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 Post subject: How To Organize An Event
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:40 pm 
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This topic was suggested by Lyrositor who has recently organized his own event quite successfully. But, I suppose he would have appreciated having some guidelines to make his task easier. And, I see others here who struggle with this and could probably benefit from the information, too. I know there are a lot of great event organizers in this community who can offer helpful suggestions, so I’ll just start with what I know and take suggestions for additions.


Last edited by Tai'lahr on Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:40 pm 
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How to Organize An Event in the Cavern
First, read Lord Chaos' Tips.

Then, you might want to gauge interest by starting a thread with your idea or even just asking your friends in the cavern. You can also solicit opinions to help you decide on the details such as:

Theme: What is the purpose of the event? Music & dancing? A meeting to share information or organize something? Be clear about the purpose so that you attract people with an interest in it and not mislead anyone. To get the most out of a meeting (and this is applicable to chatroom meetings out of the cavern), it is useful to create and post an agenda in advance so that everyone can come prepared - whether that's with their opinion or information they have to share.

Title: The title should convey the purpose of the event in a few simple words. If it's an entertainment event and you want the maximum number of people to attend, then make the title exciting! But, if it's a meeting or discussion type event, you want to grab the attention of only those with an interest in the topic.

Date: Check this section as well as some of the community calendars (Guild of Messengers, Guild of Greeters, New Greeters) to avoid a conflict with other events.

Time: Probably the hardest thing to decide on in light of the fact that our community spans the time zones. Consider who your target audience is and what time would allow the majority of them to attend. If you're organizing an event with multiple staff (not just yourself), or if you are planning a meeting, check out http://doodle.com/ as a way to poll participants for the best time.

Location: there are a lot to choose from, each with their own good and bad points. Hopefully, others will post about their experiences and list the pros & cons of various locations.

Other: Will you and your guests need to access outside programs such as Shoutcast for music or a voice chat program? Include access information/directions in your post.


Publicizing the event.

Post it here in this section of the forums (if you've already started a thread to gauge interest, you can simply change the title and edit your original post to include the details) and submit it to the Guild of Messengers Calendar. You can also submit it to the New Greeters' calender of events.
Be sure to include all of the pertinent details mentioned above as well as any additional information that might make it easier for explorers to participate such as:

* A link to the Event Time Announcer (formerly Fixed Time World Clock): Example. Christian Walther notes "that way, everyone can see unambiguously what the time is in their own time zone. Without this helper, time zones can be tricky, and it’s easy to make confusing mistakes like saying EST when one really means EDT. Daylight saving time complicates things, in particular because it starts and ends on different dates in different parts of the world, and on again different dates on the KI."

* A link to the broadcast url (if any) and a link to directions on setting up the media player such as in the Getting Shoutcast to Work thread.

* If the event will be held in a private age, then give specific instructions on how to request an invitation. It's best to allow multiple options such as posting their Cavern Avatar Name & KI # to your thread, sending it to you through a forum PM, or sending a KI mail request to your avatar (if you're using a special avatar to host the event, be sure to post that KI number).

Write up a KI mail message to post on your hood imager and hand out in the cavern. If it includes information about how to access an outside program for music or voice chatting, then it will come in handy for giving the information to drop ins who didn't get the information beforehand. Tip: to keep someone else from altering your KI message, post it on the imager and then take a KI shot of it by looking at it in first person (F1) and then hitting F5 to take the shot. Now, title your KI shot with the event name and hand that out.


Hosting the Event

If it’s in a neighborhood, get there early to toggle the hood on the nexus so everyone can easily find it.

If it's in a private age, be prepared to send out last minute invites during the party.

Be prepared to greet your guests. Whether it’s a party or a discussion, you might want to recruit a friend or two to help greet and provide the attendees with pertinent information such as the url to a music station. If it’s a discussion, then it’s very handy to have a designated person greet late arrivals in PM so they don’t disturb the meeting.


Additional Information
A few hahrs ago, I started the Uru Parties: A Beginner's Guide thread which is aimed at the attendees. Still, event organizers might find some useful information there.

Examples of successful events in the cavern:
GoH 2012 Sunday Events
Christmas Eve in the Cavern
CAVCON awareness party
Celebrate Music: Radio KTDN 6th Anniversary
Guild of Messengers Meeting
Heritage Night
OHB bomb - unannounced, but well organized
Surprise Meeting - actually required very little planning because it was a resurrection of a previously regular weekly event.


Last edited by Tai'lahr on Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:03 pm 
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WOW! This is really useful! I wish I had this a few weeks ago before I made my "event suggestion" thread which become the Cyan summing thread.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:26 pm 
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Wow! Great worl Tai, that's a great post :D

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Tip for announcing the date and time of your event: Include a link to the Event Time Announcer (formerly Fixed Time World Clock): Example. That way, everyone can see unambiguously what the time is in their own time zone.

Without this helper, time zones can be tricky, and it’s easy to make confusing mistakes like saying EST when one really means EDT. Daylight saving time complicates things, in particular because it starts and ends on different dates in different parts of the world, and on again different dates on the KI.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:37 pm 
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Christian's absolutely right about this (Especially after my little flub up a couple of days ago for the New Greeters meeting.)

Tai, the New Greeters also have a running calender of events; anyone can submit their event there as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Very useful site their Christian, I have used it to translate other peoples event times to my own timezone.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Thanks for the great suggestions, Christian & Trek! I've added them to the post.

I'd really like to see some thoughts about choosing the best venue, the pros & cons of various locations.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:44 pm 
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Well done, Tai. Thank you.

