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Subject: Scheduling game events? How to reach out to people? rss

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Jimmy Nilsson
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Hi,

How do you schedule your game events and how do you reach out to people?

I know about meetup and facebook but none of them is really fitted for boardgamers. Is they enouth anyway? Is there any webpage that is more fitted for us? Like showing available boardgames and so on?

If you where building a boardgame scheduler webpage, what function would it include to make it worth using?



 
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Michael Schroeder
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Funny you mention that. There have been some sites made (forgot the names) for this. But I'm actually working on one now. I grow increasingly frustrated trying to successfully schedule game events so I'm working on a web app/mobile apps to do this. Like anything else I do, will it see the light of day? Can't say. But like I said, my frustration about this is growing so that's giving me the passion to make this a reality. I've actually had this idea for years now, and since then I've been working on it but then being side tracked with other things. But I'm focusing on it again.

Are you a developer by chance and are putting feelers out there on ideas for this?

But yes there's Facebook and meetup. On Facebook, I have a gaming group with 30 something people in it, lately it seems only 3 or so people actually see my event and I end up having to cancel the event. I've considered leveraging the FB or meetup API for events but I want to be in control of all aspects.
 
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Dan
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I organise a small once a month group. Most people heard Bout it through meetup.com

A few came as a result of free ad in the local paper in the local events section. Different type of people from the paper.

The main thing is consistency. And once you build your core group, its all good. I use Facebook, too, and get a few people off that. More used for keeping in touch with existing members.

If you are organising a one off event, it can be trickier.
 
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Jimmy Nilsson
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mike6423 wrote:
...


Yes I am a developer and have done big boardgame related dev before that have been used by some users. I know that even if a boardgame scheduling website sounds like a simple task it involved ALOT of work, maybe around 6-12 month just to get the basics in place(if you do it in your spare time).

My urg to find a better solution then facebook is really rooted in my own(group) needs. I havent found something that works as I would want it to work so far. My old boardgame site(with simple sheduling) hade some of the functions Im seeking but was still missing a lot.

Even If I have my own needs for a webpage like this it would help if there was more interest in a big project lika that.

The question is why former boardgame scheduling websites havent made it? Maybe the boardgame hobby is not really there yet? Or was the former solutions to bad to last? Or maybe facebook and meetup is more then enouth for most?
 
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Jimmy Nilsson
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djn1981 wrote:
I organise a small once a month group. Most people heard Bout it through meetup.com

A few came as a result of free ad in the local paper in the local events section. Different type of people from the paper.

The main thing is consistency. And once you build your core group, its all good. I use Facebook, too, and get a few people off that. More used for keeping in touch with existing members.

If you are organising a one off event, it can be trickier.


Do you use both meetup and facebook for the same planning? Is there a good integration between them?

I am looking for a website that would work for both already established groups and for induviduals that seeks someone to play with from time to time.
 
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Kevin
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I have a small group of about 20 people who play over 3 nights and I found it a real chore to try and organise/co-ordinate games with them all.

I'm currently using a free calendar I found

https://teamup.com

Its far from ideal but basically, since anyone can write on it, I've simply created a calendar and everyone adds their availability to a particular date
.
Also who evers turn it is, to pick a game for that night (I use a rota so no one person dominates the choice of games)can post up in advance as far in front as they want, what will be on offer, so people can add their names to snag a spot at that game and can watch a rules playthrough before they attend



I'd love to know if anyone can suggest something better since whilst this works, it isn't perfect
 
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mortego
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JimmyNi wrote:
How do you schedule your game events and how do you reach out to people?


I schedule my events based on my availability so when I know I'm going to host an event it's because I am free that day. I also pick a date about 6 weeks ahead of time. Then I make a Facebook event page (usually private) then invite all of my friends that I know who likes playing board games.

I always have plenty of food & drink and most everyone brings something, too. I have a modest game library of about 100+ titles and so I ask folks to bring games they to play, too.

The amount of people that have showed up the couple of years has been anywhere 20 - 40 people, always a success.

This past Saturday on International Tabletop Day we had 25 in attendance, a successful day for sure!
 
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Jaie D
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Hi Jimmy,

I just launched a website to take care of reaching out to board gamers and scheduling games. Like you pointed out, meetup and facebook are nice, but they aren't built just to fit the needs of boardgamers.

