The Numbers Game
Invariably tournaments are born of ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ foundations and I dare say a good many such ideas wither and die under the harsh lights of practicality. The five big considerations are when, where, how many and how much? Of course that’s only four – the fifth is special. The fifth is ‘if I build it will they come’.
Two years ago this was a simple matter of choosing the date that suited you. Not so now – at least not in the UK. There are some monolithic tournaments in the calendar, rightfully etched in stone; Blood and Glory, SCGT, Slaughter, Facehammer… and more. It can be the done thing to put a date in a couple of weeks prior and label it a ‘warm up event’ (a good bet if you want to run a 1 dayer), it’s probably suicidal to slap your event in on the same date or immediately afterwards. The UK ‘scene’ seems to pretty much self-govern itself to these ends. Blood Tithe – International AOS Team Event takes place 2-4th March, purposefully distant from other events.
This has many facets. There are hotspots in the UK and comparable deserts. London and the SE are proportionally scarce – no doubt in light of the expense (perceived or otherwise), high running costs and miserable denizens! However, it’s no secret that most of the UKs population lives there – so that should get a good reception, right? It also has to be easily reachable by road and public transport - especially for the all-important Sunday trek home.
Often linked to ‘Where’ – how many people you want also correlates with ‘How Much’. How many people do you need to meet the running costs of events. Events in London do have high running costs – Blood Tithe is no different, and to that end more people are needed to get the event over the balance line. 60 is also the magic number for ranking points – the minimum number to garner the winner 100 points. Most big two day events aim for 100 players but often fall short. I don’t know why this is – late drop outs seem the most plausible explanation. We’ve gone for 80 players – 20 teams… nice round numbers.
Much debated, often fiercy, the cost of the event can have an effect on ‘How Many’ and ‘If I build it will they come’. For me the ticket cost is almost immaterial; whether £30 or £50 or £65 for a GW event ticket, because when you’ve factored in travel, hotel, drinks, food, models, paints etc the % difference in the ticket price as a proportion of the overall cost is negliable. I would imagine it’s overwhelmingly the case that TOs set their price against their projected expenditure. Is anyone ever getting rich from running tournaments? Doubt it. Even if make a little on top of their forecast where does that go? Back in to the tournament – because TOs surely want to ensure people don’t have a s**t time.
If I build it will they come
By getting the first four right, yeah, they should. Blood Tithe has been set up to work – domestically and internationally. Traction is important. Podcast tournaments get plenty of traction. Will I have to do a podcast? Hope not – thick northern accents and a stutter don’t bode well! J. I’m banking on positivity winning the day – and good project management of course – can’t hope to succeed without that. If you like what you read, what you see, please tell others. I really hope me and the South London Legion boys can make this a success and a fixture in the calendar.