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 Post subject: Tips for getting members for a new realm?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:59 am 
Recruit
Recruit
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:52 pm
Posts: 6
Started Fighting: 0- 5-2007
Favorite Fighting Styles: Longsword and javelins
So I'm working on getting a new realm started in Logan, Utah. I've come across a few challenges, and was hoping for some good tips from people who've done this in the past.
First off- I'm in a college town, full of flaky college students. Whether or not they actually have something to do when I set up meets, some of them are simply too apathetic to show up anyways. Any advice on really getting interested people to show up?
There are several reenactment groups in the valley here, but the SCA is too much of a commitment for most, and the other group isn't safe. I know a lot of people in these groups, and they were all behind me getting the group started, but now refuse to show up to practices and support the group when we really need a strong start. How can I show people who are already into different groups that this is valid enough for them to do both?
I have been working on getting loaner weapons set up, and we're great on blue swords. However, red swords are more costly to make safe, and I have yet to see a decent, durable shield made for under $15, and I can't afford to make four of them for loaners. What are good ways to get some inexpensive, quality weapons and shields?
Thanks so much!

EDIT
Sweet- thanks so much for the advice. As a note, we are at facebook.com/groups/cachevalleybelegarth


Last edited by Maghnus mac Faelan on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for getting members for a new realm?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:18 am 
Monkey
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:52 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Philadelphia
Started Fighting: 26 Mar 2009
Realm: Taurendor
Unit: Clan Germania
Favorite Fighting Styles: Drunken flailing
Work on getting club status with the college, and then do the Club Rush thing.

Create a Facebook group and invite all the people you know on your campus.

Don't make loaner reds - new people will break them, or break each other with them.

Get ahold of Forkbeard Rex on here, or on Facebook. His guys are all down in Ogden, so they might (MIGHT) be up for coming to your field for a day-battle to raise interest.

Make a sign to put up when you're practicing. Have it say something like "Belegarth Medieval Combat Society. FULL CONTACT SWORD FIGHTING" or something like that. Be sure to let people know you are NOT LARPing.

Make business cards with your email, and the url for your Facebook group.

Pump out as many blue swords as you can, and -if need be- make crappy little punch bucklers (not full shields).

Talk to people, explain what Belegarth is. Reach out to other foam-fighting / LARP groups to come and support you.

Edit: Secure a spot on campus during a Saturday where you can -legally- have like 50 people fighting, and I will try to talk the Ogden / Provo / SLC guys into coming up for a big day battle to help get people interested. No promises though.

_________________
Brother of Clan Germania
Iron Hand of the Acheron Empire
Wandering Mintrel

If you can't pronounce it, don't name your realm or your event after it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for getting members for a new realm?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:52 am 
Belegarth President
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 3:27 pm
Posts: 2027
Location: Irvine, CA
Started Fighting: 31 Aug 2001
Realm: Marshal of Anduril
Unit: Wardens
Favorite Fighting Styles: Sword & Board, Extreme Taunting
As a person who was rocketed into success through interactions with martial arts and LARP groups, I can emphasize the importance of letting everyone know that you are in the area and that you will refer each other to activities. The primary way of gaining membership is through word of mouth, which is why business cards are great for getting out the word and making you look professional. Lastly, I don't think you necessarily need to distance yourself too much from the LARP community. I find stating the differences and similarities in an unbiased way helps people trust you and find their niche (even if that isn't with you). You should emphasize the full contact nature of our sport and that you can "RP" whatever, but our rules only pertain to the combat system. You will need an agreement with your LARP buddies that you send them the "light" fighters, and they send you the "heavy" fighters in return. That way everyone finds a place in the community. Above all, be courteous and professional to everyone - your reputation will be known.

Lastly, if you have a meeting time and location, someone needs to be there the whole time when you say you will be. I can't stress this enough. People will expect to see you in the park. This makes you easy to find, recognizable, and interested parties will know when you will be available for them to express interest.

_________________
Cofounder and Marshal of Andúril
Cofounder Battle for the Ring
Order of the Shining Tower
Order of the Western Flame

See you at Battle for the Ring in January www.battleforthering.com


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for getting members for a new realm?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:44 pm 
Brute
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:59 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Marina, CA
Started Fighting: 0- 6-2002
Realm: Babylon Empire
Unit: Catalyst
Favorite Fighting Styles: Sword and board, archery
Anastasia of Chamonix wrote:
Lastly, if you have a meeting time and location, someone needs to be there the whole time when you say you will be. I can't stress this enough. People will expect to see you in the park. This makes you easy to find, recognizable, and interested parties will know when you will be available for them to express interest.


^ This.

You HAVE to show up to practice, rain or shine, whether or not people are there.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for getting members for a new realm?
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:03 pm 
Underling
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Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:24 pm
Posts: 98
Realm: Sand Plains
Unit: Hellhammer Barreller
Favorite Fighting Styles: Sword and Board
Fighting in a high visibility area also helps. If you can, hold practices on an "open use" field on campus- generally you don't have to reserve them. We practice directly in front of our campuses dining facility. Be prepared to deal with a lot of walkons who won't stick around. Every now and then you'll pick up someone who becomes a regular, and that's how your core group will grow.

On a Saturday afternoon with good weather we have seen over 40 walk-ons in a practice, plus others who will sit out and watch us fight while they eat dinner. The weather was terribad this spring, so practices were inside most of the semester but last fall we collected about 200 waivers in the first month and a half of the semester..

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"Summy-yummy-yum-yum"


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