GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
8,928 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
18 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: How do game nights work at your FLGS? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mark Gage
United States
Bend
Oregon
flag msg tools
mb
Bend, OR has a very welcome addition to the local gaming scene -- a new FLGS called the Modern Boardshop, which just opened a couple months ago.

Since their opening, they have run weekly (and separate) events for miniatures, CCG, and RPGs/board games. The board game events are what interest me most, and I have attended 3 or 4 of these events since they started.

There is no real structure to these free ~3 hour board game events, which have drawn anywhere from 8 to 25 players. There is a small library of light games that the shop provides (TTR, Catan, Carcassonne, Splendor, etc.), and some people (like me) bring their own games, and look for players. I have never seen anyone not find a table to play at, and the crowd is welcoming, diverse, and friendly, so things are working out OK.

But you know me -- I'm an engineer, always looking to optimize everything. Is this how game events usually work, or is there something that your FLGS adds to these events to increase the appeal, reputation, and eventually sales of the store? Just looking for ideas that I can pass on to the owners or help incorporate as one of the local board game evangelists.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
flag msg tools
Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That's about how it works at all the flgs I've played at.

Mine also has tournaments from time to time, but I normally skip those because there is normally an entry fee.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Myers
United States
Redmond
WA
flag msg tools
Mandelbrot/Simurgh hybrid etc etc
badge
I made both of these fractals, hurray!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remediator wrote:
Bend, OR has a very welcome addition to the local gaming scene -- a new FLGS called the Modern Boardshop, which just opened a couple months ago.

Since their opening, they have run weekly (and separate) events for miniatures, CCG, and RPGs/board games. The board game events are what interest me most, and I have attended 3 or 4 of these events since they started.

There is no real structure to these free ~3 hour board game events, which have drawn anywhere from 8 to 25 players. There is a small library of light games that the shop provides (TTR, Catan, Carcassonne, Splendor, etc.), and some people (like me) bring their own games, and look for players. I have never seen anyone not find a table to play at, and the crowd is welcoming, diverse, and friendly, so things are working out OK.

But you know me -- I'm an engineer, always looking to optimize everything. Is this how game events usually work, or is there something that your FLGS adds to these events to increase the appeal, reputation, and eventually sales of the store? Just looking for ideas that I can pass on to the owners or help incorporate as one of the local board game evangelists.


A lot of shops I've been to have neglected the "clean bathrooms" feature that many people would prefer was non-optional.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some stores sell drinks/snacks as a way for people not currently looking to buy a game to nonetheless "buy something" to support/thank the store.

Some stores have additional weekly meetings besides the ones you mentioned, e.g. for a specific classic game like Chess or Go or Shogi.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remediator wrote:
Is this how game events usually work, or is there something that your FLGS adds to these events to increase the appeal, reputation, and eventually sales of the store?
That's how it usually works. The game store usually doesn't do anything. As long as they don't charge an admission fee, I'm cool with that.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Fair
United States
Damascus
MD
flag msg tools
designer
Or maybe PowerGrid?
badge
Yeah, that's me. Handsome devil, I know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The closest game store to my home charges $5 to play at any of their events. They also decide ahead of time which games will be played at their board game nights. For these two reasons, we don't go to any of their events.

The next closest does as you describe, pretty much. If board game night were more regimented than that, I would not attend. They do have drinks and snacks as well, and a lot of space. We go there twice a month, and I will usually buy a game once a month, and drinks every time. The first store needs to learn from this model... shake
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Bushong
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
The first store needs to learn from this model... shake


They most be aware of the second store's policies for gaming. They must make money on something other than board games like Magic: The Gathering or Warhammer 40,000. If that is the case, they will probably continue the pattern since their business won't be dramatically effected.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Gage
United States
Bend
Oregon
flag msg tools
mb
Terwox wrote:

A lot of shops I've been to have neglected the "clean bathrooms" feature that many people would prefer was non-optional.


That's done. The space is pretty great -- well lit, good tables, some music, 20 foot ceilings, and sparkling clean bathrooms. They set out to create the opposite of a dusty gaming dungeon, and succeeded.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Fair
United States
Damascus
MD
flag msg tools
designer
Or maybe PowerGrid?
badge
Yeah, that's me. Handsome devil, I know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Landsknecht wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
The first store needs to learn from this model... shake


They most be aware of the second store's policies for gaming. They must make money on something other than board games like Magic: The Gathering or Warhammer 40,000. If that is the case, they will probably continue the pattern since their business won't be dramatically effected.


