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Uniting Geeks

Event management for helping geeks share their passion, find like-minded people, and have lots of fun!

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People playing boardgames

Picking a date is one of the big problems that needs solving early in the planning process of any event.

Today we are planning multiple one-day events throughout 2022. To find good dates, we think through these key questions:

🔑 Target audience? Even within a industry there are subgroups of target audiences. Who are the target audience for this event and when does it work for them? Weekdays or weekends? Spring or summer?... Booking events linked to peoples work is often ok (preferred even) to book during daytime, weekdays e.g. expos, courses, networking events. Events linked to the target audiences hobbies (which is most often the case for us geeks) need to be on weekends, red days and vacation.

🔑 Collaborators? Who do you want to collaborate with to create the event, and when is good for them? Without them there will be no event.

🔑 Size? If the event is planned to be big, attracting visitors from the whole country, maybe neighboring countries too, then the schedule of competing events and collaborators is very important. If the event is smaller, the schedule of competing events and collaborators is less important.

What makes an event big or small needs to relate to the size of the target audience. There are e.g. many many board game players in Sweden, but the target audience for a tournament in the board game Wingspan is maybe 100 people total in Sweden. 🔑 Venue? Even if we find the perfect date, without a venue it won't matter. The cost is also tied up in this key factor as the cost of the venue will be one of the mayor costs of your event. Most venues have periods of the year when there is less demand, which makes it easier to book (less competition) and cheaper. It is worth finding out when the potential venues are available.

🔑 Competing events? There are lots of expos, tournaments, conventions, exhibits etc. even within a specific industry, that attracts your target audience and collaborators. Even if some dates are free they might be to close to competitors events. Think about the competition, but also consider the geographical location. Competing events running the same date can work, if they are at different parts of the country. On the other hand, make sure your collaborators are not already booked across the country at that time...

When you have materialized the answers the key questions, choosing a date is considerably simpler.

One last thought, book the event with enough time not only to plan the event, but also to market it.

Do you have additional tips, did we miss something. Please comment and help us grow.

Count backwards, this is a really helpful thought process when planning any event. If your New Year's celebration starts at 19.00, see yourself at that time, everything is prepared exactly as you want it and you are calm and satisfied. What is the last thing you need to do? How long time does it take to do it? Write down the answer. Repeat.

Say you've invited friends over for dinner. Last thing you do is turn on the outdoor lighting so they can find their way in. Takes less than 5 mins, but it's cold and you need to put on extra clothes so estimate 5 mins. Before that you need to use the bathroom for final touchups to makeup etc. (incl. necessities), 10 mins. Before that you prepare horderves, dinner, desert, snacks for later and drinks throughout the night. Takes you about 1,5h, but as you think through the making of food you realize you'll need to clean up the mess too, because the kitchen is visible from the dining room table. At least the most messy things... So you add 10 mins at end for cleaning (you clean some while cooking) and then another 5 mins for plating (you always stress out about finding that flat plate you love, but only use once a year so it ends up hidden) and 5 mins at start to get all the ingredients out (got somethings in the fridge in the basement). Before dinner prep you need to get cleaned up and dressed,1h, and tidy the house and set the table, which in your case takes 1h.

5m + 10m + 1,5h + 10m + 5m + 5m + 1h + 1h = 4h 5m

If you are prepping all on your own, that is the time you need. You can of course use this thought process to list everything you do in a bulleted list and time stamp each step. This also gives you a valuable overview to improve. See example:

14.55 Tidy house and set table

15.55 Clean up and get dressed

16.55 Get ingredients

17.00 Cook and prep drinks

18.30 Clean

18.40 Plating

18.45 Bathroom touchup

18.55 Light outdoor lighting

19.00 Ready!

Already you can see that plating food 20 mins before guests arrive will make it cold, and guests tend to be fashionably late so it will get even colder. Can you leave the food in the oven on low to keep warm and plate when they arrive? Can you choose food that can be left on stove on low a while at the end? Change and improve the plan. But don't forget to find the plates before so you don't end up stressing out looking for them while your guests are there.

With this overview you also see that some of it can be delegated and done the day before. You can share the work with family and room mates if you have them or hire a cleaning person to support you. You can share some of the work with your guests, maybe someone can be responsible for drinks while you handle the food? You can find the flat plates the day before.

We hope this tips helps you in these festive times.

Please share your best planning tips for parties and new year celebrations!

Create more value at your events where families are welcome by organizing activities for children.

We have recently started having tables out, with paper and pens for children to draw at. A activity that does not require volunteers near to run it, does not require instructions or a lot of preparation and material. Yet the activity is very appreciated and allows families to sit down with the children a while.

It is also easy to create a themed activity with paper and pens. At Tabletop Game Expo 2019 Free League spontaneously ran a competition where children and adults drew dinosaurs. It was on theme as Johan Stålenhag joined the Expo, the artist behind the book Urtidsbilder (artist book on dinosaurs).

At Nördarnas Julmarknad we had a Santa workshop where children could write letters to Santa. Same concept, tables with paper and pens. in addition there was on epaper with instructions not to forget sender adress and a example showing how to fold the papers to post. We also decorated a post-box to make it extra Christmassy and geeky.

Do you have tips on simple activities for children? Please share!