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Organisation Review and Suggestions
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itowlson



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Conan
Quote:
Given the demographic there will always be those who don't like socializing and just show up for gaming. What can be done to help these folk? They are the ones to most likely feel excluded.


Huh? Why help these folk? (I'm one of these folk). ... I don't need help, I need a good con experience.


What Dan said. Yes, I'm sure there are people who would like to socialise but can't because they don't know anybody. "Helping" these people is a Good Thing. "Helping" people who "don't like socialising" (emphasis added) is the gaming equivalent of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Luke wrote:
wouldn't it just be enough if all "long term" Kapcon attendees made an effort to talk to 2 or 3 people they don't know over the weekend


Not sure if I count as "long term," but I would feel uncomfortable if attending Kapcon implied community pressure to be an evangelist or ambassador.
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Luke
Quote:
To be honest, wouldn't it just be enough if all "long term" Kapcon attendees made an effort to talk to 2 or 3 people they don't know over the weekend.


Nope. Think about it this way - the "long term" Kapcon attendees make up about 20% of the number? (at a Guess)...


Depends on what you call "long-term". In 2008 (because I haven't done stats for other years), new attendees were 27% of the con, while 57% had been to 3 or more KapCons (and 34% had been to 6 or more).

And as a non-wonk: is there really a problem with newcomers feeling excluded? The ones I talked to were having a good time...
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Luke
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
Depends on what you call "long-term". In 2008 (because I haven't done stats for other years), new attendees were 27% of the con, while 57% had been to 3 or more KapCons (and 34% had been to 6 or more).


FWIW I am not suggesting we force people to talk to others. I was merely suggesting that those who had attended Kapcon in the past consider talkingt to others and helping those that looked lost.
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Conan



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think people have missed what I was trying to say there.

For people who don't want to socialise, what can we do so that they don't feel excluded as in feeling that they have to be friends to attend the convention.

I.e. - what can be done so that they don't feel pushed out because they aren't socialising?

I'm not saying that we force them to talk to people, I'm asking what can be done so that they don't feel pushed out of Kacpon for just wanting to play games?

Conan
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Dan



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conan
Quote:
I.e. - what can be done so that they don't feel pushed out because they aren't socialising?


IMHO the answer is simple. Sell what KapCon is advertising.

KapCon is advertised as a Roleplaying Convention. Not a chance for mates to catch up and roleplay, thus the Roleplaying part should be focused on (by the organisation) - sold in a sense. Gaming and the availability of gaming should be the focus - the organisation needs to be slick to provide all new entrants with the opportunity to come to the 'con for what the 'con has said it would provide - a roleplaying convention (ie a chance to roleplay).

I'm not saying ignore the matey aspects of the 'con - I'm saying leave the matey aspects to the attendees - those that know people and want to talk to people (socialise), and the KapCon organisation should be about providing the gaming and providing availability to do the gaming.

I think I have been saying this the whole time - this is why the suggestion of the additional day (for gaming), this is why the suggestion of the two teams in organisation (to provide active, enthusistic, awake and aware organisers to help get everyone - including newbies - into a roleplaying game - which is what KapCon advertises). This is only my opinion however.
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NickPitt



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:


Luke
Quote:
To be honest, wouldn't it just be enough if all "long term" Kapcon attendees made an effort to talk to 2 or 3 people they don't know over the weekend.


Nope. Think about it this way - the "long term" Kapcon attendees make up about 20% of the number? (at a Guess)... that means even if they talk to 2-3 attendees (should they have the time), it still only hitting around 60% of the whole... just over half.



I would describe 'long term' Kapcon attendees as people who have been to 3 or so Kapcons. And that would easily cover the entire con of first-timers. I also absolutely agree with Conan's point earlier.

If Kapcon were to ditch what it has been doing for 11 years (as long as I've been there), it would not be the same beast that I so completely look forward to every year. Kapcon keeps getting stronger contrary to what some people seem to find so disagreeable.
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Anna K



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
And as a non-wonk: is there really a problem with newcomers feeling excluded? The ones I talked to were having a good time...


This was our group's second year of attending from out-of-town and I think we all felt welcome both times we came. We didn't feel excluded at all, I got to meet a lot of interesting, friendly people. I think Morgue's comments in another thread where the organisational aspect should be professional are good, but in general I didn't find the atmosphere to be overly "matey" I mean, I had expected people there to be friends. It would've been seriously weird if they weren't...

Editted for sense
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Last edited by Anna K on Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NickPitt



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:


KapCon is advertised as a Roleplaying Convention. Not a chance for mates to catch up and roleplay, thus the Roleplaying part should be focused on (by the organisation) - sold in a sense. Gaming and the availability of gaming should be the focus - the organisation needs to be slick to provide all new entrants with the opportunity to come to the 'con for what the 'con has said it would provide - a roleplaying convention (ie a chance to roleplay).



Kapcon doesn't need to be actively advertising, it grows by the most effective advertising available, word-of-mouth. This is friends telling friends that the con is awesome. Hence, the matey aspect is inherent in its growth. We're not doing a drive for more people, new people is a bonus, but this is not a commercial operation.

