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 Post subject: How to Recruit
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:16 pm 
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Started Fighting: 20 Apr 2006
Realm: Pyke and O.G. Babylonian
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I was put on "PR duty" in our realm of Babylon. After a while it gets a bit... Vapid but as I am the only willing, I'm left with no choice. So I made a bet with Etain that I could get more newbs into our realm than her and even tho she didn't know about this bet, I took it to heart and am most often seen running from the field to pounce on random stray passer-bys. I think us fighting on a cosistent basis, keeping the cussing down and having a delegated PR guy(hopefully as a volunteer) works well, expecially because we fight in the middle of the huge park in the midst of downtown. People walk by constantly. 's too bad we tore up the place so bad, but it makes for interesting scenerios; and the people love to watch(see:heckle insatiably) us whack each other. Sans when the SCA realm next to us comes out: they be *, fat, and the only good fighter who has the skull on his shield? He carrys his gear in his car and goes around talking to people about the SCA; his recruiment style consists of basically talking mad **** about us. OH WELL>:i
Smile, even if it's just you baring your teeth!
Talk to everyone with much gusto about out sport!
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:00 am 
Gladiator
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I completely agree, a fighter who also volunteers to be a "PR" guy is much more able to do the job. If you assign it to someone who doesn't want it willingly, they might do so well.

I've found that friends of friends can be a great way to promote as well as MySpace. Posting bulletins is a great way.

I'll hopefully be coming up with a template for a decent flyer (much better than my current one) in Photoshop, that can be easily edited in Paint and much easier in Photoshop.

A low level of foul language promotes the wellness and shows that Belegarth fighters are matured and well mannered. Parents who's children fight can find this inappropriate behavior and stop their children from coming out and definitely doesn't look good for passerbys.

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Last edited by Spork on Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:03 am 
Brute
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I'll post up my specs for a good size sign which runs you about $30 plus fabric and is rather easy to ship if you have a truck or any vechicle that can carry a good 5 1/2' red

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:29 am 
Grunt
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Planning a choreographed duel helps to attract attention (not that a bunch of guys hitting each other with foam swords isn't enough). It's kind of decieving but helps people look past the geekiness of it and see that it can be cool.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:02 am 
Grunt
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My realm was lucky enough to have a couple local teachers in it. They just talk it up to their classes and offer a bit of "extra credit" to anyone who shows up for a practice. We were even lucky enough to do a demo for a local school's gym classes. We had a poor percentage of specators become fighters but people are starting to know who we are.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:16 am 
Backstabber
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:37 pm
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Location: The Wastes
Started Fighting: 19 Aug 2004
Realm: Itenerraria
Unit: Kumpania del Ruv
Favorite Fighting Styles: flail and round
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We're lucky enough to stake out space on Illinois State University's quad as soon as the weather's decent enough. We tend to get a lot of spectators, and out of those, a handful will come up with the nerve to try it. During the first few weeks outdoors, when everyone's getting dosed on sunshine for the first time all year, our noncoms are usually walking the perimeter of our area telling people about the rules and stuff.

Best thing for recruitment that we've seen is just being visible, which includes honorable fighters, good garb, and cool armor. Next thing you need are friendly people who don't mind taking time out of their own fighting/heralding/playing to talk to and teach new people; after that, the rest is just getting them to stick around, which is more dependent on meshing personalities than recruiting tactics.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:55 am 
Slayer
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Location: Lou-Evil Kuntucky
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Ho's... we just need to have more ho's. simple as that.

Thats how Chuck Manson recruited.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:30 pm 
Brute
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Location: Clintion Il.
I think what you need is a variety of weapons. Safe weapons but the kind that get's people's attention. Like having both straight and curved swords; flanged and barrel maces, daggers and big reds. That kinda variety and matched with armor and garb will definetly get some passer bys to stop and hopefully ask about it.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:46 pm 
Toadie
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I hate to agree with the Ho's comment, but it is true, especially on a college campus. When i am in full costume, with bodice etc, I am more likely to get a guy to come from the sidewalk to actually try, than if he scary guy with all the armor and a huge red sword does the approaching.

I came into an already established realm, so we do not need to recruit as much as new realms of 10 or so people do. But remember, be visible, be polite.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:28 pm 
Barbarian
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Location: Dun Abhon (Southern Indiana)
We are starting a new group in Corydon, IN. the first of next month. We were going to do it in Milltown, but determined that the bigger town might have a better chance of garnering diverse support.

We have a good park with plenty of passersby on a good day, so I am very hopeful.

I have developed some group goals and trials, some delineation and rules regarding requirements for owning weapons and garb. But we will also be a fairly poor realm (due to the nature or our economic surroundings). I am not going to push armor or anything else quickly, though I believe we should have visitors from Louisville on a semi regular basis who might bring the wow factor.

I am excited, and I think it's great someone has started a forum on this.