The site imports your BGG collection and then allows you to set your location and when you want to play. Once you complete the sign-up, you will see how many people are willing to travel to your area to play, and then most typical times that are available.



How it works then is quite simple:

1. Create a game. Select a time, location, maximum number of players and board game from your collection to play. The site will take care of emailing out invitations to local players, and handle sign-ups for your game. Players in your area can request to join your game if they are available and want to play the boardgame you selected.

2. Accept Players. When players request to join, you can view their boardgame profile, and decide whether or not to accept them. If you accept the player, they participate in a chat room with the other players and yourself to exchange information and set up the meet.

3. Have fun. Play board games and have a great time.

The site is only very new, and there are still many things to add in such as listing public venues to play at, showing nearby players and integrating players BGG Want To Playlists to help select games.

We're focusing on trials in Sydney Australia to get further feedback on what's needed. If you're from outside the area, you'll need to convince other players locally to join to get the scheduling benefit. However, if you like to try new things then feel free to give it a go. You can use it with your local meetup or board game group to streamline the experience. Any feedback or suggestions are welcome.

https://www.rollforgroup.com

You can also follow updates on the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/rollforgroup
 
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Michael Schroeder
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JimmyNi wrote:
mike6423 wrote:
...


Yes I am a developer and have done big boardgame related dev before that have been used by some users. I know that even if a boardgame scheduling website sounds like a simple task it involved ALOT of work, maybe around 6-12 month just to get the basics in place(if you do it in your spare time).

My urg to find a better solution then facebook is really rooted in my own(group) needs. I havent found something that works as I would want it to work so far. My old boardgame site(with simple sheduling) hade some of the functions Im seeking but was still missing a lot.

Even If I have my own needs for a webpage like this it would help if there was more interest in a big project lika that.

The question is why former boardgame scheduling websites havent made it? Maybe the boardgame hobby is not really there yet? Or was the former solutions to bad to last? Or maybe facebook and meetup is more then enouth for most?


There's a mix of things why I feel these they scheduling sites failed, that I can recall.

One of site devs that was active on here from somewhere in Europe seemed to drop the project because something to do with BGG API. Overall though I think this hobby is still very niche. For most peoples needs, facebook and meetup may be enough. To speak for the niche thing, whenever I try to reach out on Facebook to non-gamers to try and get them to come out, the response is virtually non-existent. There's a lot of variables with that too, but I know people see the event.

I think Facebook would be the natural choice for a established group but even in my case, it's not. I have an established group for years and it feels like pulling teeth to get people to commit to a gaming event. Lately I've considered Meetup and I think this could be a better option for getting new members. The only reason why I'm not doing meet up is that I want to monetize the app eventually and it's going to be gamer focused and just for table top games - nothing else.
 
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Pete
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I text each of the eleven possible players individually because a few of them hate group texts.

Pete (usually gets about half of them to come every week)
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mortego
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plezercruz wrote:
I text each of the eleven possible players individually because a few of them hate group texts.

Pete (usually gets about half of them to come every week)


I have several gamer friends who do not do Facebook and hate text msg. so I have to e-mail them which is okay with me.
 
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Alexandre Santos
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I use Trello to manage meetings, which works with people who do not like to have a facebook account, and the mobile apps works for people who are less tech savvy.

It's easy to create a date card, drop people into it, and have them receive any message attached to the event card. Simple and intuitive, most people I introduced to the system start to use it very quickly.

If it's hard to find a specific date, then just use doodle.
 
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Jimmy Nilsson
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jaied wrote:
...


I tried and it looks nice and modern but it does not fit my needs.

I want to be able to host a gamenday without stating what games that will be played. I want to be able to discuss what games to be played with the other players that signs up for the event. I could not find a way to host without selecting a game?

I also notice this :

Quote:
Tickets allow you to join or host public games. You have 5 tickets.


Im not sure that is a good way to handle it. One of the biggest problems hosts has is to find players and if players needs to pay to join a game it will probably filter away more players.

Yes it needs to be funded in some way but I belive more in ads and that groups pays based on size or something like that. The system should be a open an easy accessable as possible, it will be hard enouth to get non players to sign up for events on another website then facebook or somehing big like that.
 
