The first hour of game is always chaos. Everything always takes longer than you expected and you will often have a dozen or more players or volunteers stopping you every so often to ask important questions. Therefore the more nitty gritties you can delegate, the more time you can spend on managing the event itself and dealing with all the little things that can’t readily be delegated.
Many folks are willing to help if needed, and most will even be flattered you thought of them. So don’t fear asking for help!
Naturally it’s best to give them as much notice as you can so they have time to prepare and so they won’t feel pressured to do it if they don’t want to. Plus, if they do say no, you’ll need time to think up an alternative. Of course, if it was unavoidable, most people will accept a last minute request for help.
When you’re trying to find a volunteer, think about what people are good at AND the kinds of things they enjoy. Some folks love set dressing, while others are keen to give rules advice, and there’s always a contingent of folks who want to help but would prefer the straightforward jobs of tidying up or putting drinks away.
If you know any players who are good at logistics and thinking on their feet, bear them in mind in case you have a sudden need. It will happen, on occasion, and most folks will be understanding. However, if a player volunteers to help you at the last minute, you can’t assume they’ll be able or willing to do that task *every session* unless you ask them specifically to do the task long-term. Feel free to ask, of course. They may be pleased so long as they’re asked in advance. But don’t jump dump the role on them next week without asking.
If someone steps forward to volunteer their services, remember it! That’s a great sign. Think about if you could use the services they’re offering, or something similar to it. Build on others’ enthusiasm wherever possible!
Easy areas of delegation include:
- Combat Inductions
- Weapon Inspections
- Sign In Desk
- Snack or Merchandise Sales
- Rules & Logistics Questions
- Standard Set Dressing
- General Set Up
- New Player Guides
Not every game needs all of these volunteers and in some games those roles might be combined into a single volunteer. But having folks to do some of these tasks, where they are necessary, will free you up to focus on more strategic decisions, questions others can’t answer, managing a sudden crisis, briefing volunteers and welcoming new players.
Having a decent amount of assistance and support will help you start on time and have more brain space available to focus on the game ahead. Plus it helps build a sense of community and provide skills to others who might be thinking of organising events for themselves in the future.