listen to their feedback and make note of the areas which get the most attention.
My survey looked something like this:
How could Nashville Tabletop Day have been better
Now that we're a week after Nashville Tabletop Day I wanted to ask you how I could improve the event next time. This is anonymous, so feel free to be honest. Thanks again for coming out. The event wouldn't have been as successful without you.
1) What should Nashville Tabletop Day do more of next year?
2) What should Nashville Tabletop Day do less of next year?
3) Do you have any other comments about Nashville Tabletop Day?
Thanking Your Sponsors
If you were lucky enough to get good sponsor involvement like I did then you potentially had thousands of dollars worth of games sent to you by various game publishers. The donations cost each individual publisher very little, but collectively they really came through for you. Take some time to thank them for their involvement, and do it by name.
Call out specific games they donated, perhaps even sending them links to photos of attendees playing, or winning, their games. The important thing is to make them feel them feel like rock stars (thanks David!) for being involved in your event. Not only will they be grateful and appreciative, but they'll be more likely to work with you again in the future.
And I received a number of other emails which all expressed how thrilled they were to receive that small touch to make them feel appreciated.
Here's the email I sent.
I just wanted to take a minute, after the fact, to thank you so much for your support of Nashville Tabletop Day. I think by any measure this sold out event was a rousing success. Here's the way the day broke down.
200 tickets sold, 57 people on the wait list.
133 checked in attendees, 20-ish un-ticketed walk-ins.
- 43 games given away via Door prizes, Play to Wins
- 40 folding chairs rented
- 30 pizzas, 2 massive salads
- 12 giant bags of single serve chips
- 10 8 foot tables rented
- 8 cases of drinks
Here's a few pics of the event itself
Heading out to set up with my number one assistant, my daughter Noelle:
She ran the checkin table and was the first person that most people saw when they arrived.
Setting up the floor, snacks, registration desk, and taking a breather before the event starts
The gaming floor at it's most crowded. Pretty close to 130 at one time.
The all important gamer food, pizza! Provided by Eventbrite.
Check out my twitter feed and the hashtag #NashvilleTabletopDay to see just how much people enjoyed the event.
Publisher specific content goes here
Thanks again and here's to working together again for Tabletop Day 2017! :D
Regards Andy Matthews @meeplemountain
Thanking Your Volunteers
Your volunteers are the unsung heroes of your event. Behind the scenes working hard, sweating, moving tables, setting up shelves, and all of the other things needing to be done so that the attendees can have lots of fun. They deserve your thanks too.
If you don't have a ton of time after the event, that's fine. I actually used the same email for attendees, sponsors, and volunteers. I just customized it for the audience and sent it on it's way.
I hope these three articles were useful to you. I truly enjoyed writing them, and hope that they'll be of use to future organizers. Just remember that if you you can dream up the event, you can make it happen. I went from nothing to a successful board gaming event in less than a year. It was hard work, and long hours, but I love this hobby and I'm just thankful I can be a part of making it grow in my hometown of Nashville.
- Part 01 - Planning and Preparation
- Part 02 - Game Day is Upon You
- Part 03 - Coming Down Off the Post Event High
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