Thanks.
T|-|R@K


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:20 pm 
Brute
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Thrakorzog- could you possibly elaborate on those "rules requirment owning gab and weapons" like when they take effect and such Not to bash the rules but I think it may hurt people from joining if they gotta fork out money immedaitely

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:08 am 
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ICARUS wrote:
Thrakorzog- could you possibly elaborate on those "rules requirment owning gab and weapons" like when they take effect and such Not to bash the rules but I think it may hurt people from joining if they gotta fork out money immedaitely


Indeed it does. If people feel like they have to pay up front just to have fun they will vanish.

Around here we do have a LOT of loaners, however if a new person is using some one's weapon of choice they usually have to give it up to them. Thus it lets them enjoy the game to a point and then when they want to use one type of weapon without fear of having someone take it from them they decide to build their own. However, after a month I usually push for people to make their own weapons so that they have made a larger commitment to coming out more often and to hang out with fellow fighters while we all build and repair weapons. As for garb, $5 usually out fits a person with something from good will and a $1 per yard from wally world. If they want better they will eventually get it. I have even seen kids(9-13) blow their weekly allowance of $5 for garb so they can look like the big kids.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:14 am 
Barbarian
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Location: Wolfpack
Started Fighting: 0- 8-2002
Realm: Wolfpack
Unit: Kumpania Del Ruv
I tend to be the recruiter monkey for Wolfpack, along with Assyria. My general tactics is to scout out, amongst the spectators, who actually looks interested and who wants to point and laugh.

For the latter group, I go over to answer any questions.
For the former group, I answer questions but also conjole them into stepping closer amongst the non-fighters. This gets them talking with the people who come in for water, to the people who don't just fight (I always welcomed non-coms. They make events work, and being a non-fighter these days, I like the company). Don't just recruit fighters, recruit people interested in general.

When they leave, give them fliers. Nice looking ones. Ours look all professional, but they were probably made in word.

Be happy. Be helpful. Teach the rules, but not all of them at once. Be forgiving on people who are going out for the first couple of weeks, but help correct.

A person who takes a one on one interest in helping a new fighter keeps that new fighter active.

Have garb and weapon making sessions, and have everyone come out. Hang out as a group. HANG OUT AS A GROUP. People join because they are also looking for friendship. At events, don't just leave your newbies on their own.

And don't forget, for about every 10 people who try fighting, 4 will come back and 1 will stay. When I was an officer of pack, my recruitment goal was 5 active participants a year. Fighters and non-fighters alike. I think I met that every time I was an officer.

And don't forget the spectacle of things. I joined because I was visiting IKE the spring before I went to ISU. I happened to be there on Quad Day, and saw Indore walking across the quad in full garb carrying a tv set. The first Sunday in the fall, I walked straight up to the biggest person I saw (Theros) and asked how do I join? (And then convinced my brother that he should join).[/b]

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:17 am 
Underling
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Location: Eugene, OR
Realm: Tir na Nog
I completely agree with Nuri. At our realm we have a few moms and non combatants show up. They are nice enough to help where they can and they help to explain the non-fighting aspects of Belegarth. They are very much appreciated!

As a member of our realm council, I have volunteered to go talk to the "watchers" and I really enjoy it! I mean, many of them are amazed by how much knowledge that you acquire when are involved, you learn. Many times people are interested in the history and background of medieval fighting, not just the actual fighting itself. I once helped out a friend from school with a presentation on the medieval ages and I was able to pull most of the facts right off the top of my head. This also got her interested in Belegarth and also my teacher even mentioned there being medieval reenactment groups.

And one great thing for recruitment that I have found is practicing at a local college. We get floods of new people wanting to beat their friends with foam. And also it is quite convenient since we are located right outside the student union building.

So all in all, I think the really important things are: inviting everyone, having enough information to answer a lot of questions, and also location. Also being nice and pleasant gets more people than not. Also, swearing is probably not the best either, since we do have younger children interested too.

Also thanks for the idea of a handout to give the new inquiring people! That'll be a better impression than just the injury and death waver :angel:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:51 am 
Slayer
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Location: Lowlands (north Florida)
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Quote:
(And then convinced my brother that he should join)


Glad you did.


As for recruiting, i have had limited success. Florida is not exactley a powerhouse for foam fighting, and its a little harder to get the word out. With that being said, when a fighter does stay, it makes the reward of having a new member and a new friend that much more exciting.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:00 pm 
Gladiator
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Started Fighting: 06 Jan 2006
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Yeah, any time there is a new realm that isn't used to foam-fighting, usually takes awhile to get people to fight.

We've actually had several people who have become interested just from word of mouth. Hopefully, they'll keep fighting and whatnot and they've been to two practices thus far.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:51 am 
Barbarian
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Location: Dun Abhon (Southern Indiana)
ICARUS wrote:
Thrakorzog- could you possibly elaborate on those "rules requirment owning gab and weapons" like when they take effect and such Not to bash the rules but I think it may hurt people from joining if they gotta fork out money immedaitely


Indeed, I agree. That's why I developed a set of criteria to "earn" a rank. You can be a combatant for years if you like always borrowing someone's weapons, but you will never earn the rank of "Fighter". You can only get that by owning your own weapon, having passing garb, and attending three or more practices.

