Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gathering new players

Maybe you live in an area that doesn't have much support for heroclix. Maybe your local shop doesn't want to pay for prize support, or when they do, they charge you to play (not totally unfair depending on the charge). Maybe your area store doesn't even have tournaments. What do you do?

Well, you may have to do some recruiting on your own. In order to do this, you may have to make some over the top adjustments to appeal to new audiences. You may have to offer your own scale of prize support from your own box of extra pieces.

In my area there has been a loss of players and venues that have lost tournaments. They just fizzled out and never came back. Even back in my home town, it's not often that anyone shows up for tournaments. If they do, it's only two or three people. So how can you get new players to jump in and try out your game? I have a couple ideas.

Seek out public places where people gather that will allow for some game play. Playing heroclix in public will get attention. People get curious and you'd be amazed at how many will step up and ask what you're doing. Be ready to preach the gospel of heroclix and how cool it is. Remember to mention strong points of the game for kids such as math, strategy, and map reading as well as social interaction. And play characters that have been recently seen in movies. That gets attention too. I've had people ask where they can get some. Tell them, but be ready for them to balk at the price a bit. Still, there's more you can do. If you do the following, you can invite them to a gathering.

Host a heroclix gathering or event. Expect new players, maybe people who saw you in public and try to have some prize support or giveaway items. If you have a ton of extras taking up space in your closet, get generous. You may gain a new and permanent player for the act. Put together a few 300 point teams in plastic ziplock bags. Make them giveaways for the first "x" number of people to join in, who don't have any clix. It's like giving out free samples.

Where and how to get the word out? Try your public library and tout the positive aspects of the game to them. They often take up on special interest events that are positive in nature for kids and the public. Anything that brings people to the library past that is cake for them. They may let you host a monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly event. Better yet, they may put it in their calendar that goes out to people in some newspapers and is posted on their websites. That's publicity and it's free for you! Voila! New players.

In all of that, start a fan club. You can collect dues and maybe even get your hands on some pieces that are exclusive to your club. I haven't talked to Wizkids/Neca about this myself, but hey, it's an idea and could create publicity for them and the game. Members of a fan club could split the cost of cases of heroclix for pack parties and gaming events. Pieces for everyone and a good time too. Even if you have to pay for a prize package, you could make that part of fan club dues. And anyone can start up a fan club. It's how much you can market the name that makes a difference. Even a personal and local deal can net new players and keep the game going. It can keep you playing too.

Feel free to post your own ideas in comments!

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