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Episode 13

posted Jan 23, 2012 18:30:59 by magnorock
In reference to TO and the expense budget. I certainly understand your dismay at the recent event you were at. There is a large reason a local venue does have great prize support generally. That reason is that GW currently reimburses most of these LGS up to $150 for product support for tournaments they run. This is big. If the LGS didn't get this, chances are they wouldn't run the event in the first place, or would run fewer and with less support.

Next, I have to say I would rather have a plaque then models. At some point, you won't remember where you got the models from or which exact ones they were. The memory of your accomplishment will go away. With a plaque or trophy, you will have something that always says what you did that day. Quality trophies can cost from $10 for something basic and cheap to $50+. Venue space is also a cost. I didn't here where the event was, but this can be huge as the venue space that we, as TOs need is competing for Wedding/Event/Party money which is very lucrative for most venues (at $500-1000 per day quite often).

However, I do agree that if there is an increase in the cost that the TOs try to do something that increases the enjoyment of the event. The least expensive thing to do is to make terrain, though it takes some skill to make truly stunning terrain. Still, for as little as $100 investment you could increase and make much better terrain then what you have in previous years for the event. It is one of the areas of focus for me when I run Merry Mayhem in Madison, WI. I want to include new terrain that looks better every year, which should help players get excited to come to the event to see what I have come up with for the next year. From a TO that takes several hundred dollars in loss every time he runs his event, credit should be given for the things that were done well and feedback should be given directly to the TO.

I do want to note that it the event could have done more for the players that came that could have been included and helped the event out. From the sounds of things, things could have been run better.
[Last edited Jan 23, 2012 18:38:34]
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6 replies
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magnorock said Jan 23, 2012 19:15:50
I do want to say, though that I have listened to all of your casts and have enjoyed them all. It isn't often that you here something that you are motivated to speak about, but the amount of work that has to be put in for a good tournament at a venue where gaming isn't normally held is a special amount of work. I think you folks are blessed with some amazing events in your neck of the woods which sets even higher expectations.
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Greg2thePerson said Jan 23, 2012 21:48:16
Hey, magnorock, thanks for sharing your perspective. Let me share a few thoughts in response.

First, I hope we didn't come off as being too negative in the show. We truly had a great time at the event! However, we did feel the responsibility to honestly report on our thoughts from the event. I think you are absolutely correct in saying that we are blessed for having some amazing events in the Northeastern United States, which does raise our expectations.

The tournament was held at the Pallisades Center, which is a huge 4 story mall near the NY/NJ border. I believe Aaron rented two conference rooms that open up into one large room.

I think that many of the concerns we expressed can be easily taken care of by reaching out to the tournament goers themselves. I know that some tournaments run "terrain contest" where players can bring a piece or two of terrain to throw down on the tables. Then there is a prize for whoever brought the nicest piece. Something like this would be a fun way to improve the terrain and allow the players themselves to get involved.

In terms of prize support, our concern was twofold. One, the level of prize support decreased from last year's event despite an increase in the number of participants (meaning more revenue). Second, the other GT's in the area have extraordinary prize support. The Overall winner of the Crossroads GT took home a masterfully crafted, life-size "choppa" - it was nuts! I know that many GT's work hard to get sponsors for their event that contribute prize support. I would like to reiterate, however, that we don't go to tournaments because we want prizes. If there were no prizes, we'd still go! It's all about hanging out with good people and sharing our hobby with others. :-)

So to sum up, was the Conflict GT an enjoyable event? Heck yes! Is Aaron a good TO? Heck yes! However, there were a few areas that could be improved to bring the Conflict up to par with the other amazing events in the area. Hope that makes sense.
The slightly less beautiful host.
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JenPerson said Jan 23, 2012 23:51:07
Hey, magnarock, at least we got you to make a new post, right? ;-)

I really appreciate your input. I say that the show should be more like a conversation than us just talking at you, so I am glad you took the time to respond.

Greg summed it up pretty well. We had talked it over with the other people in our club, and felt that we had a responsibility to be honest about the tournament. We want to be able to recommend events, but we have to ensure that anyone who goes based on our endorsement wouldn't be disappointed.
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magnorock said Jan 24, 2012 01:27:31
Yeah, I hear you. This is actually Conesy from WiscoDice. Still as a TO, any public backlash to your event can be disheartening. I know when Pointhammered made one little comment on their show regarding Merry Mayhem a couple years back and how they felt the terrain was not up to snuff that it really hurt. For me, I used it as a motivator and came back this year better and will continue to push in that department.

Mayhem may be a one day event, but you get all of the work of a two day still for prep. Checking army lists, talking to players to verify their stuff is correct, coordinating with the venue, organizing the set up and tear down, putting the materials together. I easily put in 80 hours this year on Mayhem. Even if things didn't go the best or weren't the standard that other area events were, I still feel like I have to stand up and be heard for all of the TOs out there.

That being said, it is the TOs responsibility to provide an event that everyone has the opportunity to have a good time at and enjoy. As well, it is the TOs responsibility to, IMHO, to give back to those that come to their event as much as they can.

Being in the Wisconsin, I am blessed with Waaghpaca, Northstar, Adepticon, and Blood in the Sun for the big events with 2-3 hours of my home and a couple more events just 4-5 hours away, but I know just what it can be like to be at an event that you feel wasn't up to snuff in one way or the other. Most likely, if pressed, the TO will explain where the money went.

However, I also find that it is very easy to critique and be harsh on someone for running an event. Especially if you haven't tackled running a big event before. I know through the shows that you guys hit a lot of events, but have either of you put together and/or ran a tournament (even a one day) where you had significant participants?
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Greg2thePerson said Jan 25, 2012 02:14:05
I've run five one-day events at local stores over the past few years. The largest attendance was 22. Not a huge tournament by any stretch of the imagination, but it still required a great deal to organize effectively!

Jon (guest on Episode 13 and others) is running a tournament in March that already has 30 people signed up. We're hoping this event will be good prep for the Grand Tournament our gaming club is going to run in 2013. I do honestly imagine the experience will be very humbling for us. We're going to be chronicling our experience on the podcast.
The slightly less beautiful host.
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JonathanVanase said Jan 31, 2012 20:41:57
Even 30 is kind of daunting. A GT, that's an entirely different beast. As far as I'm concerned its all in the planning.
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