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 Post subject: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:35 pm 
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Location: Florida
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Favorite Fighting Styles: Spear
So, we got a booth to represent all orgs in Florida at Nerdapalooza. We're getting some recognition because our booking is what is flying in * Amano (Final Fantasy concept artist). But, I've never worked a convention before and don't want our stuff to look like a science fair... so any ideas? Suggestions?

We are running a fighting pit IN the concert itself (along with a booth outside), and doing some vending...

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:52 pm 
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And... then I see the pinned topic above. Still open to responses and other advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Location: Irvine, CA
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Favorite Fighting Styles: Sword & Board, Extreme Taunting
I don't really have any advice. We do a small convention called Wyrdcon every year. We usually dress in very nice garb and then act very professional and friendly. If you come up with do's and don'ts, report back to us. And of course, best of luck :)

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:58 am 
Slayer
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Location: Carbondale, IL
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Favorite Fighting Styles: Red Sword - S&B - Florentine
Sleeping Samurai used to come up to ACEN back when I attended, and they had a fighting ring laid out with line dividers or something like it. They would then charge $1/person or something to get in and fight your buddy, or one of them, and they held a tournament every day in the evening. It was something like $5 to enter, and the winner won a weapon. They were WoTS guys, as I recall.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:39 am 
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Yeah. I believe that's where WotS got it's convention setup from. It's a complicated story that was the result of two partners seeing only green. It ends with two separate orgs, some lawyer letters, and exaggerated amounts of "stolen" overhead. Sounds pretty familiar.

Sleeping Samurai pretty much lives in conventions now.

Way of the Sword has hardly expanded out of FL and now has two people claiming separate ownership. One's pretty cool and brought them into cross-gaming and is pushing for improvement. The other claims he got rights to it from the previous owner who was one of the original Sleeping Samurai partners... runs it like a cult. And apparently you don't get access to the rules (that thing, you kinda need to play the game) until... you... advance... in... status...

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Contact Ironside (John Winemiller) of Facebook. He and Khador have had prettysolid success the past few years with their convention, Anime Apocalypse.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:46 am 
Monkey
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Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:55 pm
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Location: Davenport, IA (Beornve)
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Realm: Beornve
Unit: Horde
Favorite Fighting Styles: Making things dead...
We've done a few here and from what we can tell, there is ALWAYS something people can do better for their demo. To run one, I recommend a minimum 5 people. We had around 40 people sign waivers (18+ or had to have parent/legal guardian sign) in the 2 hour period we were there (AnimeZing). Every 30 minutes we would take a break and re demonstrate the rules in a group setting (normally it was one on one when they signed waivers) with one person getting hit while the person hitting was explaining it (took about 3 minutes to explain blue rulings, no stab, and shield - informed them there is more to the game but this is what we were focusing on for the day as an introduction). There was one person off to the side always ready to talk to people who got interested for even more information about our local realm, etc. We would always have one person doing the waivers, and two heralds minimum (to pull people off to help with rules problems, etc). If it got to a smaller field, we'd put one of our guys in there and spice it up a little so they could 'kill the awesome guy' and boost morale.

Allowing people to try with loaner gear is awesome (brought enough for 20 people), we had such a good return on the investment (over 10% of the people came back to our practices AND grabbed some friends), and it was entertaining to see people dressed as anime/fantasy characters reacting to swords like they lived in Final Fantasy or some Asian theater moves. We even had some offered donations towards the realm, which helped repair anything that we might have broken for weapons in the loaner pile. The swords cost us about $10 to make each and the shields about $15 each. They would normally pass at events, they just aren't going to last more than a few months depending on hits/etc. if you used them regularly. This is why we put into effect $1 at a practice to use them to defer the costs and keep up an *.

