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Grimmeth
25-09-2010, 10:05
There's a lot of negative talk (from myself, I'll admit, as well as others) about GW closing down gaming nights and limiting gaming in store (due to opening times etc)
Rather than dwelling on this for another thread I want to look at the alternative option - setting up gaming clubs. Namely suggestions and ideas from people who have done it, pitfalls to avoid and any other comments gems etc.

From a personal angle I live in the UK (Wolverhampton, to be precise) and am trying to setup a club but struggling on a few angles (finding a central venue, advertising etc) but I'm sure any nuggets of advice would help both me and many others.

GW are moving much more to a proft > hobby, and they're a business, that's fine. But we're all capable of taking OUR hobby back, and expanding it in any way we see fit through these clubs - so lets have some help!

wat_dabney
25-09-2010, 10:26
There's some guidelines on setting up a club on the GCN website :

http://www.gamingclubnetwork.org/modules/wfdownloads/viewcat.php?cid=10

That being said, there is a club already in Woverhamption - Da Boyz Club. You can still set your own club up, of course, but it might be worth having a chat with them as they might be able to give you local advice.

http://www1.webng.com/daboyzklub/

yabbadabba
25-09-2010, 14:08
You can also contact Bek Hawkby at GW. She will have a load of good advice. If the local GW can't suggest a few places that rent out rooms then they have truly gone to hell since I was last there.
Best of luck to you. It can be very hard work but in the end a good club will always be better than anything GW could ever do.

Grimmeth
26-09-2010, 21:46
There's some guidelines on setting up a club on the GCN website :

http://www.gamingclubnetwork.org/modules/wfdownloads/viewcat.php?cid=10

That being said, there is a club already in Woverhamption - Da Boyz Club. You can still set your own club up, of course, but it might be worth having a chat with them as they might be able to give you local advice.

http://www1.webng.com/daboyzklub/

They do exist, after a fashion. But from what I can gather (and this is hearsay from others who have been, not myself) they're a little... stuck in their ways and wouldn't be looking at the hobby in the same way as we would.

spikyjames
26-09-2010, 22:44
One bit of advice on venues etc. be fairly open minded, look at british legions and social clubs, you'd be surprised at how willing they are to let you have a room and storage, especially in the current climate.

James

Grimmeth
28-09-2010, 11:15
Venues are definitely my biggest issue at the moment, I can find some with a room for cheap/free, but storage is another issue, and I'm sure my little flat (and the Mrs) would baulk at me trying to store gaming tables and scenery...

Idle Scholar
28-09-2010, 12:12
You'll probably have to hire somewhere, in addition to the suggestions above try educational establishments (schools, colleges, uni's etc) and maybe pubs.

Zinge
28-09-2010, 12:32
Pubs and clubs are great - coz we all know gamers like a drink or 2!

Osbad
28-09-2010, 15:24
Firstly you need to decide what type of "club" you want it to be and what is its purpose. Is its purpose just to provide you and a couple of mates with regular games and an outlet for your hobby, or is it more altruistic and you want to create a venue for ongoing gaming to "grow the hobby" and provide entertainment for the local youth?

I set up a "club" around 4 years ago now. When I first started thinking about it, my vision was for a regular event meeting in the local community centre with loads of terrain and leagues and such as it was the sort of thing that I had read about and imagined was necessary for a "club".

But when it came down to it, I decided it wasn't really worth the hassle for what I wanted out of it. I just wanted regular games, and the opportunity to chuck some dice without having to treck over to GW and mix it up with a bunch of strangers. I also, being at the time in my late 30's and with 3 kids of my own didn't particularly want to have to spend a lot of my limited hobby time dealing with youngsters. And I wanted to be able to drink.

So in the end, I settled for just meeting in my dining room (which has sort of become taken over as a semi-permanent games room now.... sorry, oh darling wife of mine...!) where I was lucky enough to have space to set up a couple of 6x4 tables. I therefore stuck up a couple of posters around the village and in the local library, and waited by the phone. It didn't take long to attract a couple of like-minded 30/40-somethings and away we went. Over the years some folks have come and gone, and the club rolls along. We don't need to worry about fees and dues, as I provide all the terrain (assisted by a couple of very helpful large donations of stuff over the years), and we don't need to worry about PL insurance, and Child Protection stuff because we are all consenting adults in private.

