Live Events are a funny thing. Essentially, us players are given practically a blank canvas to work on and hardly any of us ever host any events outside of the normal "let's play what the game says to play" type events. Granted, the game usually has such cool content that we can stand to repeat it over and over, but I don't really understand players that only want to do the same thing over and over (raiding, role-playing with the same group.)
I want variety in my game-words, and player-ran events are usually the place to find them!
Me and Leala have both hosted such events, and I can tell you that they really aren't much harder than anything else to plan. Your average raider probably deals with more headache, yet people seem to think that planning an event involves more. They don't, unless you want them to, and the pay-off can be not only greater but different than anything you ever experience. In other words, host an event sometime, the community will thank you!
There are those events that can turn out poorly, though, becoming nothing but a creepy gathering of cybering losers. But in my experience, if you get involved and participate, most events are usually a lot of fun to attend!
I logged into Fallen Earth the other day and Ruka Sutain from the T.A.O. guild had just announced a "dance-off" contest. It was nearby, so I rode to the spot to see only one other person "dancing their ass off." I leaped off the horse and started hitting every dance there is. Fallen Earth has a magnificent emote system, including some fantastic dances, so I thought we were going to just dance around as he decided on who was the best. But soon the host showed me that he had thought about this and was ready to have some fun, and soon quite a few people were dancing around. Here are some "rules" with some examples of what he did in order to make this event a blast!
1) Don't sweat the small stuff: When someone decided to park his horse directly in the middle of our dance circle, a few of us started to tell the guy to shove off. The host simply said "Don't worry about it, I can see just fine.." and we continued on our way. The kid on the horse eventually moved and watched for a while. This showed me how powerful the /ignore button in our heads (and in our games) can be, and how to stay clam when hosting a live event.
2) Plan it out, but don't make it too complicated: Give those attending something to do, but don't bog them down with 500 rules. While I thought we were going to just spam dance emotes, the host decided to surprise us with neat games that really helped declare a clear winner. For example, he would type out the last three letters of the dance and the first person (on his screen) to do that dance would win a prize. Another time he gave out hints in the form of funny sentences/clues and the first player to do the dance would win more prizes! It was a creative way to make a dance off actually work. (And I won a stack of 5 pens!)
3) If you have prizes, make them prizes: Don't make us come to your event, follow a bunch of rules and make fools of ourselves just to get a 6 slot bag. Have a variety of prizes and make a few of them really nice. The host of this event gave out many ordinary prizes, but would randomly award really nice prices. This made us all want to stay til the end, and to really pay attention!
4) Be clear, stern and direct: When you are telling a large group of players what to do, use short and precise instructions. If you want to do a duel contest, be clear on the rules of weapon usage. If you are doing a scavenger hunt (which would be perfect for Fallen Earth!) make the list clear and spell everything correctly. I have been to so many events that had these complicated rules to follow, only to be shutdown by confusion. Speak clearly, have clearly marked areas for competing players to stay in. Be fair, but be stern with your rules.
5) Have FUN!: If you start getting stressed by trying to lead an event, DON'T SHOW IT. Don't get mad at players, be polite and have a blast! If you are attempting to have a good time, so will everyone else. Even if they are not having a good time, they will at least put on a good face for your benefit. If you act like a spoiled brat because you can't control one or two people, your crowd will revolt or disperse. The host of this event used "woot" a lot, laughed a lot and gave equal attention to everyone.
Remember when you are hosting an event that if it is fun, players will return! I will gladly now attend any other event that this guy (or his guild) puts on because he worked hard and planned it out. There was minimal confusion, great prizes and creative thinking about the rules. I love it when someone uses their brain and thinks outside the box!
Now, go out and organize something small. Maybe a role-play meet where players exchange stories, with prizes for the coolest outfit? Perhaps a dueling contest with a nice sword as a prize? Or, just host a class on basic cooking or crafting! These community events can make the difference between someone staying with a game or not.
Now go log in!