How to build your Smash scene - Part 1
posted to the public
at 4:07 PM on Wednesday Apr 25, 2012
Here's the first part of my guide to building your community. This is directed at Tournament Organizers as a guide to help boost attendance and quality of events but it does apply to every member of the community.
How to raise tournament attendance
Lets be honest - high attendance is one of the most important things for a tournament. High attendance MUST be combined with other tournament needs, but that's the next subject.
So how does one raise attendance? There are various ways. Firstly:
Advertising/Exposure - These two go hand in hand and is likely the most obvious way you can raise your attendance. The amount of time you put in to advertising will be shown at your tournament. I probably spend more than 12 hours total advertising for my events (likely much more), and get good results. For Brawl, I generally get about 16 new players per event which obviously adds up over time.
Where to Advertise
Advertising however does not mean you simply put up a few flyers in your local game store, you must advertising critically. Think about it - If you were into video games, where would you be? Game store's are the obvious heavy hitter for this but don't limit yourself. A lot of people who are into video games are also into the following:
Websites relevant to these (Facebook, Reddit, Gamefaqs, ect)
This sounds stupid, I know. BOBA? But really, you want think outside the box. I will usually advertise at every game store I can think of in the area, local card/comic/anime merch shops, and websites relevant to gaming. I have yet to venture into colleges, but that's likely a good shot as well. Coffee shops can work too.
Specific websites I post my tournaments in - Reddit.com (smashbros sub forum) is great, since the target audience can't get much clearer than that. Gamefaqs is popular so i post there as well. I try to post on most facebook groups/pages that have to do with Smash as well. Every view counts.
Other exposure - Getting your tournaments name out there is obviously important, so other than advertising through flyers/forums, try to do other things that will get you more views. I haven't ventured into youtube for advertising but that's an excellent place to start. Writing up a hype article for All Is Brawl (maybe even on SWF now that we have "Smash News) will help with exposure. If your tournament is really hype, receiving a sticky is also going to get you more hits as well. There are obviously many other ways to do this so don't limit yourself. If there are things I did not touch upon, please feel free to post.
New Player Discounts
A GREAT incentive for players to attend their first tournament is not paying full price. I offer a "New Player Discount" for every regional event in which players will receive $5 off their Singles entry fee with the flyer. It has proved to be extremely successful.
How to Keep Players Coming Back/Tournament Atmosphere
Great, you've got a good following going, but like any business one of the most important factors is the returning customer. This goes section will be for player satisfaction. What do participants of your event want out of it? Ask yourself this - If I were playing a new game, what would keep me coming back?
Personally, I likely wouldn't stick around a tournament scene if I went 0-2 more than once, so I make it a point to ALWAYS run round robin style pools at every event. If i were new, I would rather pay $20 to go 0-5 than 0-2, and would probably do that for many tournaments to come.
Other than pools, you can offer different events if you have time. I like to run an amateur bracket for those who didn't make it out of pools, that way even if you do get destroyed you still get a chance to play more, but most importantly you're playing with players closer to your skill level. I usually charge an additional $3 for amateur, but you can switch it up any way you like.
Stay professional. Invest in a microphone/amp. Invest in or find someone who can help with your stream. Try to run your event on time/plan a schedule. These things in themselves will improve the overall quality of your tournament and make it a better atmosphere thus making everybody happier.
Other things that create a better time for everyone:
Drink sponsorships - usually easy to get.
Friendly stations if possible.
Schedules work great - last event i planned out what time each wave of pools would begin, so everybody else left to go eat/chill.
Raffles/giveaways (Who doesn't like getting things?)
That's it for now, I hope to write a full guide to TO'ing soon so check back for more.
Be sure to check out the tournament page for the next West Coast Regional event.
E4U: CHAMPION - THE FINALE
Let me know if you have any other suggestions or topics you want me to hit. Thanks for reading.