For me it works. Although I appreciate it isn't a solution available to everyone - particularly without a suitable room and an understanding spouse! Ialso abmit that it is somewhat selfish of me not seeking to "grow the hobby". But the bottom line is it is my hobby. It's my wind-down time. And with a busy job, three kids and other major commitments on my time, if it became too onerous, I wouldn't want to do it as it would not be fun for me. Other folks go down the pub for a couple of pints of an evening. I choose to have some friends round for a game instead. On the other hand, if I were single and didn't have many other responsibilities, I might consider putting more time and effort into something more ambitious. It's all a question of priorities.

leontheconfused
29-09-2010, 09:57
Very similar situation here, I would like to start up a club but have hit a couple of problems.

For reference I am in the UK, Essex to be precise!

1 - How much is too much to pay for a venue? I have been informed that my first (and so far only) choice venue will cost in excess of 100 to hire for 6 hours!

2 - Venue, What sort of places should I be looking for?

3 - Age limits, I was thinking something like a minimum age of 16 to get around child protection issues. How much more agro is it to allow them in from 12?

4 - Is it worth getting GCN membership?

5 - Subs / club fees - How much is a reasonable amount to charge per meeting / year for membership?

Thankyou for your help in advance.

yabbadabba
29-09-2010, 16:41
For reference I am in the UK, Essex to be precise! Well someone has to be i suppose :evilgrin: All these answers depend so much on how many members you expect to have, boards etc


1 - How much is too much to pay for a venue? I have been informed that my first (and so far only) choice venue will cost in excess of 100 to hire for 6 hours! That sounds too much.


2 - Venue, What sort of places should I be looking for? Anywhere, especially places that might be under pressure financially so British Legion, Churches, St Johns Ambulance, Scout and Guide halls, Conservative clubs etc. Go for the traditional English village hall sort of place and you should get a good deal. My local village hall charges 6 per hour some nights.


3 - Age limits, I was thinking something like a minimum age of 16 to get around child protection issues. How much more agro is it to allow them in from 12? Thats up to you. A wider age range increases income and nightly attendance but increases risk, resource needs etc. If you are setting up with some mates look at the age range you have and talk to them about it.


4 - Is it worth getting GCN membership? Again the GCN can be very beneficial including discounts on liability insurance, paid for CBR checks and of course getting promoted by GW. On the pother hand if you don't want any of this and aren't looking for new members that value might become less.


5 - Subs / club fees - How much is a reasonable amount to charge per meeting / year for membership? Again this is entirely down to your costs. You need to cover initial set up costs, venue costs, liabilities, possibly refreshments possibly plus a little more for coverage of new scenery etc

If you are in Essex see if a chap called Daren McAninch is still working for GW (was at Bluewater and Thurrock last I knew). He has set up loads of clubs and is a true born Essex boy so has invaluable experience. Also contact the GCN and get the local Rep to meet you and talk things over. All in all your questions are a bit general so maybe their local knowledge would be more beneficial for you.

Lord Malorne
29-09-2010, 16:48
Venues are definitely my biggest issue at the moment, I can find some with a room for cheap/free, but storage is another issue, and I'm sure my little flat (and the Mrs) would baulk at me trying to store gaming tables and scenery...

Our club is at the YMCA, that may be worth a shot, our club creator knows the guy who runs the local YMCA (UK) and he got us a weekly night (weds 6pm to 10pm) for a good deal, 10 for the night, as said, be open minded when looking at venues, we get to store the club terrain at the YMCA.

maximu160490
30-09-2010, 01:21
Our local club uses the British Legion - only 5 a week for the room. All we have to do is make sure we only get drinks from the bar and not bring in things like coke bottles etc.

Perfectly reasonable. Means our subs are only a quid or two a week.

Often places like Social clubs etc will let you have the room cheaper as they make money off the drinks - 10 or 12 gamers having 2 drinks at a couple of quid each? thats easily got to be another 50quid or so!!

