Heyah guys this has been suggested to me to come up with a couple of times. I put it together and so decided to throw it up here as well in case it helps others. I do have it into in-game books and offering them for a copper on the broker, or just send a mail to Layla. Luckily I can make my own books, and I should note I only am on the AB Server. Someone should benefit from my mistakes! So you want to host an event? Well, from big events to small there are some things you want to be keep in mind while preparing. While larger scale festivals require more intensive organizing, even smaller events can run smoother with a bit of advanced planning. Decide the Nature of your Event The goals for your event, both the in character and out of character ones, set the overall feel. Remember this is your event, so you want to make sure you are going to enjoy it. Don’t let what other people think influence you into doing something you will not enjoy. At the same time, keep in mind who and what the event is for. Planning a free for all candy eating contest for a bunch of Erudites might not go over very well. It's important to find that balance for the enjoyment of everyone. If you're not having fun, your attendees will pick up on it. Time table The very first thing you need to do is look at when you want to have the event. Keep in mind what else is going on in game. You don’t want to plan something for the day of a GU or major in game event. You won’t have as many people able to attend. From there, break everything down into steps and set yourself deadlines for getting them done. This is extremely helpful to help keep moving things along and ease the pressure. Letting everyone know in advance what the schedule is helps them keep in mind what you and they need to do. Note that larger events such as Festivals should have a couple of months lead time in order to properly plan. Very small events can take a week or two depending on what is involved. Here is the list of goals I go by: I. Activities II. Location III. Scheduling IV. Promotion I. Activities Never underestimate the power of good planning. You have your theme, now come up with events that reflect it. Remember when coming up with your event the KISS rule, Keep It Simple Stupid. The more complex your event is, the harder it is going to be to run and the less people are going to want to play it. This doesn’t mean the event itself needs to be easy. Scavenger hunts with lore clues can be quite challenging but at the same time have simple and clear rules. Write out the objective of your event, then explain how the players are expected to achieve it. Be sure to state rules that they must obey in order to participate in the event. Having this clearly posted so that people can see it for themselves will save you many headaches. This also is helpful if something happens and someone can’t show up. If the event is only in your head, no one else can step in and help. II. Location If you haven’t decided where you're going to hold your event yet, stop and take the time to scout around. Look to see what potential barriers there might be. Is this is being held in an open zone? Are there any mobs that might wander by and munch on participants? Is the layout conductive to the event you want to run? This can make the difference between a good time and frustration. III. Scheduling This is both a must and something you need to be flexible with. Figure out when you want to do what and write it down. If you have never run an event of that particular type, take the amount of time you think its going to take and then double it. If you go under, you can still have fun but if you go over, you might end up delaying other plans. Decide what time you want to have each thing going on. Show it to the people involved/helping you plan. Be prepared to re-arrange the schedule in case something comes up and you need to make a change. Having this written down somewhere lets people know when to expect things. It is helpful for both planners and participants. IV. Promotion You’ve done all this planning but if people don’t show up it pretty much is a bust. Use both IC and OOC methods. It is helpful to get someone with some artistic or even rudimentary skills mock up a flier that can be posted on forums. I recommend posting it up wherever you find it to be appropriate; the forums for the guilds involved, or guilds you are involved with/inviting. SOE’s eq2 forums has a section specifically for player run events, post it there! The Raven Mythic forums have an events section, and they even have a set up for you to use while posting it! Please remember to review and use that. Actually I love the Raven Mythic’s format for posting events. It allows players to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for. I quite often post in the RM first and then copy/paste it to other forums. Remember to clearly list what your event is, the date and time of your event (remember to mark what time zone it is and try to list others), where your event is (be specific), and the details about your event. Get folks talking about the event ICly in taverns. Create a buzz and get folks excited. The more you talk it up the more word will spread. Announce the event ahead of time in the in-game channels or zones. Please note you don’t want to over do this step as folks can find it annoying. Don’t constantly announce the event, but at suitable intervals. If the event is months away, spam it once at different times every couple of days. If it is only a couple of weeks out, announce it once a day. Hey it’s the day of the event, try not to do it more then once an hour. If people are asking about it spam it. Have something written up that you can either easily copy/paste or create a macro for it. I use the following channels; RPLFG, RPEvents, Festival, RFN, and OGR. If by chance you are not on the AB server, find the public channels for your server and use them. Zone Heralding can be a good tool, but don’t overdo it. If you are announcing an event in multiple zones, try not to do it any closer then 90 minutes apart from the last announcement was made in the zone. General Tips for Event Planning Have a place to write things down and share Use your own set of forums or a thread or notes back and forth for smaller events. Having everything clearly written out is absolutely priceless in good planning. Delegate The bigger the event the more help you will need. Trying to do it all yourself will just get you burned out. Don’t Micro-Manage As long as things are being run within the guidelines that have been set up, let them run their assigned event the way they want to. Maybe they will make a mistake but once you give them a job it is their responsibility. Expect Murphy Stuff can and will go wrong. Best bet is to have a sense of humor about it whenever possible. Have fill in Events Something might happen and one of your hosts might have RL interfere, or their computer might decide it doesn’t want to work. Think up some easy and quick events to fill in the time. Having a list of these can be invaluable. Adhere to your time-table If something or someone is holding you up, try to resolve it. If it cannot be resolved quickly, move on. You are responsible not just to that one person but to everyone else involved. This applies to the actual event and the planning stages. You can’t please everyone It happens, someone many not like what you are doing and complain. If its one voice out of the majority, then take it for what its worth and don’t let it get to you. The time to be concerned is when you have a large chorus of voices especially if it is your target group of participants. Look at what you are doing and make changes, keep it in mind for next time. Use your resources You have volunteers? Give them a job, even if it’s a little job. It makes them feel good and your life easier. The people that have helped me run events have made a world of difference. They can do anything from being an assistant for the event to some random RP to flesh out the event. They help you stay sane. Have clear expectations Let people know what you need from them. That way you get what you want when you want. Don’t forget the Guides They have their own threads where they promote events, invite them to yours! They can’t participate but they can be there, they like to have fun too. Community Relations is your friend Depending on what you are doing there are things they can do to help. Don’t be afraid to ask Be okay if something goes wrong Things don’t always turn out the way you expect. That’s okay, each time is a learning experience that will make the next even better. Have FUN I cannot stress this enough. This is not worth doing if you are not going to enjoy yourself. Take time for yourself Take care of you, if you get burned out by what is going on then you can’t help anyone. Be Prepared Have as many speeches, rules, directions or repeated phrases prepared ahead of time as possible by either macro or ready to copy/paste. It saves a ton of time and stress. Encourage others to do the same. For example, if you are involved in a date auction, have your date description written up ahead of time. Well that’s all I can think of for now; I hope this helps you plan your event!