Do you find yourself struggling to gain an audience to your events? Does the idea of hosting events for large numbers of people seem daunting? Do you get stressed out when trying to plan for the community? Then this article may be the right one for you! Introducing...
Hosting Public Events:
Tips & Tricks
In any roleplay community and more so within the realm of the public sphere, events are a common way to bring different kinds of players and characters together to have them interact and engage with one another. These events can take the form of anything from casual parties and balls to more elaborate cross-guild events designed to promote co-production between different groups within the community. Depending on the size being catered to, often events can quickly grow to be stressful due to the commitment and work involved in their planning and organisation.
As someone with their fair share of experience when it comes to planning, supporting and hosting various events, I'd like to take the time to share some tips and tricks that I've picked up over the years in the hopes it'll help some of you.
Planning events - depending on the purpose - is no easy feat and while the veterans of event hosting may be able to plan last minute, not all can work to this model (Lord help me, I can't). The first thing you need to consider is the purpose, or the 'Why?'.
Kind of Event - the 'What?'
Now that you've decided the purpose of planning an event, now you need to consider what kind of event it'll be. Are you reaching out to the elite and influential of the galaxy? A gala, a ball or a formal dinner may be suited. Invitations to a huttball game or a seedy dive bar in the lower levels of Nar Shaddaa doesn't serve well to gain their favour (unless they're into that!).
With what the event will be identified, it's time to consider your audience. Who is it for and why is it for them? Relate back to the purpose, to identify who the key audience will be. The type of audience you target or appeal to will always be lesser than one designed for the general public, so keep this in mind.
The Location - the 'Where?'
Now that you've determined the kind of event and who the audience will be, now we come onto the location. With the previous two already decided, it is natural the location or kind of location you imagine should fall into place.
Time & Date - the 'When?'
Now onto the date and time of the event. More than likely the planning behind this will be more OOC planned than IC, figuring out when is best to hold it. You need to take into account what will gather the largest number of attendees, if there is another event overlapping at the same time, what are people likely to be doing in real life at the time to ensure they will have free time to attend.
Planning and Organisation - the 'How?'
Now that you've decided upon the main 5W's, the rest of the planning comes into play. This is more often the lengthier part, lasting from the start all the way up to and including during the event itself. And sometimes after it,if you seek to gain feedback or continue it further into a series of events.
There's no point thinking up a detailed event with many parts on a Wednesday, with an intent to host it on the Saturday. This is fine for impromptu simple events, such as small parties with no features or additons to the event. But in a case where mutliple people are required, or intending to reach out to a larger audience, it is important to give yourself a realistic timelimit.
Advertising / PR
Get the message out there as soon as possible. Word of mouth at first. Or mention to friends or in discord or chat groups. This can let people know to keep that date free and promote further interest by spreading it around.
Communication / Networking
Talk to everyone! I can't stress this enough. Talk to everyone, tell everyone about it. Not only advertise it and sell the event to them, but also see if you can get them involved! We're all roleplaying with each other after all, why not see if other players can bring their characters' stories to combine with yours?
For the events where music is required, it's becoming increasingly common for players to play as musician characters in a concert style event where they stream music and emote out as if it is their character performing. This gives diversity to events and gives it a little extra flair.
Mishaps and Behaviour
During any public event, one can't always be sure of what to expect from players - be it RPers or members of the public. Unfortunately some may decide to ignore the set courtesies and rules of RP and act out and disrupt the immersion of the RP. In a Stronghold, this is easy to resolve, simply remove them from the SH and ban them. But in open world that is not an option. Encouraging players to simply add the player(s) to their ignore list is the most straight-forward approach. At most be willing to have an alternative location in mind should the trolling become unbearable.
Likewise, during any event anything could happen during the schedule - an act goes offline, or is not available. Having back up plans doesn't hurt, or being able to think on the spot to keep the flow going is also important.
If you are planning a random party for the sake of having a party, that's great. But why not plan one with a greater motive in mind? Ensure your character and other people can get something from it, that's what separates a good event from a boring event. As said above, about reaching out to people. Look out for the resources some characters and guilds already possess and be sure to utilise them and work together. Who knows what amazing story or plot could develop from it - people are unpredictable after all!
Quick Fire Tips:
- Plan in advance. Give yourself plenty of time.
- Don't do it alone. That adds to more stress. Get friends, fellow guildmates and other players involved. It takes off the pressure and you never know what ideas they could give.
- Don't be afraid to be creative - that's what we're here for. Let it all out of the box!
- Have a purpose to the event if you can, give it a point and ensure that people are getting something from it.
- Utilise the power of Discord and forum posts - spread it as far as possible.
- Be courteous of time and location - not everyone is the same level or on the same timezone.
- Open world has far more variety
Well there we are folks! I'm hoping you've enjoyed this. More so I hope this encourages more people to be bold enough to host events and takes away any of those worries.
If you've got any tips you find help you, please share them in the comments.