Art Is Resistance
30-09-2010, 10:57
Leon:
1 - How much is too much to pay for a venue? I have been informed that my first (and so far only) choice venue will cost in excess of 100 to hire for 6 hours! AS Jabba has said, this is far too much. Check ouyt (as James mentioned) local churches, Legion halls, even Masonic halls., They all have rooms that are perfect, and tend to be priced within tolerable levels.

2 - Venue, What sort of places should I be looking for? See above!

3 - Age limits, I was thinking something like a minimum age of 16 to get around child protection issues. How much more agro is it to allow them in from 12? The lcub I used to go to had a limit of 16+ UNLESS the child was with their parent and then they were on a probationary period to make sure they weren't upsetting everyone else in the hall! There can be some very mature 12yr olds, and some very immature 40yr olds!

4 - Is it worth getting GCN membership? I'm coloured by personal opinion on this so I'll try to keep it professional - if all you want is cheap PLI and free CRB checks (if you are going to have children at the club), and want to advertise in WD then, yes. If you expect more than that (ie. a voice within the GCN, help from the vaunted 'council' on anything more taxing than asking for your vote) then forget it. If you don't need any of the above I would say don't bother.

5 - Subs / club fees - How much is a reasonable amount to charge per meeting / year for membership? This depends on your outgoing finances. Most clubs seem to charge 1.50 / 2.00 per night so figuring on that wouldn't be a bad thing.

If you need any further help PM me - more than happy to help (and I'm only down the road in Birmingham)

Thankyou for your help in advance.

marv335
30-09-2010, 12:07
Leon:
1 - How much is too much to pay for a venue? I have been informed that my first (and so far only) choice venue will cost in excess of 100 to hire for 6 hours!


How much is too much depends entirely on the size of your group of potential attendees. and the amount they are willing to pay per session.
You need to take in subs that cover the hall rental.
I know it's obvious, but it's easy to overlook.



2 - Venue, What sort of places should I be looking for? See above!

Anywhere that will have you. Seriously. Pubs are a surprisingly good source, although most will require that all members are over 18, which could be a problem.



3 - Age limits, I was thinking something like a minimum age of 16 to get around child protection issues. How much more agro is it to allow them in from 12? The club I used to go to had a limit of 16+ UNLESS the child was with their parent and then they were on a probationary period to make sure they weren't upsetting everyone else in the hall! There can be some very mature 12yr olds, and some very immature 40yr olds!


It depends on the recruit pool.
Under 16 adds to the paperwork, but could significantly add to the income of the club (which pays the rent)



4 - Is it worth getting GCN membership? I'm coloured by personal opinion on this so I'll try to keep it professional - if all you want is cheap PLI and free CRB checks (if you are going to have children at the club), and want to advertise in WD then, yes. If you expect more than that (ie. a voice within the GCN, help from the vaunted 'council' on anything more taxing than asking for your vote) then forget it. If you don't need any of the above I would say don't bother.

If you're including under 16 than I would definitely join GCN CRB checks can get expensive, and you will need them.




5 - Subs / club fees - How much is a reasonable amount to charge per meeting / year for membership? This depends on your outgoing finances. Most clubs seem to charge 1.50 / 2.00 per night so figuring on that wouldn't be a bad thing.


It depends on the venue.
I've been a member of several clubs the cheapest was 1, most expensive was 5
None have had annual fees.
Annual fees aren't nessessarily a bad thing though.
One club I'm a member off is thinking of including them though (the annual fee will get the member a discount at a local games shop)
It's important to remember that a successful club needs to stay in the black. things cost money, terrain, tables, space, storage, insurance (which you really need to have) so you need to charge enough to cover this

AndrewGPaul
30-09-2010, 18:31
The venue we're in is a council hall, costs us 42 for 5 hours (5.30 - 10.30pm and the dues are 2 (1.50 for members). Membership is 5 for a year, and also gets you a 10% discount in our local shop.

We were a bit lucky with the venue - not only do we get a massive room, we also have basement storage for all the club scenery and boards. One of our founder members worked for Glasgow City Council at the time, which made finding a place quite easy.