MACE 2016 Gaming Coordinator Report

There was a lot of anticipation as well as anxiety leading up to MACE 2016, at least on my part.  Some of it was the same kind of anticipation and anxiety I have every year.  Will it live up to last year? Will I get enough games to make the rooms seem full?  Will the vendors be happy with the traffic flow?  That stuff.  But of course, the fact that we can say we have been around for 20 years, longer than any con of this nature in the Carolinas has ever existed, is something entirely new for us, of course.

I can safely say that the con lived up to my anticipation and the anxiety was all in  my head.  It was a grand success and I am very happy on how it turned out. From a schedule point of view, I had less game events scheduled than last year but that did not seem to matter.  Some of my regular GMs could not make it this year and I can account for most of the missing events from those.  But with the new open gaming area, I think way more games got played than ever before.  We just can’t actually gauge them because so many were pick up.

I don’t know the exact numbers (Jeff will release those soon) but I think we were on par with last year, maybe a little more.  Some made the comment that we looked a little thinner than last year.  I am glad it seemed that way because with the extra space, I intentionally spread people out a little more.  We had one extra room (Lakeview) and the hotel remodel gave us more room in the lobby outside the elevators.  Both were utilized considerably. I tried to make an effort to contact some of our oldest friends of MACE and many did come back to celebrate with us, so I do hope attendance was up this year, number-wise.

As for the scheduled games, I think we were upwards in the 90 percentiles in terms of make rate.  In other words, most of the game made and were full, especially on Saturday.  On Sunday, there tends to be a pretty extreme drop off but that is understandable.  I try to schedule lighter games on Sunday but some specifically ask for Sunday and those are touch and go, depending on the game.

We found out that despite all our efforts of getting out the news that we were doing a live auction – mailing lists, Facebook, Twitter and web site – people were still surprised that we were running one.  We probably needed more information about it onsite but we did not think about it.  The auction did pretty well, despite a less than full room and I want to thank those that contributed.  $2600 is not too shabby.  We’ll have more signage up for stuff like that next time.

One of the many ways I failed in is communication as well.  People are STILL expecting me to print out tickets for them despite me not doing it for the past two or three years.  I thought it was simple enough for people to log into their account and print the tickets out themselves but apparently that was too much to ask.  In that vein, I am going to develop something that allows you to simply put in your OGRe ID (which we can look up) and a password only available onsite (probably taped to the computer or something) and it will download your tickets for you and you can print them out there.

Someone else mentioned no-shows and how to deal with those, especially from a OGRe standpoint, since most games are closed after they are full.  I will endeavor to change the code so that onsite, all games will accept alternates for onsite sign up.  OGRe is always evolving so I do appreciate your patience.  I also have some thoughts on ways to make onsite sign up easier.  Already making some notes about that.  I hope to have version 6.5 ready by MACE West 2017.   And for those concerned about security, password encryption will be included in that.

Never before have I run so many games at MACE and have them all make with full tables. They all did and I was able to run them all despite the exhaustion. Thanks to those who played in my games, I had a lot of fun.

Thanks to Jeff and Karen for running the business side as well as Kim, Patrick and their crew for running the Grinning Goblin.  Thanks to all the GMs and Coordinators for all their hard work, especially for Bill Boivin, Tim McCrary, Nathan Littlefield, and Mac MacFarland for their hard work in the organized play area.  Thanks to Danielle Horsley for her hard work with the kids program.  I know my kids had a lot of fun when they were there.  Thanks to Megan and Heath for their loyal help at the gaming registration desk.  This was a real fun one for me.  Not too stressful, just exhausting.