I'm going to stop rambling for now, if you have any other questions let me know.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:04 am 
Toadie
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Started Fighting: 12 Apr 2011
Realm: Babylon
Favorite Fighting Styles: Florentine, Shield & Dagger, Grapple
Aquilonia runs demos at Anime Banzai every year. We start off with a few fights between the experienced belegrim, sometimes have one or two that are staged, then just... rope in all the attendees. We get anywhere from 10-20 people each day that run around and have fun with us. To expand ourselves, we're running a panel this year that will cover many of the basic rules and will feature a faq, open discussion, and a few videos of fighting. I'm hoping that, if we can't get something made in time, that we'll be able to use a couple of the videos Phira made from Chaos Wars.

Unfortunately for our realm though, all our kids that we get run out of Provo so they all head to Ered Duath :P Still a win for Belegarth though. As long as they end up somewhere, I don't care.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Location: Elgin, IL (Dunharrow)
Started Fighting: 0- 5-2001
Realm: Dunharrow
Unit: Clan of the Hydra
Favorite Fighting Styles: Bat and Board, Archery, Spear
Every year the realm of Rhun run the boffer room at Geek kon (or con, can't remember). I've gone to help the last 4 years in a row. This year we had over 350 people fight (which is recorded in signed waivers). We're no Forged Foam at Gen con, but we've been doing very very solid.

First of all, we don't use bel gear for the con peeps. It's just too expensive, time consuming, etc. We just make PVC and noodle boffers. Each one costs about $3, and if it breaks, who gives a ****. We have about 40 for the convention, we usually have a couple of times a con that we run out.

We have a whole room to ourselves, each year the size of the room varies. I'd say it's usually... and I'm awful at judging sizes like this, 30x30 feet or so. This year we started off in something closer to 45x30, and it shrunk on Saturday, the most popular day of the con.

We dress up in garb, not great garb, not awful garb. We have a display available of Bel gear, everything. Missles, poles, spears, javs, flails, everything.

We bring all the **** shields we have, it's usually about 8 at the most. It's okay, all the cool kids want to Florentine. The only fighting styles we allow are single blue, Florentine and S&B. Unless a con person requests it, vets only usually fight single blue, and we focus on fighting eachother. Unless your Bo, he can't help it, he loves the kills.

We don't hold tournaments for one simple reason, con kids are cheating ****.

We allow any age.

We set up a table with waivers, and stickers. Dots, stars, weapons check type stickers.

If people have their own gear, we can check it, and then mark it with orange electrical tape. As far as we know, no game system uses orange. This marks that they can use it all weekend.

THE VERY **** SECOND someone pokes their head in the room, the sales pitch starts. You have a very short amount of time to push them towards sword fighting. I usually lead with "Hey man! WANT TO SWORD FIGHT!?!" in my best "THIS IS AWESOME AND YOU SHOULD DO IT" voice. If I get any hesitation, or even worse, if they say no it's "Wait... what? Dude that wasn't a real question, I have no idea how to respond to that answer. You DON'T want to sword fight? Who DOESN'T WANT to SWORD FIGHT?" They're bat **** insane for not wanting to sword fight, make them feel that way. Yell out to the rest of the room "Who doesn't want to sword fight? Anyone?" Turn back to the person "Name me a bad * person in history who didn't sword fight? TRICK QUESTION, THERE AREN'T ANY." Continue to Badger people until they sword fight or leave.

Speaking of, just don't use the word boffer. I know, it's a con thing, just **** ignore it. You're not boffering, that sounds like a word for beating of when your 15. You're **** SWORD FIGHTING. You can feel the hair on your chest growing as you do it.

Once the person agrees, they fill out a waiver, hopefully someone else pops their head in "HEY MAN, YOU WANT TO SWORD FIGHT LIKE THIS **** BAD *!?!" etc.

Once we have a lull in waivers, you run them through the rules. The first thing I do is thank them, and explain my credentials. "Hey guys I'm Big Jimmy, I've been sword fighting for 13 years, I'm not from Madison, I run a group down near Chicago, thanks for coming out."

Then rules. MAKE THEM FUNNY. Be entertaining. I go through hit locations, 2 limb = death, hand on weapon, foot on ground, head, hold. I go pretty fast, they'll pick it up. I change 2 things 1) If you get hit in the arm, and you're holding something in each hand, and this arm is holding a sword, put the sword and your arm behind your back, instead of dropping it. Boffers are round, and a tripping hazard in a hotel. 2) We don't go down on a knee, we post the leg.