I am sure they do. The further store has been in business for at least 30 years and been in it's current location for 20. They are very well known and always busy. The closer store is newer, open for less than a year now, and in the few times i have been in there, not been very busy. They do have in-store video gaming options that the older store does not, but all the other offerings appear to be about the same (stock selection, types of events, etc.). They both host events for and sell product lines for M:TG and WH40K.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Gage
United States
Bend
Oregon
flag msg tools
mb
russ wrote:
Some stores sell drinks/snacks as a way for people not currently looking to buy a game to nonetheless "buy something" to support/thank the store.

Some stores have additional weekly meetings besides the ones you mentioned, e.g. for a specific classic game like Chess or Go or Shogi.


That's done too. Good micro brews (central to the culture here) and a few snacks are available for purchase, and most people get something, I think.

Nice idea on the classic game theme -- that might help broaden the draw of the shop.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Gage
United States
Bend
Oregon
flag msg tools
mb
I'm a little surprised at the expressed resistance to paying admission for attending game night. They don't currently charge anything, but I don't think I would object to this -- it is a way to pay for the service that you really get.

The only other way (?) to support a FLGS is to pay full markup on the games that they stock. Is that what you'd rather do?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
flag msg tools
Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remediator wrote:
I'm a little surprised at the expressed resistance to paying admission for attending game night. They don't currently charge anything, but I don't think I would object to this -- it is a way to pay for the service that you really get.

The only other way (?) to support a FLGS is to pay full markup on the games that they stock. Is that what you'd rather do?



Yes, I would rather buy games (snacks and drinks), then I'm getting something for the money that I can't get at home.

There are so many places that we can play for free. We are bringing them a customer base, why pay for that?

Advertising and marketing normally costs a company money, not generate it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Fair
United States
Damascus
MD
flag msg tools
designer
Or maybe PowerGrid?
badge
Yeah, that's me. Handsome devil, I know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Guantanamo wrote:
Remediator wrote:
I'm a little surprised at the expressed resistance to paying admission for attending game night. They don't currently charge anything, but I don't think I would object to this -- it is a way to pay for the service that you really get.

The only other way (?) to support a FLGS is to pay full markup on the games that they stock. Is that what you'd rather do?



Yes, I would rather buy games (snacks and drinks), then I'm getting something for the money that I can't get at home.

There are so many places that we can play for free. We are bringing them a customer base, why pay for that?

Advertising and marketing normally costs a company money, not generate it.

100% agreement. I typically go to game night with my wife and 2 kids. $5 to attend game night isn't so bad when you first think about it, $20 is.

Three of us also play D&D Encounters every Wednesday. This would make 6 times a month that the store wants $15-20 bucks from me. I am not paying more per month in game-playing fees than I currently spend per month on gasoline. I will go where they let me play for free, spend that much on games/drinks/snacks and actually have something to show for it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Dewald
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remediator wrote:
I'm a little surprised at the expressed resistance to paying admission for attending game night. They don't currently charge anything, but I don't think I would object to this -- it is a way to pay for the service that you really get.

The only other way (?) to support a FLGS is to pay full markup on the games that they stock. Is that what you'd rather do?


I agree with you. Actually how our game store does it is a little more regimented and me as an engineer appreciate this. Everyone shows up and throws in $1 (you don't have to but everybody does). Every now and then they will do an official tournament like King of Tokyo and 7 Wonders where it has its own entry fee for prizes.

Anyways the $1 goes in a pot and once $50 has been raised, using a raffle a name is drawn and they get a $50 gift certificate to be used at the store. I think this works really well since $1 is nothing and basically the money is getting poured into the store.

The store also had a wide array of demo games plus several people that bring their own so their is never any wanting of good games to play.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remediator wrote:
I'm a little surprised at the expressed resistance to paying admission for attending game night. They don't currently charge anything, but I don't think I would object to this -- it is a way to pay for the service that you really get.
There's another store in my area that charges $5 for game night admission. And it killed their board game night. A good number of people would be willing to pay, but only if there's a large group there. Paying an admission fee and then finding out nobody is going that night isn't so fun.

So some people flat out won't go if there is a fee. And the casual gamers often won't go because they never know if it'll be a busy night or not... and so you never know if they'll show up. There was a core group of us who would communicate by email, but not all of us could make it every time. And if one or two of us couldn't make it, it wasn't worth going... because we couldn't count on casual gamers to be there to fill in for missing people. And of course, if we missed any night when casual gamers did show up, they were less likely to attend next time. It ended up spiraling out of control until now nobody goes anymore.

Remediator wrote:
The only other way (?) to support a FLGS is to pay full markup on the games that they stock. Is that what you'd rather do?
Well... all of my FLGS do charge full MSRP for games and I buy all my games online. Honestly, no local game store can ever compete with online pricing and I wouldn't ever buy games locally.

The fact that the game store provides free gaming space is convenient, but if they didn't we'd find somewhere else to meet for free. In the meantime we're making the store look busy, possibly drawing curious customers in, and a few people who come will buy something from the store... maybe it's just sodas or occasionally a small game or something.

