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Apollo
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Advice for New Events Runners Reply to this Post
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Advice for New Events Runners

I've been looking over recent event emails, and wanted to post something to help new events runners. Although we get a fair number of emails from people who have little or no experience with events, many of the requests for support end up being turned down, which is a shame. The three main reasons for this are:

-- No event experience. We really prefer that people have run some kind of event before, and can provide us with a link to the forum thread for the event.
-- Event is too complex relative to their past event experience.
-- Wanting to run a familiar event without obvious event experience.

The underlying reasoning is that if the event has OM support, we need to be fairly confident that the event will be run fairly and competently, and the more complex the event, and the more valuable the prizes, the more reassurance we need! Below are some guidelines, which I hope will help people intending to get onto the Events Trail!

Step One - Take Part In Events
-- Whether they're in-game or on the forum, high profile events or small events, take part in events. Get to know how they work, watch how the event hosts handle the event (examples here can be good or bad, of course, but you can learn from both!)
-- Look through the Events Workshop occasionally, and follow the Events forums. This will give you an idea of the kinds of events that are often run, the level of prizes normally used for them, and give you some ideas for how to run your own event.

Step Two - Get A Little Experience
-- If appropriate, help out with someone else's event.
-- Run at least one event yourself.
-- Make it a straightforward event - one that is likely to be easy to manage and unlikely to raise difficulties over rules interpretation.
-- Make the challenge appropriate to the prizes. If you have lower-level prizes, that's absolutely fine, and people will expect the effort they put in to be appropriate to those prizes.
-- Plan the event to run on dates convenient to you - don't post an event just before going on vacation for two weeks.
-- If you are not sure how to approach the event, either simplify the event again, or post in Events Workshop and ask for help in refining the details. Don't be disheartened if the feedback isn't all positive - they're generally experienced events players, who are trying to provide constructive criticism.
-- Post in the right forum. If you are offering prizes just on your home ocean, then post the event in that ocean's dedicated event forum. If you're offering prizes on all oceans, you can post it in the global Events forum. While you may think that posting in Events will make your event more prominent, this actually doesn't work. You'll get more notice in the less-busy ocean areas.
-- Take care with your first post - explain the event clearly so that people know how to participate and understand any rules. Although perfect spelling and grammar isn't expected at all times, it's important that your post is good enough that potential entrants understand it. If you think your spelling or grammar might need some help, get someone else to read it through and make suggestions. If you don't have anyone in real life who can help, ask a flagmate, hearty or even post it in the Events Workshop and ask for someone to help.
-- Watch the event thread, answer questions promptly and courteously.
-- Remember to post a list of winners, results and prizes, even if it's an in-game event.
-- Follow through on prizes - if you're having difficulty contacting someone to deliver a prize, try PMing them to arrange a time to be in game, or ask them whether they have hearties or flagmates who you could entrust the prize to.

Step Three - First OM-Supported Event
-- Read the Events Calendar and Info, and the Events Howto threads at the top of the Events forum. These give some guidelines on the kind of support that might be appropriate, and the kinds of events that might be supported.
-- Don't be over-ambitious - again, make this a straightforward and manageable event. You don't have to make it an all-ocean event.
-- Don't ask for unrealistic prizes. If this is your first supported event, no matter how brilliant the event is, we're not going to give you a familiar or a pile of rare furniture. The most likely prizes for a first-time event runner are along the lines of common trinkets or standard renames for ships you are providing as prizes. In addition, having prizes of an appropriate level for your event show that you have looked at other events, and understand the normal level of prizes.
-- It's a rule for all events, not just early ones, but don't ask for coding changes to support an event - we won't be creating new objects, charts, routes, ships, etc, for an event, and nor can we change the normal game mechanics for an event.
-- Again, if you need any advice to finalize your event post, post it in Events Workshop - many of the people who post there have a great deal of events experience, and are likely to be able to help you with advice or suggestions. Don't be discouraged if they point out a big flaw with the event - better at that stage than later! Take the advice on board, and amend your event or come up with a new one!
-- Once you are happy with your event plan, follow the template in the Events Howto thread and use it to put together a proposal for event support. Complete all parts of the template that are applicable to your event.
-- You should be sending your email at least two to four weeks before you intend to post the event. Emails sent when the event is already posted are unlikely to be successful.
-- Take care with what you write. If the proposal is unintelligible, it's likely not to get support. It's worth spending some time (or getting help) so that your message is clear. (Some people send incomprensible event proposals with a message at the top saying something like "soz for mistaks, too lazy to check", which doesn't really bode well for their event!)
-- Describe your event clearly, outline the prizes you want, and any other OM support you want (e.g. broadcast, prizes provided on other oceans, etc).
-- Include links to similar events, if appropriate. If nothing else, this shows that you've seen (and hopefully read) threads from similar events, which will help you in the running of your own event.
-- Include links to the event(s) that you have previously run. We can look at those threads, and see how you handled the event.
-- If you have any outstanding questions that need to be answered, you can ask those in the email too.
-- Assuming you get event support, keep a regular watch on your event thread, and answer questions as they're asked.
-- If a major change to the event or to the prizes has to happen, please let me know by PM, so that I can confirm support is still there for you.
-- If you don't get support for your event from the OMs, don't despair. You can still run the event yourself if you want to, and you can always email the OMs in the future with another proposal.

Steps Zero thru Four
Do have fun!