While this encourages a commitment and participation, it doesn't exclude those who do not wish to earn the rank, or indeed be non-coms. We have decided on several different paths for rank acquirement based on the type of fighting that the combatants choose.

We also have a two step rank for Heralds and weapon checkers.

I know it's not a perfect plan, and it is sure to be modified as time continues. I do think that one of the weaknesses of the realm that I travel to attend is the amount of weapons that people end up borrowing, and the inconsistent nature of players showing up to the practice field. While some have jobs, I think others simply don't have the opportunity to see results from their commitment. I would like to change that.

When the day is done, it should be a fun time for everyone, those who are more committed and not. I just want to give something back to those who are committing a little more and by doing so, hopefully gain more commitment by more people.

I like the Idea of the non-comm recruiting. To a degree we do that now, but we have never codified it into a standing practice. It's great to see someone staring with a twinkle in their eye remembering days gone by when trash can lids and a random tree limb brought joy into their hearts.

Thanks for this thread, it's really informative and helpful,
T|-|R@K


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:24 am 
Belegarth President

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Location: Beornve, Eriador
Realm: Beornve
Unit: Children of Nidhogr
Favorite Fighting Styles: Sword and Board
Has anyone tried advertising at the movie theaters? I'm looking at possibly putting in ads when major fighting movies release. Not going to be able to get anything in time for The 300 (releases today), but maybe some of the movies opening later this year, especially once the weather warms up and we are back outside (we have limited capacity in our indoor practice space). Any advice would be welcomed. Oh, and if anyone has a nice video camera, it would also be appreciated, as one of the theaters does video ads, the other does slides.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:47 am 
Recruit
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Heyo, I've been reading and have a few thoughts/personal experiance.

I'm a part of Gilead, when we first started we had maybe ten fighters on a good day. I was a former football player so I talked to some people on the team, that produced two new fighters. I'm also a huge geek, so I talked to a few people that play magic/WoW/any other mmo or fantasy based game. that produced five to six people. After that I would randomly talk to people at ICC(IL central college) and try to sway them to come by saying its a "fighting club". with that I got a off season light wieght boxer.

Mainly what I'm getting at is that you need to know the crowd your talking to.

hopefuly this helped


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:16 am 
Hero
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Started Fighting: 15 Oct 2001
Realm: Frozen North
Unit: Murder Tundra Horde
Favorite Fighting Styles: Southern Praying Mantis
Word of mouth has been mentioned and I thought I'd just take a second to highlight its importance.

I've heard it said that there are three basic forms of marketing. There is telephone, television and tell a friend.

When you have members that have been around for six months or more, encourage them to bring friends along. Chances are they know a few people who might like the sport as much as they do. Maybe they'll go tell their DnD group, or maybe they'll bring their rugby or ultimate frisbee team with them. Maybe one of them happens to know a reporter who is looking for a story. You never know.

This isn't fight club, you're allowed to talk about it. Hell, I try to tell the world, most often I get funny looks, but every so often there is that person who says "huh, that sounds fun." Even that doesn't mean they'll show up, but maybe someday down the line they'll look into it.

Like Nuri said, five recruits per year is a good number. You can't expect to get a flood of people just because you have posters and fliers.

I don't know if you're a college realm or not, but something important to consider is that college students come and go. It is the older members who have roots in the community who will be there in the long run to keep a realm alive.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:36 pm 
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We tried to have a system where if you could get a friend to try it, and stick around long enough to pay dues to the realm (hopefully forever) then you got your dues paid free that year.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:57 pm 
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Not a bad idea Jimmy.

Here are somethings for you developing realms to remember.

1. Of every 100 people, maybe 10 will be interested in Bel, and maybe one of them will actually stay and keep fighting/participating. So don't be discouraged when you get an influx of pepole but only one or two stay for the long term

2. Remeber that you as an organization are providing a service. That service to to provide a fun, safe, and friendly format for people to get together and play a medieval combat game. Your group is doing business, even if you have no product to sell, you are selling your service. It is up to you how to best provide the services your group wants to offer.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Recruit
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:32 pm 
Underling
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Started Fighting: 25 Sep 2008
Realm: Nan Belegorn
Favorite Fighting Styles: Fetal Position
A couple of my friends who play Belegarth and I go to an anime convention in the fall, and I was toying with the idea to go in garb to advertise and try to recruit people.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Recruit
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Location: Springfield, OR
Realm: Tir na nOg
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Shrike wrote:
A couple of my friends who play Belegarth and I go to an anime convention in the fall, and I was toying with the idea to go in garb to advertise and try to recruit people.


Yeah, basically going anywhere in garb will have people asking questions, which is never a bad thing!

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