I don't feel a need to "support" the store. Maybe if they were willing to deal with the problem gamer we've complained about I'd be more sympathetic, but as it is, I'm about ready to relocate to another location just to avoid that one guy.


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
flag msg tools
Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thunkd wrote:
...
Remediator wrote:
The only other way (?) to support a FLGS is to pay full markup on the games that they stock. Is that what you'd rather do?
Well... all of my FLGS do charge full MSRP for games and I buy all my games online. Honestly, no local game store can ever compete with online pricing and I wouldn't ever buy games locally...


I actually like to buy locally when possible (but we don't need to get into RSP area).

I have only had one FLGS that didn't give a discount. The currently one gives 10% off, I had one that I negotiated a 10% off if I paid cash, the longest running one gave about 9% ($10 off after each $100), another large one gave 10 to 30% depending on product and mood.

The one FLGS that charges full price, is also the least friendly and has the least gaming going on. So, I've never felt the 'need' to buy locally from them. The others get 'some' of my business. Although, I do buy on-line too. There are some games that are hard for my current FLGS to get even at MSRP.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've only been to a couple of the FLGS game days so far, but the OP's observation seems to be how they work. Fairly unstructured, lots of table space. Both were well-attended, so there was plenty of opportunity to get a game & both shops have a good selection of demos. Neither specifically had snacks for sale--probably because there were plenty of fast food/convenience places within walking distance.

I know both have stuff going on in their gaming areas almost every day. There's definitely regular tournaments (usually Magic), and several different groups (e.g., general boardgaming, miniatures groups, Magic, etc.).

There are a couple of local meetup groups that organize the game days I've been to, so that's how I found the groups & knew when to show up.

Neither charges for the events that I've attended. The Magic tournaments are probably a different story. The shops do get a lot of people through; in fact this last event I saw the longest line at the register I've ever seen at that shop (and I've been stopping by on-and-off for decades). They make their money by increased traffic & sales. I'll browse around the store and possibly buy something while there. Yes, it's often at full price, but I'll stick to the less-expensive items & chalk up the difference from the OLGS as my dues to help support the store. A $20-30 game that I'll get down by 15-20% online means the right-now convenience & helping keep the doors open so I can go to more game days is worth it to me. Now spending $100+ where I can get the same game for $50 online? Yeah, I'll wait for the UPS truck.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Myers
United States
Redmond
WA
flag msg tools
Mandelbrot/Simurgh hybrid etc etc
badge
I made both of these fractals, hurray!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
The closest game store to my home charges $5 to play at any of their events. They also decide ahead of time which games will be played at their board game nights. For these two reasons, we don't go to any of their events.

The next closest does as you describe, pretty much. If board game night were more regimented than that, I would not attend. They do have drinks and snacks as well, and a lot of space. We go there twice a month, and I will usually buy a game once a month, and drinks every time. The first store needs to learn from this model... shake


Eh, I'm assuming it's a Magic shop, where there's frequent events that involve prizes.

If it's not, they'll learn when they're out of business.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
flag msg tools
Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Terwox wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
The closest game store to my home charges $5 to play at any of their events. They also decide ahead of time which games will be played at their board game nights. For these two reasons, we don't go to any of their events.

The next closest does as you describe, pretty much. If board game night were more regimented than that, I would not attend. They do have drinks and snacks as well, and a lot of space. We go there twice a month, and I will usually buy a game once a month, and drinks every time. The first store needs to learn from this model... shake


Eh, I'm assuming it's a Magic shop, where there's frequent events that involve prizes.

If it's not, they'll learn when they're out of business.


Yeah, I did pay for a recent 7 wonders tournament. It was run by one of their magic players. Lesson learned, will not be doing that again. Feel like I wasted my $3. When I buy games from them, I don't feel like I wasted $40.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
Yes, I would rather buy games (snacks and drinks), then I'm getting something for the money that I can't get at home.
...
Three of us also play D&D Encounters every Wednesday. This would make 6 times a month that the store wants $15-20 bucks from me. I am not paying more per month in game-playing fees than I currently spend per month on gasoline. I will go where they let me play for free, spend that much on games/drinks/snacks and actually have something to show for it.

Thunkd wrote:
Remediator wrote:
The only other way (?) to support a FLGS is to pay full markup on the games that they stock. Is that what you'd rather do?
Well... all of my FLGS do charge full MSRP for games and I buy all my games online. Honestly, no local game store can ever compete with online pricing and I wouldn't ever buy games locally.

The fact that the game store provides free gaming space is convenient, but if they didn't we'd find somewhere else to meet for free. In the meantime we're making the store look busy, possibly drawing curious customers in, and a few people who come will buy something from the store... maybe it's just sodas or occasionally a small game or something.

