How to make an Offline Event/LAN

Hello everyone,

My name is JPurvis and most of you know me as the Manager of the Frost Gaming LAN that was held in Toronto, ON on March 30th 2013.

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I have been getting a few questions regarding other events such as the one we just had.

Most people would agree that the FG LAN was a success although we ran into many problems. Well I will make a detailed list of everything you will need to create such a event. I will go over what went well with past events and what problems future ones should be aware of.

For reference, look at this thread http://forum.z8games.com/showthread.php?t=243804

Here are the things I will go over
  • Funds
  • Sponsors
  • Location
  • Venue
  • Lodging
  • Equipment
  • Rules
  • Registration
  • Staff
  • Prizes
  • Advertising
  • Food Breaks
  • Other Activities
  • Timing
  • Setting Up

Funds
This is your first step into creating an event. With all events there has to be a way to pay for everything you are doing from the venue to the equipment or staff. Funds can come from anyone such as yourself, a company, sponsors, or volunteers. Also get more saved up then you intend to use, case of a last minute changes.

*Have a bottom line price. This is the max you are willing to pay for the event but have some extra set aside for an emergency.

Sponsors
Having sponsors is a great way to help pay for events and items. They can either give cash donations or physical items such as Mice, Headsets, Keyboards, or other items. A bonus to having a sponsor is knowing more people would likely come to events when a sponsor is helping with it.

Possible Sponsors
  • Razer
  • Steel Series
  • Astro
  • Asus
  • Logitech
  • iBuyPower
  • Raddison
  • Roccat
  • Bawls
  • Samsung

How to get their attention
Lets say you want Astro.
You want to make the E-Mail a detailed paragraph or two. You tell them that you will have 5 people, which is 5 headsets, $1,000 roughly. Travel costs per person, $500-$700, so $2500-$3500.Jerseys for the team, $400 roughly. Then a team pass, $250

Total cost $4800-$5800 for first event. This price is actually kinda low in the terms of sponsorship, and they would seriously consider it at this point, then you explain how $2050 would be taken away for gear for all future events, leaving them with the tab of $2750-$3750.

Make sure to tell them how they can design the jerseys anyway they want, as long as your team name, gamer tag, and anything else you want is on it as well if you get custom jerseys. And how they could make Custom speaker tags for the Astro A40's, which could be their logo or emblem.

Give them plenty of time to respond. Don't expect anything soon. They should get back to you in less then 6 months, maybe more if its a big company.

Location
Location, location, location! That's all I need to say about this. Having an event that serves everyone is just about impossible as the location can be to far away for one to travel. One suggestion would be to have it in a large populated area that is known for having CrossFire players. This would encourage locals to come and stop by. Now one down side is most large cities have Pay for Parking, so anyone traveling by car needs to have some spare change.

Venue
Once you have selected a City, you need to find a place to have the event at. I sent out a mass email to over 40 locations in the Toronto area to have the event at. It described what we were doing, what we need, and how much we are looking to have it for. The FG LAN was hosted at the Raddison Admiral Hotel. This Venue provided a large enough space for all players and spectators to enjoy the event comfortably. Most Hotels will have large rooms for events that have internet ports, electrical outlets, tables, and seating.

You can choose other Venues such as local LAN Centers in the area that already have everything you will need. LAN Centers are your best bet to keeping things cost effective. There can also be other places to have it at but this will require more searching and possible a higher budget.

Always have multiple venues selected and talk them down for better deals. Example: $2,000 a day room was haggled down to $500 per day.

***Be sure to have a IT confirm the speed and bandwidth of the internet connection. If playing on a bad connection, you're gonna have a bad time.

Lodging
Having a place for people to stay is a big thing to look at. Most people that go to these events will not have their own means of transportation. If out of town they either flew in, took a bus or train, taxi, came with a friend or drove on their own. Having a Venue close to a hotel will benefit many people so they can easily travel from hotel to the event with ease.

*Remember the more people that stay at the hotel, the better the deal is for guest.

Equipment
Things you will need for the event
  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Internet cables
  • Router/Switches
  • Headset/Keyboards/Mice
  • Projection screen/large TV
If you don't have these items, then there is no reason to even have an event. Remember to look for LAN Centers since they already have most if not ALL of these items. Be sure to have enough equipment for the amount of players you are going to have and to have back ups incase something doesnt work properly. Be sure to have one or two streaming PC's.