As you might expect, I have some recommendations. :) This all might look daunting and discouraging, but plenty of events have succeeded with minimal planning. There are times to just wing it.

1. Courtesy
I believe that any event needs to be founded on respect for people. People who are attending should be treated well, which includes having the host on hand and prepared to help them understand what's going on. Courtesy also includes choosing a date and time that don't conflict with another event, especially an established regular event. There's plenty of time out there to accommodate events.

2. Venues
Choosing a location is something of a challenge, especially in MOULa because so many places are instanced. The simplest place to host an event is a location that's listed in anyone's Nexus. Ages are lovely places but require extra planning because you need the Age's owner to send invitations to all the attendees. The problems can be dealt with, with good enough planning.

3. Problem People
If you stand still long enough in one place, you're going to be a target. No matter how courteous you are, someone will take exception and start heckling. Don't get into a fight with these people. It's like wrestling with a pig: you'll both get muddy, but the pig will enjoy it. Just put them on /ignore and go on.

4. Showmanship
Anyone who wants to organize an event is necessarily an impresario. You're going to get some attention. Be prepared for it. You can even enjoy this and play with it. Especially if you get a few friends together to help with support, such as bumping threads and helping host. Even if your event is a one-off, put some zing into it. Let others add to it.

5. Comprehensibility
I've had some trouble with this one. Few people understood the purpose of some events I did back in the Tapestry days. So, if your event wants some explanation, explain it. You don't have to be completely comprehensible. Mystery helps, so long as it's not too mysterious. There's a fine line here that experience will help you figure out.

6. Fun
It needs to be fun. If you have to have organizational meetings with your staff, turn the meetings into parties. This is, after all, a game so there's no rule that things have to be serious (despite what Ghaelen says). :)

7. International Intent
People from all over the world play Uru. Europeans love parties, but 8PM US time is 0-dark-30 for most of them. I recommend gaining a working familiarity with time zones. We all rotate at 15 degrees per hour. West coast US is about 120 degrees west, so that's 8 hours earlier than Zulu (Greenwich) time. Most of Europe is about 15 degrees east. South Africa is 30 degrees east. When I'm eating breakfast at 0600, Veralun is thinking about a nap at 1400. :) All in favor of making Earth flat, and therefore in one time zone, please raise your hand. Until then, though, we need to think well-rounded thoughts of time. Round like a ball, not a plate.

8. Experiment
None of this is cast in concrete. Play around and try things. Try wild ideas. Few people thought the PhotoQuest Gallery Tour would actually work, but it turned out to be a beautiful event.

9. Testing
If you're doing something you've not done before, such as reading a poem through voice chat or performing a play, test the system you're using beforehand. Get some friends together to tell you how it's working. The smoothness with which most established events run in the Cavern came about through testing and troubleshooting.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Unlike Lord Chaos, I actually like the world round. Can you even fathom how much CHAOS the forces of gravity would unleash on our solar system if it was? (Hehe!)

Another good example of something so crazy it actually worked was the infamous OHB bomb. The thing about this event is that is was planned, yet nobody other than those present in the cavern knew when it was happening. Overall, it kept the entire cavern locked out for several hours.

Now I know most of us cannot program a bomb that sounds like John Cleese and release it into the cavern, but there's so many things that can be learned from this event. First off, it brought people in to Uru. That's the most important thing right? And second, it actually made people work together to solve a puzzle. Now I'm not saying your event should be puzzle based (On the contrary, most events are not.), however, in this instance the puzzle, exploration, and adventure elements of Uru were brought together in such a way that everyone had a good time and lots of fun.

And in the end that's your ultimate goal. Uru is ultimately a game, and we all play games to have fun. And while there's so many factors in understanding how to make a fun event, if you take you time, ask questions, and plan carefully, you can end up with a very successful event.

Here's one final example of a well timed and planned event. Surprise Meeting Vid did the impossible here and organized an event where no one had any clue what it was about and the event had a huge turn out because of it.

And one more FINAL example. If you ever have a question about an event, just ask Mouski. He's a master at planning them and he may be able to give you a few pointers too.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:39 am 
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This thread is full of excellent advice.

One more tip I'll drop in, about choosing an event TIME. Of course, you can never please everyone... but, if you're organizing an event with multiple staff (not just yourself), or if you are planning a meeting, check out http://doodle.com/ as a way to poll participants for the best time. The Guild of Messengers has used this tool in the past and it has been invaluable.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:10 am 
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Inavluable advice as usual! I'll be sure to keep those tips in mind the next time I organize an event. :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Here is some more advice, you need to know what you want to do and the more details in your own mind the better. My events have succeeded and failed due to this principal. My humming event was not as good as it could have been due to me not knowing what I was doing. On the other hand, Heritage Night has been a great success since everything has been planned out to the finest detail. Also your going to give a speech writing a script you can copy/paste from really helps. If you have good spelling write it notepad since MOULa does not like certain characters like the fancy qouts ones MS word/OpenOffice use.


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 2:29 am 
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I would recommend planning, with flexibility. The basic idea needs to be clear, and some event structure comes from that.

Some events benefit from flexibility. I've damped a few of my events through staying too close to the preconceived plan. I've also had some events tank at the box office because whatever idea was behind it didn't get across to the people who attended, or might have attended if they'd had a better idea of what it was about.

Having good helpers is essential for anything big. There are things I'm good at, and things I'm not so good at. Fortunately, I have some friends who are strong in my weak areas. All of us do what we're good at doing, and enjoy the doing. The audience sees the duck moving placidly across the water, with no hint of the furious activity hidden under the water's surface.

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