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Subject: Advice on how best to recruit new gamers to my group? rss

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Roy Hobbs
United States
Mill Valley
California
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I host a weekly gaming group that's been going strong for 5+ years. We play just about all the popular Eurogame titles, and some of the hardcore gamers among us occasionally get together on weekends for longer games, like "Conquest of the Empire" or "Twilight Imperium".

The group is made up of friends and coworkers, with a core of about 4-5 regulars, and maybe another 3-6 floaters who show up sporadically. New members have always been introduced by referral through one of the existing participants. There is no open door policy for strangers to show up - and frankly, I wouldn't feel comfortable with that, since I host the sessions in my home, and it's important to our group that new members are a good fit with us.

In the last 6 months or so, we've experienced quite a bit of attrition to our membership, mostly due to folks moving away, or changing jobs. I myself changed jobs, and now commute about 50 miles to work, so it's no longer feasible for me to recruit new members from among my coworkers, since none of them live close enough to me.


I want to add about 2 or 3 new gamers to our group, but before inviting anyone into our group, and into my home, I'd like to be reasonably sure they'd be a good fit with us. I hope I don't sound too paranoid, but a friend of mine who lives in another state, recently had his gaming group disband because some new members, without getting into details, were essentially ruining the fun for everyone else. It can easily happen.

If anyone has any thoughts, advice, or experiences to offer, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks.
 
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Tim K.
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Some folks just meet informally, not in a gaming context to see if potential new members will blend well.
"You believe Pat Sajak is a genius?! Me too!!!" shake

I heard on one podcast how a group vetted new members by just inviting them like it's only a one time event before deciding whether to let them in on the fact that it's a regular thing. If they don't know it's a regular thing then they won't be hurt when you don't invite them back.

Brilliant (really). cool

Only drawback I can see with this is that it might be tougher to do with people you know well and/or see often. Then you'd have to remember not to discuss your regular extracurricular activities with them. ninja

Good luck! meeple
 
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Wolfgang Kunz
Germany
Netphen
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I'm German. That's what we do...
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Bash them on the head, drag them in your cave - oops, gamers, not girls

I wrote a posting in a local (cinema) forum about games and found at least enough people to have two gameing - groups. Funny, everyone was complaining that there are not enough gamers around or was looking for a gaming group.

There seem to be more people out there than we sometimes think.

 
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Scott Nicholson
Canada
Brantford
Ontario
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One method is to hold a monthly game day someplace else. This could be in different venues - libraries, community centers, large social groups, a college campus. One route for this is to contact groups already in existence and volunteer to host a boardgame event for them in their regular venue; have members of the existing group come along and each run a table with a different game, allowing people to move from game to game. Also, ask your current members if they have other circles of people through their families or friends that you could use.

Then, at the game day, everyone keeps an eye out for people they enjoy playing with, and invite them into the group.
 
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Jonathan Kidsley
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Long Eaton, Nottingham
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Koldfoot wrote:
Advertise where the gamers are; Singles websites, oriental massage parlors and possibly thrift stores.


lol that made me chuckle
 
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Kasey Relford
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Hang a Railroad Tycoon gameboard on your front door and scatter a trail of Meeples from the door to the nearest FLGS. If they're *OUT* there...they'll *FIND* it.

ninja
K
 
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seth weissman
United States
silver spring
Maryland
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You can find gamers everywhere that you find other people. I just moved to Maryland (from New York) two years ago and I am part of two gaming groups.

One meets in a local game store. This one predates my moving to the area: I just show up and have fun.

I've also started a second gaming group. We get between 10 and 20, usually averaging around 13 or 14.

Where did these people come from? I found a partner-in-crime whose daughters are in my daughter's school and some people on my block. Most are parents in my daughter's school or from my synagogue. Some of our early members invited their co-workers and friends, so synagogue and school just happen to be where I first meet people. The key question is: did you love Risk as a teenager? If they loved Risk, they are gamers waiting to be born again! That's the best recruiting tip I can offer.





 
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Chris
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Ronkonkoma
New York
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tranzducer wrote:
Hang a Railroad Tycoon gameboard on your front door


Or, conversely, USE a Railroad Tycoon gameboard AS your front door...that works too!

Chris
 
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Jon
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Play at a book store. Play something that will appeal to passers by so they'll want to join you.

Or plan a time at a book store, and then invite strangers to join you. When strangers become friends, you could move the gaming back to your house.

snicholson has good advice (above).
 
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John Kerr
United States
arlington
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You might want to check around and see if their are any game conventions in your area. Where I live, I'm lucky enough to have several of various sizes. The advantages to looking for new recruits there: You know they are interested in games, it's easy enough to arrange games with new people to meet them and you get an idea of what it would be like to game with them in the process.
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
England
York
North Yorkshire
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Go public. Start a public group and promote that. From there, you can invite people to your private group.

Go public. The more people you expose to modern games, the more gamers you will have to choose from.

Go public. Once a month is enough. Get a public venue, stick up flyers. if you build it, they will come.

Beyond Monopoly! is tomorrow. We'll have dozens of gamers all day.

Go public.
 
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