I don't feel a need to "support" the store. Maybe if they were willing to deal with the problem gamer we've complained about I'd be more sympathetic, but as it is, I'm about ready to relocate to another location just to avoid that one guy.


problem for me is there are only so many $15 to $20 games I'd like to get. I can't keep that up every month. That said, $5 per visit is too much for me. I'm more fine with $3 or less. For me, finding people to play with has been a genuine concern in some cases (including conventions!).

And even bringing them a customer base, it seems very few amongst that customer base will actually buy stuff. Those fees are $$ they can use directly.

And I've seen many cases where visitors just bring in their own bottled water, liters of soda, and snacks, so the FLGS won't be making any $$ of that either.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Trumbo
United States
Fargo
North Dakota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My FLGS puts on a tabletop night the first Saturday of every month in their attached event center, and it is, as many others have mentioned, fairly unstructured and free to attend. They do giveaways every hour from 7-10:00 (usually store gift cards, some games or other promos), and sometimes will have an employee run demos of certain new/hot games. Oh, and they give a 20% discount on all games and gaming accessories for the night.

The owner is a cool guy and is always looking for ways to improve the night, but what he keeps finding is that people just want to come in and share their hobby with others-- tournaments and such tend to fall flat on that night. Lately we've experimented with hosting the event (I'm in a comedy band and my bandmate and I do trivia there as well as hosting other events at the store and local Cons, etc)-- essentially my cohort and I make announcements when people are looking for players, find games for people to join in, talk about games with people and take pictures for social media, stuff like that. So far it's been a lot of fun and has added a personal touch to the evening without being too distracting.

Sometimes we'll try a theme night to help drive the demos (Star Wars night, for example) or do a potluck so people can bring in food to snack on, but for the most part if there's space to play and people to play with, that's what most people seem to want.

Most months while school is in session (there are three colleges in our area) attendance is between 100-175+ people, and the space during peak times can get pretty packed. Overall it's a very successful event, and I think the gift card giveaways and 20% discount end up driving a lot of sales, so it's as good for the store as it is the patrons.

Oh, and they stock Surge there, so that helps too.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remediator wrote:
Bend, OR has a very welcome addition to the local gaming scene -- a new FLGS called the Modern Boardshop, which just opened a couple months ago.

Since their opening, they have run weekly (and separate) events for miniatures, CCG, and RPGs/board games. The board game events are what interest me most, and I have attended 3 or 4 of these events since they started.

There is no real structure to these free ~3 hour board game events, which have drawn anywhere from 8 to 25 players. There is a small library of light games that the shop provides (TTR, Catan, Carcassonne, Splendor, etc.), and some people (like me) bring their own games, and look for players. I have never seen anyone not find a table to play at, and the crowd is welcoming, diverse, and friendly, so things are working out OK.

But you know me -- I'm an engineer, always looking to optimize everything. Is this how game events usually work, or is there something that your FLGS adds to these events to increase the appeal, reputation, and eventually sales of the store? Just looking for ideas that I can pass on to the owners or help incorporate as one of the local board game evangelists.

More or less how it works from what I've seen too


1) One of them sold comics and some games. They were having $$ issues. I was fine with paying a visiting fee, but they decided against that, as it would turn too many people away. I would've gladly paid a fee if it meant keeping it going, but to be fair, I've heard the manager made some poor decisions, so it closing down was inevitable.
-open gaming.
-folks have used the email lists to arrange stuff ahead time. Especially for long games like Titan and Adv. Civ


2) Our other venue (from the group in #1 above) was cramped in space and tablespace. It was more geared towards playing MtG and other card games. Not board games. We didn't come back here.


3) charges $3 per instance. Then an announcement said they did the math, and needed to up it to $4 a night. It used to be that $$ you paid in (they kept track of this) would go towards the purchase of games, but then they disallowed that to eventually.
-open gaming
-they rented an upper floor of a business that they weren't using on the cheaper side
-They had several MtG draft, which got about 12 people to participate in, still leaving about 15 others to play other stuff.
-they also sold their own snacks and beverages. The description on their website stated that outside food was only allowed If you had special, dietary restrictions. Most of us justified that by saying Subway is more of a meal than trail mix and sweets, which to me would be fine. A few handful snuck in their own snacks and drinks, but they also had another handful who did patronize the food parts of it.

-in one case, the owner did seem to push selling to me Alien Frontiers, saying "are you sure you don't want it? It did sell out!", which for many good modern bg, isn't saying much. However, I told him no thanks, and left out that I simply don't like it.
-those guys who ran shop also had day jobs, so while they were pressed for time, they also at least had a "safety net"
-in the end, they moved to Google+ as that was free. I didn't bother going to them since then


All my other gaming sessions have either been in conventions, libraries, or restuarants, where there was no FLGS aspect to things.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.