Event Management: Hit and Miss

Interior, Gin RummyOne of the major challenges we face in running the Gin Rummy is the planning and scheduling of events. Events, of course, draw in customers, which hopefully draws in money, which is decidedly a Good Thing. 🙂

We normally hold one event per night, except on Wednesdays (because those are update days and you never know what shape the Grid is going to be in that night); larger clubs run events more frequently. And each event has a theme, asking people to dress in a certain fashion, with the winners (one man, one woman) taking home L$250, or sometimes more.

The actual execution of the event goes off pretty smoothly for us, given that we have Contest Wizard boards to manage the contest entries and voting in a completely fair fashion. It’s the planning that gets to me sometimes.

The choice of theme is critical to whether an event succeeds or fails. Some themes resonate better with people than others. Last Sunday, we held a formal event that had a very good turnout; the following day, an “Ears & Tails” event fell pretty much flat. The day after that, a “Rock & Roll” event started slow, but brought in quite a few people by the end of the event. (Misty, one of our managers, came up with the “Ears & Tails” event. I assured her that I’ve had my share of dud event ideas, too, such as my infamous “Corporate Motherf***er” event rewarding the best business suits.)

Events begin life on the”event calendar” page of our “intranet” site, where one of the managers or owners will pick a theme for a date and write a blurb that will later be posted to the Second Life Events page. (We have another page of “suggested theme ideas.”) Appropriate staffing for the event must be scheduled; the Gin Rummy generally needs an event host, a DJ, one or two dancers, and a bartender to pull off an event. Then, once a schedule has been finalized and set, I will post the event description and particulars to the SL Events page. (I usually post several of these at once.) Then, when the day comes, we get everyone in place at the same time, set up the Contest Wizards, get the DJ spinning and hooked into the club’s music system, make sure the tip jars are ready, turn on the Raffle Ball and the Money Sploder, and wait for the customers…

Often times, the best events occur when the DJ can tailor a music program to the event. I love spinning for 70’s disco parties and 80’s parties, for instance, and, for other events, I will often throw in some clever music choices. For instance, when we did a “Switch” event (men dress as women and vice-versa), I DJ’d the event (in a lovely pink flexi ball gown I borrowed from my friend Fiona 🙂 ) and threw in some appropriate music choices, such as “Dude Looks Like A Lady,” “Man! I Feel Like A Woman,” “Lola,” and Cyndi Lauper’s remix “Hey Now (Girls Just Want To Have Fun),” which was used in the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. Yes, some of the staff groaned a bit, but I had fun with it.

Would-be club owners, take heed: By your events you’ll be known. Make ’em good ones.

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