Planning

Date

Be smart when you set the date. Make sure it doesn’t collide with any thing that could keep players from coming.

Size (number of players)

If this is your first event , try to keep it between 12-16 players.  As the number of players rise the event will require  more planning. Not mainly because it is harder to manage more people but more players does also mean more  number of rounds. More rounds =  People will need food, get tired, restrooms,  break to take phone calls etc.

Players (Teams) Swiss Rounds
5-8 3 Single-Elimination  (No Swiss)
9-16 5
17-32 5
33-64 6

 

Location (minimum demand)

When picking location for your event make sure to inform the owners about what you are planning in detail as much as you can. Sometimes they will be able to assist you to make things even better than you hoped for.  Basics: transportation, beer!, ventilation, emergency exits, restrooms, enough room and tables (with alcohol on them). Its better to host an event with fewer people than it being to crowded and ruins the experience for everyone.

Prizes

People do not play oldschool to win expensive prizes.  My experience tells me to make something personal like an alter or even signing some crappy card will be better than having an expensive card in the price pool. Handing out goodie bags with pins , pens or what ever cheep stuff is more rewarding than a single high prize for the winner.

Vendors

Its nice to give people the opportunity to trade and buy new cards. Make sure to plan space  for vendor so that they can feel safe displaying their cards to customers.

Food and Drinks

Most people would like to drink a beer while  playing.  Make sure you don’t  run out! For food it is usually enough to have a few suggestions nearby. Just  make  sure  to add that  information when sending our your invites.

Hotel

Same here  as for food. Try not  to get involved to much. People  can plan for these things themselves . Two different suggestions  is enough.

Side Events

People  come to events to play  magic  but don’t  underestimate the social part. Having a side  event with playful atmosphere  could really enhance the overall feeling. Orb flipping, quiz, or Magic  themed Pictionary  to name  a few suggestions.

Schedule

Everything takes more time than you think.  Depending how large your event is starting time shouldn’t be more delayed than 15-30 minutes before  event is scheduled to start. Plan for one hour per round of Swiss after that. Then people can manage to sort out personal stuff like restrooms and getting drinks  in between rounds. No need to plan for breaks.  If you would have a scheduled break everyone would need to go to the bathroom at the same time and order drinks at the same time. Unless you have unlimited bartenders and bathrooms I don’t suggest that.

If you are running a large event (5 rounds swiss  and top 8) you might need a food break at some point. 45-60 minute would probably be enough time for food.  Make room for at least  30 minute to hand out prices and thank everyone after  final game.  Like a presentation, it is always the beginning and ending that people will remember most. Besides, its always sad when the winner (that maybe hasn’t won anything before) doesn’t get the attention he/she deserves.

Information

When sending out information about your event try  to cover as much as possible. Spending an extra hour to write good invitations with clear  information about everything from how to get there, to where to buy the greatest tacos will save you lots of time  later. Trust me, you will have to answer  many  questions as it is.

Costs

This is a sensitive  subject to  many people.  But I don’t belive  you should be shy when setting the cost to attend at your event. It  is better to take a little  extra and be  able to give everyone something  for free  (like a pin , signed card or free  beer).  An Oldschool decks costs a fortune! People should be  able to pay for attending  events.

Documentation

It is a good  idea  to have someone  to help you with covering the  event and write a report . You will probably be to busy at the  event to do this your self. Nice looking pictures and well written reports will not only make  people  come to your next events  but your participants will also  enjoy it more. Everyone  else  can then just  focus on playing and socializing.

Good to go! Lets do it!

  • —Get help!  Make sure you are not alone.
  • —Coordinate  Meet irl. Don’t assume that everyone  planning with you is doing   what you thought was agreed.  Better to have  one  meeting  to many.
  • —Budget  Write it down. How much can you spend? Make sure to be covered by participants cost for attending your event.
    Sharing costs is better for all so you can host more events.
  • —Information  Internet is cool. Use it.  An app is pro but facebook  is often good enough
  • —Sponsors  Vendors or bar owner. It is free to ask
  • —Documentation  There are many good free apps that can help you. Google docs. WotC’s tournament organizer etc.

Launch
Inform everyone again about emergency exits, restrooms and schedule.

Information
An app is pro. But facebook is fine

Time frame
Important. Each round needs to start and end as scheduled

Documentation
Have  one  person to do  this. Not  two, or three. ONE.

Finish (thanks and prize) This is a part that surely will be remembered, don’t go soft.

Follow up

Survey 
Google survey is one easy way to do it

Thanks 
Send out thanks to all with links to the where  reports and  media can be found

Report 
Try to write  while it is fresh. Delaying this process will not  make  it better. Remember to share the feedback from the survey

 

Checklist
Planning

Date
Size (number of players)
Location (minimum demand)
Prizes
Vendors
Food, drinks
Hotel
Side Events
Schedule
Information
Costs
Documentation

Creation
Get help!
Coordinate
Budget
Information
Sponsors
Documentation
Launch
Information
Time frame
Documentation
Finish (thanks and prize)
Follow up
Survey
Thanks
Report