Just filled out a survey.....
So I just filled out a survey regarding Friday Night RPG. There was a question in the survey that dealt with Nerd Louisville possibly charging for reservations for seats at FNRPG, much like what happens at Slur Your Roll. I oppose this, and I offered the suggestion of a voluntary donation at the event, as opposed to making "reservations" for $5 a seat. I want to propose another option as well, if Nerd Lou is in need of cash for projects, etc. The last few weeks, Reuben (sorry if I misspelled it bro) has been having participants fill out raffle tickets for some pretty sweet prizes. How about charging $1 for raffle tickets? Having seen the set of figures that Steve won a few weeks ago, I'd happily burn a few dollars on a chance to get something like that! And, as I stated in my survey, I'd be happy to voluntarily donate $$ at the event, but to tie POSSIBLE (because in the end, only a limited number of seats are available) attendance to having to make reservations on the forums and pay a seat fee for that attendance with a credit card or paypal or whatever, weeks in advance? Come on guys, please don't do that to us.
Now, if you're talking about doing this to compensate the guys and girls who take time out of their schedules to run games at the event, then I'll happily pay my DM because he runs a kickass game....but I'll pay him on my own. I'd rather not do it the way you're presenting, because it excludes a large group of people who don't religiously peruse the forums or set schedules around having to make online reservations and/or purchases for this event.
I don't know, maybe I'm off base here, or missing some magical component of this plan, but I found a great group of people to play D&D with, and I would rather not lose that based on a selective admission fee.
@Bird, thank you for the feedback. I understand your concerns and that is honestly why we aren't charging admission to the event today.
Nerd Louisville is a charitable non-profit and the money we bring in goes to support at-risk youth and other nerdy initiatives. For example, we just spent $3,000 to buy the kids at the West End School robotics kits for their Maker Space. We rely on the support of others to continue running events, keep this website going, and to help others find gaming groups. I think a lot of the time we don't do a great job of advertising all of the work that goes on behind the scenes and with our charitable partners to keep Nerd Louisville running smoothly.
One idea I have had, rather than charging admission like we do at our Slur Your Role event, is to create a "Nerd Louisville Membership" at $10 a month and give all members complete access to Slur and FNRPGs with no additional fee. If you didn't have a membership, the cost to play would be $5. If we do go this route, I think I might still resist pre-registration for FNRPG for the same reasons you mentioned. What would you think of a structure like that?
We will continue to brainstorm, but for now, there are no immediate changes coming. I appreciate the feedback and I love that you are willing to support Nerd Louisville via voluntary donations at the event.
To echo what @Jonathan-Meadows said, Nerd Louisville takes a LOT of work from non-paid volunteers. All the money that goes into the organization goes right back out into events, charitable initiatives, and organizational growth. No one makes a living off NL.
I can see how showing up to an event a couple times might make charging an entry fee a little off-putting. It's when you really get involved and start to see the outcomes and bigger picture that those dollars are supporting when you realize a $5 donation every couple of weeks to support an organization doing a lot of good and creating a community and culture within the nerd space is really a good investment -- the gaming stuff just becomes the icing on the cake.
I work at a nonprofit where I see a lot of wealthy people making very large contributions to various orgs. I really like the setup for NL because it allows someone with a modest income to actually make a pretty significant difference. It's sort of a real-life crowd-sourcing method where people also have fun and meet new people.
Like @Jonathan-Meadows said, I think there needs to be a better job done of publicizing the various projects and good things NL is doing (this is why I had him post this thread a while back, which is outdated because a lot of new things have happened since then!).
With all that said, I also think being able to just show up casually and play a game at the events is also a valuable thing.
@Jonathan-Meadows I think the idea of a membership is a good idea, with maybe some other perks thrown in too.
@mike and @Jonathan -Meadows, I know the score as far as what the group does for the community, and as I stated, I'm happy to make donations and volunteer to help, because I had D&D as a kid, and found it wondrous from the second I opened the players handbook. I've loved it all my life and always want to see it thrive. So yeah, I'm not adverse to giving $$ or time, it's just the prescribed method (preregistration) that bothers me. I've been thinking about this, and I'd like to move forward on the idea of an organized weekly/monthly raffle.. I've worked the raffle in plastic model clubs in three different states, and with each and every meeting we consistently made a lot of money on tickets, and club members were always excited to see what would show up on the raffle table. Get some prizes donated, sell tickets for a buck a piece and do two or three drawings, or whatever the market will bear based on the goodies available. That's a way to make great gains for the group, and keep players interested. Also, a portion of the proceeds can be turned back into the raffle so that it wouldn't be Nerd Lou going out and begging local shop owners for free merch. Who wouldn't want to win a book or accessory or dice or figures or whatever? Since I've done it before, I'd be happy to help out, or run it or whatever you guys want or need me to do. I'm at FNRPG and at Heroes on the off Fridays as well, so it would be super easy to get this up and running.
I like the idea of a monthly/yearly membership as well, and it brings a more cohesive feel to the group. Again, I would happily give a yearly "donation" for this.
Let me know what I can do to help the organization. I think you know where I stand on the preregistration thing, that truly is my only issue.
Looks like I am a few days late on reading this post and I would like to say thank you for bringing it up on here as well as the survey. The survey is meant to get the thoughts and opinions of the people who participate in Friday Night RPGs so we can align the needs of the players, GMs, vendors and Nerd Louisville's goals. This way we can make our events more enjoyable as well as help make Louisville a nerdier city.
@Jonathan-Meadows and @Mike mentioned how the donations will help the growing nerd population and help at risk youth but when I was talking to @Jonathan-Meadows about it I was thinking about it for other reasons. Our highest feedback we get is that the event is too noisy and that it is too crowded. I have taken some measures to help reduce this problem by only allowing 3 games in our little game room. This helped out some especially since some games had 3 tables. That doesnt fix the problem however as it is still hard to hear and some tables are too crowded. We also have a difficult time making sure we can reserve 7 games or up to 16 tables when Heroes has other events going on as well. Luckily for us they no longer do the video games on the same night as us anymore. I have considered talking about switching locations but if we did that it should be at a Nerd Louisville sponsor location. I have thought about switching to the opposite Fridays but we cant do that as it would make two events in one weekend and none in the other weekend. That poses several problems as we are volunteer only like @Mike said, so if we changed weekends that would also mean certain gms who run both weekends might only be able to run one and that would make our events compete with eachother in resources which we can not handle at this point. And with people already wanting more events it will be a greater time between Nerd Louisville events if we have both on the same weekend.
The only solution I could come up with for having too many players at one table (which scares away new players who have never played), reduce the noise, not having to show up 2 hours to get in the game you want (which yes does happen), reduce the amount of tables and chairs we require from heroes while not changing the date is preordered tickets. Not only would this option address all of these issues but it also helps Nerd Louisville and our city more is by making a reserved seating.
We are always open to suggestions. Please @Bird keep answering the surveys i make so we can address as many gm and player concerns. Only through feedback from our players, gms, sponsors, volunteers can we make our event even greater!!!!!
@Bird, sorry for the late reply, life has been busy.
I would love to sit down and talk with you and @Reuben about your ideas. We're always grateful for any help we can get.