After the rules I go into something like this "If you think to yourself "MAN! SELF! In a few short days con will be over! And then I CAN'T SWORD FIGHT!!!" Self you are WRONG! You CAN sword fight! There are sword fighting groups EVERYWHERE! Talk to any of us ::motion to the group:: and we can help you find a SWORD FIGHTING group in your area!!! I'm a member of the BMCS. We don't fight with these pieces of garbage, we have examples of our actual equipment over there! :: point :: But these are cheap, and if they break we don't care. Now comes the best part! You get to pick YOUR FAVORITE SWORD from all of these swords that are EXACTLY THE SAME! That one!?! ARE YOU SURE!??!"

Have fun, ALL THE TIME. If you're not having fun sit the **** down and let someone else do your job until your ready to have fun again. It should be constantly high energy.

Once they know the rules, as long as there's less than 10 people we basically go out and let them do whatever the hell they want. After we get to about 10, we split people up for two big teams, and just run that over and over.

During two big teams, I do 2 things, 1) Give them silly team names and reasons to be fighting. "Your the.... EVIL team! And you guys over there, that makes you........ THE EVIL TEAM! And everyone knows 2 evil groups can't let each other live!!! FIGHT TO THE DEATH!" I spend most of my time orating while others are fighting. "KILL MAIM BURN! DEATH TO THE ENEMY!" All my favorite 40kisms. 2) Every 15 minutes or so, I stop the fight. I let people know that they can talk to me for any questions, I ask them if this would be more awesome if there were 400 people out, I yell a lot, I remind people not to do (that rule I've seen people breaking.)

It's a blast, it's super fun, and it's super rewarding. It's also super exhausting. But I've seen how other people do cons, and how we do cons, and I believe bar none that our way is the best. We have a huge crowd fighting pretty much all weekend, we get people out to other realms. We recruit for Bel, Dag, Amtgard, everyone. We do what we do for the benefit of all of sword fighting.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:19 pm 
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Location: Elgin, IL (Dunharrow)
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Unit: Clan of the Hydra
Favorite Fighting Styles: Bat and Board, Archery, Spear
Oh, after the rules talk, we take a dot, and put it on their badge. They can skip us next time and just grab boffers and go fight.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:56 pm 
Slayer
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Location: Carbondale, IL
Started Fighting: 02 Apr 2006
Realm: Carthage
Unit: Clan of the Hydra
Favorite Fighting Styles: Red Sword - S&B - Florentine
Big King Jimmy wrote:
We don't hold tournaments for one simple reason, con kids are cheating ****.


Maybe I missed it, but do you guys charge for people to fight?

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:57 pm 
Slayer
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:21 pm
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Location: Carbondale, IL
Started Fighting: 02 Apr 2006
Realm: Carthage
Unit: Clan of the Hydra
Favorite Fighting Styles: Red Sword - S&B - Florentine
Oh, I didn't quote that section because it was relevant, but because it was funny, and * true.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:10 pm 
Toadie
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:03 pm
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Started Fighting: 0- 4-2010
Realm: Khador
Favorite Fighting Styles: sword and board
spear
It helps if you can get the people people running the con to like you; they will do more to increase your profile at the con if they like you than if you are just another group of nerds.

On a side note:

THIS YEAR AT ANIME APOCALYPSE WE ARE HOSTING AN ASSASSIN'S TOURNAMENT!!


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Recruiting
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:17 am 
Grizzled Veteran
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Location: Elgin, IL (Dunharrow)
Started Fighting: 0- 5-2001
Realm: Dunharrow
Unit: Clan of the Hydra
Favorite Fighting Styles: Bat and Board, Archery, Spear
Thurat wrote:
Big King Jimmy wrote:
We don't hold tournaments for one simple reason, con kids are cheating ****.


Maybe I missed it, but do you guys charge for people to fight?


Nope. We can't profit, con rules.

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