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mortego
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Why not list games that would be available to play? If I pay for a board game event then show up and it's all games that I am either unfamiliar with or not prefer then I am going to be upset.

As for you original question, maybe contact a game event organizer to get some tips like Origins or DiceTownCon. That would be the way I'd go if I were wanting to host a public board game event.
 
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Jaie D
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I agree with you, the players should not have to pay to join a game, the basic usage of the site is free for players, but the concept does need to be sustainable.

The ticket concept is to allow players to play premium features and venues, e.g. supporting high-end venues that require payment to use, e.g. some game cafe's with entry fees, or rented/paid higher end spaces.

The integration of players BGG want to play lists will add the ability to select and auto-suggest games based on the players collections in the group, once that's in players won't need to select a game up front.

Feel free to follow the facebook page to get notified of when it's added. Because the site's so new, features are usually added weekly.
 
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Jimmy Nilsson
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If you have to go out of your way to get some of the people to the events there might be other problems, maybe the prev events havent been fun enouth? maybe you are using a complicated scheduler tool? maybe boardgame is not a interset(how silly it might sound).

Sometime it could be better to join a already established group.
 
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Jaie D
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
Why not list games that would be available to play? If I pay for a board game event then show up and it's all games that I am either unfamiliar with or not prefer then I am going to be upset.

As for you original question, maybe contact a game event organizer to get some tips like Origins or DiceTownCon. That would be the way I'd go if I were wanting to host a public board game event.


Yeah, we ran the first trials for www.rollforgroup.com in Sydney over the weekend, and it was so nice to know what games I was playing up front. It's a simple thing, but it meant that instead of spending 30 mins picking and learning a game I've never heard of, I was able to watch a quick Rahdo Runthrough of the gameplay the night before, and that really helped set the anticipation, be a bit more confident in not being clueless, and get the group playing quicker.
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Jimmy Nilsson
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Yes, we always decides what games to play before the event and this is done in the comment section of the event on facebook. Because we are a private group off only 4-5 members most of them wants to help to decide games.

This saves us alot of time and preparation. But what would make this even better is if we could see the total collection available at the time. But no, its really never a problem to find games to play
 
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Jaie D
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JimmyNi wrote:
Yes, we always decides what games to play before the event and this is done in the comment section of the event on facebook. Because we are a private group off only 4-5 members most of them wants to help to decide games.

This saves us alot of time and preparation. But what would make this even better is if we could see the total collection available at the time. But no, its really never a problem to find games to play


Cool, we're not far off adding that in. We also plan to have an experience indicator for each game, if your group logs plays, you can plan select games based on who knows how to play and who doesn't. For players who don't log plays, the site will start to record a history for them.
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Trent Boardgamer
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plezercruz wrote:
I text each of the eleven possible players individually because a few of them hate group texts.

Pete (usually gets about half of them to come every week)


Yer we have a dedicated group of about 10 people. We normally get 6-8 rock up each session. One of the guys emails everyone for a roughly once a month meetup. The email mentions the games on offer.

Some people are married or have kids, so we generally try to avoid weekends that have public holidays or scheduling events during school holidays, as this seems to see a lot of people be unavailable.

We also have reserve players we can invite, that can make it occasionally but aren't part of the core group. These people might come along every 3 or 4 months.

I've had no experience with organising random people with a gaming session, as we always play at someone's house and no one is keen on having people no one knows in their house.
 
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Adrian Schmidt
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jaied wrote:
JimmyNi wrote:
Yes, we always decides what games to play before the event and this is done in the comment section of the event on facebook. Because we are a private group off only 4-5 members most of them wants to help to decide games.

This saves us alot of time and preparation. But what would make this even better is if we could see the total collection available at the time. But no, its really never a problem to find games to play


Cool, we're not far off adding that in. We also plan to have an experience indicator for each game, if your group logs plays, you can plan select games based on who knows how to play and who doesn't. For players who don't log plays, the site will start to record a history for them.


I signed up for rollforgroup.com. It looks promising, but it definitely seems to require some improvement in some areas.

It great that you have both a Facebook-integration, and a separate account possibility. Most of the people in my group would probably use their Facebook-accounts, but at least two of them doesn't have one, which makes the separate signup great. It's also good for me, since I don't want to tie more stuff than absolutely necessary to my Facebook-account.

