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)|
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.
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.
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.
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.
Same here as for food. Try not to get involved to much. People can plan for these things themselves . Two different suggestions is enough.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inform everyone again about emergency exits, restrooms and schedule.
An app is pro. But facebook is fine
Important. Each round needs to start and end as scheduled
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.
Google survey is one easy way to do it
Send out thanks to all with links to the where reports and media can be found
Try to write while it is fresh. Delaying this process will not make it better. Remember to share the feedback from the survey
Size (number of players)
Location (minimum demand)
Finish (thanks and prize)