If you run out of options or funds, always look into other Crossfire members and friends for help. I was lucky enough to have the helping hand of Delaco. He came to the rescue with 10 PC's, 20 monitors, and Cables/switches. Couldn't have done it without him.

Rules
Rules can make or break your event. If you dont have strong rules in place, things can escalate quickly out of control. Be sure to have tight rules for in game. Use in game rules that other tournaments have used so that everyone would be comfortable. Make sure to go the ALL the rules prior to the start of the event so everyone can be warned.

Having non in game rules for an events is really good to have too. This would prevent people from starting fights, stealing, copyrighting, unpaid fees, behavior, areas that are off limits, etc.

Example of Terms and Conditions http://forum.z8games.com/showthread.php?t=242282&highlight=terms+conditions

Registration
For managing purposes, its good to have a place for teams, players and everyone else to register. This will also give you a good count of how many people will be attending. As you get closer to the date of the event you can estimate how many name tags to get. Name tags are great, not only for knowing who is who, but to know who has paid. Plus it makes the event look more professional.

Example of a Name Tag: Needs resizing

Staff
Having a well managed staff will help running a well managed event. Inform all staff members how the event will be run, what to look out for, how to solve problems, instructing teams to be ready for the next match, etc.

Having people to stream and cast the matches are a very big part. I would highly consider CFL for their professional help for the FG LAN.

Prizes
Prizes can come from sponsors, volunteer donations, or registrations.

On top of having funds to run the event, you will need prizes to hand out. Prizes can consist of Cash, computer peripheral, in game items, etc. Remember that having sponsors will help with keeping the cost down for yourself. Make sure to have a secure way to hand out all prizes to any winners whether is being via Paypal, back transfer, mail cash, mail check, or in person. Double check with winners so that their information is correct. Don't want to send $500 to the wrong person.

Advertise
Advertising and promoting your event will increase the amount of attendance. Make sure to have a Website with all needed information regarding the event. Promote through the forums, in game, Facebook, word of mouth, sponsors, etc. I personally used macros advertising the FG LAN which some didn't know about until they saw my macro. Email and display your event on large gaming sites such as MLG to get recognized.

See if the sponsor can make an AD display your event. Example: Professional CrossFire Players only trust Roccat gear to win!"

Food Breaks
Playing multiple hours can make a guy hungry, so make sure to include a break or two during your event. Get people together and order pizza or stop at a local restaurant. This should only take no longer than 1 hour.

Other Activities
Although the main event will be the tournament itself, look at including other activities during the event. This could be raffles, eating contest, 1v1's, costume contest, best hair, or what ever you can think of. Keep everyone entertained throughout the event.

Timing
Murphy's Law - Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong
This is something that the FG LAN didnt do good on. :( Be Perpared for the worst and plan ahead. Disconnections, driver errors, black screen, etc can take up alot of time and make the event last longer than expected.

For long term timing be sure to give everyone a few months of notice. People need to arrangements to get off from work, make travel plans, and save up enough money so they can go these an event. Telling people 1 month prior isn't enough time.

Setting Up
Always make sure everything you need for the event is ready aleast a week prior to the event date. Try to have access to the Venue a day before hand to start setting up everything. Test all equipment to make sure everything works properly. Anything that doesn't work right can be fixed before hand to make the event run smoothly.

Talk with the Venue owners and have them send you a layout of the room.
Here is an example from the FG LAN
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A Message from JPurvis
CrossFire is an amazing game. I am thrilled that there are so many people that play this game and would like for it to go further.

I hope to see more events like the Frost Gaming LAN happen not only across North America but across the world. Events like these don't happen overnight. They take months of planning and the time and money of volunteers from our community members to make these type of things happen.

We the players can't always rely on Z8Games, G4Box, SmileGate, or Neowiz to make events for us. We have to step up and say "Hey, we love this game and want to make more out of it." If these companies notice that we care about having these types of events, they will start helping us out more.

Hopefully CrossFire stays on the path it is on now. Would love to see CrossFire as a big name one day.
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