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IME, people don't bother returning them to the front when they get a game going. TBF, I can understand them being excited to get the game going, and it can be a trek to go all the way to one side of a large room if it's a convention, but still... 1) folks would see them, only to realize the game already started and they're NOT looking for joiners, and 2) sometimes the front would run out of them for others who need them.

Some places do have staff that go around and collect them when they're done with, but given how much work goes into organizing ANY gaming event, it's the exception than the norm to have staff/organizers around to cover this.
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Eric Tama
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My limited experience at Geekway is that they are not. I rarely play something that wasn't prearranged at cons but when I do I return the flag immediately after we have enough players to get started.
 
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Francisco Gutierrez
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Burbank
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Ha, I thought this was going to be about people walking off with player wanted stands.
Now that I think about it, one might look alright on the front lawn.
 
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MURRUMBEENA
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Australian experience (PAX, Cancon, Bunnycon, Bordercon, Meeplecon) is generally pretty good. I'd say 50% are returned during setup and the remainder are returned at the end of play or get passed to another table. Typically we have a lot of them available.
We also use "Teacher Wanted" flags to attract volunteers and helpful passers-by (or busybodies, YMMV). Return rates are about the same.
FWIW, the PAX play area is ~200 tables, Cancon is ~100, the others are ~50.
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Larry L
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Stockton
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At Kublacon the staff pick them up.

It isn't that it is a chore to return the flag. It is that we completely forget they exist once we have enough players.
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Pas L
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Why not just have one set of flags for each table?
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Scott Nelson
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RingelTree wrote:
At Kublacon the staff pick them up.

It isn't that it is a chore to return the flag. It is that we completely forget they exist once we have enough players.


saltcon. ditto.
 
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George Leach
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Godalming
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I was wondering why UKGE 2016 didn't have them and then I thought ideally you would use a helium balloon... Sorry, not really adding to you discussion though.
 
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Elizabeth Nugent

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Jugular wrote:
I was wondering why UKGE 2016 didn't have them and then I thought ideally you would use a helium balloon... Sorry, not really adding to you discussion though.


They do use helium balloons at Dragonflight! I try to return them as soon as we have enough players, but it can be hard when you're also trying to get the game set up and possibly teach it. It's nice when there are staff around to pick them up. I do put the block the balloon is tied to on the floor as soon as the game fills up, so it's less likely that people will try to join us.
 
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lamaros wrote:
Why not just have one set of flags for each table?

They Probably won't have enough of them. In some venues, that means having 20 to 100 of them. It may be a waste given how not everyone will remember or bother using them.


I'm sure the servers at AYCE Brazilian buffets get frustrated when folks don't use the table's built-in flags to signal that they'd like more food, or how they're good for now.


Jugular wrote:
I was wondering why UKGE 2016 didn't have them and then I thought ideally you would use a helium balloon... Sorry, not really adding to you discussion though.
That would be neat! Especially in a setting of a larger, open room, where this has much more visibility from afar!

Glad to see it's being used at at least one con (as per that post)
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ad best
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UKGE did have them but not in the right places or in enough numbers. Particulary the evening.

That was my single criticism of the event this year.

It worked well last year
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