Kapcon is already a damned slick operation, nothing major needs to be changed. However, as always, everyone is willing to make those subtle changes necessary to finely tune this excellent machine.
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tog42



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My main concern with a three day con is that it would require a significant number of new volunteers to manage. We're quite lucky as it is finding so many people willing to give up their time to make KapCon happen.
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Mashugenah
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickPitt wrote:
Kapcon doesn't need to be actively advertising, it grows by the most effective advertising available, word-of-mouth.


Sorry - here I strongly disagree with you. If there are gamers in NZ who don't know about KapCon, then it needs more advertising, and I anecdotally believe this to be the case.

My main question is - where are the young people? 15 years ago when I started coming to KapCon I was at most 5 years younger than the average, and I was by far not the only school kid.

15 years later, and I'd say that I am probably just below the average age at 29. There was only 1 school kid (Lucy), and a gaggle of a small half-dozen uni-age students, and even they were on the "graduating" end of Uni Student age.

I also know that there are a fair number of people who used to go to KapCon, but who don't now for whatever reason. Some of these people are still informed, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a large number that have lost touch and don't recall precisely the time and location of the con.

I think as a consequence of this that there are still very large un-tapped gaming markets for KapCon; principally amongst school & Uni students. Both are awkward to advertise to in the lead-in due to their holidays, but there must be a way we can access those people.[/i]
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mundens



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mashugenah wrote:
Sorry - here I strongly disagree with you. If there are gamers in NZ who don't know about KapCon, then it needs more advertising, and I anecdotally believe this to be the case.

I disagree. We have a functional con that is holding steady or even growing slightly with around 20% turnover. If attendance was steadily falling then we might need to advertise to maintain that, if that was the desire of those attending

As it is, if we had any significant increase in numbers, we wouldn't be able to handle it, so we only want to advertise enough to stay as we are.

Mashugenah wrote:
My main question is - where are the young people?

Playing on their computers or watching TV.

Tabletop role-playing and LARPing is primarily an old person's hobby.

The same phenomena has been experienced in many hobbies, modern generations have different hobbies, and very few new people enter them due to the greater accessibility of the new hobbies.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mundens wrote:
Mashugenah wrote:
My main question is - where are the young people?

Playing on their computers or watching TV.

Tabletop role-playing and LARPing is primarily an old person's hobby.

The same phenomena has been experienced in many hobbies, modern generations have different hobbies, and very few new people enter them due to the greater accessibility of the new hobbies.


My recent experiences say that it could be otherwise. As you say, the problem RPGs face is that there is strong competition. However, the appeal of RPGs is still strong with the younger crowd. The biggest hurdle is that young people do what their friends do and quickly establish their preferences. As we don't have any young people at Kapcon, we are unlikely to get many unless we take a proactive stance to tap the market.

Large formal events are very attractive to young people as they validate their hobby and the stuff they like. As such, if you get some young people involved in Kapcon and RPGing, you may well build up in that group. In fact, as college students head to university, RPGing can be an excellent hobby to provide them with a new group of friends.
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Jenni



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about a buddy system? If you want to see more kids at Kapcon you could offer to pay for their entry for one day?

I know I always get in at GM rates, which is ridiculously cheap for a full weekend's entertainment and I'd definitely pay for at least one student to come along too. That doesn't solve the food/train issues but it would be a start.

Obviously it would completely voluntary whether you offer or not Smile
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IdiotSavant



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickPitt wrote:
Kapcon doesn't need to be actively advertising, it grows by the most effective advertising available, word-of-mouth. This is friends telling friends that the con is awesome. Hence, the matey aspect is inherent in its growth. We're not doing a drive for more people, new people is a bonus, but this is not a commercial operation.


That is definitely our main source of growth. Our advertising targets mostly those who have already been to kapcon as a reminder to come again. that which doesn't (e.g. flyers in games shops) is quite passive, and doesn't seem responsible for a lot of newcomers.

This matches overseas experience as well. Word of mouth is the best way to sell a gaming event. So, get mouthing Smile
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mashugenah wrote:
NickPitt wrote:
Kapcon doesn't need to be actively advertising, it grows by the most effective advertising available, word-of-mouth.


Sorry - here I strongly disagree with you. If there are gamers in NZ who don't know about KapCon, then it needs more advertising, and I anecdotally believe this to be the case.


There will definitely be people in NZ and in Wellington who don't know about us; the question is how best to reach them.

Passive advertising isn't very effective, so currently we rely on slow infection. Get one person from a group, give them a good time, and they will do our advertising for us. If people have other ideas, we'd love to hear them (and you may find yourself drafted Smile

Quote:
My main question is - where are the young people? 15 years ago when I started coming to KapCon I was at most 5 years younger than the average, and I was by far not the only school kid.

15 years later, and I'd say that I am probably just below the average age at 29. There was only 1 school kid (Lucy), and a gaggle of a small half-dozen uni-age students, and even they were on the "graduating" end of Uni Student age.


I agree. We've got a solid lock on a generation of gamers. But we haven't got those who come after. We need to reach out and grab these people. Any suggestions?

Quote:
I also know that there are a fair number of people who used to go to KapCon, but who don't now for whatever reason. Some of these people are still informed, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a large number that have lost touch and don't recall precisely the time and location of the con.


Yup. I have spreadsheet of 85 former attendees who have fallen off our list and who I'd like contact details for. FaceBook has helped us find some of these people again, but not all of them.
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