Newbie-friendly event guide
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Posted by derekguder

On the topic of trying to recruit new GMs, I wanteed to start a thread to get some direct feedback on how to makes the whole process more friendly for newbies.

We do have the Tips for New EOs and GMs, but how effective is it? Too wordy? Not detailed enough?

There is certainly space for a very blunt FAQ ("How do I get a GM badge?") and I'd love to hear what folks think would be important to include in that, too.

Keep in mind that the Event Host Policy itself is ultimately meant to be a reference document that can serve all GMs, so by it's very nature it's going to be a bit unwieldy and have sections that don't apply to everyone.

Are there other things we can do? Would a video help, for instance? If so, what should go in it?

- Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by derekguder

Some newbie FAQ questions that have been suggested include:


  • How do I submit events?
  • How can run events?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How do I get a badge?
  • How do I get hotels?
  • What do I do onsite?
  • What do I do with tickets?
  • What do I do with problem players?
  • Code of conduct?
  • What can I request?
  • Where are events located?

Some of those seem fairly niche to me, or are already covered in the tips. For a really newbie-focused list, we probably want to be as focused as possible, so what is really necessary?

How about:


  • Who can run events? How do you sign up to do so?
  • Can I get a badge? What else can I get for hosting an event?
  • What do I do onsite?
  • What the deal with these tickets?

- Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC
 

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Posted by pezkat

The Tips page seems only for individuals running events as individuals, and not for GMs associated with groups of any sort (game companies, local gaming groups, others).  I would assume the latter makes up the majority of GMs but maybe not.  Perhaps there could be 2 sections with one for each type of GM?  I realize it is the responsibility of the sponsoring group to educate their GMs, but not all of them do, or do it in the same way.  It would be helpful to have clarification in the official GenCon GM material about who's responsible for what.  (I was told not to submit my own events, for example; the rep from our gaming group had to submit everything from his account.)

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Posted by derekguder

Correct, the tips are mainly for individuals, on the assumption that anyone organizing for a group has a better idea of what they're doing and are more comfortable posting here or just contacting us directly to ask questions.

As for clarification for individual GMs who might be running for a group or company, all the onsite stuff applies to everyone. The only thing that is different as part of a group or company is around the convention: submitting events through a single account, assigning GM badges, etc.

Is there a list of specific questions you think would be most helpful to clarify for group GMs?

-
Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by nscott

One item new individual GM's might benifit from having highlighted somewhere is the standard players-per-table and how you put in a request for something different. Its in the Event Host policy but most of that section is geared to larger groups or companies setting up space so the new GM submitting just a single game could miss it. When you are submitting the event clicking on the special request tab opens up a lot of options that aren't going to seem relevant to a single event GM so its initially easy to think your in the wrong place.

Also since the rows of tables only have numbers on an end, bringing a small fold up sign that says F27 or whatever your table assignment is and your game can help your players find you.

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Posted by parody nscott

Derek: the link to the host policy document on the Tips site still goes to the download page at community.gencon.com, not the 2016 document.

Re: Groups, it becomes difficult due to the necessary combining of the two roles (GM and EO) for individual GMs like myself.  A bit more separation (perhaps via a specific section for "How does this change for a group?") might be helpful.  Still, group EOs need to step in and be Organizers, it's part of the title. :)

nscott wrote:
Also since the rows of tables only have numbers on an end, bringing a small fold up sign that says F27 or whatever your table assignment is and your game can help your players find you.

Note that the minimal signage described applies to the Board/Card (non-tradable)/Miniatures area.  Other areas often have better signage, so you might not need extra help.  Still, having something indicating your game (or a small whiteboard and something to prop it up) can help folks find you.

--
Michael Miller
http://esglabs.com/

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Posted by adrian parody

parody wrote:
Derek: the link to the host policy document on the Tips site still goes to the download page at community.gencon.com, not the 2016 document.

Good catch - I just updated the link - thanks!  

Adrian Swartout
CEO / Owner
Gen Con, LLC

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Posted by derekguder

Thanks for prointing out the link I overlooked, Michael - and thanks for fixing it, Adrian.

Talking about players-per-table brings up the larger question of what baseline assumptions or defaults should be re-stated for newbies? The EHP actually isn't really geared toward a group EO, per se. The main difference with a group EO is assigning badges (and maybe requesting hotel rooms ahead of time), but a lot of the details about what defaults are and how to make special request applies equally to a group EO and an individual GM just running a few games.

For players per table in particular, that's actually called out on the event submission form - if you view the special request details. It's also included in email confirmations on initial submission and later updates.

Another similar field would be table size. It's in almost the exact same situation.

How much material do we reiterate from the EHP and repeat before referring users to that reference document - before we basically end up with 2 documents?

And that's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I genuinely want to know else what folks think is worth including in a special call-out.

-
Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by belgath

How do you remove an event from the dashboard that you have already submitted? Jest noticed that I set up an event on my wife's birthday and I don't want to be annihilated.

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Posted by jerrytel

If it has not been accepted, you can revert it to a draft by opening it and selecting the 'save for later' option at the top of the form. You can also email events and ask them to cancel if it has already been accepted.

Jerry

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Posted by derekguder

If there is an event you no longer want to run, email events@gencon.com so we can cancel it. That's better than leaving it in In Progress, ultimately.

Thanks,

-
Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by ncornelius

I'd love to help with this Derek (e.g. creating a document, writing a post, etc.), if you need any. I've been compiling a list of several different event processes and policies I've discovered along the way over the last 5 years, in the interest of writing a blog article or two to help newbies understand the various nuances and what to expect. Unfortunately I don't have those available at this very moment, but once I find them I can at the very least throw out some additional ideas.

One thing that does come to mind off the top of my head is covering the possible statuses a submitted event can have and what each one means. I don't believe this is publicly documented anywhere and can be somewhat confusing or unexpected to someone submitting for the first time.

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Posted by derekguder

Certainly share what you've put together youself - drop it in this thread and other folks can comment on it.

As for event statuses, that's covered (briefly) in the Event Host Policy, as well as in the EO/GM Dashboard when you have an event of any given type.

Were there more details you felt are needed for those?

-
Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by ncornelius

Aaah, I didn't recall seeing that in there, but sure enough. Perhaps I skimmed over it as I'm used to it by now and I suppose take it for granted a bit.

I don't know how feasible it is in a "formal" document of that sort -- but I can see the statuses being put into a flowchart of some kind for better visual processing/understanding.

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Posted by derekguder

Well, the flow chart is basically:

10 Submitted for Review
20 If OK then GOTO 40
30 If NOT OK then GOTO 60
40 Accepted for Consideration
50 If LOCATION=TRUE then GOTO 80
60 Returned for Correction
70 If UPDATED=TRUE then GOTO 10
80 Active

:)

Ah, BASIC is always vaguely nostalgic for me, even if that's not really in any way authentic :)

-
Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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