What makes a good tournament great?
This is a question we ask ourselves a lot at IQ. We spend a great deal of time worrying about how we can make our next tournament better than the last, our next league meeting busier than the previous. It’s not easy. Getting people together to begin with is always a problem. A lot of gamers have busy lives; running events and leagues for all the games out there means that’s a lot of weekends and evenings taken up and if you play two or three games that’s a big commitment.
What should a shop do?
Our responsibilities are varied but they are all aimed at the same thing; to give the players the best possible day we can. You guys keep us in business so it makes sense to look after the players as much as possible. Here are some of the things we consider….
What about the atmosphere? In our opinion the most important consideration is that everyone playing has a great, enjoyable day.
Even if you don’t win, it’s important that you’ve still had a good time.
We often get asked why we are so against swearing and people getting carried away. The simple answer is that there are lots of people who feel that sort of behaviour isn’t acceptable or it will take away from the enjoyment they are having. You may have noticed we have a higher than usual percentage of families in the store. This isn’t an accident. Because of that we ask people to watch their language and not to become too loud.
A clean and tidy venue helps new and old alike to feel a little more relaxed. There’s nothing worse than going to the toilet to find it could do with a little clean prior to your visit! Imagine trying to play a game to find there’s litter everywhere or the tablecloths are grubby. It takes time and effort to keep on top of it but it’s important to us that we give a good impression.
The rules. Making sure there is either someone who knows these well or that we have easy access to them is vital. It’s not uncommon for rules questions to arise so we need to make sure that we not only know the answers but deal with the issues in a timely, fair and polite manner.
Often the players resolve many of these themselves but we are fortunate to have a number of players and staff that know a range of rules for an even wider range of games. When we have to look outside for judges we are very clear on how we expect them to act, sometimes taking them by surprise, but they need to know as well as the players what’s expected of them to ensure their players are having the best of days.
Criticism and feedback is something else we are happy to hear if it’s constructive and fair.
We are always happy to hear from anyone who’s come along to the store who wants to voice their opinion. We get plenty of positive feedback, and the occasional not so, but it’s all appreciated and considered. We listen, consider and then if something needs to be done, act.
Prize support is very important to all players and how this is put together is often a tricky process.
You want your players who do well to leave with some great prizes but often these players are used to winning so it’s almost more important for those players who don’t do well or are new to this type of competition to leave with something. Hopefully you’ve found that this is the case at IQ. We pride ourselves on great prize support that caters for everyone and we will always endeavour to do this.
Food and drink is what keeps players going.
Making sure the fridge is full and we’ve plenty of sandwiches, drinks and snacks available is good for business and means the players don’t have to wander round the town centre looking for something to eat. Having a good selection always helps - not everyone likes gorging on Coca-Cola!
How can you help?
This might sound a little abrupt but it’s important that players know that when they come to a store they have a part to play. It’s a busy, social environment and you have to understand that there are lots of others players that will have different sensibilities, opinions and outlooks. Here are a few things to always bear in mind.
Courtesy. Being polite is the least that can be expected of anyone. Manners take nothing and we expect everyone to use them. You would expect them from an opponent so make sure you use them at all times. A please or thank you can often make the difference.
Patience is another point that occasionally gets overlooked. Some players are quicker than others but it doesn’t mean they are any less competent. Some of the situations that arise in the games take a great deal of consideration and thought so make sure you give your opponent the time they deserve. If you think someone is deliberately time wasting , don’t deal with it yourself, notify a judge and let them consider it.
Hygiene often gets mentioned in game stores and for good reason. We sometimes get so wrapped up in the games we forget the little things like this. We are lucky to not really have this problem and if it does arise we try and have a chat with those in question but it does help to bear this in mind when going to any store. It’s not easy for another player to raise the point without coming across as rude but it’s something that can seriously deter other players if one of the group hasn’t thought about their own personal hygiene.
Ultimately everyone has their part to play to make a venue as good as it can be and by understanding this we are all better off. Any event will be better if the players come with the right attitude and the store makes a good effort. Help us give you the best possible time ;)