I'm sure I've missed important things in the lists above, so if anyone wants to post additional points, please go ahead. I'll incorporate important ones in this post.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Clotho at Mar 4, 2013 12:00:01 PM]
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Squashbuckle

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Re: Advice for New Events Runners Reply to this Post
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I hope it's ok for a mere mortal to post here, but I want to add a couple of points to Apollo's wonderful list of advice:

Making your first event straightforward can't be stressed enough. You don't need to do a whole day of events, or a gunning bakeoff, or a forum-based deathmatch. A limerick contest or avatar contest are simple forum events for first-timers. Races and scavenger hunts are good in-game events.

For your first event especially, it's a good idea to base it off an event that has already run in the past. Don't do something that just happened last week, but dig back through the events of the past couple of years and pick one that seemed to run easily and successfully. Your ocean will have fun if you pick a good event to rerun. You may even be able to get advice from the person who ran it first.

In-game events are necessarily more difficult. Your first event can be in-game (mine was), but you should test it with your crewmates to make sure it works before you run it for your whole ocean. If you're doing a race, have a couple of mates run the race while you watch, to make sure you can actually tell if they left at the right time and who finishes first. If you do a bakeoff variant, make sure it's easy to score from the duty reports. Get extra helpers so there is someone to take care of things if you or another helper disconnect or get called away by real life.

Even events that don't award a familiar can be fun and popular with entrants. I know everyone wants to give someone a new parrot or monkey, but folks enjoy winning trinkets, sleeping animals, nice furniture, clothes, doubloons, and dozens of other smaller prizes, too. In fact, some of the most fun events I've run were not familiar events.

If someone trolls in your event thread, don't sink to their level.
Nothing ruins an event faster than an angry coordinator who unleashes her wrath upon the thread. Everyone who runs events gets trolled at some point. The best thing to do is to remain polite when answering the troll's questions and if it seems to get out of hand, deal with it in PMs.

That said, not all criticism of your event is trolling. Take suggestions seriously and look at your event objectively. Even with good forethought, we have all missed something. Rules may be less clear than you originally thought, deadlines too soon for the work required, etc. The sooner you can fix any problems with the event rules, the smoother the event will run. This is one of the big reasons why it's important to read your thread frequently.
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Polly
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Re: Advice for New Events Runners Reply to this Post
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One more thing I'd like to add:

Don't get discouraged. Sometimes events don't work out the way you hope. That's normal. Learn from the experience and keep trying. I've had plenty of event bombs myself, especially early on, but I learned something valuable from every one.
[Jan 17, 2008 4:30:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Apollo
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Re: Advice for New Events Runners Reply to this Post
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I was hoping that puny mortals would post additional points. ;) Good advice, both of you.
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Sainterz

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This puny mortal have another bit of advice

Email events based of Calendar days like Christmas, Valentines Day etc. a month or more before the date I found this out by having a great idea for an event, after being to an in-game wedding for Valentine's Day. But of course too many Valentine events were already made so it is better to think ahead and any ideas you have write them down somewhere for the future
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Enjoy a Juicy Lamb Chop this Australia Week, I'm not Sam Kekovich

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Dougerarg

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Re: Advice for New Events Runners Reply to this Post
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I'd also like to embolden Polly's point that it never hurts to test an event through your crew or flag. I've only run about 4 seperate events through the forums since my joining in April of 05, but I've run countless through my crew and flag. If it doesn't work there, it won't work here.
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Scervy of Hunter
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Retired YPP player. Miss all my old pals from long ago
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Shandra

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A suggestion I have...

Poke around some events that are just starting or soon to be entering the judging process and judge the entries yourself. Don't post your 'winners' of course, but this can help you get a good feel for what it takes to judge some events and possibly help you decide which type of events you might want to avoid hosting.

And/or Some event coordinators ask for judging volunteers... go for it!
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Laptop100

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I most likely do not have the right to say this (Mainly because I have no Experience whatsoever in event planning), so I am going to mutter it.

Siryohoho mutters, "As Apollo said, Have fun with yer event. If ye dont have fun with it then it will become unfun and therefore turning the event into a community service project."
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Siryohoho is not acountable for this statement. If ye have a problem with it, then ye have a problem with yourself.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Laptop100 at Feb 28, 2008 2:54:08 PM]
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Sharktailz

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Give a reasonable length of time for participants to make entries. If your event asks for a lot of hard work and elbow grease from players then you do not want to give a rushed deadline. Think about the amount of time it would take you to create an entry, and be sure to calculate all of the real-life things that can get in the way.
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Sharktail, Sage. Avatar by Phillite!

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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Sharktailz at Sep 15, 2008 11:40:49 AM]
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Squashbuckle

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I'd like to reiterate and expand upon something I've said above:

 
Even events that don't award a familiar can be fun and popular with entrants.


This may surprise some people, but the average quality of entries in non-familiar contests tends to be better than ones in which a familiar is given. Sure, there are fewer entries, but the people who enter tend to do so because they enjoy the contest, not just because they want a shot at a familiar. This makes judging non-familiar contests so much less of a chore, because you don't have to sift through and scroll past dozens of half-hearted low quality entries.

Too many people seem to want to run everything for a familiar; a lot of threads in this forum are from people who want to see their event idea run with a familiar prize. Well, that's silly. If it's a fun idea, it's worth running without a familiar. People will still have fun, and that's the real purpose of every event.
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Polly
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Smartjenny

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Ooh thank ye for this thread Apollo, I've been thinking about running a small Writing Event 'cause I looove to write.

PM if ye have any more tips, suggestions, e.t.c....
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Pepperminty
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CillisC123

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Ooh thank ye for this thread Apollo, I've been thinking about running a small Writing Event 'cause I looove to write.



Eerie... exact same thing with me... O.O



Edit... I just realized how old this thread is. XD
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Topsail
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by CillisC123 at May 8, 2011 3:23:05 PM]
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