The signup experience is pretty horrible though. I think it took me about 15 minutes to get through the half a billion questions before you even get into the app. I understand that you want quite a bit of info from people that want to organise events, but if the members of my group will have to go through all that before they even get to see what my invite is about, game-night is dead in the water. Preferably, the invite link should be personal, and they shouldn't even have to create an account or log in to reply to it (or, even skip the personal link thing, and do what Youtube does, the hosted game is unlisted, and can only be reached by people that has the link). If I can just start using it without forcing everyone I play with to get an account, we'd start using it today. And if the site offers good extra functionality for people with accounts, then the more dedicated players would probably sign up after a while.

The ticket system is weird, and the fact that it's not explained well makes me weary to start using this tool. What are tickets used for, and what will they cost? The site seemed to suggest tickets are needed to host a game, but in this thread you are talking about tickets as if they where actual tickets to get into boardgame cafés and stuff?

Oh, and another thing. I want to be able to host games at my home, which meant I had to add my home address. That didn't feel very comfortable, since the site didn't tell me who will be able to see that address…

But, not to end on a negative note, the basic idea is great, and I absolutely love the BGG-integration. Your plans for expanding that integration also sound fantastic!
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Jaie D
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Thanks for your feedback Adrian.

I was waiting for some feedback about the sign-up process being too long =).

That's an interesting suggestion with the match link to invite non-users. I think it definately has some merit and can be worked in, thanks for the suggestion.

A new page is going up tonight which was requested earlier, to be able to find and view local players profiles.

The tickets will be removed later this week. To make the site sustainable, we're looking at a tipping system. If you were really impressed with another user, you can donate to the site to commend them. Player's can collect commendations which are visible to others, and it will also give them some special powers on the site.
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Adrian Schmidt
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jaied wrote:
Thanks for your feedback Adrian.

I was waiting for some feedback about the sign-up process being too long =).

That's an interesting suggestion with the match link to invite non-users. I think it definately has some merit and can be worked in, thanks for the suggestion.

A new page is going up tonight which was requested earlier, to be able to find and view local players profiles.

The tickets will be removed later this week. To make the site sustainable, we're looking at a tipping system. If you were really impressed with another user, you can donate to the site to commend them. Player's can collect commendations which are visible to others, and it will also give them some special powers on the site.


Those sound like great updates! I'll follow this project with interest, and will try to use it when possible.
 
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Jimmy Nilsson
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I have been working on a Swedish boardgamewebsite for several years and I can´t say that there was any big money to earn, especially not the first couple of years. Im afraid that a boardgame scheduler is even more niched so the developers would probably need to develop the website for own use in the first place and not to get a big payoff.

Another reson that a website like this does not exist yet is probably becouse of facebook that offers a good genereal planning module. Most groups do probably not use any planning software but those that do will get far on facebook, especially if there friends already is on facebook. In my case I got 2 of the members of my group to join facebook(the other was already on there) just to get to use the planning module.

Meetup cost money and feels a bit more serious about planning events but Im not sure that it really offers anything extra for my group. Its probably a question of how the group you play with works.

I will probably throw some time on a baordgame scheduler but it will be to suport my own group in the first place, we will see where it lands after that.


 
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Tim Earl
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We started with Meetup, went to Yahoo, back to Meetup, and then Facebook. In order to expand our pool of players, I added Meetup again in addition to Facebook a few years ago. It was not worth the trouble of running both, and despite the clear group description, too many Monopoly and Bridge players kept signing up.

Facebook has worked very well. I constantly have people asking to join the Facebook group, which is over 230 members now. Many are just lurkers, but I also allow anyone to post events and solicit for players, so you see different events pop all frequently.

I don't know how people are finding our group, but we do have a flyer up at our FLGS, and a local bar/brewery promotes us a bit as well, so that helps. When a new person not connected to an existing member applies, I send a Facebook message explaining the group and do not approve them until I hear back.

There are still some people who avoid Facebook, so I setup an email address as well, which I list on the FLGS flyer. Very few people have ever contacted us that way.

If you want to see what our group looks like, it's Kalamazoo Area Boardgamers on Facebook.
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